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January 19, 2010

Alright.  It’s time to talk about it – the elephant in the room.  Because as much as the past two weeks have been busy, I’ve also spent a lot of time allowing myself to be sad and a little lazy.

I had a miscarriage two weeks ago.

There was much debate in our house about whether I should put this out on the internets.  I mean, it’s kind of a personal thing, right?  And really, we don’t want sympathy, because we are still so lucky. (We’ll accept a few prayers on our behalf, though!).  But, in the interest of this blog being an account of our lives, I feel compelled to share, even if it’s not quite as rosy as our usual adventures in homemaking.  I thought that maybe some of you have gone/are going/will go through similar things, and if I can say anything that would make you feel better about it – even if it’s just to let you know that you’re not alone – then my mission here is done.

We found out we were expecting on December 5th, the morning of our annual Christmas sweater party.  I took the test, and together, J and I eagerly awaited the results.  We were surprised and thrilled to find out that it was positive.  I was on cloud 9 all day while cleaning and preparing for our party.  It was hard not to call everyone I knew to tell them the good news, but we thought we should get confirmation from a doctor first.

Jason nicknamed the baby Inkster.

For me, it was easy to be pregnant – I wasn’t sick and was able to get the extra sleep I needed.  It took a while for it to sink in that we’d really be parentsYikes!

We told our families on Christmas.  Since we were meeting with all of my extended family, we thought it would be a good time to tell everyone, even though we knew it was kind of early to be announcing the news.  Also?  I didn’t really even consider that I would have a miscarriage.  I mean, it was something that would happen to other people, but not us.  I know that seems like kind of juvenile thinking – of course there are risks to any endeavor in life, and typically, I am pretty good at calculating those risks.  But in this case, I had my eye on the prize – a happy, healthy baby – and didn’t even dream that there would be an alternative outcome.

We made Jason’s parents a picture calendar with a message written in on our due date.

For my family, I made a scavenger hunt – complete with rhyming clues!  The last clue was:

Shepherds and wisemen
traveled from afar,
you’ll find your DIY gift
with new parents under a star.

And then, the family rushed toward my mom’s nativity scene to find Jason and I under a star-shaped sign that I made from yellow paper that read we’re having a baby!

It was exciting!

And then, last week, all hell broke loose.

I’ll spare you the gory (seriously gory) details, but it was 12 hours of physical discomfort, sadness, and confusion.  We weren’t surprised the following morning when the doctor confirmed that we miscarried.

We were sad, of course, but ultimately we felt fortunate.  (Is that crazy or what?)  Because it could have been so much worse.  I was lucky to avoid surgery, and am lucky to be healthy.  Jason and I are lucky to have the support of each other and our families and friends.  We were lucky to not have had an early ultrasound – this would have been so much tougher had we seen a little heartbeat.  If the embryo wasn’t viable, we felt lucky that they went wrong sooner rather than later, before our attachment to it grew.

Having said this, there’s still that little sting of why did this happen? Why me?  Why us?  Will we ever be able to have a healthy baby? At the time of the miscarriage, I had known of maybe 2-3 people who had gone through such an experience.  It seemed that giving birth to a healthy baby was the most common end to a pregnancy, and that miscarriage was a rarity.  Online, we found estimates that 20-30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.  In real life?  Almost everyone that we’ve told about it has gone through a similar experience.  That was hugely comforting for us – that other couples and families have been through the same thing and were still able to have healthy full-term pregnancies.

It’s also been helpful to us to stop dwelling on the why us and start thinking about the positive things we can take away from all of this.  We have also learned so much in the past two months.  We’re more prepared to become parents.  We’ve found a doctor that we trust.  I’ve begun paying more attention to eating better and exercising more (and am persuading Jason to do the same).  Jason and I have begun to seriously talk about how we want to raise our future children, and what values are important to convey to them.  And, if/when we’re blessed with a baby, I think we’ll appreciate the miracle of a new little life even more than we would have in August.

And this whole experience has reminded us how lucky we are to have each other.  My husband is the perfect match for me, staying calm when I was freaking out, running to the store for -ahem- supplies when I needed them, driving me to the doctor and staying in the room with me to make me feel better.  I only hope that I was (and always am) able to be there for him in the ways that he’s been there for me in the past week.

So, that’s that.  We’re disappointed that we won’t have the pitter patter of little feet (or, realistically, the crying, diaper-changing, and constant feeding of a newborn) next August.  But we’re hopeful that once we’re ready to try to start a family again, things will fall into place and we’ll have a happy and healthy little miracle.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2010 11:10 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  2. January 19, 2010 11:20 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you & Jason –
    I am so, so sorry –
    It was so brave to share it with us.

