About 1 in 4 recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. 1 in 4. ONE IN FOUR. But I definitely thought I was the exception. Surely it would not happen to me. And surely it would not happen in the height of a damn pandemic.
But it did. Last May.
I’d already given birth twice before. I had two full term pregnancies. Two perfectly healthy children. And I am definitely no stranger to the slew of symptoms that pregnancy brings. I had experienced spotting in BOTH of my prior pregnancies. My doctor actually told me I was losing my first son (she was old and she didn’t have the greatest bedside manner but that’s a story for a different day).
I knew this time was different. I felt it in my gut as soon as I saw it happening. But I chalked it up to first trimester anxiety combined with an influx of emotion from being in the midst of what I felt like was the world collapsing. I had just seen the doctor a few days prior and saw an excited baby bouncing around via ultrasound. But I called anyway just to make another appointment for reassurance. Like I said, this had happened before; it couldn’t be that big of a deal. And so I headed into my appointment the next day and watched as the ultrasound tech saw what in the back of my mind I already knew. No heartbeat. The doctor came in and repeated what it aloud. No heartbeat.
You know how in the movies when someone gets bad news at the doctor? And the entire background sound fades out until they’re able to get out of the office and get some air? That is exactly what it felt like. I needed air. And I had to go out into a car where my whole family was waiting (because … pandemic, no guests inside) and try to act like nothing was happening in front of my two small children. I was gutted.
I went through my whole entire day acting like nothing happened while I took care of my two other children. And then I laid in my bed, waited until I knew everyone was soundly asleep … and cried. For what felt like forever. I did not expect to be the 1 in 4. Ever.
Having a miscarriage can already be an incredibly isolating feeling, but having one during a time where almost the entire country was on lockdown? I wasn’t sure I’d survive. I couldn’t have anyone come with me to have surgery to remove the fetus. I couldn’t just show up at my grandma’s house (she’s my best friend) and cry my eyes out to her because there was fear of bringing the virus along with me. I had never felt more alone…even with a house full of people.
So I coped. I leaned into being a mom to my five- and two-year-old. I embraced the beauty of their health even more. Because they were here. Present and in the moment. Even though the moment felt like absolute crap.
I binge watched old shows. Because there is always something comforting about their familiarity in the midst of chaos. And I can now say I have watched “Jane the Virgin” in its entirety four times (and counting).
I wrote on my site. I scrolled social media … and deleted a lot of people that didn’t align with the feelings that I wanted to feel. I managed. And when the time came, we tried again. There’s ALWAYS fun in trying again. And a year and a half later, I’m sitting here writing this article while my rainbow baby nurses.
Losing a baby almost broke me. But the rainbow after the storm has honestly been the sweetest reward.