The Birthstone Ring

Miscarriage

On Saturday March 16th, I was still doing my best to rest and recover from surgery. By now I had noticed a drastic drop in my pregnancy symptoms including losing my strong sense of smell and my gagging reflex. I still felt bloated and fatigued but not nearly as much as before. On this day, I remember reading posts on my online support group. I remember hearing about how angel mommies find different ways to remember their babies who have gone to Heaven. In a poem I had read online, it had mentioned how a mom had had a ring of her baby’s birthstone on her hand. This was a symbol of two things. 1) the birthstone represented the month the baby was born and or was called home and 2) the momma had the ring on her finger to symbolize her baby holding her hand. I loved this idea! I told Charles what I read and he thought it was neat too. In fact, with him being the amazing husband he is, he decided to take me to the jewelry store to pick out a ring. ❤️

On the way to the store we tried to decide what birthstone I would want for my ring. Should we choose sapphire since my due date was in September or should we choose amethyst since we lost our baby in February? We pondered this on the car ride there and ended up deciding on February. We chose February because that was the month everything happen. That was the month I had both my ultrasounds as well as my D & C . It was also the month my morning sickness was the worst and we decided on the name Mackenzie. I also took into consideration that once I have my ring, I would not only be reminded of Mackenzie but also when I was pregnant, which was for the whole month of February.

When we got to the jewelry store we asked if we could see birthstone rings for the month of February. The cashier took us over to the counter where they kept the rings. Charles and I could both tell she didn’t seem to be in a good mood. She showed us the four different options for the amethyst birthstone.

“Is this ring for you?” The cashier asked me.

“Yes, but it’s not my birthstone… but I will be wearing it. Can I try on that one.” I said pointing to the ring with three hearts.

“So, it’s not for you.” She said looking confused, and handing me the ring to try on. I was conflicted on if I wanted to tell her it was in memory of our baby. I didn’t know if I was prepared for her reaction… what ever it was. She kept staring at me as if she wanted an answer. I tried on the ring.

“It’s for our baby.” I said. She stared at me.

“Oh, so you need a kids size ring?” She really didn’t understand and I was starting to get frustrated.

“No, it’s in memory of our baby. We had a miscarriage in February.” I really didn’t want to share this much with a stranger, especially since I was still sensitive about the topic. But, I still felt obligated to give it to her.

“Oh, well… you’re young you’ll have more.” She said. She had absolutely no emotion. No compassion. I looked at my husband with hurt and rage in my eyes. Did she really just say that to me? He looked back at me with empathy as if trying to say I know you really want to slap her, but please don’t do it. “So you were due in November?” She asked as if not sure what to say.

“I was due in September.” I didn’t look at her. I was done with this conversation. I was done talking to her. I was really hurt by what she said. I told Charles I wanted the ring I had tried on and we bought it. The cashier tried to get me to sign up for a credit card. I sternly told her no and walked away. I was done.

When we got to the car I cried. I cried with happiness because I got my ring but I also cried with sadness and anger by what she said. It was so hurtful. I think what made it hurt the worst is the fact that she acted like she did nothing wrong. It broke my heart. Why would you say that to someone? You don’t know if I will ever be able to have another kid, and also if you don’t know what to say when another human tells you something sad, at the very least try and be humane and say I’m sorry.

Regardless of the fact that the cashier hurt my feelings that day, I was very happy and thankful for my ring. It really meant a lot to me that Charles wanted to get one for me. It’s not even the fact that he bought me jewelry, but it’s the fact that he was trying to be there for me and understand what I was going through.

Seeing the Rainbow 🌈

Miscarriage

On Thursday March 14th, my day consisted of being at my internship, and going to one of the student organizations. More often than not, my friend Reaghan and I would usually go get dinner after our RSO meeting. Our meeting let out at 4:30pm that afternoon. When we got ready to leave, we were greeted by sunshine and a quick spring thunderstorm. It was a very weird scene to be in the midst of. As we walked through campus getting soaked and trying to think of what to eat, Reaghan pointed out something in the sky.

“Look! It’s a rainbow!” She said excited. We both smiled and pulled out our phones to take a picture. As we looked at the rainbow I was filled with joy… something I hadn’t felt in a long time. Later that night we went out to a local pizza place with our other friend Gillian and got pizzas for $3.14 since it was 🥧 PI Day.

After eating my pizza and heading home, I kept thinking about the rainbow we saw. It was so incredibly beautiful. Seeing this in the sky reminded me of a quote and a bible verse I had heard and read in the past…

“Lord, make me a rainbow… I’ll shine down on my mother. She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors.” – The Band Perry

“…and the rainbow hath been in the cloud, and I have seen it, to remember the covenant age during between God and every living creature among all flesh which is on the earth.” – Genesis 9:16


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Seeing this rainbow in the sky restored some of my faith in God. I had been angry with Him for weeks. I said some very hurtful things. I still had a broken heart, but seeing this rainbow in the sky gave me hope. I had hope that my baby Mackenzie was in Heaven. I had hope that she was not in pain now and had never felt pain before. I had hope that she was watching over me, and that she was okay. I had hope that my pain wasn’t going to last forever. I was reminded of the rainbow from the book of Genesis and how God keeps his promises. I thought about that rainbow and thought about my calling to be a mommy someday. Seeing that rainbow after a crazy storm gave me faith that God keeps his promises and He would keep His promise to me. I am now an Angel Mommy, and I will be an earthly Mommy someday. ❤️

The Things They Don’t Tell You When You Have a Miscarriage… or at least the Things They Didn’t Tell Me.