  3. January 19, 2010 11:22 am

    I thought something was going on! I noticed you hadn’t blogged as much as usual lately. Clint and I have not started trying yet, but when talking to girlfriends, I found out the same thing you did about miscarrying. I didn’t realize how common it really was. A couple months ago, Clint and I were discussing children and I mentioned how I really want to wait at least 3 months to tell our families (when we are preggers), in fear of having to tell them bad news later on. It’s a scary thing and I am sure an emotional roller coaster.

    I have to thank you for sharing. Even though we have not met, I still consider you a blogger friend and am glad you and your hubby are ok. We never know what life holds for us….

  4. January 19, 2010 12:04 pm

    Jen,

    You are so brave for sharing your story. I am so sorry for what you have been through and I admire how you are using your experience to prepare for the future.

    Unfortunately, I also fall into that large percentage of people who have experienced a miscarriage. I’m still trying to figure out how I will handle myself on February 10, which would have been our due date. We certainly went through the same rollercoaster of emotions and feelings, and I share with you that same sense of naivety…for some reason we never considered miscarriage as a possibility.

    We actually had no sign of anything being wrong and found out at our first ultrasound that there wasn’t a heartbeat at 11 weeks. We had just told everyone, too, and the reality of having to share that sad news with everyone was overwhelming.

    In short, I know just how you feel. And I’m right there with you as pretty much everyone else in blogland is writing about happy, healthy, successful pregnancies (and good for them!). Our time will come, eventually!

    Thanks for sharing your story and hang in there. Time helps so much, I promise.

    xo,
    – e

  5. January 19, 2010 1:09 pm

    I just found your blog today and I am glad that I did. You and your husband seem like very special people to come out of this event so strong and hopeful. My prayers are with you!

    -Emily

  6. January 19, 2010 2:23 pm

    I read your post with a great deal of sadness. The loss of a baby no matter how small is very sad. I am certainly praying for you and hope that you will have a wee one soon.
    Hugs

  7. January 19, 2010 3:10 pm

    I miscarried my second pregnancy a few months before the twins were conceived. Everything that probably seemed like the right thing to say to me, wasn’t…so in lieu of trying I will just say I’m sorry, and I get it.

    We have some Willow Tree figures that we keep on our mantle that represent each member of our family…one of them is an Angel of Remembrance and somehow that little figure helps me feel better because we won’t forget. We also light a candle on October 15th which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

    Take care of yourself!!

  8. Christina D. permalink
    January 19, 2010 4:49 pm

    Jen,

    Thanks for sharing something so personal. I’m really sorry to hear about the emotional (and physical) roller coaster you have been through, and the loss of something so special. I’m glad to hear you are ok, that you’re staying positive, and that you and Jason are emerging from this stronger. A personal story to help your positive outlook – It took my mom 12 years to conceive, then she miscarried. 2 years later she had me, and 16 months after that, my sister.

    Love you and am thinking of you. Big, big hugs.

    Christina

  9. Debbie permalink
    January 19, 2010 9:36 pm

    I hope that making the brave decision to talk about this will help you. I always felt better when I could share with someone although I often found others felt very uncomfortable and didn’t know what response to give.
    October 15th, which as Hillary mentioned is a day to remember our losses, is the day I miscarried so it is always there.
    We have you constantly in our prayers, now more than ever. We love you both and wish you good health and many blessings to come. You have so much love to give; I know it won’t go unnoticed.

  10. Mom permalink
    January 19, 2010 9:48 pm

    I am so proud of you for finding the ‘positives’ in a difficult situation; it makes it easier to bear. I am certain that writing about your experience is going to help someone else down the road by letting them know it is an all too common occurence and it can happen even to the best of us. We love you guys!

  11. GGG permalink
    January 20, 2010 12:05 pm

    The two of you are unbelievable! I wish I could have expressed my feelings like that many years ago. Love to you guys!

  12. January 20, 2010 2:29 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss, i’m glad your are able to share yuor story with other so they know there not alone. Please stay postive and know that one day you and your husband will be amazing parents to a beautifull baby

  13. January 21, 2010 12:05 am

    Jen…wishing I had the right words for you. I’ve not experienced a miscarriage, but I’ve experienced LOTS of loss in my life, and I know how much it hurts. Praying for you and your hubby. I love having friends like you who can find the good in all situations. You’re an amazing gal. God bless!

  14. Janis from Scotland permalink
    January 21, 2010 7:37 am

    How sad I was to read of your miscarriage and it brought back memories many years ago when I had a miscarriage. I then went on to have a stillbirth and to be honest I was soooo upset and scared that it put me off having children and I never have and never will. That’s just my own personal experience. There are millions out there who have had the same as me and have gone on to have beautiful healthy children so it’s really just my own personal experience and how I handled it.

    I’m sure it helps to write about it and you have received some beautiful replies. Be strong, and as Erin said, your time (and Erin’s) will come.

  15. January 22, 2010 11:15 am

    Hugs

    Big IRISH hugs

    and some Irish prayers too.

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