Blogging through Pain {Surviving a Miscarriage}

by Cate on September 25, 2012

Me and Madeline - March 2011-001
Something Joanne said last week struck a chord with me. “I always thought I could blog through anything…”

And that is so hard. As a blogger, we have to decide what to share, how, and when. And sometimes if. As a reader, no matter how much we share (and sometimes overshare), what you’re reading is still a very small piece of our life as a whole. Some bloggers only blog the very best parts. Some reveal everything, warts and all. I think I fall somewhere in the middle. I try my best to keep it real.

But that being said, I still don’t share everything. Sometimes because it’s too painful at the time. Or it involves someone else and it’s not always my story to share. Or this isn’t the right space at the right time.

So while I don’t blog through everything, I do sometimes blog around something.

Sometimes it’s something I never plan to visit (or revisit) here. Sometimes it takes a little lot of time to get there. To the point that you’re able to share.

Now, over five years later, I’m ready to blog through an experience that we went through.

When I announced Madeline’s birth here 4-1/2 years ago, readers who don’t know me in real life were surprised.

That I was pregnant.

And that I managed to keep the secret for so long.

I did so for a few reasons.

The main reason is that I had miscarried right before I got pregnant with Madeline. Right when I was about to share the news of that exciting pregnancy here.

The bottom fell out.

It is truly one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. Perhaps the hardest. I still continued blogging, around it, talking about perhaps everything else.

I was about three-and-a-half months pregnant, at the doctor for a regular check-up. And the tech couldn’t find the heartbeat.

I was numb. I can’t remember if The Ex was at the appointment with me. I think he was at work. Some of it, I have blocked out. It was someone else reading the results, not my doctor. Just a tech. I didn’t want to believe it. Was sure that she was mistaken. Calls to my OB resulted in another appointment that afternoon, to be sure.

She came in, and the result was the same. No heartbeat.

I felt like the floor had fallen out from beneath me.

Nick had been a ridiculously easy pregnancy. No cause for concern.

And this one had been exactly the same. Until then.

I wasn’t expecting it. No one was.

I had walked into the office that morning, expecting to be in and out in half an hour. And back at my office right after.

I felt like my world had been crushed. Turned upside down. And spit out in a million pieces.

I had been far enough along that we had told friends and family and Nick that we were pregnant.

Nick had gone to school just weeks before, proudly wearing a shirt proudly proclaiming “I’m going to be a big brother!” It was one of his favorite shirts. Something that I had made. And that he beamed with pride while wearing.

Oh how that killed me. I couldn’t tell him. He was far too young, and wouldn’t understand. But to hear his excitement about his coming new baby brother or sister in those days that followed, while all along I knew that wasn’t happening, was sometimes almost too much to bear.

I didn’t tell him in the hopes that I could get pregnant again, quickly enough that he wouldn’t know the difference. Luckily he was young enough (under 5), he didn’t know better. My stepdaughter, however, at 8 years older, thought it was the longest pregnancy ever. I didn’t tell everyone. Mostly because I couldn’t without crying. And because people just don’t know what to say when confronted with that news. Certainly not a topic I’m unfamiliar with. In these cases, particularly for me, a simple “I’m so sorry…” means everything.

My sister was pregnant at the same time. I was to be due in September, and she was due in October. To see her go through the phases of pregnancy, knowing that I should have been in those same stages, was heart-wrenching. I’ll never forget picking her up on our way to Brimfield, MA for a few days of antiquing with our Mom. She had just come from the hospital and had a stream of ultrasound pictures to share. I think I cried for the first two hours of the road trip. Excited for her, of course, especially since it was her first, but crushed for me and what we lost. {I switched doctors after the miscarriage, partially because of how they handled sharing the news, partially because I lost trust in how they handled my pregnancy}

After losing the baby, there was such a deep sense of loss, a lot of unanswered questions, such a sense of despair. I was on auto-pilot for awhile, feeling completely numb, just going through the day-to-day motions, propelled only by Nick and the quick decision that we would try again as soon as we were able to. I never wavered on that. Although the “what if it happens again” was on my mind during Madeline’s entire pregnancy, I couldn’t imagine not having more kids. If nothing else, I was meant to be a mom. Again.

Little feet - May 2011
A few months later, I was pregnant again (with Madeline). I rented a doppler so I could hear her heartbeat all.the.time. It was worth every penny of the $25/monthly rate for the little bit of peace it gave me. I felt like I didn’t breathe throughout the entire pregnancy. And I only truly exhaled when she arrived.

After I delivered, all I could say to the OB through the tears was “thank you, thank you, thank you.” Over and over and over again. It was relief, pain, joy, and sadness all rolled into one.

After going through the miscarriage, I was so afraid it would happen again. That I couldn’t really breathe until she was here. That I was afraid to believe it was true. That everything was ok. Or that it would be ok.

To this day, over five years later, I won’t forget. Any of it. I can describe the moments when she was born in finite detail. Remember exactly where I was and how I was positioned when I found out I had miscarried. The numbness I felt on the day I had a D&C, having to relive the loss and sadness all over again.

But on this day, and every day since, I am constantly reminded to never take anything for granted. Not sure that I ever did, especially where my kids are concerned. But I got pregnant very easily. All three times. And, relatively speaking, had easy pregnancies. So I never thought of the alternative. All the what ifs. It just hadn’t entered the realm of possibility. Because it didn’t have to. Until the miscarriage.

And when you have something so precious. So powerful. So adored. Taken away from you. Your life is forever changed.