Miscarriage

When becoming pregnant, I knew there was a risk I could have a miscarriage, especially in the first trimester. However, I thought chances were quite slim. Both my husband and I are in pretty good health. There are no miscarriages that run in my family, and I was doing everything I could physically and mentally to take care of my growing baby. I am also well educated with an Associate’s in General Studies, an Associate’s in Early Childhood Education and on my way to getting a Bachelor’s in Child and Family Development. Even though I didn’t have the experience of being a mommy yet, I did have the experience and a well rounded education of working with children.

Throughout my pregnancy I researched and familiarized myself with the signs and symptoms of miscarriage. The most common signs are cramping, bleeding and spotting, back pain, headache and nausea. In all my research, I had never found anything that said you could have a miscarriage and not even know it. So, when I went to my 11 week ultrasound, I was completely blindsided. I didn’t have any symptoms, I just had common pregnancy symptoms.

After having my D & C, I was given some basic instructions of recovery and post-op care. However, there were many things I experienced after my miscarriage and D & C that my doctors failed to tell me about. The following are a list of things I wish I had known after my miscarriage. Plus, some of these are a bit TMI, so if you are at all squeamish… you may want to skip ahead.

1. It’s Important to be Consistent With Your Pain Meds and other Post-Op Care.

After my D & C I was pretty doped up on pain and anxiety meds. Once I went to my parent’s house to recover, I rotated between Ibprophen and Tylenol. Make sure to talk with your doctor and follow the instructions on the medication bottle before taking anything. I remember having cramps off and on for the next several days. There were some nights I would wake up in pain. It wasn’t excruciating pain but enough to be uncomfortable and wake me up. I set my alarm every 6 to 8 hours to remind myself to take something.

It was also important for me to stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids.

Lastly, I used a lot of hot and cold pads. I was given some from the hospital, but they are also available at various stores including Target, Meijer and Walgreens. I put these anywhere it hurt.

2. What Bleeding is “Normal” and What Bleeding is Concerning.

At the hospital I was told that I could bleed after my D & C for up to 2 weeks. However, if I was bleeding enough to fill a pad within an hour, I needed to go to the ER because I could be losing too much blood and hemorrhaging. Now the consistency in bleeding really depends on the person. For me, It was relatively light but if I was more active, or emotional I would start to bleed heavier. Also the color of blood was all over the place. Sometimes it was bright red while other times it was light brown.

3. It’s Possible to Start Lactating After a Miscarriage or D & C.

About three days post surgery my breast were very tender and just felt full. I didn’t know what was happening. I assumed it was just my hormones dropping in my body… but I wasn’t totally sure. I had my surgery on a Thursday and that following Sunday morning I woke up wet. My chest and whole top half of my shirt was soaked. I really wasn’t sure what was going on. I got up to change my shirt and as I was changing I realized exactly what was happening… I was lactating.

That afternoon I called my doctor and asked if it was normal or at all concerning. I spoke with a nurse and apparently lactating does occur in some women after a miscarriage. Since my pregnancy body was nearing towards the end of the first trimester, I guess my body had enough hormone to produce milk… at least that’s how I understood it. I spoke to a friend who recently had a baby and she said that normally your milk doesn’t fully come in until three or so days after you give birth. If that is the case and my milk came in three days after my surgery, then that would mean my body thought I had had a baby. This sent me into a spiraling emotional mess. Not only was I upset that my doctor didn’t tell me I could start lactating, but I was also upset my body was making milk for a baby I no longer had. This just rubbed salt in my very raw wounds.

So, if you recently had a miscarriage and begin lactating, I do highly suggest a few things to try.

– Call your doctor and ask for their advice. My doctor told me I could lactate for 1 – 2 weeks… I ended up lactating for 5ish weeks but everyone is different.

– Wearing a super supportive bra can be very helpful… I even wore it when I slept.

Wearing nursing pads are great and super absorbent.

– Using ice or cabbage can actually give you a lot of relief… just not heat because that could cause you to produce more milk.

4. Loss of Pregnancy Symptoms.

I think part of the reason my doctors didn’t tell me about this is because it truly depends on the person. I was told that my hormones would likely drop within a few weeks. However, I wasn’t told or truly prepared for the emotional toll it would take on me. I can imagine that after you give birth, you feel your hormones drop and no longer feel pregnant, however you do have a baby. Whereas, when you have a miscarriage and you slowly start to stop feeling pregnant, it feels like just another thing to lose. As much as I complained about being pregnant, I loved it and would truly give anything to still be pregnant.

5. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I think it is absolutely incredible that just within the last 15 years we have learned so much about PTSD. For the longest time it was known as, the disorder soldiers get after war. But, through a lot of research and awareness of mental health, our society has discovered truly what PTSD is and how anyone can get it after suffering a traumatic event. I talked about this with my counselor, and she said although she wasn’t diagnosing me with PTSD she did say I had some symptoms of it including insomnia, flashbacks and night terrors.

