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The M-Word: One Year Later

by Meghann on August 25, 2015

One year ago this week my world came crashing down. My husband and I went in for a routine doctor appointment at 12 weeks only to discover the baby we had already grown to love and cherish was no longer with us. The next couple of months were the hardest of my life. The pain was so deep and so very real. I cried, I yelled, I was angry (very angry), and I didn’t have any clue how to dig myself out of my hole.

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Even a year later (and at 33 weeks pregnant) the pain is still there. My eyes are already filling with tears as I start to write this. I was told from the very beginning that the pain and sadness would never truly go away, you simply learn to live with it, which is true. While I’m in a much better place emotionally than I was back then, that piece of my soul is still very raw and tender.

As much as I wanted to stay in a ball on my couch after my miscarriage, life does go on. And, for my husband and me, life took off at lightning speed. We closed on our house a week later, we fell head-over-heels in love with our newborn nephew, we took an impromptu trip to Europe to visit close friends, both of our brothers started planning their weddings, and slowly, but surely, a new normal took over. We smiled, we laughed, and we survived.

After we were given the all-clear to start trying again, we jumped feet first back into it. Trying for a baby the first time was tough, but having this dark cloud hang over us was even tougher. After a couple of months of negative tests, I was convinced something was wrong. I became lost in fertility forums, which both made me feel better and made me super paranoid at the same time. It was a toss-up of stories of women who conceived right away after a miscarriage, those that went on for years after a loss without another positive test, and those with multiple losses. After fighting so hard to climb out of my hole of depression, I began to sink back into it.

And then a miracle happened. There was a second line. It was faint – so, so, so faint – but it was there and it continued to grow stronger.

Suddenly my over-the-top emotions were tossed into a whole new realm – the one of pregnancy after miscarriage. I’d read so much about trying to get pregnant after a loss, and the initial joy after seeing that first positive test, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the heightened fear and panic. Gone was my innocence and the assumption that everything was going to be okay, in its void was constant worrying and the knowledge that it’s not always okay. I waited to tell my husband about the first test because I was scared it wasn’t real, I waited to call the doctor because I was scared she wouldn’t find a heartbeat again, I questioned every “symptom” I wasn’t experiencing, and instead of celebrating our miracle, I burst into tears every night hoping against hope that this little one was a survivor.

I’d love to say that fear goes away, but it doesn’t. I still have mini-panic attacks before every doctor’s appointment, I still use the heart rate doppler I purchased in week 10 on a weekly basis, I still do kick counts every night and, if I don’t feel her move for a while, I poke her so I can get that reassuring kick back. I politely nod when anyone talks about the future because it makes me nervous. I even have semi-panic attacks when I work on the nursery because what if something happens and she never uses this room? I haven’t even bought a ton of baby stuff and get shakey hands whenever I do. The fear of loss is strong and I hate it. I miss the innocence, I’m jealous of those who can just casually talk about the future assuming everything is going to be okay. I want that. I want to go back to that, but I can’t.

The hardest question I’ve received this pregnancy is “Is this your first?” I’m never sure how to respond. “My first pregnancy that’s made it this far” or “Technically it’s my second, but we’re hoping to make it to the end with this one.” There’s no good answer, so I usually nod with a polite yes. I never knew a question could cause so much confusion or pain until it was directed towards me. There’s a lot of common questions or statements you learn not to ask while pregnant, that’s one of them. You never know the expectant mother’s story or what they went through to get to that point.

A year ago we lost our first baby and today we’re less than two months away from meeting our rainbow. While I can worry, panic, and obsess with the best of them, I’m also incredibly thankful and grateful we were able to conceive again after our loss and to be carrying our miracle. Every time I feel baby girl move around inside, I smile knowing she is healthy and strong. I don’t have a birth plan because I know it doesn’t matter. In the end, anything can happen, but the ultimate goal is for baby girl to arrive happy and healthy – no matter how she chooses to do so.

 

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ana S August 25, 2015 at 10:36 am

What an emotional blog post ! I feel for you and in your words i can still feel the pain that the moment brings to you. thank you for making this topic public Not a lot of people like to talk about it but it is real. I just had an ectopic pregnancy and i am digging out of that hole! reading this blog post gives me hope that i will be ok as well. My husband and i are going to do a triathlon relay (Escape to Miami) on Sept 20th. Our team is going to be called team H.O.L.A.! (Honoring our little angel). That has been my motivation to get out of bed and move!
Again thank you so much for your post and all the best for your little one! i will pray for you and your baby that the next weeks go very smoothly!

