This post discusses the sensitive topic of miscarriage and includes graphic references that may not be suitable for all readers.
I wrote this blog because there are so many women who have had a miscarriage, but do not talk about it. There is strength in your story. I hope you understand the courage that it took to write this post. I know this blog may be a difficult read, but I strongly encourage you to read through the entirety.
There is beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for morning and peace for despair. Isaiah 61:3 ~A Redd
Stats and Facts
I’ve been contemplating how to start this post. I think we should first start with the stats and facts and once we have that information I will explain why I decided to start it that way. According to The March of Dimes website, approximately 10 to 15 out of 100 pregnancies end in a miscarriage, with most of them happening in the first trimester or before the 12 week period. And in the second trimester 1 to 5 in every 100 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Click here to learn more about miscarriages March of Dimes: Miscarriages.
So why did I decide to start with the stats and facts, because I didn’t ever believe that I would be 1 out of the 10. Also, because although it is more common that we think, going through a miscarriage is one of the most isolating experiences that I believe a woman can ever experience in her lifetime.
Deciding to have another baby.
Our oldest son was now three, and my husband and I were thinking it was time to have another baby. I grew up an only child and I didn’t want my son to go through what comes with that. I wanted him to have a companion; someone he could grow up with, share his secrets with, and get into trouble with.
My husband and I conceived in November 2018 after about two months of trying. After the pregnancy was confirmed by our doctor, excitement kicked in, and we almost immediately shared the news to family and friends. I completely ignored the “safe period” which I’m assuming if you are reading this then you know what I am referring to, but if not I will briefly explain now.
Basically the “safe period” or “safe zone” is the twelve week mark in a woman’s pregnancy. Most medical professionals consider this time “safe” to announce pregnancy to others because before the 12 week mark is when most miscarriages occur. Now back to the story.
The Big Announcement
Everyone congratulated us and immediately began asking us if we wanted a boy or a girl. Naturally, we wanted a girl because we already had a son. They also asked if we had thought of baby names already. Surprisingly we had. At the time there was a show airing that my husband and I watched called Greenleaf. One of the character’s was pregnant with fraternal twins and she had decided on the baby girl’s name to be Eden. As soon as I heard that name, I fell in love. I wanted another “E” name because my oldest son’s name is Ezekiel.
We announced to our church family and friends first after church. I remember the feeling of should I tell everyone, or should I wait. I wasn’t going to say anything, at first, but something inside kept saying “just say it”, so I decided to spill the beans.
Ironically, the girl on the show ended up miscarrying the baby girl during her pregnancy. In my mind when I had chosen that name, I immediately had an uneasy feeling due to the show’s storyline, but I ignored my feelings and told myself, “not me”, “not my baby”.
Telling my co-workers and students
I told my coworkers around the same time I told my family and friends. My logic was that they should know that way they would be more understanding of my current personal situation. Teaching is one of those jobs where you have to often take on extra roles, and I felt like I needed them to understand if there was a task that I said, “no” to. Looking back now, I see how that type of mindset caused me a lot of unnecessary stress. But that is a blog for another day. Stay tuned.
I wanted to wait to tell my students when I was further along, and I sincerely tried to, but I was going through the “first trimester woes”. I was able to hold out for about 6 weeks. They were used to the energetic Mrs. Redd, but I had quickly changed to the very sluggish, and irritated Mrs. Redd. I wanted them to know that I was going through changes, and that it wasn’t anything that they had done.
I remember telling my students I had an announcement. They all looked at me attentively, and waited for the news. I simply said, “Mrs. Redd is having a baby.” You would have thought that I announced that they were having recess all day because the uproar that followed was unreal. My students were excited, I was excited, and everything was good.
2 weeks later…
I was in the middle of a lesson and began feeling really sick. I was teaching at my desk, but the more time passed, the worse I began to feel. I was running back and forth from the bathroom dealing with an upset stomach. I noticed something else was wrong other than my stomach being upset. I wiped and noticed a very light pink blood. I began to get nervous, but I tried to relax, reminding myself that I went through the same with my oldest, and it turned out to be nothing. I decided to not worry unless the bleeding increased.
I continued to have very light spotting. I didn’t contact my doctor which I regret, but I’ve come to peace with that now. I wasn’t cramping, but I continued to spot for several days.
I did what every doctor tells you not to do, I “googled” spotting during pregnancy. Most of the articles I read were saying that spotting during the first trimester of pregnancy was normal, and that there was no need to worry unless bleeding increased.
Please do not do this! If you are bleeding for any reason during your pregnancy contact your doctor immediately.
They can check your HCG levels to see if they are rising or lowering. HCG is the pregnancy hormone, which should increase by number daily, if you are miscarrying, the hormone will decrease.
The spotting was consistent, but it didn’t seem to be getting worse. I could wear a panty liner and it would not soak even if I were to wear it all day (which I didn’t because ewwh).
