Moving Forward After a Miscarriage

Posted May 3, 2014 by Prairie Wife - 21 comments

This topic has been on my mind lately. A friend of mine recently had a miscarriage late in her first trimester, and my heart goes out to her. I hope that through my support and prayers, her healing process will be easier… it prompted me to write this post in hopes that it will offer support to others who may need to hear what I have to say. I’ve written other posts about topics that can’t be made humorous and light-hearted. However, I know that this topic, while somber, still goes with our Prairie Wife Mission statement: “To offer support to others through humorous, honest and heartfelt blog posts about our experiences.”

Baby feet

When you read about my busy and full Prairie Homestead full of four children under the age of 8, you probably think that The Cowboy and I have to wash our underwear together, and we get pregnant. And in a sense this is true, we have never had trouble getting pregnant. But I have had trouble staying pregnant. We had our first miscarriage before we had Cowboy J, our oldest. I was utterly unprepared, emotionally and physically. We were “only” 6 weeks along but in true first time parent style had told everyone the news, we were SO excited.

Then I started to spot. I holed up in our bedroom and was a nervous wreck as my body continued to fight against my mind and heart. We ended up losing the baby. Not only were we dealing with the questions of why (was it me, or The Cowboy, or something wrong with the baby), guilt (was it something I ate or did), and can we ever get pregnant? But we had to spend the next few weeks telling people we were no longer pregnant. The looks on their faces, their pain and sorrow for us, and the stories of their own losses were more than I could handle, and I spent weeks in tears.

As a religious person, I held tight to the knowledge that God knows what he is doing and that everything will work out well. I tried to have faith in my body and its ability to get pregnant and stay pregnant. To us, even though it was barely the size of a grain of rice, it had been a baby. We mourned the loss of that child and the future we had dreamed of. I visited a pregnancy loss support site several times, and I will never forget the quote that encouraged me. It was from a girl whose mother had ten miscarriages. She said, “I am here today because my mother was brave. Brave enough to keep trying and brave enough to hold onto her dream of me.”

Our doctor encouraged us to try again after I had a regular cycle, and nothing prepared me for what happened next. We immediately got pregnant…and then the true terror began. Let me start by saying that all the blood work was fine, I was barely sick, and other than measuring large every visit, my pregnancy went off without a hitch and was better than most. But, in my mind every morning I woke up and wasn’t nauseous it was because something was wrong with the baby. I was envious of my girlfriends, who were hanging their heads over the toilet each morning; at least they knew their hormone levels were acceptable. When I could finally feel the baby kick I breathed a sigh of relief, now I knew that he was OK…until a few hours went by with no movement and I would instantly panic, chug some orange juice and start poking at him.

3D ultra sound

It got to the point at six months where I was so stressed out that my good friend and The Cowboy staged an intervention. They were concerned that all my anxiety would harm the baby, not to mention I had not taken any time to enjoy this precious time and be joyful. After a flood of tears, I realized they were right. In the end, there was nothing I could do (other than not smoking, drinking, and doing crack) that would change the course of this pregnancy. I stopped stressing (well, almost) and began to enjoy my pregnancy and bond with the sweet little boy gently (and then not so gently) rolling and kicking inside me.

We went on to have two more children with no problems during the pregnancies (birth is another post), and when it was time for us to try for Cowkid number four, we didn’t even think about a miscarriage. We got pregnant right away and like usual planned to tell the Cowkids and friends around 12 weeks…Then, we lost the baby at six weeks. I was a wreck! I had three children in a row with no problems at all. I was once again unprepared emotionally. I held my Cowkids tight and cried tears for our loss. It was easier to heal this time because I could look at the blessings I held in my arms and know that it would all work out. Just like last time, we got pregnant right away, and around eight weeks, I started to relax and breathe easily again. And then, at nine weeks, I began to spot, and we lost the baby. Two miscarriages in a row after three full-term healthy pregnancies!

Our doctor couldn’t explain it and offered us the option to take hormones if and when we became pregnant again. The Cowboy and I went home and had one of the most challenging talks we have ever had in our marriage. I was concerned about the side effects if I took the hormones. One of the reasons we have so many kids is that I am not sick or super emotional (at least not that anyone is brave enough to tell me). I was worried about my ability to run our family of 5 all week alone if the medicine had adverse effects on me. We also took stock of our family as it was. Three kids that were healthy and happy. Were we OK if that was where it ended? We decided that we were and that while we would continue to try for another Cowkid, we would not use any medical intervention.

