When we got pregnant with our first daughter, it was by the book, easy peasy and all went as planned. We started trying and within three months, we had a BFP and were on our way with a normal, uneventful pregnancy. She arrived late (as many first pregnancies do) and after an extensive 31 hour labor (stinker), we embarked on our first years as parents.
Fast forward three years and we decided it was time to add to the family. So, we removed all barriers and began trying. It was only a few months and we were pregnant. We were so excited!
The timing was around the holiday season, so without any thought to the potential for anything to go wrong, we announced our pregnancy as a part of a neighborhood mailbox deocrating contest. We thought it would be a lot of fun this way because we could also announce to family on social media with the photos because we were living in Hawaii, due to my husband's military service. Our plan was to add an extra little snowman in a family of snowmen. I then put "arriving in July of 2009" on the sign the little snowman was holding and wired a little bottle to the hands.
It was all very clever and festive.
A few weeks later, we went in for our ultrasound and they couldn't find a heartbeat.
It was all very heartbreaking and surreal. The idea that we wouldn't find a heartbeat that day had never crossed my mind. I took for granted that all would go as planned because we had announced just as early the first time, and our first pregnancy was seamless.
Well, except for that labor…
For several months that followed, I had to answer questions about the miscarriage because I had shared so early on about our impending arrival – I now knew why people chose to wait until well into their second trimester to share their great news.
On top of that, there were all kinds of emotions. I felt immense guilt for taking for granted that I would have an uneventful pregnancy. I wondered what I could have done differently to make sure we would have had a different outcome. And, I was sad that we wouldn't be expanding our family.
The biggest thing I learned during that time however, is that miscarriages are more common than I realized. While it wasn't a great amount of comfort that I lost my child, it brought some peace of mind knowing that there really isn't anything that I personally did wrong to make this miscarriage happen – and it alleviated some of the guilt I carried. I also knew that I would try again – and in our case, it all came together in the long run, we ended up with twins the next time around and we were so greatful that it all worked out. Although, it wasn't a pregnancy without challenge – all of these later, I'm happy to report we have three great kids.
Each miscarriage scenario is different for each family. Some happen early, others happen later. Each story has it's own journey, but the important thing to remember is that you, as the mother of that child are doing what you can do to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Outside of that, there isn't much more you can control. Advocate for good healthcare, prioritize your health at home, and work to minimize your stress. The rest is going to be what it's going to be.
If you need support through your TTC journey, or you're coping with a recent miscarriage, we have moms in the mom.life app who are chatting about those things all the time. Download it now and get to know them!