If you feel you are experiencing any symptoms of PTSD, I strongly encourage you to talk to your doctor, seek out a support group, or get into counseling.

6. Triggers

Since I am a peer educator for survivors of sexual assault, I knew about triggers. I know there are many events, words and things that can trigger a survivor of a past assault. However, since having a miscarriage I also discovered my own personal challenges and specific things that would trigger me and remind me of my loss.

Some of my personal triggers include…..

– Babies crying

– The baby aisle at the store

– Pickles (My pregnancy craving)

– Young children playing, laughing and with their parents

– Pregnancy Announcements

– Seeing Pregnant women

– Discussions of Abortion

After having a miscarriage, I had no idea how many things and how easily I could be set off and start crying. I remember about two weeks after my surgery I walked past a daycare with children playing, and I lost it. I just stood there paralyzed and sobbing watching the kids play, devastated my baby was gone. It’s a good thing I was a safe distance away and the kids didn’t notice… otherwise they would have probably been really concerned.

Overall, it’s important to keep in mind that after having a miscarriage…. or a traumatic event for that matter, you will likely be triggered from time to time. It is helpful to try and take care of yourself, and prevent yourself from being triggered, like getting off social media to avoid pregnancy announcements. But just keep in mind you will likely not be able to avoid everything. It is a process.

7. Emotions and Hormones

The hardest thing after my miscarriage, was dealing with my hormones and emotions. I was a bundle of emotions. One minute I was angry. One minute I was sad. One minute I was depressed. One minute I couldn’t sleep. One minute I was numb and the list goes on and on. Not only was I grieving over the loss of my baby but I was also angry and hating my body for failing me. On top of that my hormones were dropping like I was on constant PMS. It was horrible.

If you are experiencing these symptoms following a miscarriage, there are some things I want you to know. First off, its okay to not be okay for awhile. It’s okay to feel unstable and even a little crazy. It’s okay to feel every emotion you’re feeling. In this moment it absolutely sucks, but just know it won’t be like this forever. Secondly, please, please, please be gentle with yourself. As hard as it is to not blame yourself for what happen, please try to understand losing your baby was not your fault.

For the record, I am not an expert or doctor in anyway, but I have experienced a miscarriage and understand what it’s like to lose a baby. So I am always here to talk and to listen. The above advice is just something I have learned from my own personal experience.

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Returning to Everyday Life

Miscarriage

On Monday March 11th, I returned to school. I had spent the last two weeks lying in bed with my broken heart. I told myself I was ready and it was time to return to normal. I thought I was ready. The day before my surgery I withdrew from one of my classes. I made this choice not only because I had missed a lot of class due to my morning sickness and snow days, but the midterm exam was also the day of my surgery. I now only had two classes. I was supposed to return to work this same day, but my mom convinced me to take more time off. It was honestly a smart idea.

That morning I was able to sleep in. I had my internship meeting at noon. I purposely left early because I was not motivated to step back into the outside world. I plugged in my headphones, played Carrie Underwood’s song Cry Pretty, and left my apartment. At the bus stop I felt those tears I had been releasing for weeks, well up in my eyes again. I was hoping I wouldn’t cry this quickly. Getting off the bus and walking through campus, I felt like everyone was staring at me. They probably weren’t, but I was hypersensitive to everything in this moment. I rushed through the crowd of students trying to get to my internship. I felt like everyone was still going in slow motion.

Not paying attention to where I was going, I slid on some ice and fell flat on my butt. Ouch. That was humiliating. I went into the nearest building and found a bathroom. I cried. My pants were soaked. My butt hurt and I did not want to be here. I messaged my internship coordinator and told her I would be late. She was completely understanding. Why was this so hard? I so badly just wanted to return to my bed, pull the covers over my head and not come out. I think the thing that helped me to keep going that day was that I was already so far behind. I needed to return to my normal, and take this step so I could heal.

Eventually I made it to my internship. A majority of the peer educators were in the presentation room listening to a presentation on empathy and sympathy… how ironic. I went to the office and put my stuff down. My friend Jeanie came in and rushed over to give me a hug. When she hugged me I lost it. I sobbed loudly, and probably displayed the ugliest cry face. I was in pain physically and emotionally. Jeanie was a really good friend. She came to my side when I needed her. I think she knew this day would be hard on me. I didn’t realize it till later, but my internship was the last place I was before my 11 week ultrasound…. it was the last place I was before my world changed.

After I had calmed down, I joined the other interns and peer educators in the presentation room. To be honest I didn’t really pay attention. It was hard to concentrate. After the meeting I talked with my coordinator. She was so helpful in listening about my situation, as well as figuring out my internship stuff. After my meeting, Charles picked me up and took me home. I was exhausted even though I had only been out for a few hours. Crying takes a lot out of you. When I got home I got into bed, pulled the covers over my head, snuggled my quilt and went to sleep. It was hard… but I consider that day a small victory.

