This is not the story I thought I would be sharing. It is actually the opposite…
|Photo credit: Megan Kathleen Photography|
I found out I was pregnant on June 5th, 2017.
From that day on pregnancy has consumed me. I have thought about daily, during every waking hour. I started blogging about my pregnancy in hopes of someday sharing it with the world.
I told my close friends and family I was pregnant almost as soon as I found out. Pregnancy and expecting a baby is an exciting time, it deserves to be shared! I do not agree with the message society sends women, “wait till your through the first trimester to tell people”.
Why wait 12 weeks (3 MONTHS) to share something so important in your life?
That sounds like torture for the parents to be who are either scared out of their minds, excited, but most likely a bit of both.
Seriously WHY do we do that?
Fear of the statistics.
Fear of loss.
Every decision or action either comes from a place of fear or love. I choose love.
The only thing I can think of that is worse than loss itself, would be going through the loss and grieving process alone. This is a reality for so many woman who go through miscarriage and it breaks my heart. If you have experienced a miscarriage and are feeling this way I will share some helpful resources that have helped me at the end of this post (although the pain today is still heart breaking).
I believe this societal norm to wait until you ‘make it through the first trimester” sends the wrong message to women. So much is happening in our bodies during the first trimester and not sharing that experience (with whoever you choose) out of fear sends a message that we should be shameful or secretive in the event of a loss. I do not regret telling those closest to me that I was pregnant. I am here to say there is nothing to be ashamed of if you have experienced loss and I want you to know that you are not alone.
Miscarriage is one of those taboo and uncomfortable topics, yet 1 out of 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. If you are pregnant please DO NOT live in fear of the what ifs. Enjoy every day of the experience even the hard ones. I am here to change the conversation and shed some light on one of life’s dark events, the loss of a unborn child.
Let’s rewind and start with some backstory (that I have likely never shared before)…
I remember when I was 19 years old, and the doctor looked at me and told me it may be hard for me to conceive naturally down the road when I was diagnosed with PCOS. I laughed it off as a young and naive teenager who wanted nothing to do with kids.
A few months later I switched from the Nuvaring to the pill and let’s just say I was not very good about taking it daily. Not only were the irregular doses of artificial hormones horrible for my body it was also highly ineffective. I found myself pregnant, scared and confused at age 20.
While I DO believe strongly in every woman’s right to choose, I do not know that I would practice that right personally (I fully support every woman in that choice). In the end mother nature chose for me. I miscarried at 8 weeks, it was an emotional and traumatic blessing at the time. I was hopeful my day would come again when the time was right and even then was a believer in the whole “everything happens for a reason”. I still had faith in the universe. I went through the grief and pain of my first miscarriage alone (although it was completely different).
Fast forward to today….
When I found out I was pregnant with the my husband-to-be and love of my life the feelings were MUCH different. It was the BEST surprise to date. I felt so grateful to have the opportunity to be a Mom and raise a beautiful family with someone I love so much. I was shocked (because we weren’t trying and I typically track my cycle to prevent pregnancy) but none the less SO happy, excited and ready for this next chapter of life and all the challenges it may bring.
I tried to put my previous experience with miscarriage behind me and not even *think* about that possibility. I am healthier than I was back then, I am happier, in a much different place in life. I was hopeful and confident that we were going to bring a healthy baby into this world.
Almost immediately I decided I wanted to see a midwife instead of an OB and wanted to have a natural delivery. I was researching giving birth at a birthing center vs the hospital…I found a local birth center, met with one of their midwives and when I couldn’t give them accurate dates of my last period or when I conceived they asked me to do an early ultrasound. My first ultrasound showed I was 4-5 weeks and that gestational sac was growing in my uterus. They suggested a follow up ultrasound in 2 weeks to see how everything was progressing and give me a due date.
A few days after the ultrasound on our way down to Oregon in our 1973 VW bus, I got one of the worst phone calls of my life…
“Hi Lauren, this is Katrina from Bellingham Birth Center. I was just calling to see how your miscarriage is going?”
The call caught me off guard, I was in shock, and had no idea what she was talking about. As far as I knew I was 4-5 weeks and still felt pregnant.
She explained to me that my dates didn’t line up and that it didn’t look like the baby was progressing properly. I refused to believe the words she was telling me. And I don’t feel like they held much truth at the time. She didn’t know my history with PCOS and irregular periods.
Her words were spoken with such little compassion or concern for another woman. I truly hope no other women has to experience a phone call like that. I have heard nothing but great things about the local birth center but that phone call was enough to turn me off.
After getting off the phone I was a mess. My heart hurt, my chest was heavy, I was having trouble breathing and I just didn’t know what to do.
Here I was on my way to a 4 day festival in the middle of nowhere Oregon to celebrate my birthday yet it felt like there was nothing to be celebrating. At that point I thought I was basically a ticking time bomb.
What if I started to miscarry while at the festival?
I called the doctors office and spoke to the midwife there…she had such reassuring words and encouraged me to go enjoy my trip. So onwards we went, I tried to keep my head held high and forget about the prior phone conversation, yet it kept playing back through my memory like a real life nightmare.
The festival came and went and I was still pregnant and growing more and more hopeful that everything was okay as the days passed. After returning home I went to another appointment with a midwife and scheduled a follow up ultrasound to see how the pregnancy was progressing.
The ultrasound was a week out (the following Monday) and it felt like the longest week of my life. Every day felt longer than the day before. I was ready for some answers.
On Thursday of that week I started *lightly* spotting. I am pretty sure spotting is every pregnant woman’s worst nightmare yet it is fairly common but nobody talks about it (besides on a few pregnancy forums). I had a few moments of freaking out before some friends reassured me everything could be just fine. I wasn’t bleeding, I was spotting and there was no pain.
