My Miscarriage: Questions & Answers

August 10th, 2008

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  • Last night marked two weeks since your miscarriage.  How are you doing?

    I am relieved to say I am doing great.  From the moment I stepped into church last Sunday, I have truly felt healed.  There is no more hurt or heartache.  I can honestly meet people’s eyes and answer, “I am great,” when they ask me how I am.  I didn’t realize how good it would feel to be able to say, “I’m great” again, but I treasure being able to.

  • Weren’t you nursing while you were pregnant?  Did that cause the miscarriage?

    I specifically asked my OB if it was okay to keep nursing Bubbers while being pregnant and he said it was fine.  Then, just to make sure, I asked Bubbers’ pediatrician and she said the same thing. 

    After we had the ultrasound and they couldn’t find the heartbeat and my OB said we’d lost the baby, I tearfully asked if nursing could have caused the loss and he gave an absolute, “No.”  In fact, he was so wonderfully supportive, he said right from the outset of our meeting, “This is not your fault.  There is nothing you did that caused this.”  Though it hadn’t occurred to me at that time that it could be my fault, it was very encouraging to hear him say it anyway.

  • I didn’t know miscarriages were painful.  Why was it so painful?

    When I met with my doctor a few days after the miscarriage, he asked me a bunch of questions about the details of how it had gone and how much pain I’d been in.

    After he was done interviewing me, he put down his pen, leaned back on his stool and looked at me.

    Then with his characteristic humor that always catches me off guard, he smiled and said, “Congratulations, Heidi.  You’ve gone through natural childbirth.”

    I gaped at him and said, “Really?…..  I mean, I sure thought it felt like that, but I wasn’t sure if it really compared.”

    “Oh, yes,” he said, “It is absolutely comparable to natural childbirth.”

    At that moment, I felt strangely vindicated to know I had experienced (and survived!) the pain of natural childbirth at home alone with only the help of my husband.

    And that probably sounds really weird, but I never thought I’d be able to experience the full extent of natural labor since Bubbers was C-section and the rest of our children will likely be, too.

    So, in a way, it was strangely satisfying to know I had gone through it after all.

  • Are all miscarriages that painful?

    No.  Apparently it varies from woman to woman.  And for some women it’s like a really, really heavy period.  And for other women (like me), it’s full-on labor with horrendous contractions and the whole nine yards.

  • Did you still have to have a D&C?

    When I saw my doctor after the miscarriage, he said I could have an ultrasound to make sure my uterus was completely empty and then have a D&C if it wasn’t. 

    But I was doing very well and didn’t have any signs that indicated my uterus wasn’t empty, so we opted to forgo the ultrasound and D&C. 

    I feel very blessed that everything has gone so well without the need for any medical intervention.

  • How was your physical recovery?

    Since I’ve only experienced a C-section recovery with Bubbers, I didn’t know what to expect with a miscarriage recovery and I was very surprised with how sore and tired I was afterward.

    Once it was over I thought I’d be back to normal immediately.  But I definitely wasn’t.  It was at least a week before I could go a whole day without getting really sore and needing to lay on the couch for much of the day.  But after that first week, I’ve been great and feel completely back to normal.

  • How far along was your pregnancy when you miscarried?

    We think we were about 12 weeks along when the miscarriage occurred.  However, from the very beginning, my hormone levels never matched with how far along I should have been.  Which is why we got the ultrasound to find out the size of the baby and when we were due.

    In the ultrasound, the size of our baby was 6 weeks, one day.

  • Did you experience anything else that was unexpected?

    Yes.  In the days right after the miscarriage, I began to feel angry.

    I hadn’t felt at all prepared for my miscarriage and that frustrated me.

    Especially when I thought about all the resources that had been available to prepare me for Bubbers’ live birth.  If it hadn’t been for the childbirth prep classes I’d been through for Bubbers, I would have had no idea what was happening to me and thought for sure things had gone dreadfully wrong and we needed to call 911.

    And maybe there are “miscarriage prep” classes out there, but I wasn’t told about them.

    And I also wasn’t told about all the medical options available to help me, like I had with Bubbers.

    So as I thought about it more and more, and compared my experience of Bubbers’ birth to my miscarriage more and more, I started to feel resentment and anger toward the general field of medicine.  I felt like they had let me down and left me alone right when I’d needed them the most.

    And then one morning when I was feeling especially vulnerable, hurt and angry, Bubbers got upset for some reason and came running toward me with his arms outstretched.

    I immediately scooped him up in my arms and comforted him.

    “It’s okay, it’s okay,” I said quietly in his ear, “I’m here, I’m here.”

    And right at that moment the Spirit reminded me that I had not been left alone during my miscarriage.

    And in my mind’s eye, I saw a loving Heavenly Father holding and comforting me, saying, “It’s okay, it’s okay.  I’m here, I’m here.”

