I know that talking about a miscarriage is a little taboo. It’s hard to talk about. People don’t know what to say and they are afraid they will say the wrong thing to those suffering. So, I wanted to share my first miscarriage with you. If you have had one, maybe you can relate and find peace that you are not alone. If you have not, maybe you can begin to comprehend what it might be like.
Those who have experienced a miscarriage may be worried about what people will say to them, or they may be terrified that they will burst into tears and may never be able to stop crying. After all, it took plenty of hours to get the tears to stop the last time they started.
At least, that’s how it was for me when I had my first miscarriage.
Before My First Miscarriage
I never really expected to experience my first miscarriage. I didn’t ever think I would have one. That may sound arrogant or oblivious, but my mom had never mentioned having one and while I saw them happening to my friends all around me, I just didn’t think I would ever understand what that was like.
A Little Background
We have two beautiful children. We are really fortunate and are usually able to conceive fairly quickly. Our daughter was conceived at the first opportunity and we had her 9 months later. The same thing happened with our son.
We had always planned on having four children. And for some reason, baby number 3 always had me a little nervous. In the back of my head, I worried that it would be hard to bring baby number 3 into the world.
Trying for Number 3
As we neared my son’s first birthday, we were getting excited to try for our third child. Because I had always conceived so easily, I just assumed that this time it would be the same. The first month we tried but after 28 days I still had a negative pregnancy test and evidence that we had not been successful.
I tried not to let it get me down. After all, most women didn’t get pregnant as quickly as I had in the past. This was normal. It wasn’t ideal, but we could wait another month, or two… hopefully it wouldn’t go longer than that… I was nervous.
The Positive Pregnancy Test
The second month of trying, 11 days post ovulation, I stared at that stick and stared until I saw a faint line on the positive side. At this point, I had to ask my husband to verify that there was actually a line and I wasn’t just seeing things because I was hoping SO HARD to see a line.
“I think I can see what you mean,” he said. That whole day, I was on Cloud 9. I couldn’t believe it. We were pregnant! WE WERE PREGNANT!!! I wanted to shout it to everyone. We were going to have a baby. It took me about two minutes to calculate the due date, July 1st, and I was ecstatic.
But at the same time, it felt too good to be true.
It was my mom’s 50th birthday the day we found out, and I thought how fun it would be to tell her on her birthday. But Austin wanted to wait until we got a darker line, just to make sure.
More Positive Tests
The next couple of days I took two more pregnancy tests. Each time, the line got darker. It was real, we were really pregnant. But for some reason, we didn’t tell anyone. Usually we told our parents right away, but this time we didn’t. I don’t know why.
Same and Different
I suspected I was pregnant before I actually got the positive test because I was starving ALL the time. I was eating so much food and still felt hungry. That is always my first clue. So, that was the same. But then, the similarities kind of stopped.
In the past, my early pregnancy is riddled with extreme tiredness. And I was tired, but with the fatigue, I felt like I had a different hormone coursing through my body and for the beginning of my pregnancy I was just really on edge. It felt like I was constantly anxious.
In spite of my exhaustion, I couldn’t fall asleep when I would go to bed. Finally after a couple of hours I would drift into an uneasy sleep only to be awakened a couple of hours later and then start the process all over again.
The thing that was the most different though, was the cramps. I had never experienced cramps with any other pregnancy. It had me a little worried, but everything online said it could just be your uterus expanding. I thought, well I’ve already had two kids and it didn’t mind expanding then, so that didn’t make a lot of sense.
My next thought was a hopeful, maybe it’s twins! Maybe it has to stretch to make room for two and this can be my last pregnancy because we would have four kids earlier than expected.
I knew that cramping in and of itself wasn’t bad. It was only bad if I started bleeding.
My First Miscarriage
On October 28, 2017 we had a Fall Festival at our church. There was chili, costumes, trunk or treating and general merriment. I felt like a zombie. I told one of my friends that I felt bad for people who came up and talked to me because I was just wiped. I was feeling more cramps, but it was probably just because of my very tight Elsa dress that I wore to match my daughter’s Anna.