” You can pretty lie and say it’s okay, you can pretty smile and just walk away, pretty much fake your way through anything, but you can’t cry pretty.” – Carrie Underwood

The Effects of Miscarriage on My Marriage

Miscarriage

After Charles returned from Washington D.C. and I returned home… things were different. Since I hadn’t seen Charles since the day before my procedure, I guess I didn’t really know what to do or say. Sure, we had talked on the phone and stuff… but it still seemed awkward to talk in person after something so tragic happened.

I tried talking to him like we used to, but it wasn’t working. I wasn’t the same person I was. In fact I didn’t know who I was. I was confused, lost and broken. This some how made me want to put a wall up between me and my husband. This may have been because I was still trying to protect him, or it may have been because I somehow resented him for going on a trip that I told him to go on… who knows.

Through a few days of tip toeing around each other, awkwardness and short tempers, we finally hit our breaking point. We fought. It was tension that had been boiling for awhile. It was pretty intense and a level of fighting we hadn’t had in a long time. Despite the fact it was intense and stressful, it was necessary. We needed that fight. That fight helped us move forward.

I had come to a point that I didn’t want to ask for what I needed, I just wanted Charles to know what I needed. What was really cruel was the fact that Charles would try to help and be there for me, and I would constantly shoot him down if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted or needed at the time. Looking back, I feel absolutely terrible. That wasn’t fair to Charles. In the end, I had to swallow my pride and ask for what I needed. It wasn’t easy but in the end it helped both our mental health and our marriage.

The Bears 🙏

Miscarriage

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the prayer bear the Chaplin gave me at the hospital, was actually a bear I had seen before. Years before I was born, my mom had a child who died as a baby due to an unknown genetic condition. A few years later my mom was given a gift from her best friend in remembrance of the son she lost and as a symbol of faith… the prayer bear. So, when the Chaplin handed me my prayer bear, I knew I had seen one before. What are the odds my mom and I would both be given the exact same prayer bear for practically the same reason?

Finding this out made me realize something. My mom and I both lost a child… maybe not in the same way, but we both have experienced the trauma and excruciating loss that comes with losing a child. Realizing this made me cry… a lot. But, it also gave me comfort. My mom and I both experienced a similar loss, and because of this we have been able to bond and become closer. In some ways, I hate that we’ve both had to go through this pain. However, I find comfort and joy knowing both our babies are in Heaven.

My Summer 2019 Bucket List ☀️

Miscarriage

Self care is extremely important to me, and more so now since after enduring a tremendous loss in my life. This summer I am taking the opportunity to rest, rejuvenate and take care of myself. I have created a list of summer goals I hope to complete by September 1st 2019.

My Summer Bucket List

  1. Take a weekend getaway with my husband
  2. Visit Lake Michigan 3 times
  3. Go garage sailing
  4. Visit 10 different cafés
  5. Write up to 50 posts on my blog
  6. Go to Disneyland
  7. See Aladdin in theaters
  8. Commit to a weekly workout routine
  9. Reorganize and decorate my apartment
  10. Complete my internship
  11. See Toy Story 4 in theaters
  12. Visit with old friends
  13. Read 2 new books
  14. Go kayaking
  15. See A Dog’s Journey in theaters
  16. Start Eating Healthier
  17. Lose 15lbs

The Hurtful Things People Say… and What NOT to Say After a Woman has a Miscarriage

Miscarriage, Resources

When Charles and I shared the news with people that we had lost our baby, we had a variety of many different reactions. A majority of people meant well, however that didn’t make their words hurt any less. Miscarriage is a trauma, and unfortunately our society doesn’t fully understand how to help people who have endured trauma. Now, I’m no expert…. but I would like to share with you my experience of things people said to me and what not to say to a woman or couple who have experienced a miscarriage.

1. Trying to Make Them Feel Better…”It will be okay.” “It happen for a reason.”

Many, many, many people told me this. I wouldn’t necessarily consider this phrase bad as much as unhelpful. Yes, it is true that after a traumatic event happens, with time and healing, life goes on and things are somewhat “okay”, However, if someone is in shock, crisis, depressed or unstable…. saying this phrase can make them feel that their situation doesn’t matter, isn’t a big deal or they are overreacting. I never found this phrase helpful, and it only made me angry instead of making me feel better.

2. You’re Not Too Old to Try Again… “You’re young… you’ll have more.”

A cashier at a store said this to me when my husband was buying me a gift in remembrance of our baby. For the record… being young doesn’t not necessarily mean you’ll be able to have more kids, and secondly being young does not make it hurt any less.

3. Asking Too Many Questions and Over Analyzing… “Were you trying?” “Was it a planned pregnancy?” “How did you get pregnant?”

It’s okay to want to help a friend and know information, however take your cues from the other person. More often than not if someone is disclosing that they’ve had a miscarriage they are looking for comfort and support, not for you to analyze them and find a reason why. When it comes to miscarriage, we often never find a reason why. It takes a lot of trust for people to open up and share something very personal with another person.

4. Trying to be Positive… “Stop wallowing.” “It could be worse.” “Cheer up” “Don’t be sad.” “Just be happy already.” “It’s not that bad.”