Supastar
Madeline was absolutely positively meant to be in our family. She brings so much joy and light to our life, I am forever grateful. Although I still mourn for what we lost, I am grateful we had the courage to try again. Because I can’t imagine to think what we would have missed if we didn’t.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Syazana (@_spinmesilly) September 25, 2012 at 11:18 pm

HUGS! Thank you for sharing. It’s been 3.5 years for me and whilst I wasn’t too far long, I didn’t realise how much it had affected me.

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Cate O'Malley October 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

Thank you! And hugs to you too!
Cate O’Malley recently posted..Craft Time: Rediscovering Spin Art

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Ramona September 26, 2012 at 10:46 am

That is a very hard thing to go through.

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Cate O'Malley October 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

Part of the fabric that makes us who we are, I guess. :)
Cate O’Malley recently posted..Craft Time: Rediscovering Spin Art

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Carmen September 26, 2012 at 11:10 am

I felt your pain with you as I read this as it was so strikingly similar to my miscarriage story. The best therapy is a friend who understands who is always willing to lend an ear. Hugs!

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Cate O'Malley October 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

Amen for friend therapy – xoxo
Cate O’Malley recently posted..Craft Time: Rediscovering Spin Art

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Meg September 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Lots of hugs.
Meg recently posted..Rare rainbow

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Cate O'Malley October 11, 2012 at 8:24 am

Thanks, Meg.
Cate O’Malley recently posted..Craft Time: Rediscovering Spin Art

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Susan in England September 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Hugs. I’ve been there- miscarried a 2nd set of twins when my boys were 2. I also had a daughter later and can’t imagine life without her (or with the stress of two sets of twins that close together!). But it doesn’t stop me thinking of what might have been or stop it hurting.

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Cate O'Malley October 11, 2012 at 8:25 am

Hugs to you too! I don’t think we’ll ever stop thinking about what might have been.
Cate O’Malley recently posted..Craft Time: Rediscovering Spin Art

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Christa the BabbyMama September 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I really appreciate the share. I blogged *through* my miscarriage and felt pretty alone, both in real life and online – though people were fabulously supportive. I still blog about it sometimes, and it has been a fixture in my thoughts during those pregnancy. Which I shared early because if I lost it, I was darn well going to blog through that, too.
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Cate O'Malley October 11, 2012 at 8:25 am

I can totally relate to the “feeling alone” part – sometimes, it doesn’t matter how many people are supporting you in your corner, it’s still all you.
Cate O’Malley recently posted..Craft Time: Rediscovering Spin Art

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Jenna October 6, 2012 at 9:51 am

I didn’t/couldn’t/etc blog much of my miscarriage between the boys because I had some judgmental weenieheads who said I shouldn’t/couldn’t be upset as the pregnancy was a surprise and over before we knew it. I still hold resentment toward those people.

This post was beautiful. Thinking of you.
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Cate O'Malley October 9, 2012 at 10:35 am

Oh man, Jenna, that is terrible. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that, and endured such negativity at that time to boot. xoxo
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Ashley October 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm

What a beautiful post. It’s a hard thing to share, and you’re very brave for doing so. I think it’ll help other people who have been through the same thing. So glad you have 2 wonderful, healthy kids! :)
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Cate September 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Thank you, Ashley!

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Kristina January 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Thank you for your beautiful post. I finally blogged a little bit about my miscarriage and it’s a hard thing to do–to share something so personal with complete strangers. I’m sure that posts like this give strength to those that are silently grieving and feel like they have no one to talk to.
Thanks again
http://www.mothersniche.com/unanswered-prayer/

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Nicole July 18, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I’m searching the internet for miscarriage stories and here I am. On your page – reading your story and feeling hopeful.

Today is exactly a month after I received the terrible news at my OB’s office at 8 weeks. I’m still devastated and today has been especially hard. I would have officially hit the 12 week mark today and I was certainly looking forward to that.

I’m glad I found your blog. I feel a little better and uplifted after reading your post. Thanks for sharing.

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Cate September 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I’m so sorry for what you went through. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but a little distance does a little to soothe the pain. xo

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Rachel July 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Thank you for opening up. I have had 3 consecutive losses, and a failed foster placement. We have 1 bio daughter, and are in the middle of adopting. I did blog through our experience, and one day, I hope to write a book. But you are so right…. No matter how supportive people are, grief is so very, very lonely. (ps. My sister got pregnant right after our first loss, then did 4 of my very close friends. Even though I love all those babies, watching their pregnancies while I go through repeated loss has been one of the hardest things ever.) thanks for keeping it real.

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Leanne September 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Thanks for blogging I needed this read today. I miscarried at 3 1/2 months in 2010 and have since had two more miscarriages with the lastest being last Wednesday, i was 8 weeks. I have 2 beautiful children who were both born before all my miscarriages so I am truly blessed already. Miscarriages are so hard to put into words and you have done it beautifully thank you xx

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Cate September 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Sometimes it’s hard to see the blessings through tears, even when they’re right in front of us. I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. Thinking nothing but positive thoughts for you through this difficult time.

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Kyliah October 2, 2013 at 11:30 pm

I turned 16 a month befor I found out I was pregnant. 2 weeks later and less than an hour after an utrasound that assured everything was fine. . My baby was in my pants. That day was October 9, 2012 its almost been a year and I still can’t handle it. I’m affraid I will be forever tramatized. Btw. . My cousin was due only a month befor me and I watch with envy at how happy she is. I just want to know why and if it was for the best.

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