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2 Erica [email protected]} August 25, 2015 at 10:44 am

I had a MMC and D&C in October of last year, and am currently due with my first baby in 2 weeks. I also thought I’d … get over it more once I was pregnant again, or once my pregnancy made it to a certain point, but it hasn’t gotten much better. I still think about what life would be like if my first had lived, and we’d have a 4 month old now.
Erica [email protected]} recently posted..38 Week Pregnancy Update and Weekend Photos

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3 Katie D August 25, 2015 at 10:55 am

yes to all of this. I felt the same way after a MMC and subsequent pregnancy 5 months later. I make sure to squeeze my little girl tight every night, knowing how lucky I am to have her. And it took me almost all pregnancy to allow myself to be “excited” about it. *hugs*

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4 Dione August 25, 2015 at 11:04 am

Such a heartfelt post. Loved your willingness to share. I’m sure it will comfort someone who is experiencing the same feelings, to know they aren’t alone!

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5 Katie August 25, 2015 at 11:11 am

Tank you for sharing. I feel your pain on a different level. We’ve never lost a baby, but we’ve struggled to get pregnant. I recently got a tattoo with seven footprints to represent our seven treatments; the second one pink to represent our Ava. The five after that make me grieve and cry and wonder what life would be like if I could give her a sibling. People ask if she is our only one, and I say yes, but want to scream and tell them she wouldn’t be if I could make it different. Different circumstance; similar grief. Prayers for a healthy ending to your pregnancy.
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6 VI August 25, 2015 at 11:24 am

I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, thanks for always sharing the hard stuff. I’ve just started a blog to attempt to do the same. It’s not easy, and you’ve done such a good job here.

Congrats on your pregnancy! I’m excited to keep following.

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7 Maddie @ Dixie Runs August 25, 2015 at 11:31 am

Wow, you’ve been through so much in a year. Such an emotional roller coaster and you’ve stayed strong throughout the whole thing. And now you are so close to meeting your little miracle. Thank you for sharing this!
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8 Tracy August 25, 2015 at 12:44 pm

So happy to see you a year later about to meet that precious baby girl very soon! I had every single fear and emotion that you have during my pregnancy after my miscarriage. Honestly not until I gave birth and heard him, saw him did a sigh of relief come… And even now 3 1/2 months later, I still worry about everything. But as I like to say they are positive worries. That’s being a MOM! 🙂

I look back on it today and really am thankful to have gone through all the heartache because I never would have met this baby boy that I have in my life now.

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9 Amanda Sumner August 25, 2015 at 12:46 pm

I’m so grateful you share your truth. I, too, had a miscarriage after trying with fertility meds and we are trying again. While I can’t wait to get the positive pregnancy test again, the thought of going back in for another ultrasound makes me sick to my stomach. I hope this is something I can work through with optimism when it happens and I pray that it goes well every night. Thank you again for sharing your story. Praying for you and baby girl!

xoxo,
Amanda
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10 Natalie @ The Ravenous Mommy August 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Thanks for this post! Loss is so hard, I suffered one as well in January and that baby’s due date was going to be this Friday. I still think about it alot and probably always will, but am also so happy that I have another bundle of joy that might not have had the chance to be here otherwise. It’s definitely bittersweet.
Natalie @ The Ravenous Mommy recently posted..The Ravenous Baby: 26 Weeks

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11 Allison August 25, 2015 at 1:29 pm

Everything you posted is so dead on. I had a MMC at 12 weeks (the baby passed at 10 weeks due to turner’s syndrome, but we didn’t realize it until our u/s). It was my second pregnancy, I had a healthy son already and I have gone on to have 2 more sweet girls since then. I wish I could say the fear during pregnancy goes away, but for me, it never did. I dreaded every u/s I ever had after the one where I saw our sweet baby with no heartbeat. During my most recent pregnancy I even burst into tears waiting for an u/s at 41 weeks pregnant, bc I was so filled with anxiety…. this is after 2 healthy babies and knowing I was carrying a full term baby with no known complications!