When someone is in the stages of grief, especially in shock, anger, and depression it’s extremely difficult to be happy. So many women who have suffered a miscarriage feel like their world just came crashing down. Not only did their baby die, but so did all the dreams they had for that baby. So, it’s okay for them to be sad. It’s okay for them to not be okay for awhile. I understand it’s hard to see someone so incredibly heartbroken, but by telling someone not to be sad, is not helpful and may also hinder their healing process.

5. “I understand, my Grandma died.”

I know we may mean well by saying we understand because we’ve lost someone too. However, unless you’ve actually experienced pregnancy loss, or the death of a child, we won’t truly understand. When a woman has a miscarriage, she is not only grieving over the baby she lost, but she is also often blaming herself and her body for failing her. It’s a very complex type of grief. It’s also important to keep in mind that every individual’s situation is different. Even if you and someone else you know has had a miscarriage… it is their own individual loss and individual story.

6. Rushing Them to Get Over the Loss… “When can you start trying again?” “When are you going to have more kids?”

It’s not your place to ask these questions, especially if a miscarriage recently happen. In my personal experience, this is one of the last questions I wanted to be asked. I was grieving for my baby. Allow others to do the same.

7. At least…. “You had a miscarriage… at least you know you can get pregnant.” “At least you only had one miscarriage.” “At least the baby died early so you didn’t have time to bond with them that long.” “At least you weren’t that far along.” “At least it wasn’t a planned pregnancy.” “At least you already have a baby.” “At least it happen quick.”

This is my personal favorite!… that was sarcasm if you couldn’t tell. After having a miscarriage I could not believe how many people use this phrase to try and cheer people up, and not just with miscarriage but pretty much with any bad and uncomfortable situation. I talked about this phrase with my counselor. She explained to me that even though people have good intentions, they don’t realize how hurtful a phrase starting with the words at least really is. The reason people use it is 1) because it’s commonly used, and 2) because when an individual hears of a sad, terrible, uncomfortable event or situation they too feel uncomfortable. As humans we don’t like feeling uncomfortable, and will often try and not stay in that situation. We often do this by looking at silver-linings and the bright side of things. This seems like a good idea to us, because we are turning a sad conversation into something pleasant and taking the uncomfortableness off of us. Good idea right?… Wrong! By doing this, we are ultimately disregarding someone’s feelings and what they have gone through, and that’s not fair. If they are trusting us to hear something very personal about themselves, then instead of feeling uncomfortable and avoiding it, we should just listen.

8. Reactions and Being Over Emotional

It’s understandable that when hearing of something sad and heartbreaking such as a miscarriage, we might be sad for that person. However, we shouldn’t be overly sad, and dramatic for that person and their situation. What I mean is, if someone tells you they have had a miscarriage, don’t be hysterical and more upset than they are. They are the ones that lost the baby, not you. Don’t make it about you.


Again, I’m not a professional but I am 1 in 4 women who have experienced a miscarriage. I am a woman and angel mommy who was hurt by many of these phrases. This is just my personal advice I’d like to offer to others.

If you like what you have read, then feel free to “Like” or comment on this post, and subscribe to my blog to receive email notifications every time I post! Thanks for reading!

Healing Art 🎨

Miscarriage

The immediate days following my procedure, I was in a lot of physical and emotional pain. I was heartbroken my baby was gone. I was saddened I was no longer pregnant and I was angry my hormones were all over the place and I still felt pregnant. I was also confused as to why I miscarried my baby. Through my many emotions, I found comfort in art.

I spent many hours coloring in my adult coloring book. I also downloaded many songs that related to grief, death, love and miscarriage. I looked up many quotes online that I found comforting and relatable to what I was feeling, I knitted and crocheted different items that allowed me to be creative as well as keep my hands busy. Lastly, I embroidered Mackenzie’s quilt. I had never done embroidering before, but it honestly turned out better than I thought. I love art and find it very therapeutic.


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Finding Support

Miscarriage

The next few days are a blur. I stayed with my parents until Charles returned from Washington Monday March 4th. I spent that time at my parents resting, watching movies, eating comfort food, and coloring. Time felt so slow. The days blended together. There were many people who called and messaged to see how I was doing. So many people meant well, but simply didn’t know what to say or said the wrong thing. While others stayed away because they were afraid.

One night when I couldn’t sleep, I did some research. I was searching for local and global support for people who have suffered a miscarriage. While looking on Facebook, I stumbled across the Miscarriage Matters Support Group. This is a closed group on Facebook designed for women who have recently suffered a miscarriage. It is a safe place for women to vent, ask questions and just talk about what we are going through. I asked to join the group, and thankfully I was accepted.

If you interested in learning more about Miscarriage Matters Inc. I have provided a link to their website below.

https://www.mymiscarriagematters.org/


The first week of March, Charles and I were on spring break from school. I hated that all of this had happened, but I was slightly thankful we were on spring break and I could heal physically before going back to school. Over spring break, Charles and I went over to our Associate Pastor’s house for dinner. The Reverend and his wife were so kind and loving. I felt terrible for hurting and not really enjoying myself, but I was thankful for their love and support.

