I remember the day I was told that I was pregnant. I was in shock for a few days. It was my first pregnancy and I had no idea what to expect. I felt a little scared about how my whole life would change. I remember going out to dinner with my husband to celebrate and ordering a vegetable plate. For the first time I was eating for two. I smiled at the thought of it and gently patted my belly.
It wasn't long before I was bonding with this baby to be. I felt a joy and a love I had never experienced before. I was seeing a therapist at the time and I told him that I was pregnant and happy. He asked me a question I will never forget. He asked, "Do you now believe that good things can happen to you?" I warily nodded my head yes.
I went through the next weeks looking forward to a future which included a baby.
But it was not to be.
I believe it was about nine weeks into my pregnancy when I went for an ultrasound. I was hoping to see my baby on the monitor and to hear a heartbeat. I didn't know what to look for but was having trouble seeing anything. The technician looked very somber and I knew something was wrong. She then asked us to wait as she went to bring in the doctor. As my husband and I waited in the room I think we both knew what was coming next. In those next moments my life would change forever. We were told that I had lost the baby and that a D&C was scheduled where they would scrape out my uterus. The thought of this made me sick. I went from happy and elated to full of despair within the time span of a single morning.
When I got home I felt numb. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. I didn't want to move. I didn't want to eat. All I did want to do was to sleep. And after my D&C procedure things became even worse. All those pregnancy hormones dipped and my mood plummeted. I had no idea how emotionally difficult this experience would be. Nobody really talks about it. As I began to tell some close friends and family what happened, I soon discovered that I was not alone in this experience. A couple of my friends, several of my co-workers, and even my sister began to tell me their stories of miscarriage. And it became clear to me that whether the miscarriage happened early or later in the pregnancy, the pain and grief was still felt acutely.
I found that miscarriage is a far more common experience for women than we realize. The American Pregnancy Association cites this statistic: " Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage." I wondered why I didn't hear about this more. Miscarriage seems to be a hushed topic where many women simply don't talk about it despite the fact that it can be such an emotionally devastating experience.