Does Your Baby Sleep Throuth the Night Yet?

Everything turned out fine, and Cowboy C was born nine months later. Despite the two miscarriages before him, I was not a hysterical bundle of nerves. Yes, I was more sensitive to his movements than I had been in my last pregnancy, but I had confidence in my body and God’s plan. Having been through a total of 3 pregnancy losses, I knew that both I and my marriage could handle it. When it became too much, I knew we would stop trying and celebrate our blessings. Feel whatever emotions you need to, cry, and be angry. You will feel guilty…but know that there is nothing that you could have done. Reach out to others and give yourself time to heal. And remember, families are made in all sorts of ways.

Below is a list of things that I found uplifting and helpful.

• Talk about it; don’t ignore what happened, but know when to move on and talk about the latest episode of Real Housewives.
• Share your story (and be honest about the bad parts), but remember to listen to theirs.
• Pa donated in my name to an organization that offered medical care to poor pregnant women in South America…I loved this, and it made me so happy. This can be especially nice for a friend who has had a late-term miscarriage.
• If you are pregnant, don’t be afraid to share it with them. I have this happen every time, and I am always happy for them (though admittedly sad for myself).
• Offer to take their kids for them for a day (husbands, this is something you can do), pick them up, and bring them back if you can. The physically uncomfortable aspect of a miscarriage often makes it hard to take care of young children during the first few days.
• Cry with them and laugh with them. Ask them what you can do to help them heal.
• Prayers never hurt!

Please feel free to share your stories or what you have done to help yourself or others heal after a miscarriage.

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21 thoughts on "Moving Forward After a Miscarriage"

  1. Kristen says:

    Wow…yet ANOTHER thing we have in common… I had 3 miscarriages between my first & second child. I was the same way…no problems getting pregnant but problems staying pregnant after my first normal healthy pregnancy. It was so hard & each pregnancy after I was always a nervous wreck. For the longest time I felt that we might only have one child, which I know I should’ve been happy with that. I know there are many women out there who don’t have any children of their own & my heart breaks for them. You are so right to tell women to try to enjoy it instead of worrying…I realized to “let go & let God”. There is a reason those babies didn’t make it & I am very blessed today with my four beautiful healthy babies. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Thank you for sharing your story, like I said people have no idea looking at a family what the “real” story is! And your sweet girls are truly a blessing to us all!

  2. Andrea G says:

    I’m so glad you’ve done this article! Even though its hard to understand I was always so surprised that after a miscarriage how many people came out and said I’ve had one too! In all the tears and emotions I knew I wasn’t alone and God always has a plan and knows best 🙂 I’ve had 2 miscarriages and they don’t get easier but relying on God was all I could do.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      I have to be honest, I don’t know how people without faith get through such a hard time! It is amazing to me how many women keep their miscarriages a secret, hopefully this will offer them support and let them know they are not alone!

  3. Ma says:

    I hope this may help others…my miscarriage was over 40 years ago. I easily got pregnant and went along enjoying our first baby and planning for this next. My miscarriage was a total shock at 12 weeks! After I began to recover there were two things that really kept me hurting. I felt horribly guilty that I hadn’t enjoyed being pregnant but had taken it for granted. This was especially hard as I was not able to get pregnant again for 13 months. The second complication (for me, anyway) was: how many kids do you tell people you have when they ask? After years of agonizing I came to the conclusion that I would answer four ( I felt others shouldn’t be made to feel uncomfortable or sad ). Please know that my prayers are with all (including the fathers) with this loss.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      I agree, at any doctor appointment I have to say I’ve been pregnant 7 times for medical reasons. But like you I normally tell people I have 4 children…though I know several woman that feel comfortable sharing all of them. It is so hard to hear about people feeling guilty, and I’m sure you all ready know that there is nothing to feel badly about! Thanks for sharing your story, I know that often people have a much harder time than we do getting pregnant after a miscarriage. It’s wonderful for them to read how you persevered and then went on to have 3 more children.

