For mothers who have struggled to feel like they had permission to grieve their first-trimester miscarriage…or who may have not been given the information they needed, to know that it was ok to mourn for their baby.
Miscarriage was something other people had.
Up until 2 years ago, I had three completely healthy pregnancies. I never experienced morning sickness, had great blood pressure, gained just the right amount of weight…etc.
So when I started bleeding the week after we found out we were pregnant with our 4th baby I was absolutely devastated.
At first, I went through all the friends that had bleeding during pregnancy and still delivered healthy babies. I knew there were so many scenarios that could end positively that I thought maybe, just maybe there was hope.
I called the doctor’s office and fortunately, they brought me in the next day…(it breaks my heart to read stories of women whose doctors did not give them an immediate appointment).
We went in hopeful that we would be told it was ok, even though deep down I knew that all the signs and cramps were leading us to another conclusion.
When they got out the ultrasound machine and dimmed the lights, an unfamiliar site loomed large on the screen. My empty womb was all that you could see. There was no sign of a baby.
For a few weeks…I began the process of watching for ectopic pregnancy (fortunately that was not the case) and also made repeated visits to the office to have my hormone levels checked to make sure everything was returning back to normal.
And while I was thankful that the staff was so thorough and kind through it all…I just felt so ridiculous for grieving.
I mean, all I really had to show for this pregnancy was a positive test and a few happy days of thinking about the future with a new little one. So many moms that I knew personally had lost their babies much later and had survived…so how could I be so emotionally distraught.
I needed someone to tell me it was ok to grieve for my baby.
I picked up the pieces once the doctor’s visits were over and the awful cycle of blood had finished flowing and moved on with my life like I was supposed to.
Then about 5 months later, we found out we were pregnant again. This time, we went to buy a larger car because we knew our growing family would definitely need one (we already had 5 children altogether). That night, on the way home from the dealership, just one week after we found out we were pregnant, I began to bleed again.
Once again, I went through all the positive scenarios in my head, but I quickly fell apart when I passed what I felt was our baby right before dinner the next evening. A trip back to the doctor’s office confirmed a large empty womb on the ultrasound screen and I was left once again trying to justify why I should not feel so bad because it could be so much worse.
For the second time, I needed someone to tell me it was ok to grieve for my baby.
So, this is my message to you.
Whether it is your first or fourth or tenth baby…whether you lose her the day after the test is positive or the day before delivery…it is ok to grieve for your baby. Yes, someone out there has it worse than you. But, that does not mean your loss is any less important or any less painful.
The truth of the matter is…so many women wait to tell they are pregnant until after the 1st trimester these days because they know it is possible that they will lose their baby. Yet, if they do lose their sweet little one before they have shared the news, all they have done is isolated themselves to grieve alone.
It is ok to share your loss.
It is important to seek support.
It is good to look for other mothers who can help you walk through this time so that you are not alone.
Grief is meant to be shared.
That is where the healing comes from…allowing others to reach out with compassion and say, I have been there and I want to help you through.
Rachel Cranford says
Excellently said, Kelli. When my OB said that they wouldn’t consider it a “problem” until after my third miscarriage, I very passionately told him that, “These are my children, not just some ’tissue’ that is being passed. No woman takes a pregnancy test and then reserves their happiness until they see if it ‘sticks’. As soon as that positive is seen, there is rejoicing, celebrating, maybe some worrying, looking to the future, imagining ballet lessons or soccer games… That is a tiny human inside of me. Babies may not look completely human for the first several weeks but there is nothing else that they will become. He or she is my child and I celebrate that.” I told him that I would not risk losing another child for us to then start testing to see if something was wrong.
Thankfully he agreed to do it my way but good grief… Why should we have to fight?! We deserve the chance to celebrate our little ones and grieve for them as well. The entire future that we envision for our family shifts when we lose our little loves. A momma’s heart doesn’t hold back love and grief is, in it’s simplest form, love.
Lean On says
Absolutely agree!!! I could not have said it better myself! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and for standing your ground for your family Mama!!
I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing this. I just lost my baby at 8 weeks and it’s been so difficult. The feeling that you don’t deserve to grieve a loss so early is such a real feeling and is something I am struggling with daily. This has validated my need to grieve and I appreciate you sharing your story.
Thank you ❤️🩹 exactly what I needed right now
Marissa Khosh | MamaRissa.com says
Thank you so much for sharing this. I am so sorry about your miscarriages.
Sometimes it is easy to believe we don’t have a right to grieve miscarriage. When I had my first pregnancy and subsequent missed miscarriage around 10 weeks, I felt I had a right to grieve because I was childless and had lost my only precious baby. But after having my daughter, I always feel a little ashamed for grieving a lost pregnancy because I know there are women who lose and lose and lose pregnancies and have not had their healthy baby yet.
My last two pregnancies were chemicals – I lost them before I even got to five weeks. I really appreciate what you said about how it’s okay to grieve whether you lose your baby a day after a positive test or a day before delivery. Because I grieved my very short chemical pregnancies just as hard as that first pregnancy, even though I had a living child, even though I only knew about those miscarried babies for a few days before I lost them.
It is hard to open up and talk about miscarriage though. Sometimes because of embarrassment and feeling like you’re not allowed to grieve and partly because of the vulnerability it creates. I have not quite been able to share my chemical pregnancy stories publicly yet and they happened 9 and 10 months ago. I did write a post briefly mentioning them because I felt moved to share what other women need to hear about how God cares about miscarriage (that post is here: https://mamarissa.com/god-cares-about-your-miscarriage/). But I have not worked up the courage to share anything more.
But you are right. I need to be willing to open up and share. Because I believe other moms should be able to share about their miscarried children. So I need to be willing to lead the way. Thank you so much for this post!
Thank you so much for sharing this and writing the words I so desperately need to hear right now in the raw beginnings of grief. Thank you.
Lean On says
So very sorry for what you are going through!