We Lost Our Baby Today

by Shanisty Ireland
Shanisty Ireland mourning over her lost baby, sitting with her chin leaning on her hand
Courtesy of Shanisty Ireland

Trigger warning: miscarriage

We lost a baby today.

The reason I’m writing right now is because writing is extremely therapeutic to me. I am now a mother of six. Four children on earth and two in heaven. I can’t believe I’m writing this, because I never in a million years imagined I would miscarry after having four extremely healthy children, but I am currently miscarrying our 5th child.

Early in the morning I started bleeding. I was nine weeks pregnant and scheduled for my first ultrasound appointment the following day, but I knew in my gut it wouldn’t be necessary.

It is now 5:45am: Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m thinking the worst and I remain very hopeful for the best. Maybe I will go on to have a perfectly healthy baby. I already named the baby and decided I would find out the gender, which would be a first for me.

Now my world is spiraling. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I honestly don’t know how I can push this from my mind.

I feel guilty for being surprised and kind of flippant about this baby. I feel guilty for being embarrassed by being pregnant again. I was embarrassed to tell my cousin and my parents, I was even embarrassed to call the doctor to set up the appointment.

“Is this your first pregnancy?”

“No ma’am, it’s my 5th.”

I felt like everyone would say things like, OH MY GOD, don’t they know how that works? Don’t they know what causes that? I dreamed the baby was a little girl. Oh, how I wanted a little sister for our daughter.

My age is what scares me the most. I am 38 years old. Google told me the chances of having another healthy pregnancy after 2 miscarriages goes down by 30%. Take off more of a percentage due to my age.

6:01am: Oh, now my tears have started and I can’t stop. I’m not a crier, I’m really not. I rarely cry. I don’t ever cry tears of joy and I rarely cry at sad movies. I can think of maybe 10 times I have cried really, really hard in my life. But I am crying now. Make this number 11. Once the tears start, I won’t be able to get them to stop.

*Long pause in the bathroom.*

Oh, no, I hear someone waking up. It’s now 6:39am. I started bleeding at 11:30pm, was up until 1:30am and then slept until 4:53am. I won’t sleep again for a long time. I have 4 kids in my house who have no idea what is going on. They have no idea I was pregnant. They have no idea I am currently miscarrying their baby brother or sister.

I also don’t want my husband to see me like this. He will think he can’t go to work today, even though he has to. He has a big meeting today. If he stays, I will feel guilty … that’s just the way a woman’s mind works. But if he sees me crying, I don’t want him to feel bad for leaving. It’s probably best if I’m just left alone. We all deal with grief differently, which is why I’m writing.

6:55am: Oh no, now I’ve scrolled social media and see pregnancy announcements and testimonies of miscarriage. All of these women are so young. They have so much time. I feel like I don’t.

I am so sad. I feel like I took this pregnancy for granted. Just one more to add to my herd. I thought, I’m so good at pregnancy, this one will be a breeze. I knew there was trouble early on but I tried to ignore it. I haven’t gained a pound. Since this is my 5th child, my belly should have popped the moment I said the word “pregnant”. I also haven’t had any morning sickness. I just had a really bad feeling this baby wasn’t panning out.

It’s now 7:07am, the doctor’s office opens at 8. I wonder if they will bring me in today? I was scheduled to see them for my 9-week ultrasound tomorrow at 2pm. I’m crushed. Maybe I’ll go the bathroom again and see if it’s stopped. No, there is still blood. Okay, I heard a toilet flush upstairs… time to stop the tears and throw all the tissues away. Someone will be coming down soon.

Courtesy of Shanisty Ireland

It was my husband. After chatting with my mom, they worked out a plan. She is on her way over to help with the kids and Jeff is staying home today to be with me. They canceled the meeting.

He’s gone to get our daughter up for school.

What if by some miracle they just put me on bed rest? Bed rest always sounded pretty nice to me. (I’m joking, of course.) What if the baby is still there, or what if it’s twins? Google told me there can be early bleeding if it’s twins. But that wouldn’t explain no weight gain and no morning sickness. Pregnancy loss is a total mind f*ck. It honestly just really, really sucks.

This baby would have been born in May. I was so excited not to have to endure the hot summer months as a walking telly tubby. I have two fall babies who about put me in the grave with being so enormous during July and August. My daughter was born in June. All the boys were born in fall/winter. I was so excited for another spring baby.

What if, by some miracle I do get pregnant again but it’s another boy? Is that selfish of me to think of? Absolutely, yes, that is selfish. Delete, delete, delete. I would love another boy just to make this bleeding stop.

7:20am: I’ve decided to give myself 10 more minutes to cry. At 7:30, I will help my daughter get ready for her day with a smile on my face like nothing is happening to her mommy. Oh no, I just wasted 4 of my 10 minutes with tears streaming so hard I was unable to see my computer screen so now I only have 6 more minutes to cry.

Google is now telling me maybe this is normal. I have 36 minutes until I can call the doctor. I am praying it will be okay, I am praying hard that I am just jumping to conclusions. Lord, I want this child so very much. I am sorry if I led on that it was an “oops or a surprise” I will never take one of your blessings for granted again. Five minutes. I need to put some makeup on so my eyes aren’t so swollen, I can’t fix the bloodshot in my eyes. At times like these I wish I wore glasses. I feel like those suckers can hide all emotion.

9:35am: The doctor would like to see me at 2:10pm today. The bleeding has really ramped up. I don’t care what Google is telling me, this is the end. I am standing in my bathroom waiting for the water to warm up to take a shower. Jeff is in charge of the kids, and my mom and cousin are on standby. I need a nap. I pray I can nap without dreaming of my baby.

8:01pm: My eyes are burning from shedding tears all day long and pure exhaustion. My doctor confirmed what I already knew, I had a miscarriage and the majority has already passed. I am in pain and I hurt and so incredibly sad. Jeff has stayed by my side all day. My mom has taken the kids for the night. I haven’t left my bed since 10am except to go to the doctor. After the doctor (and by the way, I have the VERY BEST DOCTOR in the world. She let me cry and hugged me and stayed with us longer than she needed to)… after the doctor we went to get sushi. It’s the meal I had already planned to be brought in to my hospital room after I gave birth in May. It makes me cry just typing that, but it seemed fitting to enjoy the sushi today. We talked about the kids and household projects and upcoming events to steer our minds from the pain. We are both hurting so badly.

8:34pm: Jeff took the kids to my parents house for the night, I am so tired but also want to soak up a kid-free night. I want to get out of bed, but I am so weak. I’ve found myself on my phone more than I should be today and staring off into space a lot. I can’t stop thinking about our baby.

My doctor encouraged us that even though this is my second miscarriage it doesn’t mean anything when it comes to having a healthy future pregnancy, if that’s what we decide to do. Jeff has left it completely up to me. I really don’t know where we go from here. Right now I wonder if I’ll sleep tonight. I wonder how much longer the bleeding will last. I wonder why this happens to so many of us. I wonder what the kids would say if they found out they were going to have another little sibling. I wonder when this pain will stop. I wonder if I’ll be able to get out of bed tomorrow.

I wonder if I’ll have the courage to share our story.