Thursday, February 23, 2012

Breaking 11 years of silence: A story of miscarriage at 13 weeks

I am honored today to share the story of a friend who suffered a miscarriage at 13 weeks. She went through her unplanned pregnancy and miscarriage alone. Completely alone. After 11 years, she is breaking the silence and is now talking about her precious baby and the loss that rocked her world.

We all have such different experiences in our loss. Her story shows the side that is so often overlooked. What happens when a pregnancy isn't planned, and lost? What does life look life after a loss when you suffer alone?

I want to be sure to protect this momma's heart -- so if you want to comment, please keep your comments full of love.

-- Rachel

When I moved to a new state at the beginning of my junior year of high school, I fell in love with a boy. For years, I hoped he would notice me. When he finally did . . . I knew he was the one. I was young, unmarried and thought I was invincible; the thought of getting pregnant never crossed my mind.
I actually got pregnant on the night that I lost my virginity. I was on birth control, but had strep throat and was on antibiotics, thus rendering my birth control inactive. It took me quite a while to realize I was pregnant. I just wasn't paying attention to the fact that I had missed a period or two, and because I was taking birth control, I never thought I would get pregnant.

Once I realized what was happening and took a pregnancy test, I was getting ready to go back to college for my junior year. I went to the doctor and it was confirmed, but the doctor said that I might have done some damage by continuing to take my birth control while pregnant. I immediately stopped and knew that, no matter what, I was going to keep the baby. I already loved that little one growing inside of me.

I went back to college and didn't tell anyone. Not my family, not my friends and not the father. I was just going to travel home for my doctor’s appointments and figure out how to tell my family after I started really showing.

Around 13 weeks, I started cramping really bad. I went to the health center at my school and they recommended an OB/GYN in Charlotte. I went and they did an ultrasound, but the baby's heartbeat was slightly slower than normal. They said there could be many contributing factors. They scheduled me for another ultrasound a few days later to check the heartbeat and everything again.

Two days later, I woke up cramping and bleeding heavily. I had never felt/seen anything like it. I didn't want to tell my suite-mate, so I got dressed and walked (very slowly) across campus. By the time I got to the health center, I was in bad shape. They called an ambulance and they took me to the ER.
When I got there, they did an ultrasound and there was no heartbeat. They sedated me, and did another ultrasound a few hours later. The doctor confirmed that there wasn't any hope, but that I needed to have a D&C procedure.

I had surgery and was released the next day. I remember being “foggy.” I’m not sure that I truly understood what was going on. I had just lost my precious baby. But because I hadn’t told anyone, I had to go on with my life as if nothing had happened.
I was pretty sick for the week or two after . . . I had a lot of bleeding and cramping and felt so empty, but I just couldn't bring myself to talk about it with anyone. It was almost surreal. I felt like I was walking through a life that wasn’t my own. I just didn’t tell anyone. In fact, I didn't tell anyone for many years.

I just started opening up about it over the last year, but still don't talk about it much. I went through it completely alone and felt like I had no one to turn to. I lied to so many people for so many years! People were concerned about me and couldn't understand why I cried all the time, so I tried to put on a brave front and go on with my life.

It has been almost 11 years and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my child. There are times that I dream about her. While I have lived a good life since that day, I can’t say that the emptiness has ever gone away. Maybe it won’t ever go away. Someday, I hope to blessed with children, but for now, I know that she is looking down on me. Mommy Loves You!

A word to others:
To those who have a friend who has lost a baby, let them talk about it as much or as little as they need to. There are days that I long to talk about her and days that I don't.

Thank you so much, friend, for being so brave in sharing your story. Thank you for sharing your precious baby's story -- I know you miss her so much.

I feel like every pregnancy loss story is so important and deserves to be told. If you would like to share your story, please email me at We can post your story anonymously.

My goal in sharing stories on this blog is:

1) To honor our beloved babies and keep their memory alive.
2) To validate and honor the grief of the moms who have lost their little one.
3) To be a resource to women who are hoping to find someone, somewhere out there, who can relate to their feelings of loss. I hope this blog will be that resource.

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