I took my daughter around to all of the trunks and she collected her treats and then we headed home.
The First Signs
I couldn’t easily go to the bathroom in that dress, so when I got home I definitely had to go. After getting the kids settled, I excused myself and after seeing something out of the ordinary, I felt my heart sink.
There was spotting. Not a lot. But I had never spotted before during a pregnancy. It didn’t feel real. I put a panty liner in, hoping it was just spotting. I wouldn’t have been as worried if it had all been dark, but a little tiny bit was bright red. I knew bright was bad.
I walked into the living room and told Austin. He looked concerned. I started crying. I felt silly for crying. It was just a little bit after all. It didn’t mean that anything was wrong necessarily.
We called the doctor, who we knew wouldn’t answer because it was a Saturday, and so we got the number to call for the doctors on call. She told me to just take it easy, to try not to worry and to go to the ER if I was going through a pad every hour.
We relaxed for a little bit. After all, just spotting. We stayed up and watched some shows and then went to sleep around eleven. At eleven, I could tell the bleeding had gotten a little worse, but I kept telling myself, it didn’t NECESSARILY mean what I thought it meant.
Around two in the morning I woke up and went to the bathroom. Blood, clots, a lot of stuff. I knew in my heart that it was bad, but I still kept telling myself, it’s okay. Everything is probably fine. Everything has always been fine. My body takes care of my babies. I’m not having my first miscarriage.
I couldn’t go back to sleep though. After an hour and a half of tossing and turning I finally just went out into the living room and started watching The Office. If anything could make me feel a little better, that would at least distract me. Around five, Austin got up, probably wondering where I was.
He went back to bed. I followed and tried to fall asleep again and couldn’t. I got up and went to the bathroom. More of the same of the 2:00 bathroom trip.
Austin was awake when I came back. “I just don’t see how this is going to be okay,” I told him. I cried more. He held me.
When I Knew
After trying to find comfort, but unable to, I had the idea to take a pregnancy test. If it was positive, then I could just wait until the doctor’s appointment. Maybe everything was okay.
I didn’t think it would be negative. I thought there might just be a faint line and that would be disheartening but I would be able to wait.
I got it ready and watched. I stepped away for a bit, because it was supposed to take five minutes and I was going crazy just waiting for the line. Then, I looked at it again, expecting to see a faint line like I had the first time I took one.
The line wasn’t there. It was a completely negative pregnancy test. I grabbed one of the positive pregnancy tests still lying on the bathroom counter and felt myself trembling as I held them next to each other. There was no line. Not a shadow, nothing. It was blank where the line used to be.
I felt like I had just been hit in the chest and I might never breathe again. The line was gone and I knew at that moment that my baby was gone too.
My Loving Husband
I wanted to collapse on the floor, but before I could, Austin had his arms around me, holding me even though I didn’t want to be held. I sobbed, gasping and crying with the ugliest sounds I’ve ever made. I didn’t care. The raw noises were the only things that came close to expressing how I felt. I cried so hard. How could I have been pregnant and now it was all over? How was that possible? It was like it had never even happened.
I wanted Austin there and I didn’t all at the same time. I wanted to melt in agony but he was preventing me from melting. His arms were gently around me, supporting me even when I pushed away. He didn’t shush me. He just let me sob. I don’t know how long I cried. It felt like forever. I cried until I couldn’t anymore. Instead of melting into agony, I felt like a hardened shell of a person when the crying had passed.
It was Over.
I had just had my first miscarriage. It was over. There was nothing I could do. I was completely powerless. My baby was gone. July 1st would come and go and there wouldn’t be a little baby to hold.
As crushing as it was to see a negative pregnancy test after multiple positive ones, it also gave me a sense of finality, of closure. I didn’t wonder anymore if I had had my first miscarriage. I knew I had. I didn’t have to feel anxiety until I saw the doctor anymore. I knew it was over.
In that sense, knowing was better. Now I could grieve and start to pick myself up again.
