I woke up before the sun rose this morning. As I watched the light creep up the sky a harrowing reality entered my mind, I’ve been in my post loss world for almost fifteen months.
Jensen was born at thirty-eight weeks and two days. With his birth and death, I learned so many things about my loss and so many other people’s losses. For all those months, I focused on stillbirth and how each situation was different.
I knew about miscarriages through talking to others about their experiences and journeys, but I didn’t understand this type of loss. That, unfortunately, all changed with losing Jensen’s little sibling this month. In this past week and a half, I’ve been immersed in thought and physical changes that I didn’t know went along with this loss.
This post is long, raw and in your face. Writing and being able to authentically share my experience helps me and my healing process. I hope it will be able to help someone else in knowing they’re not alone. This is my experience and every situation is as individual as the person.
Fear of miscarrying naturally.
When I first found out that my second child’s heart had stopped beating at ten weeks, I didn’t want to have a D&C. I wanted to miscarry naturally and give this child this labor of love. It felt like I needed to feel all this pain and let my body do its job.
That all changed when genetic testing on the baby and information about infection was presented to me.
I had to wait from Saturday to Wednesday to get my D&C. It was so stressful. I was terrified to go to the bathroom and see my baby right there. Every pain or pressure I felt in those few days made my heart drop. Although I wish I was able to give this baby a natural birth, I needed the closure to see what was wrong or what happened. I never knew this fear of not wanting the baby to come. Honestly, I was also afraid of that ‘what if’ I did miscarry. Expectations can warp your mind.
Before this loss, I didn’t even think of how it would be to wait to miscarry naturally. That sounds crazy coming from me, but with Jensen I had an idea of what was supposed to happen. My body took over my mind during birth and I was able to give birth. With this loss, my mind was so present and terrified of what I would see or feel. Those thoughts turned into pure fear that I didn’t know would happen.
There is a difference between having a stillborn baby and a miscarriage on your body. With Jensen, I have PTSD. Losing him and those two days were traumatic. I completely blocked them out still to this day. When I learned this baby’s heart had stopped beating, I didn’t know the extent of trauma it was going to do to my body.
The doctors tell you, it’s like a heavy period. I disagree. For me, when I started bleeding it was more than a heavy period. It was days of knowing my child had passed inside me and slowly seeing discharge getting heavier. Seeing that bright, red blood made my stomach drop, even knowing there was no heartbeat. There were literal days of feeling that way and experiencing my body trying to miscarry, then came the D&C.
When I say I had surgery, it sounds so passive. One, surgery is hard on you no matter what you go through, but knowing you’re going under with a baby in your belly and waking up feeling empty… it’s anything but passive. I can remember moving on the operating table and having my arms strapped down. The lights above me were so bright and I was just so defeated. It was really happening. This was trauma and I keep replaying that scene and what happened when I woke up.
The thing is although it’s a different trauma to stillbirth, a miscarriage is just as traumatic.
This might be a mix of my miscarriage and experiencing multiple loss.
I don’t like to swear, but I’m pissed. There’s constantly a scream in the back of my throat knowing that Jensen and this child have died. Death is hard. It’s so hard when it’s your child and you can’t do anything about it. You feel hopeless and like a failure. That angers me.
Truthfully, I hate that I keep comparing losses, but this one has to be compared. With Jensen, I knew so much about him. Of course there’s so much I will never know, but I can imagine with him. I saw him so many times on the ultrasound screen and felt him grow. That time was gold. With this baby, I didn’t get that time. I don’t know who this little person was and he or she is my baby. That makes me so mad. It is unfair and like another loss mom friend of mine said, insulting. I didn’t think of it that way until she said it and it’s so true.
This anger… it’s not something I expected to be this strong.
Welcoming the feeling of isolation.
As I said in the beginning, each loss and how a person grieves is so unique.
When I got home from the emergency room Saturday, I texted a few people who I knew had miscarriages and wanted to hear their experience. After that, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I wanted to be alone and wrap my mind around how this was happening again. With Jensen I was afraid to be alone, but this loss every encouraging phrase or really any words to me felt like a slap in the face. Hence why I didn’t get on social media or read any texts. I’m sure this mixes in with the anger, but they feel so separate in my mind.
I wanted to be isolated.
I wanted to feel what I needed without any other words coming my way.
I didn’t/don’t want to hear how strong I was/am or how I’d get through it because frankly it sucks. This shouldn’t happen to anyone. Going with that, I’ve been keeping everything to myself because I don’t want to show the pain or have others feel it. It’s like I have to soak up every feeling before I begin processing then to talking about my miscarriage.
Me wanting to be isolated for this past week was unexpected and new to my grief, but I’m adapting and figuring out as each day passes.
My body returning back to ‘normal.’
Throughout this pregnancy I ate extremely healthy and walked every night. I did this because I wanted the best for my baby and my body too. This routine was great for me. My body felt good and my brain was clear. I didn’t realize how bloated my belly (my whole body) was from the pregnancy until the day I went to schedule my D&C.
The days prior, I felt like my body was normal. It had to be too early to start showing or so I thought. I put on a pair of denim shorts that had been a little tight the past few weeks and magically they were almost falling off. No lie. It was crazy how big these shorts and all the shirts I tried on. When my mom came over she kept looking at me and asked if I had looked in the mirror. She kept telling me my face and legs looked like they shrunk.
I couldn’t believe how much my body had changed with my baby still inside me. After surgery, my body has continued to go down, quickly. This has a whole entire different level of grief. Physically seeing my body just go back to normal, like I hadn’t just been growing a baby, is hard to see in the mirror.
With Jensen, it took my body a while to get back to a somewhat normal, pre-pregnancy weight. With this miscarriage, I don’t have my body showing what I did. It’s disheartening and I didn’t expect my body to react in this way.
Again, this is just my experience with my miscarriage that happened not even two weeks ago. Everyone experiences loss differently, but these are somethings I didn’t expect to feel or happen.
Miscarriage is a hope-sucking tragedy that shouldn’t happen. Just as any loss. I try not to compare how I’m feeling like I did with Jensen, but it’s hard because that’s my only experience with having a child. No matter how angry I am or in shock of what has happened, this child is loved and missed. Just like my sweet Jensen is love and missed.