Guest Post – Emily O’Malley
Miscarriage – When Your Baby’s Heartbeat Stops – Part Two – Angel Babies
Dear sweet reader,
When my soul sister Catherine asked how I would feel if she wrote a blog post about miscarriage and if I would like to add my story, I jumped at the opportunity. Yet now as I sit here at 12:45am, having a glass of milk after re-settling my eldest, my story suddenly feels overwhelming. You see I should be unable to balance my laptop as I do right now, as I should have a 7 month baby bump. But alas, all I have is post-baby belly.
My story is a common one. According to the March of Dimes, as many as 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage – most often before a woman misses a menstrual period or even knows she is pregnant. About 15-25% of recognised pregnancies will end in a miscarriage. Doctors will quite happily tell you this as they go about the seemingly routine process of telling you that you are pregnant no more.
Some doctors may even refer to it as a ‘natural abortion.’ The amount of times when doctors have asked me how many abortions I have had, just astounds me. Somewhere along the road these medical practitioners have lost compassion for women in their care.
My most recent miscarriage was in November 2017.
We had finished our family and had all birth control methods in place. I just happened to be in the 0.3% of women who fell pregnant on our particular birth control. As you can imagine it was a H U G E shock to my husband and myself. But we started to get our heads around it after a couple of days. We talked logistics of where we would place this baby in our home, we laughed about the fact that we had just finished selling the last of the baby clothes and equipment, and we marvelled at the fact I fell pregnant, despite all birth control measures being in place.
But then the moment came….. it was a moment that had happened three times prior. I wasn’t shocked, I took a deep breath…. And I flushed that blood soaked piece of toilet paper away. I called my husband to come home from work so I could go to the hospital. I felt calm…yet sick. I got in the car and drove to the Emergency Department, calling a friend along the way, who insisted on coming and being with me, despite my claims that I was “fine” (and I am ever so grateful she did come!)
Once at the ED, I sat for several hours waiting to be processed and seen by the doctor. And the bleeding slowed, thus my hope started to grow again. However, when the doctor came and told me my HCG levels (pregnancy hormone) was not doubling as it should and he believed I was having a miscarriage, it felt all too real and very familiar. Through tightly held lips and watery eyes, I said thank you and simply walked out of the room.
I held my game face on for a little bit…but then it started to crack. And I sobbed. Over the coming days and weeks I got so angry at God for allowing this to happen to me. A baby we had never planned for, but loved SO deeply after such a short period of time, had been ripped away from us. I think the worst part was having to continue on with life like everything was normal….but life wasn’t normal…and that baby will forever be on my mind and in my heart.
You see I’ve had four miscarriages. Three of them were prior to having my eldest and then this last, most recent one. My husband and I have been blessed with two beautiful earth babies. The youngest one who is soon to turn five! But my heart can’t help but long for our angel babies as well. I once read a book about asking God to reveal the gender of your child, so that you can name them.
My husband and I did this and so we have Noah, Jesse, Lucy and most recently Rose, in heaven.
It has amazed me how many other women say they’ve had a miscarriage, when I start sharing my story with them. Society tells us to keep quiet about miscarriage and has made it out to be an unspoken topic, but the more we talk and share, the more we can journey together and get rid of this stigma surrounding miscarriage.
I’m sad to say not a day goes by that I don’t think about my angel babies.
At times sweet reader, you won’t even realise you are thinking about your loss, until it hits you right in the face and you feel overwhelmed with grief and sorrow. Or you may feel you’re ok, but then you see someone with a baby bump that would have been the same size as yours and it hits you. All over again.
My message is simply this … mama you are not alone. Let us band together as mothers…as women….and share our stories of joy and hope, as well as those of sorrow and pain. We crave community and most of us are well aware of the concept ‘it takes a village to raise a family’ – so let us actually do that. The conversations may feel difficult to initially start, but from a mama that’s been there….please go there. Ask me how I feel, ask what you can pray about for me, refer to my angel babies by name.
And most of all….please love on me.
Because even though we might say we don’t blame ourselves for having a miscarriage.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t.