I remember being told the statistics with my son. I didn’t understand why they needed to tell me. I get it 1 out of 10 is a lot. As I’m leaving my last ultrasound with my very reputable doctor, I hear the words “remember we don’t really get our hopes up until 12 weeks.” He gave me a new statistic of 1 in 5 because there are so many unknown. Awesome.
There are so many reasons I chose this doctor. I did my research; he is one of the best. In that moment I almost left, planning never to return. This doctor talked about God’s miracle growing inside of me, but told me that I shouldn’t hope for anything for a couple months. Not that there wasn’t a slight fear, but I was reminded of it. It was a seed that would grow in my head. I might be twelve weeks but I still wont have as much peace as I would like until the next ultrasound. Which is a whole five days from today. Then I will tell myself the next after that, and so on.
Fear cripples us; it makes everything in life hard to see. The fear of losing something is even worse. We can’t see the beauty because we are holding on so tightly. Those twelve weeks are nerve racking. Why can’t I be joyous? Why must I let the statistics numb me?
The hardest part of the first twelve weeks is the isolation. I not only am fearful but society tells me to sit in that alone. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to tell people you lost the miracle growing inside of you. That happens to 1 in 10 women. It breaks my heart. By listening to the statistics though, I am scared I am preparing myself to be one. Am I allowing the numbers to dictate my life? These thoughts run through the minds of TONS of women, usually they are alone in the thinking. It would be taboo for them to express them, or tell someone before 12 weeks.
One of my favorite authors Shauna Niequist had multiple miscarriages between her two boys. Her writings were some of the first I had read of the raw emotions those losses carry. As her friends are announcing their pregnancies, she was struggling with another loss. There were times when she felt her body was failing her. She lived in fear, and had lost the sense of hope and joy those first weeks should bring. Her books are not solely about miscarriage but I recommend them to anyone struggling with it.
I asked one of my friends who had multiple miscarriages to write a little insert for this post. She writes, “Yay, We are pregnant!” those are the thoughts of every women that has been trying to conceive the moment they see those two pink lines or the words “pregnant” on a pregnancy test. Those are the feelings I felt after my husband and I decided to try for baby #2 and found out we were pregnant. For some women the thought of miscarriage happening doesn’t even cross their mind when trying for a baby, I was one of those women. I never thought for a second that this pregnancy would not last.
Around 8 weeks it was time for our first doctor’s appointment and ultrasound. We were so excited to see the little heartbeat and our “dot”. Well those things never happened; instead we got news that we had an “empty sac”. For some reason everything had progressed but the baby never formed. A week later I had surgery to clean everything out. After waiting 3 months we gave it another try. As before we were so excited to find out we were pregnant, this time however I was nervous about another miscarriage but the Dr. informed us of the statistics and that made me feel better. Well, come our first appointment, we saw our baby forming. We were ecstatic! Fast forward to 10 weeks we went to see and hear the heart beat, well that did not happen. Instead I became part of the statistic, we had lost the baby, a week later another surgery to clean everything out. This time my husband and I decided to not try for a while, the emotional pain was too much. After almost a year we decided to go ahead and try again, this time my Dr. worked with us and gave me a medication to start taking as soon as we found out we were pregnant. Come August 2012 that day came, but this time there was no excitement, just worry. It got to the point where my husband expressed he didn’t want to get excited this time for fear of getting disappointed again. Long story short, we finally had a beautiful healthy little girl in April 2013.
Those emotional scars from my experience will never go away. The thoughts of, I wonder if it would of been a boy or girl? Never go away. The fact that I have been pregnant 4 times but only have 2 children will always be in my medical history.”
I am so thankful that she shared those emotions. I have not been in her shoes, unfortunately many women have. This fear can be crippling to a family. It is very real for me, and I have not had a miscarriage. I can’t imagine having one, and still keeping hope. I wish I could solve miscarriage. I wish I could take away the pain women feel. I wish I could stop the loss of not only a little person but of hope. I wish these weren’t the statistics. But- they are.
My hope is that as a society we quit isolating our mothers. I hope we become people who can openly express joy about our growing miracles. I hope for people who can grieve together in loss. Whether that be all the people you know, or a select few, allowing people to celebrate and grieve with us, is much more beautiful. My hope is that joy will no longer be taboo. Yes, the statistic 1 in 10 is high. The statistic 9 in 10 is much higher. Miscarriage is very real. It doesn’t just affect a mother, but entire families. Why are we allowing the fear of that to suffocate us? We have a much higher chance of being the 9 in 10, so I’m going to start living my life in that statistic not the later. I won’t let twelve weeks be the marker to my joy. With that, I want to carry the grief of the women who don’t make it to that marker. I want to hope for a different statistic.