I thought a lot about whether I wanted to put my miscarriage experience out in the world, and realized it feels very right to share it.
Because it’s something that’s painful, hearing or talking about miscarriage can sometimes feel awkward or uncomfortable- but honestly, I don’t think the taboo or the weird veil that can sometimes shroud the topic of miscarriage should exist.
It’s a painful experience that so many women go through- I don’t think we should all be isolated, keeping quiet and experiencing our loss alone.
If even one mama feels less alone or less scared, then putting this into the world was so worth it. I also feel telling my story honors this little soul in my small way.
I’m always here if you need someone to talk to if you’re experiencing a miscarriage or have experienced one in the past. I’m here for you to talk to!
When things are unknown, they feel more scary. I didn’t know much about the details of miscarriage before I experienced mine, and I wish I had heard other women’s stories so that it didn’t all feel so foreign and I didn’t feel so confused- wondering what was normal and if other women went through the same thing.
It was our first month trying to get pregnant with our second baby, and out of the blue I started crying about something that made so little sense that I started laughing as I explained to Matt why I was crying.
He looked at me and said, “Alicia, do you think you’re pregnant?” I said no, because I didn’t think it would happen so quickly but Matt thought I should take a pregnancy test just to make sure.
After two positive pregnancy tests I was no longer skeptical, and we were so excited! I calculated the due date and it would be five days after Rose’s 2nd birthday.
We decided that just like when we got pregnant with Rose, we’d tell our families and close friends right away. If we did have a miscarriage, we’d want their love and support and wouldn’t be keeping the miscarriage a secret anyway, so there didn’t seem to be a point in waiting to tell people we were close to.
We hadn’t told our parents yet, but were visiting Matt’s sister’s family and my sister-in-law asked me, “Do you want some wine?”
I got so awkward (I’m a terrible liar) and stammered, “Um, I’m… sick,” while staring straight at Matt who was grinning at me behind her. Then I just screamed and blurt out, “Okay! I’m pregnant!” So they were the first to find out!
I kept waiting for the dreaded nausea to come. I kept saying to Matt, “Is it normal that I’m not nauseous yet?” but I couldn’t really remember when it came on with Rose so I wasn’t sure if it was weird that I didn’t feel sick quite yet, or if I was just getting lucky and wouldn’t be sick this pregnancy.
Thinking back, I’d often think to myself, “I don’t feel pregnant,” but that can be a normal experience in the beginning of pregnancy as well.
When siblings would ask me how I was feeling I would casually answer, “I don’t even feel pregnant yet!”
I started spotting around the seven-week mark. I was a little worried but had heard of this happening to my friends so I didn’t think it was anything to be too scared about. I also read on my pregnancy app that some spotting in the first trimester is completely normal, so that reassured us a bit.
The second and third days of spotting had me a little more worried, though, and on the third day when I looked and there was a bit more spotting than seemed normal to me, I felt myself go into a panic.
I had just put Rose down for a nap and was standing upstairs, and it was the first time the possibility of a miscarriage hit me and I could feel an adrenaline-rush like fear surge through me.
I called health link and described everything to the nurse on the phone, full of this panicky feeling as I described it but still thinking I was being irrationally worried. As soon as I mentioned that this was the third day, he told me that I needed to go see my doctor within 24 hours.
At this point, I felt really anxious. I saw my doctor the next day but really all he could tell me was to wait and see. He said I had the option of being examined and that could tell me if a miscarriage was happening or not, but he said it wouldn’t change anything either way, and he didn’t think that this was a miscarriage. Spotting could be totally normal in the first trimester – however, he did mention that as I was 8 weeks along it was too late for it to be implantation spotting so he wasn’t sure what it was.
I told him that I wasn’t really worried and that I thought it was probably fine as well, so I didn’t need to be examined.
I had my dating ultrasound coming up in two days so we talked about how that would be a great reassurance for me. In my head I thought everything was fine and my feelings were overreacting, but I was stressing out like crazy subconsciously.
To be honest, I was a complete mess this week. I thought it was pregnancy hormones, and I think my changing hormone levels did play a big part in how much of an emotional wreck I was.
I was on the verge of tears constantly and cried often, I was so irritable and grumpy, I couldn’t handle things that never bothered me before and toddler things Rose would do would make me feel overwhelmed and frustrated when they had never fazed me at all before.
I couldn’t think straight and was so scatterbrained, and I felt stressed, but mostly I just felt so sad and uncertain.
I didn’t know if I should be excited for this baby and celebrating this pregnancy, or if I was going to lose the baby and something was wrong.
I think the hardest part of it all was the complete and utter level of uncertainty. Of having no control, not knowing what was going on, and just waiting to find something out. It was a really, really hard week.
It was so nice to have Matt be there for me, giving me hugs when I needed them and being loving and caring even though we were both really stressed.
The day of the ultrasound came and at this point I had been bleeding (fairly lightly) for six days.
