The MAMA Diaries: Pregnancy and Infant Loss
This post is personal. These events and feelings are real. I am not sharing this story for sympathy or to call anyone out. This is MY space to share MY truth in hopes of helping others feel less alone.
There has been so many times I have gone to write a simple post about Pregnancy and Infant Loss on Instagram. But I felt like I have done that so many times before, you can only get so many words in those little squares. I wanted to start to tell more of my story, my heartache and my struggles. I wanted to make this story easier to find because I remember spending hours reading other peoples stories when I was in thick of it. So, I am putting this out there for who ever needs this, I see you and you are not alone. This is how The MAMA Diaries is born.
The MAMA Diaries: Pregnancy and Infant Loss
For the last few years October and November are always weird months for me mentally. The seasons are changing, it’s usually the calm before the storm. But more so, I think my subconscious tries to protect me. I don’t know, may be that sounds weird but it’s truly how I feel. October is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month. But for me. These were the months I spent most of my time in the emergency room because of miscarriage. Praying my babies would be okay. I’d be lying if I said reading peoples posts this month weren’t triggers for me; there has been a lot of silent tears.
This November, November 11th to be exact, will be 6 years since our first loss. To be honest, I know I have been suppressing the trauma; the depression and the worry over the last few years. I’ve had a lot of joy to focus on. But that pain is still there. It’s there when I’m having a beautiful moments with my kids, it’s there when I have moments of frustration and it’s there in my dreams. Sometimes it haunts me most when people ask when we are having a third. I am in this constant battle with myself – feeling guilty for being happy and feeling happy when I should may be feel sad. The loss of those babies won’t ever leave. Sure, I can see now the plan God had for me, it truly has been beautiful, but that experience, that pain and that journey will always be with me.
There was so many things that went wrong after the loss of my first baby. And you would think I am talking physically but it was all mental. I lost my first baby at 12 weeks, I was convinced the baby was a girl, I decided to call her Charlie. I felt like I had no support, people kept leaving, people made me feel like I couldn’t grieve, that I wasn’t a mom or that I should just get over it. Through that, not only did I lose my baby, but I lost myself. I made walls, I thought I was okay and I wasn’t.
My due date was at the end of May 2015, but before we could get through to that, I had to deal with a friend having her first baby that month as well as all the emotions that came with Mother’s Day. I’ve sat with for the last 5 years – for FIVE Mother’s Days I have questioned the validity of Motherhood. This might be a good topic for another post, but I felt I was entitled to grieve on Mother’s Day. It was my day just as much as any other birth mom, adoptive mom or foster mom etc.
On top of all that a young girl I worked with unexpectedly fell pregnant, I couldn’t have imagined how terrifying she must of felt but to also have the stress of telling me her manager. I had obviously had to push my own feelings a side and be happy for her but I wish I could have been better. I was in the thick of it and I honestly could not see past my own trauma.
Before I knew it, one of my really good friends, who I also worked with, became pregnant with her second. I remember her acting differently and then she finally came around to feeling brave enough to tell me. We are still amazing friends and has since told me that she purposefully waited until the end of one of our shifts to tell me in person so I had the ability to go home with my feelings and not struggle through a shift. She seriously was one of my best supports through this all and I am so gratful for her in my life. But this time in my life was hard, I felt robbed from my own pregnancy, I felt robbed of a time in my life where I should also be excited for my friends.
Shortly after, in July I became pregnant for a second time. But unfortunately I lost again, this time it was at 6 weeks, I named this little one Taylor. Their life was short but this baby was the one that got me to the doctors to make sure my next pregnancy stuck. I was so fortunate to have been with the right doctors that night, to see that this was more than just “bad luck”. I was set up to be referred to specialist to hopefully receive the help my body needed. Before I knew it I became pregnant again shortly after my miscarriage, before my scheduled appointment with my new doctor.
I remember so vividly finding out I was pregnant with Pierce, consumed by the thought of the pregnancy failing and losing him too. One of my good friends just had her baby (apparently I had lots of pregnant friends) and she was so beautiful, I was convinced I was never going to have that. Sadly, I spent another evening at the ER because I had pains that I knew all to well that didn’t end in our favour. I chose to live in a happy moment and head up to the maternity ward, to visit my friend, once I was done in the emergency. I held that beautiful baby girl, desperately praying my little bean would make it through to our specialist appointment.
Being pregnant is one thing but staying pregnant was another. Waiting was hard, I had a couple weeks until I had my pre scheduled specialist appointment. I was a mess. I couldn’t tell anyone aside from Trav, I felt lost in my thoughts, trying not to be too hopeful but trying not to be too much of a downer. Thinking back, I see how blessed I was to have the last few months line up so perfectly. I know it could have been a lot harder, it could have been a lot different. Right now I am telling my story – my truth.
When I finally had my doctors appointment, I got to tell him the good news and he was thrilled. He started be on baby aspirin to help the placenta cement to my uterus and progesterone tablets to help grow that baby and placenta until the placenta was ready to take over. There was such a relief knowing I was actively doing something to help keep my baby safe and growing. The events that followed after was nothing short of easy, pregnancy after miscarriage is its own beast but we will save that for another day.
My hope in sharing my story through Pregnancy and Infant Loss, is to give light for the people that have felt loss, to feel encouraged, to press through, but furthermore to give insight into a dark world that is life after miscarriage. I truly believe there needs to be better support in place for women that have experienced pregnancy loss. The world has come a long way since I had my first lost 6 years ago. I am sad that people are experiencing this but I am happy its being talked about more and more. More television shows share the stories, more movies talk about it more openly, more articles are being written and more women are coming forward and talking about it sooner, sharing their stories and grieving together. Sharing stories is one of the age old ways of healing.
I will have some links below for you people that might need it. But this is your open invitation to contact me if you ever need someone. I will listen to your story and I can help you find any support you might need. I am not a professional, I am just a woman trying to help other women.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support
Alberta Facebook Support Group – Caring Beyond
Infants Remembered In Silence
Calgary Walk to Remember – if you are not from the area make sure to search for a local Walk to Remember organization near you.
Mental Health Help Line: 1-877-303-2642 (toll-free)
Connect Family and Sexual Abuse Network:
For sexual abuse and sexual assault 1.403.237.5888 or 1-877-237-5888 Toll Free in Alberta
For domestic and relationship abuse call 1-403-234-7233(SAFE) or 1-866-606-7233 Toll Free in Alberta
Sexual Violence: 1-877-237-5888
Domestic Violence: 1-866-606-SAFE (7233)
If you’d like to read more of my blogs like this check out – Feeding Babies Is Hard – My Breastfeeding Journey with Formula