It’s a common story, about miscarriage — that there is no story. People don’t talk about it, and yet it can be a truly traumatic loss.
Join us as we journey through preconception, pregnancy, childbirth and beyond in a series we call Maternity Monday.
It’s also a fairly common one; studies show that anywhere from 8 to 25 percent of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage. Despite the silence around miscarriage, many women have experienced it.
That’s certainly what Stacy Lynn found to be true. The more she broke the silence, the more she discovered other women who had had miscarriages. She told me her story to help others know they are not alone
Getting the Bad News
I hadn’t heard the heartbeat yet. They tried to find it. They said, “We don’t hear it, but that doesn’t mean anything. Sometimes we just can’t find it, so we have to do an ultrasound.”
And then the woman giving the ultrasound said, “I’m sorry.” And in my head, I think, “So sorry about what?”
Then the doctor comes in and gives me a hug. “I’m really sorry; sometimes this happens. The fetus stopped growing at 8 weeks.” And then it hit, and I just bawled, and she hugged me.
I am tearing up just thinking about it. I didn’t think I would.
After the Miscarriage
My husband came rushing over. He told me, “If we can survive this, we can survive anything.” He really helped me. So I had to have a D&E, so I had to sit with it all weekend and just deal with it.
After the D&E, I developed an infection. I woke up a few days later, shivering and so sick. I called. They had left tissue inside; I had to have another procedure. During that entire process, I wanted to move on but couldn’t. I was pretty depressed.
My husband said really good things to me. He is my life support. He let me cry, he never judged me, he had lunch with me every single day to check on me. He would give me silly tasks to do, tell me, “The car needs an oil change, can you do me a favor and go do it?” Things like that to get me out of the house. Which was really good.
My sister in law had a baby a couple days before my miscarriage, so I didn’t want my family to come down. It was really hard to be around a friend of mine who was pregnant and had a healthy baby. I didn’t want my friends to visit. I was a mess.
After a couple weeks, I was still really depressed. My husband said, “I don’t want this to define you. This is not who you are. You are very happy. You always see the good in everything. This happened, and it’s sad, and we can be sad about it. But this cannot define you. I want you to live your life.” He really pulled me out of depression. I’m so thankful for that.
Getting Pregnant Again
I worried I wouldn’t get pregnant again. My husband said, “It will happen when your body is ready. Don’t stress about this. We know you can get pregnant.” We ended up getting pregnant five months later; it turned out my body was ready.
Throughout the pregnancy, I was a nervous wreck. I had kidney stones from five weeks until I delivered, so I would see blood and was so terrified. We didn’t tell anyone, and then only close friends and family. We did not post anything on Facebook. We didn’t plan on having a baby shower – we’re Jewish so we don’t have baby showers anyway; it’s bad luck. We were not acknowledging him until we held him in our arms.
My son was born early, at 32 weeks, in the UVA NICU. It was one year since the miscarriage.
We named him Remi, a name we picked flipping through the channels when I was about six months along. Remi was the name of a French contestant on American Ninja Warrior, which created a spark in us, since we had traveled to Paris between the miscarriage and this pregnancy. Little did we know that name would be so fitting for Remi, who had to fight to live right from the start. At 21 months now, he is no longer my little nugget, but a precocious toddler who is succeeding in numerous ways.
A lot of people are asking if I’m going to have a second child, but mentally I’m not there, because I’m terrified of having another miscarriage, and I’m terrified of having a micropreemie.
I will tell you I had the most amazing experience at UVA with Dr. James, who will be delivering any future children of mine, as she was wonderful and made the whole situation, which was scary at times, better. Looking back, I think what a great experience it was.
Healing From Stigma and Blame
I think if more people talked about miscarriages, it would make a person going through it not feel as alone. I felt so alone. It seemed like nobody else had this experience, everyone got pregnant right away, and it was all so easy. If people could talk more about it there wouldn’t be this stigma.
My mom gave me advice. She actually had a baby, born at 28 weeks, back in the 70s, and he lived for a couple of hours. When I had the miscarriage, she said, “I’m so sorry, Stacy; I’ve been in your situation. I understand. It is out of your control. You did nothing wrong. You can’t control it. As women, we like to control things. But there’s nothing you could have done differently.”
As horrible as the miscarriage was, if I hadn’t had that, I would not have had Remi. He’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
Share Your Story
Have you had a miscarriage? Let us know in the comments below what helped you heal.