Miscarriage: The one I lost was just as special

October 15th marks Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day and I’d like to share my story.

You might think that a woman who has given birth six times probably hasn’t had experience with losing a child. Perhaps you think that losing a baby when you already have a tribe of healthy, thriving children makes the loss less profound. I won’t judge you if you feel that way because that is how I felt myself.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

infant loss awareness Miscarriage: The one I lost was just as specialImage source: Leilani Rogers, Photographer

At the time, I was the mother of four young boys, ages 5, 4, 2 and 7 months. I wasn’t expecting to get pregnant so soon but things happen when you are breastfeeding, trying to practice natural family planning and your cycle is out of whack. I found myself pregnant and slightly ambivalent about it. Too soon, too soon, I kept thinking to myself. But I quickly settled into the rhythm of being pregnant and taking care of my other children, like I had done four times before. My heart was light at the thought that maybe I would finally get my baby girl.

During my twelfth week of pregnancy, as I was packing up my children for a visit with their grandmother, I paused to use the bathroom and what I saw shocked me. A show of pink. My heart was beating in my chest. I knew this was not normal. When I slowed down long enough to really listen to my body, I began to feel some back pain and light cramping. Oh no, I thought, I think I am having a miscarriage.

It was a surreal feeling. I was young and healthy and up to this point, felt much like super mama — no struggles with fertility, easy pregnancies and low risk deliveries and the ability to bounce back quickly after each birth. This just can’t be happening.

But the pink blood loss didn’t lessen so I did three things: I prayed with my husband, I drank some anti-miscarriage tinctures and tea and tried to rest. The resting was the hardest part. One can only rest so much when they are chasing after four active little boys.

That night, I wrestled with my thoughts. I remember feeling guilty because I felt that if a miscarriage was imminent, then maybe it would be okay for me. Heaven knows I have my hands full with all these boys. And this was awfully soon to get pregnant again. Then I would cry and feel like a horrible mother and plead forgiveness at my cold-heartedness and my ungratefulness. I went back and forth like this all night long.

The next morning, I felt better. I attempted to scrub my son’s bunk bed like a woman possessed. How on Earth did I allow this to get so filthy? I wondered to myself. Then I felt it. Like something popped inside of me. It was really the strangest feeling. I rushed to the bathroom and there was no way to stop the torrent of bright red blood that escaped me.

My baby is flowing out of me and I can’t do anything to stop it.

I chose to stay home and let nature take its course. It was painful, both physically and mentally. I was so sad, so deeply and profoundly sad. I was unprepared to feel such a huge sense of loss. What if I had lost my baby girl, who I waited so long for? Every time one of my boys would come into my room and ask me if I was okay and I saw their precious little faces, I would get so emotional. I felt this pain in my heart unlike anything I had ever felt before. The physical pain, combined with the guilt and the loss and the sadness.

I felt that way for days after. Even when I thought I had “gotten over it”. The strength and power of the emotions surprised me. They were so crippling and so raw, I would randomly break down and weep. I think my husband thought I was going crazy. Thankfully, I grew stronger and life carried on and I eventually gave birth to two more children — my daughters.

I’m thankful that this experience gave me a change of heart. I used to believe that having the rest of my children would lessen the impact of losing one. I was so wrong. If anything, the loss was greater, the sting was worse because I knew just how much my other children meant to me. The one I lost was just as special.

Please visit the Miscarriage, Stillbirth & Infant Loss Support group in our BabyCenter Community.

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Image source: Thinkstock

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