October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and I’m sharing my experience because it’s more common than you think. Approximately 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage in her life.
Trigger Warning: Details about my miscarriage experience.
I remember seeing those two lines on the pregnancy test in Fall of 2015 like it was yesterday. That rush of emotion is inexplicable, it’s a powerful energy that consumes you. We were going to have another baby. And we were over the moon, as we had been planning and couldn’t believe that it happened right away…
Days went by and I filled out the application to have the same Midwifery team that we had in 2013/4 with Luna. We went to a couple appointments, and time just flew by. Before we knew it, it was time to have our first ultra sound. We were going to have it a little earlier than 20 weeks (at 16/17) weeks because we were going away for holidays for month.
That dreaded morning,
December 14, 2015.
It was cold and wet,
A typical Vancouver day.
I remember feeling all sort of uneasiness while waiting to be seen. Finally, it was our turn. The technician did the usual, squirt gel on my abdomen, move the scanner around. Then she asked me how many weeks I was supposed to be, and I said around 16. She kept quiet. I asked, “Is everything ok?” She didn’t reply. She asked me if someone had come with me, and I said “Yes, my husband is outside in the waiting room.” “Do you want to grab him,” She asked. So I did just that.
Once we were back in the room. The technician said she had to do a transvaginal ultrasound. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat. I’ve never had that done before, and then I got real nervous. I remember Gabriel and I were holding hands; afraid, nervous, sad, lost.
After a couple minutes of silence, the tech asked me how many weeks I was supposed to be. And I said around 16 or 17 weeks. To which she coldly replied, “No, you’re not. You’re measuring about 6 weeks and there is no heart beat.”
MY HEART SANK.
I couldn’t believe it.
We left that appointment in a daze.
I was in disbelief.
I was numb.
So many questions, and no answers.
Within the following days we were scheduled for an appointment at BC Women’s Hospital, Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic. I had another transvaginal ultrasound, and was told that the embryo had stopped growing at 6 weeks and 1 day. I was having a missed miscarriage.
I’d never heard of a missed miscarriage before. Just incase you haven’t either, a missed miscarriage is when the embryo has stopped growing, but the body hasn’t recognized the pregnancy loss and hasn’t expelled anything. Meaning that you don’t have any of the signs that come along with having a miscarriage, like pain or bleeding.
I had 3 “treatment” options:
- Wait for the miscarriage to occur naturally.
- Medical management.
Well, Option 1 would have been ideal, but since I was going to Honduras (the following week), where unfortunately, having a miscarriage is a crime,this was not an option for me. Plus, my body hadn’t recognized 10 weeks after the embryo stopped progressing…so who knows how long it would have taken “naturally.”
Option 2, was taking misoprostol. 4 tablets that would get my body started on having a miscarriage.
Option 3, a D&C. I didn’t want to have surgery. PERIOD.
So, I went with option 2. That evening, after inserting those 4 tablets, I lay in bed waiting for those contractions to start. Because that’s what the nurse told me it’d feel like. Contractions. It was an intense pain. And within an hour I felt an urge. I had to get up and go to the washroom.
I was scared.
It happened so quickly.
My body did what it had to do.
I sat there and cried.
I had a miscarriage.
1 in 4 isn’t just a statistic, it’s me. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and I’m speaking out.