Saturday, January 19th, 2019 (8 weeks pregnant)
Something was wrong. I went to the restroom as usual and monitored my spotting, this time when I wiped it was no longer light pink the tissue was dark red like I was getting ready to have a period. I decided to take a pregnancy test that I had lying around the house and when I did, it said not pregnant. This immediately struck fear into my heart. I called my husband into the bathroom and had him look. His face showed worry, but his body and demeanor was calm. He asked me softly, “What do you want to do?”
Sidebar: I had been communicating with him about the spotting I was having, but we both were not worried, because we experienced something similar during my pregnancy with our oldest son.
I told him that I needed to call the doctor. My OBGYN wasn’t open on the weekends, but they had an after hour number and I called it. A nurse answered, and I explained what was going on. I told her that I took a pregnancy test and it said “not pregnant”. She said that it shouldn’t be saying that, then she advised me to go to the hospital to get examined.
She didn’t say that I was having a miscarriage, but I could hear the uneasiness in the tone of her voice. My husband and I got ready. I kept going back into the bathroom at this point to continue to check, and it felt like every time I checked the more blood I saw. I knew I was miscarrying. I knew there was nothing that I or anyone could do. I remember yelling at my husband to hurry up because that was the only thing I felt like I had control over.
On the way to the hospital we called my mother. She had experienced three miscarriages before me, and so I knew she would understand what I was going through. She answered the phone, and I told her that I was experiencing a lot of bleeding as tears streamed down my face. “Amanda, I’m so sorry,” was what she said to me. Her voice was one of understanding.. We called others, they offered words of support and prayer, but after all of the talking turned into white noise as we passed the buildings on the highway.
When we got to the hospital we checked in at the front desk.This was an ER specifically for pregnant women. There were three ladies in the waiting room, some with very pregnant bellies and others who were barely showing at all.
The woman at the desk asked me why was I seeking care, and I responded “I think I’m having a miscarriage.” Why do we say we “think” when we really know?
I hate that as women even when our world is crumbling right before our eyes we still find the need to be polite. She asked me if I needed some pads and I told her yes. I held them in my hands as tears poured down my face while she began to take my vitals.
I went into the bathroom to put on the pads, I hadn’t checked on my situation since leaving the house, and the ER was about a 35 minute commute from our apartment.
When I looked down there was blood everywhere. In fact at this point I had bled through my pants. I started to cry, I mean really cry. It didn’t matter who heard me. I just had to get it out.
When I finally had the strength to leave the bathroom I walked into a room of downcast eyes too ashamed to look me in the face. I sat next to my husband, laid my head on his chest, and continued to cry.
A few minutes later the woman behind the desk approached me and asked me what was wrong, as if she didn’t know. “There’s so much blood,” was all I could muster up. The woman led me into a room with a different woman sitting behind a desk. She calmly spoke to me, honestly I can’t remember a word she said, all I could think about was that I needed to somehow try and calm down. I knew they pulled me inside that room out of fear of scaring the other expectant mothers.
The Procedure: D&C
I honestly can’t remember how long it took for us to get a bed after going into that back room. It was as if I was in the room watching myself but I wasn’t with myself. I have heard of people who experience a very traumatic experience say similar things happen to them, I never really understood it until that moment. Even as I’m reliving this moment with you, I have a very different understanding of what happened that day. Some things are super clear, but other things are fuzzy.
My husband and I were silent as we waited behind the curtain. I had on the hospital gown, and at this point they asked me to take off my panties. They lay several towels, and large absorbent pads on the bed underneath me. I looked once, but vowed that would be the last and final time. My husband and I didn’t speak much. There were really no words that he could have said at that moment to make me feel better. I think he knew that, so he held my hand to show support.
Time passed and the nurse came in, with the woman who was going to perform the D&C procedure. A D&C also known as dilation and curettage is when the doctors widen the cervix and scrape the remaining tissue with a tool called a curettage. I don’t remember what she told me, but I do remember the way it made me feel. She was so soothing, and compassionate. It was as if she could look at me and see her younger self laying on the bed going through the exact same thing at a different moment in time. The nurse was very quiet. She looked to be in her early twenties, but she was also very comforting.
She began the procedure. As I lay on my back I could feel the tool scraping the inside of my cervix. It was painful, but no physical pain could compare to what I was experiencing on the inside. There was a point during the procedure where it felt like she literally pulled the life from my womb. The entire time all I could do was cry while the young nurse held my hand. She softly said, “I’m so sorry.” At one point I glanced at my husband who glanced back at me with a broken face and tears rolling down his cheeks.
Please share this post. Remember many of us suffer in silence, but there is strength in commonality.
To read part 2 of my Miscarriage Story and get tips on how to heal after a miscarriage click here.
Comment Below if you would like to share your experience with misscarriage. Or if something stood out to you in this post.
~Peace and Love
I write not only because it’s my passion, but also because I am really tired of only seeing picture perfect versions of people. YouReallyReddit is a place where you are going to get the real take on life, marriage, parenting and anything else that I want to write about!
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