Thursday, June 5, 2014

Rachael's Story: Empty arms, empty womb and hurting heart

Rachael, I know you're pain all to well. I know what it's like to watch others move forward and to experience the blessings (the ultrasounds, the flutters, the bulging belly) and all the firsts of a baby that we were robbed of. 

I hope and pray that somehow, someday, you'll find contentment again. Until then, know that whatever you need to feel is OK. And that others are right here, grieving with you.

Much love,


My name is Rachael. I have always wanted to be a mother. I watched both of my siblings have kids right away without a single problem. I grew up confident that I would be the same. Unfortunately, I have not been so lucky.

Six months after getting married, I unexpectedly but very happily became pregnant. My joy was short-lived because I miscarried at 5 1/2 weeks. It was heartbreaking, but I quickly learned how common losing the first is. I felt peace in the knowledge that I can get pregnant and hoped that my body just needed a push into motherhood.

It took 6 months before I got pregnant again. I had faith that I was more physically prepared and that this one would work. I passed the scary 6-week mark. My intense morning sickness comforted me. I felt my stomach begin to grow. I went to the doctor at 9 weeks and got talked out of doing an ultrasound. I was measuring in the 8-10 week range so I had faith that everything was ok and I could wait until next time. 

After that, my nausea subsided. At 10 weeks, I started to bleed. It was very light and only lasted an hour. I called my doctor who said it sounded normal. I tried not to worry. At 11 weeks, the bleeding started again and this time lasted the whole weekend. I wasn't in pain and it still didn't seem very heavy, so I waited until I could see my doctor on Monday. On Monday morning, I got up to use the bathroom and was faced with the reality that I was miscarrying. I sobbed. I got mad. I was heartbroken, again. 

I went to the doctor and received an ultrasound. My baby had died at 8 weeks. If only I had insisted on an ultrasound before. I got a D&C that night and wished I could just stay asleep forever. I didn't want to start all over. How many months will it take this time? Will I ever get to keep one?

It has been over 14 months now and I still haven't gotten pregnant since. I cry all the time. I scream and get mad. In the last 14 months, all 8 of my best friends have had babies. All of my siblings and husband's siblings have had babies. I am constantly reminded of what I don't have. I feel completely alone and incompetent. Each month that goes by makes me more and more angry. A month is a long time. 

The only thing I know is that I have a baby. I feel like my first miscarriage was a failed attempt. There wasn't even a heart. The second miscarriage, however, was my sweet Eliza May. I always felt like I would have a girl first and I feel very strongly that she came and went in the way she needed to. She's watching over me and I will have her again. My heart aches for her and for the babies waiting to come.

It has almost been 2 years since the first time I got pregnant and I pray every day that this wait will end. I grieve the things that were taken from me...the sound of a heartbeat, the flutter of movement inside of me, the growth of a belly and use of maternity clothes, the experience of birth, and the feeling of holding my baby. I want all of these things so badly that my entire body hurts.  Will I ever be happy again?

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