A miscarriage is defined as the loss of a pregnancy in the first 20 weeks (source). Coping with miscarriage is more than a physical experience, as it’s often the loss of an imagined future, of hopes and dreams, and as such can be extremely emotionally painful. Sharing your miscarriage story and reading those of others can help ease the pain.
This post is part of My Sweet Home Life’s Overcomers series – where we look at women whose lives haven’t turned out quite how they expected.
We feature women who have struggled with abuse, addictions, unexpected loss, and challenging circumstances.
Each of these women have come through their experiences with lessons learned – lessons that can help us all as we navigate this crazy thing called life.
Today we share Brianna’s miscarriage story.
Related: Overcoming infertility.
TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF
Hi all, my name is Brianna! I am 25 years old, happily married for five years and have a beautiful 18-month-old daughter. We live in New York City, where I was born and raised.
After becoming a mom, I decided to stay at home and raise our daughter. This was not an easy decision because my dreams included finishing my Master’s degree in business and conquering the business world one office at a time.
But being pregnant and having my daughter changed everything. I knew that I wanted to be there for her and to be the one to raise her and teach her. It was not easy giving up an income but once my daughter was a year old I decided to start a mom blog focusing on everyday encouragement for new moms and I became the founder of Mastering Mom Life!
This new venture has allowed me to be a stay at home mom and provide for my family, something that I thought was impossible. As first-time parents, we found it very difficult to find the information we needed- no, craved! – in this new season. We encountered situations that were nowhere to be found in any help book or online post so we let experience lead the way and emerged from the other side full of tips and tricks of parenting!
I love sharing my mom life experiences and tips and tricks, hoping it will both help and encourage other moms.
DESCRIBE YOUR EARLY PREGNANCY
When we first got married, my husband and I wanted kids but decided to wait until the “right” time, as at that point we were both working on our careers.
Our “plan” to wait about three years before having a baby was quickly thrown out the window when I found out that I was pregnant in April 2016.
We had just made a major move from Virginia to New York and we were still trying to settle into our new jobs.
I never would have taken a pregnancy test but I started getting very sick. There were days I was so exhausted that I didn’t know if I would be able to make it into work.
I thought the surprise pregnancy was going to cause some concerns, but on the contrary, we were SO excited. Nothing can ever prepare you for the feeling when that little pink line appears!
Since the pregnancy test had confirmed my suspicions, I immediately made an appointment with the doctor. I was so relieved to finally hear my baby’s heartbeat and receive that precious little sonogram picture. All I knew was that I was nine weeks pregnant and my whole life had changed!
About a week later my “morning” sickness started getting worse. Not only was I not able to hold anything down, (not even water!), I was also weak and unable to concentrate due to my overwhelming, constant nausea.
One night I was so sick that I could barely walk and my husband took me to the emergency room. I was put on an IV for eight hours and had to be internally hydrated. This is when I was diagnosed with severe morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum.
I was finally released and sent home with little pills that dissolved on my tongue to reduce nausea. I was so happy to finally be feeling better and was excited to get into my second trimester!
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
My next appointment was about three weeks later and I was starting to feel so much better! I was 13 weeks pregnant and felt like I was on top of the world.
The doctor came in and performed the internal and external exam, carefully using the ultrasound tool. Then I heard her give a sigh.
My heart dropped. I knew something was wrong.
My doctor then turned around, with tears in her eyes, and told my husband and I that the baby’s heartbeat could not be found.
I told her to look again but I kept getting the same answer. “I’m so sorry Brianna, the baby doesn’t have a heartbeat anymore.”
I stopped breathing and everything went blurry. My heart couldn’t process what my mind had just heard. I didn’t have the strength to find out what was next.
But then I felt my husband’s arms wrap around me and I heard his voice talking to the doctors. He kissed my forehead and, at that moment, I knew he was asking me to open my eyes and face what would come next.
My doctor informed me that I would have to undergo a procedure called a D&C to remove the baby. Even now as I write my story, the feelings come flooding back to me as if it were yesterday. I had to agree to do the procedure and then wait for the phone call that would tell me when I was expected to arrive at the hospital.
HOW DID YOU FEEL BOTH PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY?
I didn’t get the call until later that day. So, I had to go home, get a bag ready, and then be at the hospital first thing the next morning. I couldn’t stand to tell my family what had happened but I knew that my husband had told them because one by one they came into my bedroom to cry with me.
No words could ease the pain of what I was feeling. Tears weren’t even enough to describe what I was going through.
The day before I had sat talking to my baby. Now I sat and cried holding my empty belly.