After My First Miscarriage
Unfortunately, the next day was Sunday. I needed to be at church. All of the children would be singing and doing a program in a couple of weeks and this was our first practice inside of the chapel. I am playing the piano and needed to be there to practice with them.
I debated about not going. Aside from the emotional and physical toll of my first miscarriage, I had also only slept for 3 hours. My eyes were swollen from the thousands of tears shed during the night and I knew people might notice. I wanted to wear sunglasses at church, but I thought that would look even more weird.
All I had to do, was make it through 3 hours of church without crying.
The opening song was Be Still, My Soul. If you are familiar with the song, you know it is a hard one to sing when you’re grieving. I didn’t sing. I tried not to listen to the words. Who picked that song anyways? The sacrament hymn was Thy Will O Lord Be done, which also pressed tears to my ducts with every lyric. I didn’t sing again.
I was very grateful that the talks were not on hardship, eternal families or prayer. Hearing about those things would set me off. I was like a bomb that would explode if a feather grazed the detonation button.
I tried not to talk to too many people but I also tried not to be rude. I just didn’t want them to look long enough at my face and realize that something was off.
I had two people notice something and ask me if everything was okay. I had already decided that I would just tell anyone who asked that I was tired, which was true.
And if you know me, you know how much even a half truth kills me. I will almost always tell people the truth if they ask me directly. In this instance, I couldn’t. I didn’t want to start crying all over again, because I knew that if I did, I wouldn’t be able to stop.
Playing the Piano
Unfortunately, playing the piano is a contemplative calling. Sometimes while I was playing the children’s songs, I would get caught up in the notes and my mind would wander back to the night before. I would replay it. I would see the negative pregnancy test again.
Then I would mess up the song and have to force myself back to reality. No one would have noticed that I was messing up more than usual. I have let everyone know that I am not the best piano player. It was nothing too out of the ordinary to hear me stumble across the keys.
I finally made it to the car. We drove in silence for a while and with no prompting whatsoever, tears rolled over my lower eyelids again. I couldn’t hold them back anymore. I had spent 3 hours trying not to let them out.
Austin gave me his ‘I love you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ face and held my hand.
Peace about My First Miscarriage
At some point on Sunday night, it was like something inside of me snapped. I’m not sure if it was that my body physically couldn’t handle being sad anymore, or a gift from God (probably the latter), but I suddenly felt very at peace about it.
At peace is the best way to describe it. In my heart, I knew and I still know now that the little baby I lost is not always going to be lost. I don’t know all of the doctrine about what happens with miscarriages, but the way I felt and the impression I received was that I would still get to one day hold the little baby that had started to form inside of me. I would just have to wait a little bit longer to do it.
I felt a very distinct hope that the baby was still ours and that it was all going to be okay. One day in the future, I would hold my child and know that he or she had been waiting for us too.
I received a lot of tender mercies over the weekend. My very active little boy for some reason wanted to cuddle with me (never happens) and he fell asleep in my arms and I got to lay on the couch with him and press my cheek against his soft, fluffy head for an entire hour. It was almost like he was a newborn again.
My daughter snuggled with me too and gave me lots of loves.
I felt such clarity. For the first time in a while I could feel very strongly the love of my Heavenly Father and His Son surround me. I knew that He was aware of me. I knew that He loved me and my family and that He was aware of our pain. I knew He was proud of me and what I was trying to accomplish in my life.
I hope one day we can welcome two more children into our home. I don’t know what the future holds. But I do know how invested our Heavenly Father is in my family. I felt His presence so strongly and felt how deeply He cares for our family and how much He sorrowed with us.
He loves us all so much and I hope that I never forget that. It’s hard for me to see His love all the time when I haven’t gone through something devastating for a while. It seems like when I really need Him (not just when I think I need Him), He doesn’t hesitate to throw his arms around me. Some more thoughts on God’s Love
I know He loves me. I know He loves my family. I know He hears and answers our prayers, even if it’s not the answer we want.
I have hope that our little family isn’t done growing yet.