I had made our first doctor’s appointment for the week of Thanksgiving, with the anticipation of showing our first sonogram pictures to family during the holiday. Unfortunately, our ultrasound didn’t go as planned. Our sweet baby was measuring smaller than expected and the technician was unable to find a heartbeat. The doctor said something about abnormal chromosomes, that she was so sorry, and gave me a hug. Instead of sharing a picture of our baby over the holiday, I was to go home and wait for “my body to do what it needed to do.”
What do you remember most about the initial stages of grief immediately following your loss? How did you feel? What were you thinking?
Initially I was in shock. I couldn’t understand how my body could feel so pregnant while my baby wasn’t growing anymore. I was so incredibly disappointed and sad. Half of our bedroom was already covered in baby items that friends and family had given to us, and there wasn’t going to be a baby to come home to them.
I was really scared, too. I had no idea how long it would take for my body to catch up to reality, whether or not my body would take care of things on its own.
The pain of pregnancy loss doesn’t ever go away. The waves of grief seem to come and go throughout time. Do you have a story to share of a moment when grief hit you when you weren’t expecting it to?
The loss is still very fresh for me. At the time of writing this, I would have been 34 weeks pregnant. My husband and I were hoping to be pregnant again, and so far we haven’t been successful. Every monthly cycle has been a gut-wrenching reminder of our loss.
Having an older child that knows of our loss has brought up another side of grief that is especially difficult. She sees babies and reminds me that we would have had one of our own. It breaks my heart to see how sad she is to not have her sibling with us.
What would you like to say to a woman walking a similar path?
I want other women who experience pregnancy loss to know that it is okay to feel any and all of the feelings that you feel at any given time. It’s okay to smile and be thankful for the good things, and for the very next minute to be really angry or sad. The waves of grief can be one after another for a while and non-existent for some time. They rage again when you least expect it. As terrible as it is, it is normal for grief to feel so strongly. We do not see our babies with our eyes before we love them with our whole hearts.