That weekend we also went over to my sister-in-law’s house. She also made us dinner and gave us much love and support. A majority of the evening was spent with us hanging out with our niece and nephews, as well as watching a funny movie. We didn’t really talk about the miscarriage, we more less just tried to find some sort of joy in my world of sadness,


After sharing my story of pregnancy loss on Facebook, I received many personal messages of sympathy, compassion and even other women who have experienced it too. As I read the personal messages I received, as well as hearing from the women in my support group…. I realized something. Miscarriage is a lot more common than most people realize. In fact it’s more common than I had ever realized. If 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and 1 in 4 women experience miscarriage, then why don’t we talk about it? Why don’t we hear more about miscarriage? This saddened me… but I didn’t know how to fix it.

“I felt like I had failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them.” – Michelle Obama

Why?

Miscarriage

I remember being rolled to the recovery room. I remember not feeling any physical pain. I remember thinking the lights were way too bright. I remember feeling really confused, not sure where I was or why I felt so incredibly out of it. Then… I remembered everything.

Bargaining

I felt the weight of my broken heart throughout my entire body. My baby was gone… spiritually, emotionally, mentally and now physically. She was gone forever. I began crying, screaming, and yelling. In my head I didn’t think I was that loud, but apparently I was because the people in recovery continuously told me I was being too loud. I felt my nurses trying to comfort me by holding my hand and rubbing my arm. I remember a nurse trying to have me take some pills and a sip of water. I think the pills were for anxiety. I remember I would hear a beeping noise every time I would hold my breath, my nurses would remind me to breathe.

“Why God Why!? God killed my baby! God took her away!” I continued thrashing in the bed. I was so overcome by emotion and heartbreak. “God how could you do this to me!? I want my baby! I want Mackenzie! I hate you God! How could you do this to me!? Oh Mackenzie!” I continued screaming this in recovery. I remember hearing the nurses talk about bringing my mom back.

When my mom came back, I was still a heart broken mess. My mom did her best to calm me down. I know it was hard for her to see me like that. My mom ended up giving me my bear and I held on to it tight. My arms ached. I needed something to hold. I came into the hospital pregnant, but I didn’t get to leave the hospital with a baby.

“Why? Why did my baby have to die? What did I do wrong? I’m her mom, I should have known!” I was entering in the stage of bargaining. I pleaded with God and couldn’t fathom why God chose to take my baby. As I pleaded with God, a nurse came over to me. She told me not to do this to myself. She said not to beat myself up and go down this dark road. She told me I did nothing wrong. It wasn’t fair. There’s so many moms in the world who don’t take care of their babies, and their babies live and have rough lives. Where as I would have done anything to be the best mom I could be and take care of my baby. It wasn’t fair.

Eventually, the drugs kicked in and I settled down. I ended up staying in recovery 2 hours longer than expected because I was so emotionally unstable. My nurses and parents got me ready and took me home. Everything from that day after this point is a blur. I’m assuming I just slept the rest of the day but I don’t know for sure. All I know is that by the end of the day, I was no longer pregnant and I was heartbroken.

“I have heard your prayers and seen your fears; I will heal you.” – 2 Kings 20:5

Saying Goodbye…

Miscarriage

The minute I arrived at the hospital on Thursday February 28th, I started to cry. It was going to be a long day. When we walked into the building I called Charles. He was at the airport and at a lost for words. He so badly wanted to be here for me, but also wanted to respect my wishes by going on his trip. He was very gentle and comforted me over the phone as best he could. I tried my best to be strong for him. I didn’t want him to beat himself up for going on the trip even though I told him to go.

Since we arrived to the hospital early, my parents decided to go downstairs to the cafeteria to eat breakfast. I wasn’t allowed to eat since midnight the night before. I wasn’t hungry anyway. While in the cafeteria, I sat at the table waiting for Alli. She promised she would come visit me on her way to work before my procedure. I sat there snuggling my quilt trying to keep it together. I felt my tears start to well up again in my eyes. When I looked up I saw Alli walking towards me. Her face of sadness and compassion told me it was safe to fall apart. I stood up and ran over to Alli. I hugged her and began to sob. I felt my body collapse into her embrace. I could feel Alli crying too. She was heartbroken. We stood there in the middle of the cafeteria of the hospital sobbing. Some might say it was an inappropriate place to fall apart. But considering it was a hospital, I’m sure they see it all the time. In that moment, I didn’t care who might be staring or judging us. All I cared about is that my friend was here. She was the first person to know I was pregnant and she had been a huge support for me since day one. I’m so glad she came.


When I went to the Out Patient Surgery Department they got me registered and asked me for a urine sample. I asked them why they would need it. I mean…. they already knew I was pregnant. I had no energy to argue with them so I did what they said. Later a nurse named Sara came back to the waiting room to help me get prepped. She apologized that they made me give a urine sample. The system does not allow them to see what surgery I am scheduled for, therefore they didn’t know I was pregnant.

She brought me back to a small pre-op room. She asked me questions and we talked about medications and standard health information. I told her that I had a lot of questions to ask my doctor about what to expect following the D & C. Sara told me she was happy to answer any questions I may have. I asked all my questions of anything from a decrease in pregnancy symptoms, to pain, to bleeding to mental health. She was very open and honest in answering all of my questions. She also disclosed to me that she could only share from her own experience as she had suffered from 5 miscarriages. When she told me this, my heart broke for her. How are you still standing? I thought. Before leaving she saw I began to cry as I knew my procedure was quickly approaching. She looked at me and said “I know Sweetie… I know.” She then opened her arms and gave me a hug. Sara was absolutely amazing, and to this day I feel so blessed that God allowed me to meet her before my procedure.

