This is a guest post by a The Stay Strong Mom follower.
Trigger Warning: This post contains sensitive material about pregnancy loss and rainbow babies.
We found out we were pregnant with our first in Dec 2009. I was 26. It was around Christmas time and we were so excited we went out and immediately bought onesies to give to our parents to tell them they were going to be Grandparents; my in-laws for the 15th time, my parents for the first time.
Unfortunately, 2 weeks later I began spotting. After an ER trip on New Years Eve I was actively miscarrying. It was a shock because even though I had heard about miscarriages I didn’t know anyone who had had one.
My husband and I got home, and we tried to move past it. It was tough for us because he was getting ready to deploy for a full year to Afghanistan. We spent as much time together before he left, and despite what we were told we actually got pregnant again right away. Unbeknownst to us I was about 5 weeks pregnant when he left. I was only able to communicate via email and had to wait an excruciatingly long week to hear back from him. We were cautiously optimistic, but again 3 week later I began spotting. At approximately 8 weeks I miscarried again. This time was harder because my support system was on the other side of the world. I had what I thought was a good group of friends, but most of them weren’t even thinking about having kids so they didn’t know what to say. Unfortunately, instead of just being there for me, they all just stopped talking to me.
I had a rough couple of months after that. I gained about 30lbs and went into a depression. I was finally able to bring myself out of it when my husband received his R&R (rest and relaxation- a time for military service members to come home for a few weeks in between a long deployment) dates. He booked us a dream vacation to the Dominican Republic, and I had about 5 months to whip myself into bikini shape. I started running. First it was just a mile every day, then i went to 2, then 3, then 5 and into 6. By summer time I was running consistent 10Ks and I had lost those 30lbs I had gained and then some. I also began tracking my cycles and was able to open up to people about our losses. Many were shocked, but a lot admitted that their sister/aunt/cousin/neighbor had had one or more, and I began to realize it was WAY more common than I thought.
We ended up getting pregnant with our first rainbow baby during R&R. My husband returned home from his year long deployment to a 20 week pregnant wife, and our daughter was born happy and healthy in June 2011.
We experienced our third loss in spring of 2012, but became pregnant again just a couple months later and our second rainbow bay was born healthy in May 2013. I had just turned 28.
In a crazy series of events involving the failure of the mini pill and not being able to breastfeed, I immediately became pregnant again. My daughter was barely 4mos old and I got 2 pink lines. As always my husband and I were cautiously optimistic, but this time we were blessed with another healthy pregnancy, and happy baby boy was born in April 2014, 11months after his older sister. I had just turned 29. Yay, Irish twins!
At this time I was done. We had had 3 kids in just about 3 years, and we had also moved just days after my son was born. I love having kids, but I hate being pregnant. The mental stress of the first trimester takes a huge tole on me each time.
Fast forward to August of 2017 I was suffering with a kidney stone that required surgery. The stress of the surgery threw my cycle off and we became pregnant just a month later, 2 weeks off my normal schedule. The next few weeks waiting for that initial OB appointment, nothing indicated a problem. No spotting, no cramping. But unfortunately, at that first appointment, the ultrasound showed even though I should have been around 10weeks, there hadn’t been any growth since 5weeks. Due to an incompetent doctor the process of miscarrying that was more drawn out than it needed to be, I finally had to have a D&C in January 2018. I was at the peak of training for an intense racing challenge, but the D&C went smoothly for me.
However after my 2-3 day recovery I was in the most intense mileage of my training and it threw off my cycle by almost 3weeks. After the race, my husband and I finally celebrated Valentines Day and we became pregnant again.
I am currently 33, and 8months pregnant with that little surprise and should be welcoming him or her around mid-November.
I have lost friends through all of this that I thought would be in my life for our entire military career and beyond, but because of the stigma and lack of education around miscarriages they didn’t know how to act, or what to say. Unfortunately, the cliche responses of “It’s God’s plan” or “There must have been something wrong so…” were almost worse than the lack of any response at all. This is why I am open, to some people maybe TOO open, about all my losses, but if my outspokenness can help even one new mama cope with or understand that she is not alone in her miscarriage then I will continue to be outspoken.
Read more about from these amazing moms in our The Stay Strong Mom series.