March 12th, 2020 was the day our little baby was scheduled to make their debut, little did we know when we were told the due date that it would never come. Getting pregnant was already an obstacle, living with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) the odds are already against you being able to carry full-term, let alone get pregnant. Women with PCOS are three times as likely to miscarry than women without PCOS. Now knowing this about me, you can imagine how elated we were when the test showed positive!! I had always wondered what that feeling was like, seeing a positive pregnancy test, and finally it was my turn! Full disclosure, I am 100% tearing up as I type this blog but, I want to share my story in hopes to help more women cope, grieve, & grow.
When we found out we were pregnant it was one the happiest, and "whoa", moments of our lives. I had suspected I was pregnant because I was already having symptoms extremely early, weeks before the test. I was waking up with nausea in the middle of the night, the tender breasts, and uhh I already have large gals and they were getting bigger! Can I just say I was not looking forward to that part, haha! Brad and I both started thinking of names and we quickly came up with one for a boy and one for a girl (I'm choosing not to share those however so we can keep them to ourselves). Just as any typical mom-to-be I set-up a Pinterest board planning out the nursery and wondering how we would have our gender reveal. I knew for certain with both of us being golfers that golf would definitely be the theme. We began sharing with friends and family well before the "safe zone" time they tell you to wait for, we would later understand why waiting is emotionally smarter. We had sent gifts to family, face-timed and called friends, and to my surprise I found out two of my girlfriends were also pregnant with close due dates! PLUS, four other girlfriends were also pregnant already! Seven of us all pregnant together!! It was a moment I had always hoped would happen, being pregnant with some of my closest friends!
Everything was going smoothly, I was feeling great and continuing to work out as usual, and as we approached the "all-clear" marker it seemed as if we were going to be okay. Just as I was feeling relaxed about the pregnancy, the cramps came on suddenly. We were hanging out with friends and I mentioned I felt "menstrual-like" cramps and each said they hadn't experienced that before but that it was probably nothing, given no one else around me had PCOS so maybe it was a hormonal thing for me. That evening when Brad and I were back at the house a sharp knife-stabbing pain was on my lower right side, and it was in that moment I began to worry. I decided to lay down and rest, eventually falling asleep. Morning came..and the miscarriage began. I ran to tell Brad and we immediately called the doctor, of course they didn't want us to panic, they told us to get there when we could and to stay calm. I decided to go to my "spirit spot" and began to pray. I asked God to help me, to bring me peace, and I asked him to bring me comfort.. if what I thought was happening was in-fact happening. I suddenly felt that peace & comfort I asked for, my anxiety completely left me. I looked up at God, cried and knew right then I had lost our baby. Arriving at the doctor's office it felt like we waited for hours. It came time for the ultrasound..not hearing the heartbeat and hearing the words, "I'm so sorry but this is no longer a viable pregnancy".. it was one of the emptiest feelings I had ever felt. I fell into Brad's arms and cried harder than I ever had before in my life.
The following day we went in for the D&C surgery. Being in the prep area alone before they could bring Brad back was the worst moments of my life that day. I felt scared, alone, and confused. The days and weeks to follow were terrible, for us both, but there's something about being the mother that makes it harder. I was very up and down. Some days I felt like I was ready to take on the world and not let this loss take over me, and other days I wanted to be isolated and not get out of bed. I could feel my anxiety creeping back in my life, I was pulling away from friends and family and I was beginning to go into a deep state of depression. Within weeks I was put on a high dosage of Lithium and Xanex. I had been medication-free for four years before this, I felt I had hit rock bottom being put back on anti-depressants and anti-anxieties. I only wanted to be around Brad, I wanted my baby back, and I was beginning to pull back from my business. As you can imagine going through something like this is different for everyone. I talked to a few girlfriend's who also had experienced miscarriages and each of our reactions were different.
No Two People Are The Same
Here's what I want you to know, whether you have experienced a miscarriage or not, be gentle. Be gentle towards yourself, towards your family and friends, and be gentle towards your journey. You won't do and say what people will want you to, and they won't do or say what you want them to. Experiencing a loss is very difficult and there isn't a right or wrong in timing, some people get through it quickly and others take longer. I have spoken to women who still cry over their loss twenty years later. Just as I said in the beginning that I was tearing up typing this, and I still am, but I also don't fall a part over it anymore. It took me five months before I was able to let go, not dwell in it every day, and to feel like myself again. Something someone said to me that helped, for me at least, .."it's not that you can't let go, it's that you choose to not let go", and that hit my heart. It's just as we are taught to let go and let God..you will need to let go of your loss. It doesn't mean you don't care anymore, or that the baby is no longer a thought.. you let go for you sister. You're allowed to grieve, for however long you need, but don't lose yourself in the process, and don't close your loved ones off. Getting back to a place of hope and grace will be freeing and will release you from carrying the guilt of the loss. I can promise you sister, you did not cause this loss. Your body did not give up on your baby, you did not over exercise, using the heating pad on your back did not do it, and the foods you ate did not cause this either.
I created this video as a way to cope with our loss. I don't watch it anymore but when I first created it, it really helped me. I can imagine a lot of women are confused and unsure of how to cope, or even how to move forward. To try to help I created a list of ideas for women to move towards as they get more comfortable.
Positive Steps After Loss
Staying in the word. Start a Bible study, whether it's alone or in a group.
Exercise. Even if it's just a walk around the block, be sure to keep moving.
Write it out. If you can't get your feelings out with others, do it on paper.
Be creative. I found bottling things up made it worse, create a vision board or start a hobby to help you release energy & thoughts.
Keep eating. After any loss we also tend to lose our appetite, be sure to hydrate and keep nutrients in you. I find fruits, veggies, and protein shakes are the easiest.
Find support. If you can't talk to friends or family, find a counselor or a support group that you can speak with. It's good to have a support system!
Ladies, I hope by me sharing our loss and journey to healing that it brings you hope. I want nothing more than for women to be able to overcome the obstacles that come into their lives. As I said before, be gentle with yourself and those around you. You will heal from this, you will smile & laugh again, and you will find a way to let go.
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Believe, Receive, + Claim all that you desire