Thanks for posting this. Lots of people don’t talk about it, I think due to the fact they don’t know what to say to a mother who is grieving this kind of loss. It’s nice to have a forum to discuss it here. Best of luck going forward with your baby girl!

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12 Heidi August 25, 2015 at 3:08 pm

After struggling through multiple miscarriages, we finally received our rainbow. He is now 6. I couldn’t agree with you more on how to answer when someone asks ‘is this your first’? I always remember my other four miscarriages, but I didn’t know how to gracefully answer the question.

After our son was born, we tried again with infertility treatments. Two more miscarriages and I broke. I knew I couldn’t do anything more treatments or suffer the loss. This last year, we even tried adoption and after a very horrific adoption experience that I don’t believe is the normal experience, we made the decision to stay of family of three.

It has been a hard journey, but we now find joy and peace in our beautiful family of three (or 5 if you count our four-legged children).

May you find a way to enjoy the next few months – as hot and miserable as you might feel!! I remember the anxiety and thinking about all the things that might happen. Have faith and try to put it all aside and breathe!!!! (Sleep…sleep a lot!!!)

Thank you for sharing such a well written and thoughtful post.

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13 Sarah August 25, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Thank you for this. It often seems that no one truly understands what it’s like to be expecting so soon after a miscarriage. My husband has 4 children from a previous marriage, and while originally we had planned on having children, we changed our minds and decided against it. On the night of our wedding, I got pregnant. I kept it to myself for weeks, not knowing how to tell him that we were expecting. Once I finally got the courage I told him, and to my surprise he was over the moon. A month later, that joy was ripped away from us while I was on a business trip. It was devastating, especially being apart. I rushed home only to realize that this joy that brought us close was now a darkness driving us apart through anger and resentment and fear. Now, our little boy is due exactly one from when we lost our baby. I am so excited for all of this, but now struggle with nightmares and panic attacks that something is going to happen. There are days I don’t even want to get up for fear of something going wrong. It’s a constant thought and it scares me. I’m not sure the fear or the pain will ever truly subside, but I pray that our little unborn baby watches over his or her little brother and knows the love we had for he or she the very moment we knew. Best wishes to all the mothers going through this. My heart is with you.

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14 Jennifer Adams August 25, 2015 at 3:57 pm

I had four births and lost three. The final pregnancy I lost twins at 19 weeks that resulted in 3 surgeries, a hysterectomy and a long recovery. I’m sure there’s an outpouring of love and understanding. Women tend to band together to help each other heal. Although my biggest struggle was at the end of my journey of having kids, there are moments when I still feel the loss. The joy of the ones we have far outweigh it though. Maybe last year, she wasn’t quite ready to be here. There are always lessons to learn.

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15 Emily August 25, 2015 at 4:49 pm

I’m so glad you shared this with us. It’s nearly impossible to find the words to say to someone who experienced such a tragic loss. I’m so happy that your current pregnancy is going so well, and I can understand the constant fear. I wish for nothing but the best for you and your family. It really got to me when you talked about people asking if it’s your first. Not an easy question to answer in your situation. Again, thank you so much for sharing and good luck moving forward.

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16 stephanie August 25, 2015 at 6:10 pm

Meghann,

Thanks so much for sharing your story. Your first little one is remembered even though he/she was here for a short while. Honestly, your post brought me to tears. The longing and desire to be a mom can be so strong and then when you get pregnant with your first, I can only imagine the joy that comes along with it. It makes sense that you feel conflicted about how to answer the question of “is this your first?” and I appreciate you sharing your post because I would have never realized that there could be pain and confusion with that question, but I can see now that it could be a difficult question to hear and to answer. Today, I remember with you the first little one that was yours and Derek’s. I pray for your rainbow now. That she grow to full term with you and has a long and happy life outside of the womb. You may never be able to get the innocence of your first pregnancy back, but what a lucky little baby that you had to feel your love so early in life. I don’t know if you had a name for him/her, but I wonder if that would help you as you reflect on that pregnancy and remember your first baby’s life.

Again, thanks so much for sharing.

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17 Sara August 25, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Long time reader, but not a frequently commenter. This post is spot on! I miscarried twice before having my son, who is almost 2 1/2 now, and I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant with my second son. A part of me will forever be jealous of the women who shout from the rooftops the minute that they get positive pregnancy test. Both positives tests with my sons have brought tears of fear, anxiety and doubt. Those first two pregnancies and babies will always be on my heart and in my mind, as yours will with you. I’m very sorry for your loss. I’ve enjoyed following along with your pregnancy journey!