  4. Sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! It is amazing to me how many women have been through this and it is so helpful to have women share their own stories. I had an etopic pregnancy before having my daughter. It was a terrifying experience. We had been trying for over a year when we got pregnant. When I found out it was because I was already bleeding and having trouble. Unfortunately it was difficult to diagnose as etopic and it ended up rupturing which lead to emergency surgery. Luckily my surgeon was able to spare all of my internal lady parts. The surgery did not unfortunately complete the process though, I had to take a chemo drug to finish the process my body was unable to complete. It was the longest month of my life. I was terrified I would never be able to have a child. After talking with my doctors though it was determined that I had a lot of scar tissue throughout my tubes and surrounding areas from my ruptured appendix many, many years ago and because of the etopic they were able to “clean me out” which is what ended up helping me get pregnant and carry my daughter. It definitely helped me to see that God does have a plan and we must believe no matter how difficult the journey is. Thank you again for sharing your story!!

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      I continue to be amazed at how things work out! So happy that all went well and you have your daughter, thanks for sharing your uplifting story 🙂

  5. Jamie says:

    I enjoyed reading your article. I too had similar experiences. I miscarried with the first, had our son with the second pregnancy, and miscarried just recently with the third pregnancy. My husband and I knew we wanted to have two kids, but I don’t know how many more of these I can take. I loved the part where you said “This time it was easier to heal because I could simply look at the blessings I held in my arms and know that it would all work out.” I have been trying to explain to friends and family why this miscarriage was so different from the first. I keep saying this time is easier, but you explained it perfectly. Since this last miscarriage, I have found solace in writing about my experiences on my blog. It is helping and I am finding lots of friends who experienced this too but never felt strong enough to talk about it.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      So glad that writing and sharing your story has helped you..and all the other women and families that read your words. I’ll be stopping by your blog, thanks!

  6. Hannah says:

    Thanks for writing this and being there for me in my time if need! So grateful to call you my friend!

  7. Julie says:

    I had a miscarriage 2000. I still have an ache in heart. It’s a wound that never completely heals.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      There are certainly moments when I find myself mourning and wondering what if…

  8. Erica says:

    Thank you for sharing this! For some reason it made me angry when people would say that things happen for a reason. I’m sure everyone meant well, but I didn’t take that well through my pain.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      I totally understand, I know that sometimes I was really angry too…but with hindsight I truly know it all worked out. Which doesn’t mean I didn’t wish it hadn’t been so hard!

  9. Thanks for sharing. I can relate to this. Having a hard time with it at the moment, but you’ve given me a glimmer of hope. 🙂

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      SO happy to hear that this helped you. Hang in there, be patient with yourself and keep charging forward with your head up! As we say here at you are a woman of grit and grace, don’t underestimate your strength. Stop back and let us know how you are 🙂

  10. Megan says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this and for having the courage to write about it.
    I was always one of those people who felt sad for someone who had a miscarriage but never truly understood. After having 4 healthy babies and 4,sick, but healthy pregnancies I had a miscarriage in April. I had no idea the pain someone goes through emotionally and physically while it’s happening. My baby didn’t want to leave her happy home though and I ended up almost passed out on the bathroom floor, from hemorrhaging, while my kids were knocking on the the door asking for breakfast. Thank God, I had taken my phone with me to the bathroom because I was able to call my parents, my husband was 100 miles away at work, and they carried me to the car and my mom drove me to the hospital.(Every parents worst nightmare, I’m sure).
    After a DNC and an overnight hospital stay, I had to go home and tell my 4 kiddos that after 16 weeks of being excited for baby, who we already named Emily Susan, she was no longer in mommy’s tummy but in Heaven where Jesus was holding her.
    Through all of this though I now have the empathy, understanding and knowledge of what some women go through. I also know that it, along with post partem depression, gets swept under the rug never to be mentioned again. Miscarriages are something that needs to be talked about and shared. Women need to know that it’s ok to share, to grieve, to be angry at God, to have guilt, thinking you did something wrong, and to be terrified of trying again.
    So thank you, again for sharing your story!

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Megan my heart goes out to you. Sending you so much love and strength, and happy you know this is a safe place. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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