It’s 3 AM and I’m wide-awake. Silent tears reach my pillowcase as I try to cry quietly. The week had been an exhausting one. Three trips to the doctor’s office, three blood draws, three calls from the nurse with good news, hesitation, and then preparation. We were pregnant. I knew days before I had taken a test. My body responds instantly to the pregnancy hormones and I felt the sickness. It was a familiar feeling since I had felt it for 30 out 37 weeks with my son. I knew. You just know.
I had suffered an early pregnancy lost just months before so my mind was reeling. They wanted to check my numbers right away to confirm my pregnancy. Next they wanted another to make sure my numbers were rising appropriately, they weren’t. Then they wanted me to go back in to confirm what I heard in the nurse’s voice when she called, “you may be starting an early miscarriage.”
The nurse who drew my blood saw the tears in my eyes and so did my son. He looked up to kiss me as a tear rolled down my cheek at my final blood draw. He may be the most empathetic and affectionate 1 year old I have ever met. The nurse hugged me as I left to wait and gave him a stuffed puppy dog ironically named Chance. We waited all day for the results and at 5 PM the nurse called to say what I already knew. My numbers were falling and I was likely going to experience another loss.
It’s 3AM and with every cramp I tear up as I feel my body has betrayed me yet again. Early pregnancy loss is normal they say, I read all the statistics. 15-20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage and around 80% of those happen in the first trimester. 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime and 1 in 6 known pregnancies end in miscarriage. But it doesn’t feel normal to me.
When you are in the trenches of an early loss you usually are suffering alone. At just 5 and 6 weeks I never heard a heartbeat, I never saw a scan. How could my loss be anywhere near as significant as a mother who experienced a loss out of the first trimester. I was embarrassed by my feelings. I felt crazy for how shaken these early losses left me. I was not supposed to feel this grief because for 2 weeks it was just 2 lines.
My babies were the size of a lentil and pea when I lost them so why did the pain feel so big. Why do I feel this grief? And then I realized because it is mine. I’m mourning the loss of a baby sibling, a family of four or even 5, a childhood, a future 5 year old, a future 15 year old. And then I realized they were the biggest what ifs of my life. I hadn’t just lost hope… I had lost children.
I needed to give myself permission to grieve. It made me wonder how many other women suffer in silence as they mourn a loss that never was. How many other women were waiting for permission to grieve? How many others were waiting to hear that they weren’t ridiculous for feeling so much in such a short time? I am thankful and heartbroken at the same time I hadn’t told anyone yet. The grief you feel when you are isolated with it somehow feels 100% more intense. It was one of the reasons I chose to write this piece.
I wanted to reach out to any other woman who has experienced an early loss with no one to share it with and say you are not alone. You have permission to grieve. And you are loved.
Amanda is a stay-at-home mom and wife. Momarazzi and coffee addict. Originally from a small town she is navigating motherhood and her new city all at once.