The 12-week ultrasound showed he was only the size of a pea. He should have been bigger, much bigger, but he wasn’t.
The technician went silent, and I pleaded with her to tell me if everything was okay. Without a hint of emotion in her voice, she said the doctor would be with me soon.
My husband and I sat waiting in an empty curtained off section of the hospital room. My heart filled with dread with each passing moment.
The doctor came in with a look of sympathy on her face. I didn’t have to hear what she would say next.
My baby was gone. The little life I had been carrying for only a few short weeks had left me.
She offered her condolences and encouraged us to try again soon.
But all I wanted was this baby.
The one I had desperately longed to meet but now never would.
We were on vacation at the time and that night in the hotel room was the longest in my life. I felt emptiness and loneliness like never before.
When I found out I was pregnant, I did everything right and then some. I refused to dye my hair, eat sushi and even went for a pedicure and left without nail polish.
I didn’t want anything to happen to this baby, but it still did.
The pregnancy was a surprise, my husband and I had only been married a few short months when I got pregnant.
At 26 years old, my first reaction was, I wasn’t ready yet. That thought was what I felt I was being punished for.
I didn’t tell anyone what happened, not my mom, or my mother-in-law or even my best friends. I couldn’t.
I couldn’t bear to hear, you’ll have a baby one day because what if I didn’t?
Or to have them think there was something wrong with me because what if there was?
So I kept this secret for eight years.
I listened to my friends’ stories of loss and never shared my own.
When anyone asked when we were going to have kids, I brushed the question away with an offhand remark.
I should have sought the support of my friends, but I didn’t. I denied myself love, understanding and connection when I needed it most.
I tore myself up inside with longing, sadness, and pain.
What shattered me most of all was this: What if my baby didn’t know how much I loved him? What if he left the world without feeling just how much I cared and wanted him?
There was no test to prove he was a boy but I knew he was.
This is what I want everyone to know.
Everyone has heartache buried beneath the surface. Every innocent question you ask might be a trigger for the pain someone is hiding. When are you going to have kids?, is a question we need to stop asking.
We’re not alone. Miscarriage is shockingly common even though it’s still not often talked about.
We shouldn’t suffer in silence. We need to confide in people who will support us whether that’s our friends, our family, or a support group.
We need to stop blaming ourselves. It took me a long time to accept that this loss wasn’t my fault. I will never know what caused my miscarriage but driving myself crazy thinking of what did wouldn’t help me heal sooner.
The pain never really goes away. Its been eight years, but my heart still aches when I think of the baby I lost.
Most of all, remember this: don’t carry the weight of this pain alone, like I did; let yourself be loved and supported. It won’t make the pain go away, but it will make the journey bearable.