The Heartache of Pre-Natal Passing

Posted by Lisa Stevens on

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month. It is a hard topic to talk about, so it is important that we do talk about it, so others know they are not alone. 

Our pregnancy loss began early in our marriage. Actually, there was a good chance we would have lost Adrianna (our first) if it had been before the time of ultrasounds. The placenta had pulled away from the wall of the uterus and I was on bedrest for a good chunk of the pregnancy. 

I always had this weird "I don't want anyone to know we were trying for a baby" thing. I know lots of people are super open with it, but I just felt like it was no one else's business AND I did not want anyone looking at me, trying to figure out if I was pregnant or not. 

We got pregnant again when Adrianna was around 3...I had been to the obstetrician and had asked a lot of stupid questions, or questions I felt were stupid, since I had already had a baby, but it felt like the first time again. I asked when we would know the sex or have an ultrasound picture to share with people. We were super excited, we shared the news with Adrianna, she was excited as well. Then we decided to tell grandparents and just about anyone who would listen. I never even thought about the idea that I could miscarry....I was young and excited. Then it happened, for me the worst was telling was either tell people before they could ask or wait until they talked about I tended to just blurt it out. It hurt, physically and emotionally...but I was part of an online community where everyone was trying to conceive and lots of women had gone through the same thing. So I turned to them....and the hope that they brought. One after another those that had lost their baby, would get pregnant again and carry to term (or to a healthy baby at least). And I honestly thought, ok, we got this out of the way, now we can have our baby. 

I was so wrong. I was obsessed with getting pregnant. I was purchasing pregnancy tests (this was before the days of Dollarma pregnancy tests) and taking them all the time...equals loads of money being wasted. I was on the TTC (trying to conceive) forum all the time. I made some really great friends, but it was a little toxic for me. There were another 2 miscarriages before we got pregnant with Amadeus. We kept telling people we did not want any more children....because I did not want to go through the humiliation of having to tell them I miscarried again. (I know there is nothing to be ashamed of...but I still was). After we had Amadeus we said we were done having kids...we had a boy and a girl. 

We did not plan the next just happened. Amadeus was 2. It was a shock and we were just dealing with the emotions of an unplanned pregnancy...when I started having issues. I went to the hospital and was told there was no heartbeat (when there should have been). The doctor said I required further testing and I had to go home and wait the weekend before we found out any more information. All weekend, I kept saying "There is no way I am miscarrying...I cannot handle another one, they have to be wrong." But alas, when the weekend was over and I went to see my obstetrician he asked me some questions and wanted another ultrasound done, which I got done right away, along with blood work. It took a few days before I knew what was happening. 

I had a molar pregnancy. Which is when the developing baby (or babies we later found out...identical twins can sometimes try and separate at the beginning of the pregnancy and turns into a molar pregnancy instead of two babies) doesn't develop correct and turns into a tumour. I had to go for a D&C right away, and I was not allowed to get pregnant for at least 1 year. I had to go for weekly blood work to make sure my HcG levels were going down. The tumour can spread into the lungs and the blood work would be the first sign. That was a horrible year. I did not understand how that could happen....I was so mad at the world, mad at my body, mad at just about everything. I had to go on Depo birth control, cause we could not rely on anything else....cause I could NOT get pregnant, the chances of another tumour happening again within the year were too great. 

After the year, we decided we would try again, we both came from a family of three, sounded like a nice number of children. After coming off the Depo, it was hard to get pregnant. My cycle was pretty messed up. But then we finally did. Yay! I had lots of issues with her, in early one point we thought I might have had another molar pregnancy cause my HcG levels were very, very high...but when we had the ultrasound just one happy little baby, doing well. 

When Allora was 9 months old, we got pregnant with Adaliah. That one was a wild ride. lol But a pretty uneventful pregnancy until the end...when she had to come a little early.  As well, she was a pleasant but unplanned surprise.  

Then a few years went by, no pregnancies planned or unplanned....until we decided to try again. (This is a long story in I will leave that for another blog post)....but we had 4 more miscarriages before we got pregnant with Adonijah. I don't even think I told people, cause I just couldn't. It was too painful and talking/thinking about it was too much. One of them was right before we were going to Guatemala...I remember asking God to not let me be on my period while we were there (I have a horrible time on it, and just the idea of being in an unknown country while on it did not feel good to me), when I got pregnant before we were to go, I thought that was how God had answered my prayers. Then I met with my doctor and he said "You are high risk pregnancy, there is no way I can sign off on you going. You need to be here so we can monitor." Wow, that was not expected. Then I started having issues....I went to several different doctors (mine was away) and no one could tell me if I was miscarrying or the pregnancy was going to make it. Finally, a few weeks before we were set to go, I got the finally word...I was indeed miscarrying and they said the best thing we could do is just let it happen. So, we did....and by the time we left for Guatemala I was no longer bleeding. As hard as that miscarriage was, I was able to go on the trip, without worrying about a pregnancy or period. I was sad and emotional but the trip was so worth it. 

I remember talking with a friend after her own miscarriage, we decided that miscarriage was not a good term. We have taken to calling them Pre-natal Passing. Losing a baby is not right, it does not do justice to the death....I did not lose any of those babies, I know exactly where they went...cause a little part of my heart went with them. 

I know people think we have a lot of children, and we would But don't assume someone has not experienced loss (and lots of it) just because they do have living children. I have had 12 pregnancies which ended in 5 living children, and 7 pre-natal passings...I know some people have the dates of their pre-natal passings, but honestly I just remember roughly when they happened. But I remember the feeling when each one happened. 

Pre-natal passings and infant loss is a tough subject, it happens to 1 in 4 pregnancies. That makes it common. The more people talk about them (when they are ready....) the less people who will feel like I did (still do to a small extent) and be ashamed. On top of all the emotions that happen with pregnancy and infant loss, shame should never be one of them. 

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