I know, I know. What a sad topic for this week's Health Buzz. The thing is, many women have been through it. But it is almost like the subject is taboo. But why? Personally, I learned talking about it helped me get through it. Yes, I've been pregnant four times and have two boys to show for it.
I lost my first and third pregnancy. Keegan was my second pregnancy and Lochlan was my fourth. The first one ended between 9 and 10 weeks. The second one ended sooner, approximately 6 weeks.
With my first pregnancy, I had so much spotting. I was always going to the obgyn and getting ultrasounds done. And each time we would see the little guy. But one day he just stopped moving. The obgyn suggested I have a natural miscarriage, as opposed to a D&C. It took about 1 week for it to happen. It was painful throughout, both emotionally and physically. I could barely sleep at night because of the cramps. And the day I actually lost the little one was ... painful. I was depressed after that. I was never really happy until I got pregnant again. Thankfully, it happened three cycles later. I was worried throughout that pregnancy, since I also had spotting. But with every ultrasound we saw Keegan getting bigger and bigger. The final result was my 8 pound, 11 ounce mellow man.
Now, my second miscarriage (3rd pregnancy) was different. I just knew it wasn't right. It was a gut feeling that the pregnancy wasn't viable. I finally went in for an early ultrasound, since my obgyn liked me and saw no reason for me to worry. But, I was right. The little guy just wasn't viable. No heartbeat. I opted again for a natural miscarriage. And within 2 weeks I lost it. This one I was so much calmer about and there was less pain. Why? I think since it was my second miscarriage - I had a been-there-done-that feel to it. In a way, I was emotionally "hardened". And maybe it helped that I knew it wasn't going to end up as a baby? I also think it really helped that I already had "my baby". Keegan got me through it, in that I had to still take care of him. No time to be depressed! Plus, he was a result of a baby after a miscarriage and I loved him obsessively. If it wasn't for the first miscarriage, there would be no Keegan. Unthinkable! So if it wasn't for my third miscarriage, I wouldn't have whatever baby I was blessed with next. Which happened quickly.
Kevin and I have no clue how we became pregnant with Lochlan. All we know is that 31 days passed since I lost my third pregnancy, so I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. And not a faint positive of lingering HCG in my system. A good, strong positive. So I called my obgyn, she got me in for an ultrasound... and I will never forget that first photo of Lochlan. It was unlike any 6 week ultrasound I've ever seen. There was no "bean". It was a little Alien! He already had little arms and legs and a head with eyes. It was clear as day that I had yet another little guy in me!
Now, why did I have those miscarriages. No clue, they tested my progesterone and that was fine. It just wasn't meant to be, sadly enough.
Now, most likely you won't have a miscarriage! That's good news! Only 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Some women may have 10 kids with no losses! But then others may be like me, where 50% end in miscarriage. With each viable pregnancy, your odds of miscarrying actually drop. But the reverse is true, too.
A miscarriage is usually not your fault. Most are caused by a chromosomal problem with the fetus as he's developing. But smoking and drinking can increase risk of miscarriage.
Most miscarriages occur in the first 3 months of pregnancy, before 12 weeks' gestation. That's why many women wait until the second trimester to announce their pregnancy. With Lochlan, I never announced it. People just guessed once I started showing ... a lot.
If you've gone through a miscarriage, it's normal to feel depressed and sad. You had built up hopes and dreams and worries from the moment you read that pregnancy test. So, take the time to grieve and do what you need to recover. Personally, I simply like to talk about it to heal.
If you know someone who has gone through a miscarriage, lend an open ear. Send flowers. Call and make sure they are okay. Don't expect a big THANK YOU for this. But know they appreciate it.
WHAT NOT TO SAY:
I didn't appreciate jokes. Yes, it can be awkward for some people and they don't know what to say. Don't make a joke or light of it, though. And don't say, "It's God's Will!" Honestly, that does not make the person feel ANY BETTER. And I doubt God wanted me to lose 2 pregnancies. I think God had nothing to do with those losses. So, let's leave him out of the comments.
I know this is a sad subject, but feel free to share your thoughts. If you've been through a miscarriage, what helped you heal? What didn't? Anything else to share?
For more information, I suggest visiting American Pregnancy.org. That was where I would go for a lot of my questions in regards to HCG levels, pregnancy and miscarriage. They have additional information on how to reduce miscarriage risks, miscarriage symptoms, types of miscarriage and treatment.