On May 22, 2019, I sat in a hospital room. I was holding myself together, hoping for the best, that it was just some early bleeding and cramping. That didn’t always mean the worst. Instead, the on- call women’s health director walked into that room, held my hand, and confirmed what I already knew.
“The ultrasound showed us there isn’t a viable baby.”
That moment, my whole world shattered. My chest got heavy and everything went numb. Four pregnancies, four positive tests, one living child to show for it.
We suffer in silence and most of the time go on with our lives, as though it never happened. We become a part of this club no one wants to be a member of. Yet when you do talk about it, you find out more people than you think have sat in that spot and cried over the loss of “what could have been.” If pregnancy loss was so common, why wasn’t anyone allowed to speak out about it? Why does no one talk about the complete anger you feel towards yourself for not being able to do what your body is meant to? Why does not one talk about how hard it is to look at your significant other because you feel like you failed them? Instead you get told it’s too sad to bring up, so you just don’t.
You sit in this complete limbo of sadness and rage. You feel a jealously and over all a deep hurt when your friends post their announcements. You want to be happy for them. You may fake your way through a congratulatory comment. Yet deep down inside, you feel defeat. You know you should be happy for them, but you just can’t be, not really.
When I became pregnant this most recent time, I found out pretty immediately, but refused to believe it. Even after multiple ultrasounds, seeing the heartbeat, the monthly appointments. I sat and held my breath every day, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Every single cramp you get, you Google if it’s normal to feel, or if it’s just a sign of another miscarriage.
I felt my son move at 17 weeks. After 20 weeks passed and I still couldn’t feel our little girl, clearly something was wrong. I begged and pleaded with the sky to let me feel her. Finally, we got our anatomy scan, and I asked, “what’s wrong with her, I can take it, why isn’t she moving.”
Oh, she was moving alright, but I had an anterior placenta, apparently normal, which meant it would take a little longer to feel her. While it was a relief, it was not comforting for a mother who has experienced the heartbreak of loss. I opted for every blood test, every noninvasive method to make sure our baby was healthy. The tests all came back perfect, but I was followed by a cloud of doubt, that something was wrong, something would happen. It always did.
Even now, in my ninth month, I am still in disbelief that we are soon going to be a family of 4. I still think every weird pain means I’m going into early labor and that something terrible is going to happen. I have a hard time grasping the fact I’m truly meant to be a parent of multiple children.
I still grieve for the babies we lost; I still feel guilt that they aren’t here to be a part of our family. I still hurt when I see other pregnant women with babies so perfectly spaced in age. I still feel that twinge of anger when people complain they haven’t gotten pregnant on their 3rd month of trying, or when I see those who got pregnant right away. It’s not their fault, I know that, we all know that, but that doesn’t make the pain any easier or sting any less.
It’s okay to feel those feelings. Being pregnant after loss is like holding your breath for 9 months, waiting for your baby to take their first breath, so that you can too. Soon enough though, whether you are able to conceive naturally, through IVF, IUI, or start your beautiful family through adoption; you get to take that breath. You will get through the hard times and find the rainbow after the storm; you will be the mom that some beautiful soul has needed. Finally, in that moment, you’ll be able to love, and most importantly smile, knowing that this journey wasn’t for nothing.
For the mom’s out there waiting for their breath, for their purpose, for their families to start, or be completed. For the moms who walk past the diaper aisles in the grocery stores and ache, who see a pregnant stranger and feel weak, you are not alone. You are in this club; this miserable club, and I support every one of you. I am one of you. You will breathe.
Payge is a military wife, as well as a mom of a 3-year-old boy named SJ, also known as the tiny tornado, and is due with a little girl in March. She loves true crime, Harry Potter, and Mexican food (not necessarily in that order.) She is originally from Temecula, California, but has planted roots in Bluffdale, Utah. She has a strong passion for mental health awareness as well as promoting body positivity and self-love, while still enjoying tacos. She has been a long-time follower and member of the Mamahood Community, and hopes to use this space to help others.
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