Healing in the Face of Miscarriage
When my husband, Dale, and I found out we were pregnant in Summer of 2014, we were ecstatic. We told the whole world. He and I could not wait until our first ultrasound appointment. We couldn’t wait to see our baby for the first time and to hear his or her heartbeat. The day finally came. The look on our OB’s face said it all. I could tell something wasn’t right but in true Austin family fashion, I made a joke.
“The pregnancy test was actually positive, right? There is something in there?!” In her best bedside manner (insert eye roll) she said yes but there wasn’t a heartbeat and that the baby was only measuring 6w5d rather than 11 weeks. I instantly went into Mama Bear mode as soon as she considered making an appointment for a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) “first thing tomorrow morning.” I mentioned to her that everything I was reading suggested the baby’s heart doesn’t fully develop until week 7 or 8. She agreed and basically said to humor me she would wait a few days, check again, and then confirm whether or not the baby was actually gone.
“Advocate for your body”
A few days later yielded the same result. We were heartbroken and devastated. I was bawling as Dale was trying to stay strong for me. I couldn’t control my tears…until my OB laughed in my face when I told her I would be going about my miscarriage naturally. LITERALLY LAUGHED! I was completely baffled as to why she found that a) to be so funny and b) why it was so frowned upon. I then stood up, tears stopped, and I told her my main, most important physician, Jesus Christ, created my body perfectly to be able to do this. Dale and I found ourselves out of that office and threw her a big “peace sign.” We would NEVER see her again.
Now before I go on, ladies, if you EVER deal with a doctor, OB, nurse, or anyone for that matter, who treats you in this way…LEAVE!!! You are your own advocate for your body, and it is your responsibility for your health and wellbeing to find someone to care for you that suits your needs, supports you and your choices, and loves you for who you are.
I carried my baby until he or she was ready to be delivered. With a natural, vaginal miscarriage you still go into labor, you still have contractions, you still dilate, and you still deliver. It doesn’t matter how far along you are or were. I went into labor at 1 am September 6th. I foolishly went to work that day. My contractions were initially 10 minutes apart for several hours. When I got into work they were 5-7 minutes apart. As the day went on they inevitably got closer and closer. When they got 2 minutes apart I went home. Once home, I got in my pajamas and got in a position that felt comfortable enough to settle in and ride the waves.
“All this pain was for nothing.”
It wasn’t until that moment that I realized I was going through all of this and there would be nothing waiting for me at the finish line. No cheeks to kiss, no tiny hand to hold, no sweet baby smell, nothing! That is when I lost it. All this pain was for nothing. Growing up, I always knew I wanted an unmedicated birth and here I was doing it…for nothing -or at least that was what the devil was whispering in my ear. My biggest concern through all of this was hemorrhaging, as well as possibly going septic. Once I started dilating I began to bleed with each contraction. Because I didn’t know what was normal and what wasn’t, Dale and I went to the hospital. We stayed there a couple of hours, was given some pain medicine to relax my body to fully dilate, and sent home to complete this journey. I delivered the next morning. It was an honor to go through that for my baby. It was an honor for me to go through it in the way God intended. But it goes without saying…it sucked.
Prayers for Understanding, Peace, and Healing
The days and weeks after my miscarriage are both a blur and crystal clear. If I wasn’t working, I had my nose in a book. Literally read close to 15-20 books in the 3 months we had to wait to try again. I read stories of loss, love, adventure…you name it I read it. I also prayed…..like a lot! For understanding, peace, and healing. It was the holidays so we kept busy but Dale and I made it a point to have “us” nights as well.
I have to say, I mourned big time. I woke up every morning thinking of our baby. How far along would I be now? I thought of how I would have been pregnant through the holidays. That come the new year we would have been prepping for the arrival of our baby. Thank God we have prayer. God is so good, so merciful, so readily available at our beck and call. It got to the point that I realized I needed to just give it all to Him. May His will be done! One day I realized this was just a small chapter in my story called life. I began to concentrate on the positive. I enjoyed the holidays, I enjoyed my husband, my family, my dogs and cat. We brought in the new year around loved ones.
Trading Fear for Faith
January meant that we could try again. Right around there is when I started reading Supernatural Childbirth. It points out that although there were barren women in The Bible, they eventually all were blessed with children. That basically miscarriage is not of the Lord. It’s just part of our testimony and story. So, rather than live in fear of another miscarriage I decided to be in tune with my body but not obsessed. I was going to get pregnant again, but in His timing. Now the waiting game.
We were ordered by my new, super awesome, wonderful Nurse Practitioner and OB to wait at least three months for my body to heal until we tried to get pregnant again. The holidays went by. My 30th birthday was coming up in February. Dale put together this AMAZING masquerade soiree for February 28th since my birthday was on a Monday (boo!) I woke up 30 years old, excited for what this new decade would bring me.
I was late for my period, but I had taken a test a few days prior, which was negative. That night I woke up in the middle of the night with a belly ache. I had planned to take another test first thing in the morning but decided to retake it at 2 am instead. I took the test half awake…and it was positive!!! It didn’t matter how yucky my belly felt…I was pregnant!
Angie, my Nurse Practitioner, told me as soon as find out that I was pregnant again to email her immediately. Well, I did! Dale and I ended up with gnarly food poisoning the following day, so he, unfortunately, found out I was pregnant in a not so pretty way hehehe. Angie ordered all sorts of tests that day for me. We didn’t know what caused the miscarriage before, so she wanted to be on top of it. Come to find out, my body doesn’t make enough progesterone in the first trimester in order to make a placenta. Easy fix! Fast forward…my pregnancy the second time around was a cinch.
Faith is one of the hardest things in the world, but as my Pastor’s wife always says ‘His word says “be anxious for nothing” and to this day I live by those words. Keep faith, stay strong in the Lord, be true to yourself and you will one day be blessed. And boy am I blessed!
Read Melesssa’s story on how the birth of her rainbow baby, taught her new lessons of what true faith and trust really are. A Birth Story
You can connect with Melesssa via Instagram.
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