Suffering in Silence from a Miscarriage

Miscarriage is generally only revealed after the successful conception of a child. It fits into a certain pattern: the bad luck is over, the terror has retreated, it’s safe to talk about it now that there is a healthy baby within reach.

Miscarriage is generally only revealed after the successful conception of a child. It fits into a certain pattern: the bad luck is over, the terror has retreated, it’s safe to talk about it now that there is a healthy baby within reach.

1 in 5 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. That’s 15 to 20%.

That’s a huge amount of pregnancies that aren’t going to make it and it’s cruel to make so many women suffer in silence.

I have not received my rainbow baby yet, although we are working on it, but I do want to talk about my miscarriage. I’m tired of hiding it. I’m tired of people asking when we’re going to have another baby. Maybe if I talk about it, others will be more willing to talk about theirs. Maybe that will bring me comfort. Maybe my story will comfort someone else.

My Miscarriage

In February of this year, my husband and I suffered a miscarriage. Something that was supposed to be the most exciting time of our life, turned into some sob story tragedy. I was broken, I was angry, but more than anything I felt alone.

Miscarriage is so taboo. You’re not supposed to talk about it. Or maybe you can, but it’s just so awkward to bring up in conversation. “Oh Katelyn, how are you doing how have you been?”

Is that my que to open up about our loss? They didn’t even know I was pregnant, do I put that burden on them? Open up about the emotional pain, the physical pain, the unknown?

I don’t even know what my intentions are with this blog, but I guess for me it’s a therapeutic thing. Talking about my feelings, my experience and laying it all out, somehow brings me comfort. TELLING you about my miscarriage, TALKING about what happened, somehow in a wierd, twisted way brings me comfort, because for the last three months that have passed, I’ve been suffering in silence.

I want to talk about my Miscarriage

Eric and I were elated when we got that positive pregnancy test. Surprised, but elated. We were definitely TRYING to conceive, but we had been trying for two months before that and on the third month, I just assumed heck, it’s not gonna happen don’t get yourself psyched up. We have a three year old, who came on the first try, so I have never considered myself “infertile” or anything like that. But I thought that when we tried for number two, it would happen the first time like it did with Beckham. But it just didn’t. I was elated when we finally saw that pregnancy sign.

Pregnancy Etiquette

In the mommy world, you’re not supposed to “announce” your pregnancy until you hit 12 weeks. That’s when your chance of a miscarriage drops a considerable amount so it’s okay for you to tell everyone and “plan” for a new baby.

Now that I’ve suffered through a miscarriage, I  have to admit I don’t particularly like this “rule.” I mean I totally get it, I understand it avoids having to tell everyone the bad news when and if you miscarry. But for me, it meant that I would have to put on a happy face everywhere I went, when in reality, I was dying inside.

I knew something was wrong when I started bleeding. I texted a few of my closest girlfriends who knew I was pregnant and asked if this was normal. I had a 50/50 response. Some said that they new girls that bled their whole pregnancy and had a perfect baby. Others, agreed with me, it wasn’t a good sign.

I called my doctor the very next day. I was in Orlando (two hours from home) when I got a hold of the doctors. They had me turn around immediately and come in to the office.

Eric met me at the doctor’s office where I was brought in for an ultrasound. At this point, the bleeding wasn’t light, but it wasn’t heavy either but it was thick and something inside my head just knew.

The first sonogram I had that day, the doctor claimed to see no baby at all. I lost it right then and there. I had just been in the office two weeks before where I was assured there was a little baby growing in my belly. But this time around, there was nothing, she referred me to the hospital to confirm her findings.

When I got to the hospital, the sonographer and radiologist confirmed a baby, but said I was only measuring six weeks. Another sign that something was wrong. How could I be measuring six weeks when I was supposed to be nine weeks. Was the baby not growing? Or did they have my weeks off? I knew the latter, because I had tracked everything specifically. I mean, we were trying for this baby so I had every date written down and knew I couldn’t be off by three weeks.

I was sent home that Wednesday with hope, but at the same time knew in the pit of my stomach that something was wrong. I waited patiently for the doctor to call me but after five more days of bleeding and no word, I took myself to the emergency room.

By this time, the blood was much heavier and I was cramping really bad. Suffering through a miscarriage is not only mentally painful but physically painful as well. The doctor came in and checked my cervix and confirmed that it was open and I was in the middle of my miscarriage. My heart broke.

If you’ve been through something similar, my heart aches and goes out to you. Experiencing a miscarriage truly sucks. When you’re pregnant, you’re either talking to your baby constantly in your head or you’re thinking of things related to your baby. That’s why it’s like falling through a trap door when they die. One moment, you’re in this avid dialogue, then the next moments are silent.

It’s one of the loneliness feelings in the world. I guess that’s why it blew my mind when I learned just how common miscarriages actually are.

The good news is, there is hope after a miscarriage. Many women who suffer from a miscarriage go on to have a normal, healthy pregnancy again. I hope that can be my story one day. I also hope that by being honest and transparent, I can help others to be brave and talk about their miscarriage.

Something about sharing the experience with another woman who has been through a similar situation is so comforting. Keeping it as a whispers-in-the-sidelines, Her-Secret-Tragedy-headline issue is not preserving privacy, healing pain, or helping sufferers. It’s just compounding feelings of guilt, isolation, and helplessness.Letting people air their experience more openly can only help to dismiss ignorance and shed light where it’s badly needed.

More Information on Miscarriages

I also want to provide you with more information about miscarriage. This info came straight from the AmericanPregnancy.Org website.

Why Do Miscarriages Occur?

