Motherhood

Grieving an Early Miscarriage

Over the last few months, as we’ve fallen more and more in love with Kate, I’ve found myself thinking back to a conversation with a friend shortly after my miscarriage. She had gone through the same loss twice and told me that her son wouldn’t be here had she not miscarried. He was perfect for her family, and his arrival gave her a sense of peace.  Two mothers who knew what that loss felt like stood sobbing in the street. I’m so glad I shared my loss with her, because in that moment, I felt less alone. My heart still felt broken, but her story gave me hope. And for us, that hope was our little Kate. 

I found out I was pregnant on September 15, just two days before my 37th birthday. We only tried once and got pregnant right away – something I know that isn’t easy for so many women to hear. If you are dealing with fertility issues, loss, or long to be a mother for any reason at all, I’m sending you all my love. 

Our daughter Margot was born In July 2018, and I couldn’t wait to do it all again. My first year of motherhood was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, but I loved my girl more than anything. I anticipated all the little firsts that come with a new baby and couldn’t stop thinking of the bond my babies would share. 

I assumed that this pregnancy would end with a healthy baby. A blood test confirmed the pregnancy but showed low levels of HCG, and in that moment, I knew everything wasn’t ok. A small part of me held on to hope, but I prepared for the worst. Just hours later, I experienced some spotting. The next morning, I was bleeding. 

The life inside of me, along with hopes and dreams for that little life, were gone. 

Motherhood does not begin at the sign of a positive pregnancy test. You are a mother the moment you decide to have a baby. It is in that moment that the little person you’re dreaming of, and a life you hope for takes over your heart. You’ll never be the same. The physical emptiness was unlike anything I had ever experienced. This might be hard for some to understand because I was only six weeks along. I never heard a heartbeat or saw our baby’s ultrasound, but the grief was very, very real. 

My doctor showed me so much kindness and empathy. Even though we just spoke over the phone, I felt her compassion. She assured me that it wasn’t anything I did and shared that she had miscarried, too. In that moment, I felt less alone. This same doctor put on scrubs and gloves to hug me during COVID after Margot was diagnosed with Leukemia. My first hug during the worst weeks of my life. I am so grateful for her. 

There’s a physical emptiness that I felt inside, and the bleeding and cramping were a reminder of what we lost. It was a confusing pain. I got pregnant right away and had a healthy toddler, so I felt guilt grieving when so many women longed for their first baby. The grieving process for mothers who already have a child or those who have yet to meet or hold their babies is complex. It’s such a sad, strange, and lonely thing to go through, even though so many of us go through it. You hear the stories but never think it will happen to you. 

My anxiety started to creep in. Will I get pregnant again? How long will it take? Will this happen again? 

The answer was, yes, I would get pregnant again. The baby I lost would have been full term on May 22. Margot was diagnosed with Leukemia on May 16. Would we have figured it out? Of course. But I cannot imagine having a baby the week of diagnosis. I was, in fact, 33 weeks pregnant when Margot was diagnosed and had Kate at 39 weeks. It was still a lot to go through during a pandemic, but Kate was the light our family needed. Just as my friend said, she was meant to be here with us. That’s not to say her arrival took away the pain, but I felt some peace given our very complex circumstances. 

No one should have to go through a miscarriage alone. If you’ve gone through an early miscarriage or are going through one right now,  yourself feel whatever you need to feel. The pain, the emptiness…all of it. And please talk to someone. 

You are not alone and you should not have to go through this alone. 

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