    Then I realized that even if I could go back and change how it had happened, I wouldn’t want to.

    I wouldn’t have wanted to lose my child in a strange hospital room with people I didn’t know.

    I wanted to lose my child in my own home with God and my husband.

    The last of my anger dissipated when I visited my doctor and asked him all the questions that had been stewing in my head.

    As always, my doctor answered every question I had and followed up with, “Do you have any more questions, Heidi?”

    And it wasn’t until I had exhausted them all that our appointment ended.

    And I realized that I felt at peace about it.

    Even though nothing had changed, just being able to talk about it with my doctor satisfied whatever need I’d had to vent and I left a lighter, happier person.

  • How is Charming doing?

    Charming is doing very well and from the beginning has been able to see hidden blessings and maintain a positive outlook.

    He hopes that our child’s spirit had not yet entered its body so he/she will have another chance to come to us successfully on this earth.  And he looks at the miscarriage as a delay in receiving our child rather than a complete loss in this lifetime.

    But more than anything, he wants whatever Heavenly Father wants.

  • Anything else you’d like to say?

    Yes.  Thank you.

    Thank you for the calls.  And the emails.  And the comments.  And the cards and precious drawings.  And the flowers and hugs.  And the food.

    And most especially, for your love and for your prayers.

    They have made all the difference and we couldn’t have gone through this as well as we did without it all.

    So, thank you.

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13 Comments

tearese | 8/10/2008 9:58 pm

Wow, thank you for being so candid and willing to share such personal details. Your right, there doesn’t seem to be much literature out there about miscarriages as there is about birth. I would have no idea what to do if that happened to me. I feel more educated now.
I’m glad you didn’t have to have a D&C, those don’t sound very pleasant.

 
Suzanne | 8/11/2008 1:22 am

I am so glad your shared this with us Heidi as it sometimes is a very hard thing to do.

 
Amber | 8/11/2008 1:41 am

Heidi-I am so sorry to hear of your loss and yet inspired by how you’ve dealt with this trial and found such peace and comfort in the gospel. Isn’t God amazing? I hope you will continue to heal in every way. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Love, Amber
P.S. I love reading your blog, you make me want to actually write in mine.

Heidi | 8/13/2008 10:50 am

Hi Amber! Thank you for your comforting words. And thank you for your prayers!

And I’m so glad you love to read my blog! That makes me want to write more. :)

 
 
charlotte | 8/11/2008 6:26 am

Wonderful post Heidi. You’ve helped a lot of people with your honesty. I’m glad you are doing so well and are all recovered now. (((hugs))) girl, you are such a wonderful wife and mother and friend!

 
Kara | 8/11/2008 6:43 am

Heidi, I’m so glad to hear that you are doing “great!” I hope things continue to go great. :)
It’s amazing and wonderful that you are able to share your feelings about your experience-especially when it is so fresh.

 
Wandering Nana-Linda | 8/11/2008 8:29 am

I had my miscarriage almost 36yrs ago. We were in a student ward when it happened. I knew a little as so many of the ladies in the ward had had one. You actually do go thru labor. I was 14 weeks. I was home alone with my first child as M was taking finals. We had not told anyone I was pregnant. When I called my mom to tell her, she said she had never known anyone who had been thru a miscarriage. It is so strange to me that she said this. I’m glad you’re doing better. I have been thinking a lot about you. My daughter had an emergency C section with her 3rd and had her 4th without the C section. Things in the medical field are changing every day. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

 
Jesse | 8/11/2008 8:57 am

So glad you are doing better, my friend. It is a scary thing to face, and you have handled it so well.

 
Melissa | 8/11/2008 3:14 pm

Heidi, I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling so healed (physically AND emotionally). Thank you for your honest, open post. Though I’ve never experienced a miscarriage, I have many other friends and close family members that have been through them. Your post has helped me understand a little about what they went through. And I loved your story about Bubbers and how you realized that you were not alone. You wrote it so beautifully, and brought tears to my eyes. I’m sure you have helped so many with your writing. God bless you for your honest and tender heart. :)

 
Kedra Simpson | 8/11/2008 7:16 pm

I think that you are amazing! Thank you for sharing this personal situation with us. You also take the most beautiful pictures, wow!

Heidi | 8/13/2008 10:49 am

Oh, thank you, Kedra. I’ve found it surprisingly therapeutic to write about it. I’m glad everyone’s been so loving and supportive about it.

Also, I’m thrilled you think my pictures are beautiful! :) Thank you!

 
 
Heidi | 8/13/2008 10:51 am

Thank you everyone for your incredibly kind and supportive comments! You all rock and I’m so blessed to have you as my friends!

 
Sheri | 8/25/2008 10:31 pm

I just stumbled across your blog. I am sorry about your loss. Mine was almost 3 years ago and reading your blog has brought me back. so sorry again.

 

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