They called me at seven in the morning and told me that the lady who was supposed to do my ultrasound was sick and couldn’t do it so my ultrasound would have to be rescheduled.
In my head I started freaking out, I need to have an ultrasound, I thought. I needed to know that the baby was okay. I couldn’t handle this uncertainty anymore.
I asked if there was any way I could still have one today. She told me that I could drive to Calgary and have an ultrasound done there at a little bit later time, and I said I’d like to do that. She was very curt and impatient with me so I was really flustered by the whole thing. She added at the end not to bring any unattended children and then hung up.
My sister-in-law had offered to watch Rose but now it was at a different time and would be much longer since I would need to drive into Calgary. I was worrying that it would be a big inconvenience and thought, No, I need to have the ultrasound in Okotoks, and tried calling back to ask the lady if there was any possible way, but the building wasn’t open for the morning yet.
I called Matt upset (he was already at work), and he said he would call and make sure someone could watch Rose that long and that it would all be okay, and that he knew they would be happy to watch her for any amount of time (which I know is true! I was just all flustered). He was so reassuring and kept reminding me that no matter what happened, we would be okay.
His sister was completely happy to watch Rose longer and said that she actually needed to go into Calgary anyway so she could drive me.
This was so so so amazing because I didn’t know where it was, didn’t know where to park, don’t like driving in the best of moods, and I was a bit of an emotional mess. All the classic things were happening because I was so all over the place (spilt my smoothie, couldn’t find my keys, etc.).
Before I left for the ultrasound I just started balling. I balled and balled as I sat on the step, and Rose just came up to me and sat on my lap cuddling into me as I cried.
It was one of the sweetest things that I have experienced, the way she understood that something was wrong and gave me just what I needed.
I gained my composure after my therapeutic cry session (I just needed to get all the fear and emotion out) and drove to my sister-in-law’s house.
It’s all kind of a blur but I do remember talking my head off to her about how I was so worried but I knew I shouldn’t be, and things like that. I felt so much better to be with someone though, rather than being alone, and felt distracted talking and watching the cutie toddlers in the back seat.
I got into the ultrasound and I was so glad that I got a super nice ultrasound tech. I read a sign in the room that said she couldn’t reveal any medical information and to not ask questions during the exam as she needed to focus on what she was doing. I told her right away that I had been bleeding for 6 days.
She told me that she couldn’t find the baby, only the gestational sac, but that this could be normal as sometimes dating based on the last period can be off, so the baby could be younger than we thought- and that could be why she couldn’t find it.
I was asking her questions but would say that I understood if she couldn’t tell me, and she was just super vague and evasive with all her answers and kept saying that it could just be that our dating was off.
She asked if I wanted her to do an internal exam, because then it would be much more likely that she could find the baby. I said yes- all I wanted was an answer because at this point I mostly believed everything was fine but just felt so sick and worried.
It probably sounds silly that I wasn’t really clueing in at this point, but everything felt so vague and there were so many stories of things like this happening and it all being fine, so I was just holding onto hope that this was all just a little complication of some kind.
That seems to be the way I cope with things like this, assuming the best but often stressing subconsciously. When I was going into labor with Rose and complications were happening, I was the same way. I just believed everything would be all right even though the people around me were panicking. You could call it hope, but I guess in this case it was a little naive- again, I just really just wanted to know what was going on so I could accept the truth.
I went outside to empty my very full bladder and wait outside while she got everything ready. I prayed to God over and over for him to give me peace and strength when I went back in and found out what was happening.
I had the internal exam and something didn’t seem right. The ultrasound tech wasn’t saying anything, and any question I asked she would (and she was super kind through the entire thing) tell me that she couldn’t answer that or would give me a very vague answer. She told me that she would go talk to the doctor and would come back.
I waited for the doctor to come back and tell me what was going on, praying for strength and peace.
Instead of the doctor, the ultrasound tech came back and told me that she couldn’t reveal any information to me. My family doctor would get the results- and he would be the one to interpret them and let me know how everything was going. She said that I could get my hCG levels tested and that might “give more information.”
I had no idea what that meant or what they even needed information about. I just felt completely confused and in the dark as to what was going on, and asked, “So you can’t tell me anything?” and I started to tear up as I asked it. She said that she couldn’t and I looked down trying to stop myself from crying, left the room and got dressed, then went out to the waiting room.
While I waited for Matt’s sister to come I typed questions into google. Mostly forums would come up, and there were a bunch of stories of this happening to women and it would turn out the dating was just wrong and their babies were completely fine.
There were also articles that made me feel like maybe I was going to miscarry, and so I still felt completely unsure as to what I should think and expect.
It was so hard not knowing if I should mourn my baby or look forward to meeting my baby.
When I got home my doctor called me to check in and see how things went at the ultrasound (he is an awesome doctor!). I asked him if he had gotten the results yet and he said that he hadn’t, and I explained what happened to him.
I think he was expecting me to tell him that everything was okay, but when I explained the situation to him he told me he could call me as soon as he got the results, but asked if it was bad news if I would prefer to hear it in person.