My mom helped me undress and get into my hospital gown. I laid on the bed and covered up with a blanket. More surgical nurses and techs came in to ask me questions, start my IV and prepare me for my procedure. Alli and my dad joined us in the room about an hour and a half before I had to go back to surgery. The room was very small and crowded, but it was comforting knowing they were all there. At about 11:30am Charles texted me and told me his plane landed. I was able to sigh with relief. I was very stressed and emotional with the procedure, but knowing that Charles had landed safely before my procedure made me feel a lot better. My anesthesiologist and surgeon came into the room. They both asked me questions and prepared me for the procedure. I had peace and good vibes from both of them. I knew anything could go wrong, but I was confident I was in good hands.


My surgery was pushed back to 12:30pm. I was told that the social worker was too busy to come see me but I was still able to visit with the Chaplin. When the Chaplin came in I was kind of stunned. He looked just like my husband! The only real difference was his accent and long beard. It was so uncanny. The Chaplin introduced himself to my parents, Alli and I. He gave me some sympathy cards, a book about miscarriage, and a praying bear. He talked with me about my story, our baby’s name and my faith. He led my family in prayer, and prayed over me that I would be safe through the surgery. He prayed that the doctors would have wisdom during the procedure and that I would be able to find God again through this grief and sadness. As he continued praying my dad suddenly burst into tears. He had sadness in his face since my ultrasound, but I had yet to see him cry. Maybe he was trying to be strong for me. He cried hard, and I could tell he was trying to fight it. He held my hand. It broke my heart but also gave me joy. He loved this baby too.

After the prayer the Chaplin left and Alli left for work. The nurses came in and said it was time to say good bye to mom and dad. I squeezed my prayer bear one more time and handed it to my mom. My parents both kissed me on the head and started to cry. I tried to be brave and told them I was gonna be fine. I felt the surgical people pull my hair into a hair net and put booties on my feet, I started to panic as my parents walked away. I wasn’t ready for this. I wasn’t ready to not be pregnant anymore. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Just then it all hit me. The drugs… the wonderful, feels like you’re flying and floating on a cloud drugs. I wasn’t panicked anymore. I felt GREAT!

They rolled me to the operating room. I remember thinking my arm hurt. It was the arm with my IV. I kept saying something to the nurse and they kept trying to adjust it. When I got to the room I had to move onto the table. I laid down and tried to relax. Then I felt my other arm hurt. They kept asking me what hurts. Turns out it was just the blood pressure cuff. Then my calves tickled. I began giggling. I was loopy. I remember my surgeon getting concerned. I tried telling her something was tickling my calves. She told me it was the compressor that helps you not to get blood clots. That’s a relief. I looked up at the ceiling and realized it was all about to change. When I wake up I won’t be pregnant. This gave me sadness. I prayed to God one more time. Please God, forgive me of my sins and keep me safe in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Then I was out.

The Hours Leading Up to My Procedure…

Miscarriage

On our way home from the hospital, we stopped at the pharmacy to get my pain med prescription filled. Despite the fact I had had a shot for my pain less the three hours prior, I was still in some pain and discomfort. It wasn’t as bad sitting down, but if I had to stand for more than a few minutes, the pain was intense. I don’t remember much, but apparently I got very frustrated with the pharmacist. They tried telling me they didn’t accept my insurance, when in reality I had straight Medicaid at the time and everybody accepted straight Medicaid. Not only that, but I had just picked up meds for my husband a few days earlier. We have the exact same insurance and there was no issue. According to my dad, he could tell I was in a lot of pain as I leaned on the counter at the pharmacy. My Dad said I was very close to climbing over the counter and strangling the people at the pharmacy because they kept arguing with me… but I didn’t. We ended up going to a different pharmacy and had absolutely no problem. Thank goodness.


When we got back to my parents house, my mom pulled me aside and hugged me. It’s almost like she knew I needed that hug before I even knew to ask for it. She’s a really good mom. “You need to embrace this baby. Spend some time by yourself with just you and baby. Talk to her. Because tomorrow… you are going to feel so empty when she’s gone.” She said hugging me and holding me tight. I sobbed all over her shoulder. I did not want to do this. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my baby. I didn’t want to stop being pregnant. I didn’t want to accept the fact that she was gone. Charles came over in the afternoon. He brought me flowers that were sent from Andrea and Alli.

That evening around 6pm, I went into the bedroom I was staying in and closed the door. I sat on the bed and stared at the wall. I was snuggled in many layers of blankets and gripped Mackenzie’s quilt and held it in my arms. As I sat there, I realized that my mom was right. I was spinning out of control and trying to avoid the loss and pain that was currently consuming my life. I tried just to breathe. As I started to calm myself down I began to feel it. All the emotions of pain and sadness came to the surface. My baby died. I had a miscarriage. No. No! This wasn’t happening! Why did she die!? Why did she have to go? For two hours I sat in that dark bedroom crying over my baby. I gripped my belly wishing so much that I didn’t have to say goodbye. I would have given ANYTHING for this not to be real. My mom came in to check on me. She comforted me. In many ways I felt better. The physical pressure of needing to cry was gone but the pain and sadness continued. I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t want to say goodbye.