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18 Pam August 25, 2015 at 7:31 pm

I don’t think there is ever getting over miscarriage and what might have been. It’s okay to be sad and honor your would be baby. Your new rainbow baby is a gift that you will be even more grateful to snuggle and love when she arrives. Have faith that all will be well with this little one.
I had an early miscarriage back in March, turned out my progesterone was super low at 3.5 so it was doomed from the start. I spotted everyday for 3 weeks then got a period that completed the miscarriage. I conceived two months later and was sure to use progesterone cream on my skin twice a day to boost my progesterone levels and miraculously conceived that month. Now I’m 17 weeks along and pray everyday that all will continue to progress. It’s nerve wracking to say the least but I can’t help being happy to have a baby bump and look forward to feel little kicks hopefully in a couple weeks.
Have faith that all will be well momma and you will meet your rainbow baby girl very soon! xoxo
Pam recently posted..Lemon-Ginger Iced Green Tea

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19 Linda @ The Fitty August 25, 2015 at 7:43 pm

I wish I could resonate with the paon you had, but I never had a miscarriage so I could never know. But that time is over, and I’m glad you got through it.
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20 Heather August 25, 2015 at 8:22 pm

Thank you for sharing about the loss of your first child. I lost my baby boy (my second child in heaven) almost 4 months ago. I would have been 38 weeks along this week. He passed away around week 21 and I delivered his tiny little body and held him in my arms. I’m nervous and excited to be pregnant again. I’m enjoying following your pregnancy journey with this baby and pray for a healthy sweet baby in your arms not too long from now. Thank you so much for being real and being a voice for all the babies gone too soon.

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21 Meagan August 25, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your personal story! My heart truly feels for you. I don’t know the pain of losing my own child, but I’m only 23 and have already lost a brother and my mom to cancer and fear of losing my husband or anyone else that I love is a really hard thing to deal with. I wish your family much happiness during this scary, but exciting time. xoxo

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22 Johanna August 25, 2015 at 9:49 pm

I had a chemical pregnancy after four years of trying and it was so difficult because I finally thought my dream had come true. Thankfully I became pregnant two months later and had a healthy baby girl who is turning 1 soon. To me, pregnancy was very scary. Not because of my chemical pregnancy but because I just couldn’t believe it was happening. I was high risk so I was monitored twice a week towards the end and alway got to see her and hear her heartbeat. Even still as I was wheeled into the operating room for my c section I kept thinking they would somehow go in there and not find a baby. Like I had dreamed it all. But she was there of course and she was perfect. I’m so happy for you, but it’s sad that you have these feelings. But it’s just because you love her so much already. Can’t wait to see your beautiful rainbow baby ??
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23 Dunja August 26, 2015 at 7:16 am

Thanks for sharing this special day with us. I follow you since a couple of years. Ans I was so sad for you and Derek as you have posted this one special post last year. And then I was happy for you as you have received your miracle. I wish you all the luck you deserve. And I hope everything is going right in the last weeks of preagnancy. But I can understand all the fears you are going through. Then in the meantime I have also lost my baby number one. I was going into labor in week 18 and had to deliver our baby girl. No one knows why. And I¨m still in shock. But woman like you which have the courage of sharing your struggles with us are helping me a lot. And you give me hope for the future. You are my special hero for the day!!!!

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24 Katie D. August 26, 2015 at 10:13 am

Spot on! I lost my baby June 10, 2012 and had my rainbow baby on June 30, 2015. I have now gotten brave enough to sometimes say “During my first pregnancy XYZ” during a conversation.

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25 Janelle August 26, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Honestly, I’ve never had a miscarriage, so I can’t claim to know what you are feeling at all. But, being 37 weeks pregnant with our first child right now, I can relate to an extent with your fears (in part because so many friends of mine have suffered miscarriages and even stillbirths). I finally started putting together our nursery this week and, while I want it to be all ready to go, I’m also fearful that something will go terribly wrong and we’ll have a room full of baby things and no baby. Thank you for sharing so honestly. Many blessings on you and your family.