The spotting continued through the weekend.
The day of my ultrasound came and I was sick to my stomach, so many nerves and feelings I was trying to ignore. Zach and I went to the ultrasound hopeful and ready to hear some good news. I laid on the table, hopeful yet fearful all at the same time.
And then there was the baby…
The baby had grown, we could see the little flicker of a heart beat. All I knew was the pregnancy had progressed and there was our baby. In that moment I felt a huge sense of relief. Everything was okay in my mind.
The tech took a few pictures of the baby (I measured 6 weeks 1 day), told me the heart rate was at 66 beats per minutes, gave me my due date (2/18/18), told us congrats and sent us on our way.
Maybe she just didn’t have the heart to tell me there but she knew what was going to happen next yet I had no idea.
I had just been given HOPE.
We went out for a pizza lunch date to celebrate. I texted everyone who knew about my pregnancy and gave them my due date. After the appointment and lunch I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I came home and took a nap.
I woke up, went to the bathroom and realized I was no longer spotting…I was bleeding.
Bright red, fresh blood and lots of it. At this point I knew it wasn’t good. A few hours later the cramping began. I took some tylenol hoping to go to bed and wake up feeling better.
I woke up feeling worse, everything hurt- my heart, my body, my mind it all ached. I cried and cried wishing it wasn’t true but realizing that it was. I was experiencing a miscarriage, yet again.
I decided to make the experience as “comfortable” as I could and allowed myself to just feel as it was happening. I set up a zen space in my living room with essential oils diffusing, music playing, pictures of the baby and Zach & I. I laid there on the couch for a few hours before Zach came home from yoga and started to realized what was happening.
The pain progressed through out the afternoon, eventually I went into the bathtub to help ease the pain.
While in the bathtub the pain kept getting worse. At that point we decided to drive to the ER. I checked in and took a seat in the waiting room. Lewis Howes, one of my favorite personal growth/business coaches was playing on Ellen. As I was watching the pain started to subside, I started to think positively again.
Maybe I wasn’t having a miscarriage after all?!
I went to the bathroom to check to see if I was still bleeding. I was. I walked back over to Zach, put my hands on his shoulders and a huge wave of pain came over me. In that moment I felt the baby come out…
I ran back to the bathroom, pulled down my pants and there our baby was. I got light headed, lowered myself to the ground and blacked out half undressed lying on the bathroom floor. When I regained conciousness I called for Zach who thankfully was near by. He called security because I was locked in the bathroom with very little strength left. I knew I needed help so I sat up and unlocked the door. After sitting up I was instantly sick and started throwing up. A nurse then came in, wrapped me in blankets, put me in a wheel chair and wheeled me away. I sat in that wheel chair dazed, confused, and full of emotions.
June 27th, 2017 we lost our baby.
The entire experience continues to play through my mind like a slow motion horror movie…only it is my life. And the emotional pain that followed has been nothing I have experienced before. Grief is both messy and confusing.
“How are you feeling?” is a question I have been answering often. It has presented me the opportunity to reflect multiple times a day on HOW I am feeling…which if I was grieving alone, I am sure I would try to ignore.
I don’t feel like myself at all. I am a stranger in my own body. Yet I find myself feeling like I should be or say that I’m okay. I find myself believing that I should feel differently than I feel in this very moment (hurt, confused, empty, sad, heavy). I want to be stronger than I currently feel. But the truth is I don’t feel okay, although I know I am and will be okay (and have so much to be grateful for).
The emotions keep washing over me in waves with little breaks in between. And I am learning to accept the space and stage of grief I am in right now…
I took a week off of work/life to just be. I am so thankful I have the freedom to give myself personal time when need be. Time freedom is a blessing network marketing has given me and I will never take it for granted.
As I pick up the pieces and feel all the feels I have been working on putting my energy into positive things…it’s not easy though. Somedays I can’t get myself out of bed, going to the grocery store or anywhere for that matter feels like a huge uphill battle, I find myself crying randomly, feeling all sorts of emotions as social media constantly reminds me that I am not pregnant yet long to be more than anything else.
Zach has been my rock through this tragic experience. He has been my calm through the storm. Although this hasn’t been easy we have grown much closer over the last 2 months which I didn’t think was possible. My love for him continues to grow every single day.
We have started planning our wedding for next summer which is exciting! I also am doing a TON of research to learn more about my body and how to heal my PCOS. I started getting Ayurvedic healing treatments and am seeking natural fertility solutions. I plan to share what I am doing for those who are also trying to conceive.
Truth is I haven’t been taking care of myself recently and now I have a whole new motivation to do just that. I am learning about the healing properties of different herbs, food, and helping my body thrive.
Never did I think I would be sitting here sharing my “trying to conceive” journey with the world. But that is where the universe has lead me. I plan to share more of what I am doing to heal my body naturally.
Although this isn’t the story I wanted to be sharing, it is my story and I will continue to share it. I dream of the day I get to hold my baby. I know that day will come even though I have many moments of uncertainty. I am learning to trust my body and the universe again. I know some day this unpredicted path will make more sense. For now we focus on healing.
Thank you for being there. Thank you for listening. I hope to help other women out there but at the same time this post is for me. It’s been a dark month but I will not let it put out my light. I will continue to shine bright and share my journey as it unfolds, the highs and the lows <3.
What Miscarriage Is Really Like w/ Jenna Kutcher– this podcast is amazing for anyone who has experienced miscarriage OR if you know someone who has
Woman Code– I highly recommend this book if you have PCOS or any hormone related issues.