I couldn’t sleep or eat. I didn’t want to talk or try to be encouraged. I wanted to grieve and mourn. I wanted the silence to comfort me- but comfort never came.
The next morning, I got dressed, grabbed my packed bag, and went the hospital. Everything was hazy and people’s voices were staticky. All I knew was that I had to get dressed and be prepped for surgery.
The worst part was walking to the operating room waiting area to say goodbye to my husband and family and then walking out by myself because no one was permitted to go on to the operating room floor. At that moment I felt so alone.
I arrived at the operating room and was strapped down to a table where the very kind nurses and doctors just smiled at me with sad eyes. I remember them putting in an IV and feeling woozy. The last words I said were, “Please check for the heartbeat again before doing the procedure.”
And then just in a blink of an eye, I was awake in a recovery unit with my husband sitting next to me rubbing my arm. I didn’t want to talk about it or explain to anyone how I was feeling, all I wanted to do was cry.
I was released about six hours later and went home to flowers, balloons, and get well soon cards. Then I found my pregnancy journal and the picture of my sonogram that my family had hidden.
But in that moment, I realized that I didn’t want to forget my pregnancy, or my baby. I wanted to celebrate it. I bought a beautiful frame for my sonogram picture and have it on my picture frame shelf as a proud reminder of the baby that made me a mother.
HOW DID YOU COPE AFTER YOUR MISCARRIAGE?
Nothing was able to make me “feel better” except for me. It was my choices that made me get through the hard times.
I had to choose to accept that my family was there for me even though it was easy to want to tune them out and be alone.
I had to choose to accept that my husband was there for me, even though it was easy to want to fall into depression.
And as much as I know that the miscarriage happened to me, it also happened to my husband. I was selfish to think that he wasn’t mourning as I was. Once I accepted him back into my heart, we were both able to heal together.
However, all I knew now was that I wanted to be a mother and I wanted to have a baby. No job, career, or position could fill the void. My husband agreed and we tried to conceive.
Four months later I found out I was pregnant again!
Of course, we were absolutely petrified about having another miscarriage but I couldn’t let that stop me from being happy. There was a 30% chance that I could miscarry again but a 70% chance that I could have a happy, healthy baby.
I chose to focus on that 70%.
That 70% is what got me through each doctor’s appointment, each sonogram, and test. It got me through the nightmares and the fears of failure. It got me through the times that I was at my lowest. But in the end, I had a wonderful pregnancy and a healthy baby girl!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD A MISCARRIAGE?
I had no idea that miscarriages occur in one out of three women.
The statistic rocked my world after I experienced my miscarriage – not just because I was afraid of having another one, but also because of the number of women that have experienced a miscarriage. It’s something that women don’t talk about, and I totally understand why.
But if I had had one mother who had experienced a miscarriage tell me their miscarriage story and encourage me, then I think I would have recovered so much faster. Not because I needed someone to tell me it was going to be okay, but because I needed someone who had actually lived it to give me hope.
And here’s my humble advice: It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to not want to talk. It’s okay to want to be alone. It’s okay to feel misunderstood. It’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to be hurt.
What helped me the most after my miscarriage was not “accepting it” or “forgetting it” or “living with it” but giving myself permission to feel the things I needed to feel.
Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel. Don’t push yourself to be someone who you can’t be in that moment. Live each day one minute at a time and know that even though it seems impossible, one day you’ll be happy again and the miscarriage will be an experience that molded you to who you’ve become.
Also make sure to surround yourself with people you love and who love you and to keep yourself healthy, both mentally and physically.
Hopefully you will have the chance to have another baby and even though you may experience another miscarriage, choose to believe that you’ll be one of the 70%: your pregnancy will be smooth sailing and you’ll have a beautiful, healthy baby.
SUMMING UP YOUR MISCARRIAGE STORY
Not many people know about my miscarriage – mainly because some people can be really insensitive and act like it’s a normal thing that happens.
But when I encounter a woman who is broken because she experienced a miscarriage, I make sure to share my story. That’s why I’m sharing my miscarriage story here – to let you know that above all, when you feel like you are alone, you aren’t.
There is one woman out of three who have experienced what you are feeling right now.
Every time I talk about my miscarriage, I cry because it’s still so real to me. I look my husband and my beautiful daughter and know that when people think we are a family of three, I know that we are a family of four. I still think of my little 13-week-old baby every day.
But I know that although we NEVER want to the experience loss and heartache that trembles for years, when things like this happen, we can take our experience and help others.
I hope my story was able to encourage someone who is experiencing the awful loss of their baby due to a miscarriage.
Always with love,