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26 Montana @ Pretty Lil Mudder August 26, 2015 at 3:07 pm

I’ve followed your blog for a while, and while I don’t understand the pain of miscarriage or wanting children, I do hope with all my heart that things go smoothly for you for the duration of your pregnancy and that your daughter arrives safe and healthy. <3
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27 Jenny August 26, 2015 at 10:10 pm

My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. The anxiety and fear during my next pregnancy did not go away until the moment my baby girl was in my arms. I often felt “robbed” of the pregnancy joy because of the miscarriage and knowing how quickly everything can change. Even being in the hospital after having her was hard because it was marked in my chart as a second pregnancy. So every single doctor that came in congratulated us on our second child and we had to explain each time that she was actually our first. A nurse even said we could be discharged early since we were “second time parents and already knew what to do.” Ugh, so hard. But our rainbow baby is 9 months old now and our greatest blessing!

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28 Vanessa August 26, 2015 at 11:32 pm

Thank you so much for sharing! I recently had a miscarriage and can definitely relate to the fear of it happening again. We have been cleared to start trying again, but I got so scared that I would have another miscarriage that we decided to wait a few more months to start trying again. Fear can be such a powerful (de)motivator.
I have really enjoyed reading about your rainbow baby! Thank you for being willing to talk about the sad and scary sides of pregnancy!

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29 goldie August 27, 2015 at 3:52 am

It overwhelms me how women who have been through miscarriage seem to follow a similar path of grieving. Our little rainbow arrived in july. He’s just exquisite. That said the fear he may still be taken from me due to illness or SIDS lives on after pregnancy is over. I also find crying over the loss of my first as easy as though it happened yesterday. The thing is rainbow babies are wonderful but they don’t replace a baby you have lost. The truth is i wanted both my baby boys. I have more than enough love for them both and as grateful as i am our rainbow is safe with us i still think of his brother often and how different life would be if he were here.

I know you’re still worrying in the run up to your little girl arriving. I was the same. No symptom went unchecked. I will say this-the medical team that were looking after me in labour were amazing. That was probably the one day since finding out i was pregnant that i handed the worry to them and they took care of it until baby was in my arms.

You’re doing so well at giving a positive front but always remember every woman who has been through this knows the fear you are feeling. Stay strong, nearly there 🙂 much love x
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30 Megan August 27, 2015 at 9:14 am

Thank you for sharing this story. I am so sorry for your loss and will pray for you and both of your babies!

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31 Jennifer August 28, 2015 at 6:21 am

Wow, these are the same exact feelings I have been struggling with for months. Thank you for writing this. It is comforting knowing others have the same fears and feelings. It really hit home when you wrote about the innocence being ripped away from you and how you just want to feel that again. I feel like that too. And how jealous you become of others casually and innocently talking about their future because we can’t do that anymore since we have seen the reality and the other side. Thank you again for sharing.

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32 Haley August 28, 2015 at 10:52 am

I think when the pain of miscarriages finally felt better for me was a couple of months after I had a happy, healthy little girl…. it all of a sudden hit me, that wow, if I had not had my miscarriages, I wouldn’t have my little Avery girl… it would be a different baby. It honestly breaks my heart to even think about the fact that she wouldn’t be in my life! Not that it isn’t still a little sad to think about the babies I lost… but now it hurts even more to think about Avery not being in my life!

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33 Stacey August 28, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I wish you a very healthy and happy rest of your pregnancy, and life beyond with your little baby!!
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34 beth September 1, 2015 at 7:02 pm

I always read and rarely comment. I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my mother and my dog 5 days apart this summer and the grief has been unbearable. It’s helpful to know that others also experience great anger and that it is totally normal for the feelings to carry on down the road. I feel less alone somehow knowing that other people feel pain so deeply, although I wish no one had to ever feel this way. Your story has helped me and I wish you the best welcoming your baby!

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35 Jasmine September 1, 2015 at 9:22 pm

I know well the “Is this your first” question. I always stumble over it. Even now, when people ask if my son is my first child (or my only child), I hesitate. I guess the answer is yes, but it sometimes feels like a betrayal of my first sweet pregnancy. Truthfully, that really was our first foray into parenthood, even if it’s complicated to acknowledge it.

Just wanted to say, I feel you. <3

I'm very excited to see your baby girl. Get ready, mama. You are in for a ride!
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