The reason for miscarriage is varied, and most often the cause cannot be identified. During the first trimester, the most common cause of miscarriage is chromosomal abnormality – meaning that something is not correct with the baby’s chromosomes. Most chromosomal abnormalities are the cause of a damaged egg or sperm cell or are due to a problem at the time that the zygote went through the division process.

Other causes of miscarriage include (but are not limited to):

  • Hormonal problems, infections or maternal health problems
  • Lifestyle (i.e. smoking, drug use, malnutrition, excessive caffeine and exposure to radiation or toxic substances)
  • Implantation of the egg into the uterine lining does not occur properly
  • Maternal age
  • Maternal trauma

Factors that are not proven to cause miscarriage are sex, working outside the home (unless in a harmful environment) or moderate exercise.

What Are The Chances Of Having A Miscarriage?

For women in their childbearing years, the chances of having a miscarriage can range from 10-25%, and in most healthy women the average is about a 15-20%chance.

  • An increase in maternal age affects the chances of miscarriage
  • Women under the age of 35 yrs old have about a 15% chance of miscarriage
  • Women who are 35-45 yrs old have a 20-35% chance of miscarriage
  • Women over the age of 45 can have up to a 50% chance of miscarriage
  • A woman who has had a previous miscarriage has a 25% chance of having another (only a slightly elevated risk than for someone who has not had a previous miscarriage)

Miscarriage Warning Signs

If you experience any or all of these symptoms, it is important to contact your health care provider or a medical facility to evaluate if you could be having a miscarriage:

  • Mild to severe back pain (often worse than normal menstrual cramps)
  • Weight loss
  • White-pink mucus
  • True contractions (very painful happening every 5-20 minutes)
  • Brown or bright red bleeding with or without cramps (20-30% of all pregnancies can experience some bleeding in early pregnancy, with about 50% of those resulting in normal pregnancies)
  • Tissue with clot like material passing from the vagina
  • Sudden decrease in signs of pregnancy

The Different Types Of Miscarriage

Miscarriage is often a process and not a single event. There are many different stages or types of miscarriage. There is also a lot of information to learn about healthy fetal development so that you might get a better idea of what is going on with your pregnancy. Understanding the early fetal development and first-trimester development can help you to know what things your health care provider is looking for when there is a possible miscarriage occurring.

Most of the time all types of miscarriage are just called a miscarriage, but you may hear your health care provider refer to other terms or names according to what is experienced.

Miscarriage Types:

  • Threatened Miscarriage: Some degree of early pregnancy uterine bleeding accompanied by cramping or lower backache. The cervix remains closed. This bleeding is often the result of implantation.
  • Inevitable or Incomplete Miscarriage: Abdominal or back pain accompanied by bleeding with an open cervix. Miscarriage is inevitable when there is a dilation or effacement of the cervix and/or there is rupture of the membranes. Bleeding and cramps may persist if the miscarriage is not complete.
  • Complete Miscarriage: A completed miscarriage is when the embryo or products of conception have emptied out of the uterus. Bleeding should subside quickly, as should any pain or cramping. A completed miscarriage can be confirmed by an ultrasound or by having a surgical curettage (D&C) performed.
  • Missed Miscarriage: Women can experience a miscarriage without knowing it. A missed miscarriage is when embryonic death has occurred but there is not any expulsion of the embryo. It is not known why this occurs. Signs of this would be a loss of pregnancy symptoms and the absence of fetal heart tones found on an ultrasound.
  • Recurrent Miscarriage (RM): Defined as 3 or more consecutive first trimester miscarriages. This can affect 1% of couples trying to conceive.
  • Blighted Ovum: Also called an embryonic pregnancy. A fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, but fetal development never begins. Often there is a gestational sac with or without a yolk sac, but there is an absence of fetal growth.
  • Ectopic Pregnancy: A fertilized egg implants itself in places other than the uterus, most commonly the fallopian tube. Treatment is needed immediately to stop the development of the implanted egg. If not treated rapidly, this could end in serious maternal complications.
  • Molar Pregnancy: The result of a genetic error during the fertilization process that leads to the growth of abnormal tissue within the uterus. Molar pregnancies rarely involve a developing embryo, but often entail the most common symptoms of pregnancy including a missed period, positive pregnancy test and severe nausea.

Treatments For Miscarriage

The main goal of treatment during or after a miscarriage is to prevent hemorrhaging and/or infection. The earlier you are in the pregnancy, the more likely that your body will expel all the fetal tissue by itself and will not require further medical procedures. If the body does not expel all the tissue, the most common procedure performed to stop bleeding and prevent infection is a dilation and curettage, known as a D&C. Drugs may be prescribed to help control bleeding after the D&C is performed. Bleeding should be monitored closely once you are at home; if you notice an increase in bleeding or the onset of chills or fever, it is best to call your physician immediately.

Miscarriage Prevention

Since the cause of most miscarriages is due to chromosomal abnormalities, there is not much that can be done to prevent them. One vital step is to get as healthy as you can before conceiving to provide a healthy atmosphere for conception to occur.

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthy
  • Manage stress
  • Keep weight within healthy limits
  • Take folic acid daily
  • Do not smoke

Once you find out that you are pregnant, again the goal is to be as healthy as possible, to provide a healthy environment for your baby to grow in:

  • Keep your abdomen safe
  • Do not smoke or be around smoke
  • Do not drink alcohol
  • Check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications
  • Limit or eliminate caffeine
  • Avoid environmental hazards such as radiation, infectious disease, and x-rays
  • Avoid contact sports or activities that have risk of injury

Emotional Treatment For A Miscarriage

Unfortunately, miscarriage can affect anyone. Women are often left with unanswered questions regarding their physical recovery, their emotional recovery and trying to conceive again. It is very important that women try to keep the lines of communication open with family, friends and health care providers during this time.

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