The morning of my surgery I woke up confused. I actually got more than three hours of sleep and felt slightly rested. It believe it was due to the amount of crying I did before falling asleep and the pain meds I was on. I called Charles when I was more awake. It was around 5am and I needed to be at the hospital at 9am. Before the miscarriage and everything had happen, Charles was offered the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. for a conference. Since we had already payed for the trip, I told Charles he should still go. As hard as it may be for him not to be here, I still wanted him to go and try and enjoy himself. I felt that everything had been taken away from me, so in my effort to protect Charles I still wanted him to go on his trip. When I called Charles he was getting ready to leave for the airport. I don’t really remember the conversation but I know we were both pretty emotional. After hanging up, I regretted telling him to go on his trip. I wanted him here, but it was too late.

Before leaving for the hospital I took my final pregnancy bump pictures. Taking the pictures was something I needed to do, but it also broke my heart because I knew it would be for the last time. 💔

“Grief is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” – Jamie Anderson

A Trip to the Emergency Room

Miscarriage

The night of February 26th, I was absolutely restless. I tossed and turned in bed until about 12:30am. I finally got up and started pacing. I was still staying with my parents. My dad woke up when he heard me awake pacing throughout the house. My dad kept me company and talked to me throughout the night. My cramps kept getting worse the more my anxiety increased.

Around 3am I felt the need for comfort. Food and my dad’s company wasn’t quite meeting my needs. Honestly, I wasn’t going to be okay no matter what I did. I wanted my baby to be okay, but she wasn’t. I went down to my parents basement and found the garbage bags full of baby items that we had packed away two days ago. I dug through them in the dark until I found what I was looking for. I started to get frustrated and almost give up… and then I found it. I found Mackenzie’s quilt. The quilt that Alli made for her. The very first gift that Mackenzie received, but would never be able to use. I pulled the quilt out of the bag and hugged it tight. This is exactly what I needed, something to hold.

I headed back upstairs with the quilt in hand. I rested in the recliner chair in the living room and watched Jimmy Carson with my dad. Ever since I had received the news of our baby at the ultrasound, my arms ached. They ached and felt like I had recently carried a ton of bricks. I wasn’t sure if it was a side effect of grief or what exactly, so I did a little research. Apparently, some women experience pain and ache in their arms after a miscarriage. This is because of the psychological longing of wanting to hold their baby. This information gave me comfort. I wasn’t crazy. I was grieving a longing for my baby. Holding the quilt helped immensely. It wasn’t my baby, but it was a tangible item that gave me comfort.

By 5am I was absolutely miserable. My dad had given me 800 milligrams of ibuprofen and I was still in a boat load of pain. It hurt to sit. It hurt to lay down. It hurt to stand, and it hurt to walk. My cramps were intense and at least at a 8 on the pain scale. Every time I went to the bathroom I feared there would be blood, but there wasn’t. By 5:30am my gut told me to go to the ER. When I had scheduled my surgery the nurse said if my cramps became too painful or I was bleeding uncontrollably then I needed to be seen. So, as my dad got the car ready, I woke up my mom and we headed to the hospital. I called Charles on the way, and scared him out of his sleep. I felt kind of bad. He had two midterms that morning and I didn’t want to be selfish… but I needed him.


My trip to the ER is pretty fuzzy. I remember Charles meeting us there. I remember him holding my hand. I know I had a pelvic exam done and they said my cervix wasn’t dilating yet. I remember it was painful. I got a shot in the arm for my pain and it made me incredibly loopy. I remember the PA talking to me and telling me I was going to have my surgery tomorrow as scheduled. I also saw an ER doctor. He prescribed me Norco for my pain. He told me “Normally, it’s not safe to take when you are pregnant, but since you are not choosing to continue the pregnancy, it’s the best option.” His words hurt me. I wasn’t choosing to go forward with the pregnancy. Excuse me? I didn’t have a choice in any of this.

Even though it’s all a blur, the biggest thing that sticks out in my mind about the ER visit is prayer. I was furious with God. I had developed a hatred for Him and how He took away my baby… but at the same time I needed him. I was scared. I didn’t want to live this life but also didn’t want this pain anymore. I wanted God to either kill me or get me through because I couldn’t do this on my own. My faith was shaken but it wasn’t gone completely. I needed God to get me through this because I felt literally everything slipping out of my control.

The Worst Pain

Miscarriage

I hoped and prayed I would never have to go through this.

The pain I’ve experienced in the past two days has been hell.

A miscarriage and losing a child is something I would never wish.

There are moments I try holding my head up, acting like all is well.

And then there are moments, I can’t even get out of bed.

I cry in silence and I cry amidst a crowd.

People try to help, but I usually hate the words they’ve said

Sometimes I can’t control my emotions and I end up screaming out loud.

Or I suffer in silence as the pain becomes unbearable.