I told him that I definitely wanted to hear the results over the phone because I wanted to know as soon as possible. All I wanted was to know what was going on- and maybe all the signs were staring me in the face and I couldn’t see them, but I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions without someone telling me.
I called Matt and told him everything, and then got another call from my doctor.
He started the phone call telling me that he wouldn’t beat around the bush, he didn’t have good news for me. They couldn’t find a heartbeat, and they dated the baby at about just over six weeks, which was just a bit before I started bleeding.
My doctor was so good about it in the way he delivered the news to me, the way he worded everything so respectfully (I really liked that he would refer to it as the baby, it just felt like he was acknowledging that this was my baby who I already loved), and he told me that his wife miscarried her first pregnancy and he was so sorry I had to go through something so difficult.
I told him that I think I knew deep down that that was what he was going to tell me because I could feel that something was wrong at the ultrasound, and I thanked him for telling me and for everything. He said I should get bloodwork done to confirm that the baby was lost, and explained that I could take medication to accelerate the process or I could wait for the miscarriage to happen naturally, which was what I said I wanted to do.
I only cried a little bit after the phone call. I think I was so emotionally drained and had cried myself out the week before. I think I had been mourning the loss of my baby for the last week.
Once I knew what was actually happening I felt able to accept it, and felt the peace and strength I had been praying for wash over me. I went and did the blood test that evening, and picked up yummy snacks and Matt and I ate treats and watched Survivor together. We were just there for each other and were so glad we had our little Rose.
Three days later I miscarried the baby. It felt similar to a period with mild cramping, but then there was 45 minutes of what felt like super painful period cramps, or almost like the beginning of labor pains. I was so glad I happened to be watching Matt’s two younger siblings and I just disappeared into the bathroom for an hour and they just played with Rose and never even asked me where I disappeared to.
I was super exhausted so I told them I needed to lie down, and fell asleep for a couple hours while they watched Rose.
When I woke up I delivered what I think was the gestational sac and the baby. I have to say that I felt really saddened, scared, and a little disturbed by it all. It was just hard. It’s difficult to even describe all the emotions I was feeling because it all felt so foreign and upsetting and surreal. In a way, I didn’t really know what to feel, I think.
My Gramma had told me that God told her the names of her babies that she miscarried, so I was praying about it and the name Cecilia came to me really strongly. I told Matt about it and asked if we could name our little baby Cecilia.
I had bought one little sleeper when we found out we were pregnant and I put that in my treasure chest to keep as a little memory.
I would say that my faith was a huge source of peace and hope for me. It is incredibly reassuring to know that our baby is in heaven, in the arms of Jesus, praying for us and looking down on us. It is so reassuring to know that we can be with our baby one day in heaven.
I think having Rose also really helped – she is seriously such a joy with all her little words and personality and cuddles and love. I feel like I was given a newfound appreciation for her.
I also feel that I have an even greater appreciation for what a blessing a healthy pregnancy is. I think it was something that I almost took for granted (it is really, really easy for me to just focus on all the negative parts of pregnancy). I knew how incredibly fortunate I was to have a healthy pregnancy with Rose, but it was hard for me to fully grasp that until I experienced this loss.
The outpouring of love and support from the people close to us just amazes me. I was in such a vulnerable place and everyone was so kind to me. From bringing me meals so I didn’t have to cook (seriously soooo thoughtful!) to talking to me on the phone or sending kind text messages, to kind words and just support and love and caring. I just felt so supported and loved through it all by all the people close to me, especially our two families and of course Matt.
I am actually glad that we decided to tell people who were really close to us about our pregnancy early on because all the people who I told that I was pregnant would have people I would have wanted to know that we had miscarried.
Our families were able to understand what we were going through and be there for us. I would say that I’m glad we didn’t tell a whole bunch of people (say on social media or something) though. Even when talking about the miscarriage with people I’m close to, who I completely want to talk about it with, I notice I stammer a bit and am a little bit awkward- maybe because of the newness of it all. I’m not sure why, but I hope everyone knows that I really appreciate every person who offered kind words or asked how I was doing or feeling.
Even though I still feel really sad, I have so much more peace about it now knowing that I will always carry that baby with me in my heart. I am so grateful for my little Rosie who is the sunshine of my life and brings me incredible amounts of joy, and for Matt who is my best friend and the best support, and for my little baby up in heaven 🙂
As difficult as it was, it is part of our story and that baby is a part of our family in their own little way. Every due date I’ll remember, and all through my life I’ll say little prayers to the sweet baby I never met, who I hold in my heart always.
I didn’t feel ready to start trying to get pregnant again right away, and once our doctor said it was okay to try again we waited another month. When we started trying again but didn’t immediately get pregnant, I realized the lack of control I really had over this area of my life- and that was a little bit difficult to realize. It’s funny how we are used to laying our own plans but that’s just not how life works.
A few months later we did get pregnant again though- with our sweet little Evelyn.