By TMoM Team Member Suzy Fielders Aaron
As a writer and blogger, I often share so many of my own stories. I’ve written in the past about being a single mom, hardships in my life, living with Celiac Disease, life lessons I’ve learned, homeschooling my daughter, how I stay calm in the chaos, and even my recent wedding. There is one story that I haven’t shared that happened at the beginning this year. Outside of family and close friends, no one even knows this story of mine.
Yet, it’s an important story and topic. While it’s a little painful to rehash I think its one that many other people, particularly women can relate too. Recently, I saw a friend post about her miscarriage and there were so many comments about how others wished people would talk about this emotional and vital topic more. That post and those comments inspired me to share about my own miscarriage that happened in February of this year.
The timing of this blog has almost perfect timing for two reasons. First, October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. Therefore, it seems like an ideal time to share my story and hopefully bring hope to others who are dealing with miscarriages or have in the past. Secondly, September 28 was my tentative due date if I had not miscarried. This hard ‘invisible’ milestone is yet another rarely talked about event as well. I feel it is well past time to take the stigma off miscarriages and bring them to the light, it is only then that healing really occurs.
For anyone who knows me or has followed my writing you know I was a single mom to my now 14-year-old daughter since day one. Over the years it has been a difficult but completely worthwhile path. Well in the summer of 2019 I finally met that ‘elusive one’ and we got married this past May. Side note: It was very strange in the beginning to think and realize I’m no longer a single parent!
We got engaged in September 2020 and near the end of the year talked about trying to have a baby then instead of waiting until after our May wedding. Neither of us are fans of waiting – and patience might not be our biggest virtues! While I constantly get the comments that I don’t look anything close to my age, 38, the reality is I am not as young as I look. The bigger reality of I’m not getting any younger was also another reason to start trying to conceive sooner.
Luck seemed to be on our side. No sooner did we start trying in December then we found out in late January I was pregnant. Unfortunately, our luck seemed to run out quickly. Less than two weeks later, in early February, I had a miscarriage.
No one really tells you how scary it is. For those that haven’t been through a miscarriage, I’m not going to sugarcoat it, it was terrifying. For those that have, how scared were you? For me, I started bleeding and I knew deep down something wasn’t right. While the doctors shared over the phone, not to mention any pregnancy resource states, bleeding often happens during pregnancy and is completely normal. But something about this felt wrong to me and those inner mental warning bells were going off.
A few days after the initial bleeding appeared the doctors brought me in to do bloodwork and an ultrasound. The ultrasound brought bad news – there was no gestational sac – which at the hCG levels my bloodwork showed should have been present. However, they told me to come in two days later to repeat the bloodwork to confirm miscarriage. At that point, they also said an ectopic pregnancy could be possible since the ultrasound didn’t confirm either way. I went back in and the hCG levels had dropped significantly, indicating the pregnancy was gone. Back at home I cried a lot. I don’t tend to cry a lot but sometimes a person really needs to shed those tears as a sort of release. Even thinking about it now makes my eyes tear up. My husband and daughter were so incredibly supportive and loving and I couldn’t have made it through that time without them.
Telling everyone that did know – immediate family and close friends – that we had a miscarriage was beyond tough. But I knew it had to be done and I wanted to do it – and get through it quickly. I sent all updates through text because little did the recipients know but I was in tears with every single text, and I knew I’d never make it through a phone or video call. I know a lot of people wait to tell people they are pregnant until they enter the second trimester due to increased risk of miscarriage in the first trimester. However, in all honesty I’m so glad people knew. Everyone was so incredibly supportive, and each response brought a little light back to my current sad state.
I had my follow-up ultrasound and appointment with the doctor near the end of February. Of course, she asked how I was doing – not just physically but emotionally. I told her the truth – I was still upset but I’d make it through it with some more time. During the ultrasound she pointed out I was in the beginning stages of ovulation. I don’t remember exactly how she worded it, but something along the lines of how quickly the body can heal and move on before the mind has a chance to do the same. That notion stayed with me, and I still find it amazing how resilient our bodies are, even when our minds are still struggling with something. With that physical clearance and yet another reminder I’m not getting any younger, my doctor said she thought it’d be fine for us to start trying again in another month if we felt emotionally ready.
Since our wedding was quickly approaching in May, we decided to just wait and try this summer. Currently we are going into in our fifth month of trying and I’m dealing with another issue people don’t ever seem to talk about – trying to conceive after a miscarriage. There is this fear, no matter how small it is there, that it could lead to another miscarriage. Right before we started trying again there were some days the fear felt insurmountable. As we started trying and the more time that passes it’s more of a back-of-my-mind fear. I feel like if I get pregnant again it might get ‘louder’; however, I know the best way to handle fear is with hope. There is also a second fear – that I’ll never get pregnant again. That somehow that was a one-time lucky break. The hope of holding a beautiful baby in my arms is what gets me through every time any fear surfaces.
With every month of trying comes the hope of being pregnant. But then starting a period is such a huge disappointment during this phase of trying to conceive! The support my husband and daughter provide with each disappointment is incredible. I know my husband is dying to have a baby and my daughter is so excited to finally have a sibling, but they have both been wonderfully patient and supportive.
One of my doctors – an integrative health specialist – spoke with me about timing at one of my appointments that was soon after the miscarriage. She mentioned she really thought every baby chose its perfect timing to be born. I think there is a lot of truth behind that. I hope and pray every day that a baby chooses me to be its mommy and we are celebrating his or her birth soon!
Want to get notifications on local events and happenings? Subscribe to Triad Moms on Main’s free weekly newsletters here.