Life After Miscarriage
A few months ago I suffered a miscarriage that completely took me by suprise. I thought about keeping the details of my miscarriage private but decided to share it during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month for several reasons. First, I am 1 in 4 women who have gone through this. It is important that we shed light to it and stop treating miscarriage like a deep dark secret. This is all too common and as woman I feel we need to support each other.
The second reason is that I had a very rare miscarriage in which I had to do a lot of research for to really understand. I despereately wanted to hear other women's stories on this, and found that although there were tons of blogs and chats on miscarriages, I could not find one single one on the type that I had. So I am hoping this helps someone else going through a similar situation.
My miscarriage was a partial molar silent miscarriage. A partial molar miscarriage means that my egg was fertilized by two sperms (and yes it is possible even though it's very rare and happens in 1% of pregnancies) and so the cells growing inside of me were part embryo and part bad cells that were growing fast and was putting me at risk for Cancer.
Also, I never had signs of a miscarriage (this is called a silent miscarriage). I never had spotting, cramps, vomiting or any of the usual miscarriage signs or even the usual partial molar signs. The only sign I had of a partial molar pregnancy was an over sized uterus which is why I looked like I was six months pregnant at two months. I was convinced I was having twins! I also had a bit of high pressure when my vital signs were checked during pre-op (which is another sign) but the nurse thought it was probably due to my stress with the miscarriage.
When I went to do my ultrasound to find out how far along I was, I was told I was measuring at 6 weeks and they were not able to hear a heart beat but that was normal due to the small size. I went back two weeks later and my uterus was measuring at 8 weeks but baby was still measuring at 6 weeks and still no heart beat. I went back a week later and that was when it was determined that the baby did not have a heart beat and therefore I had suffered a silent miscarriage.
Because the pregnancy did not pass on its own, I ended up having to get a surgical procedure to remove the cells. I had to wait another week for my appointment and was told that the pregnancy could pass before the appointment. So that entire week I spent it very anxious, wondering if today was the day that would happen. I was so scared of even using the bathroom and prayed that I didn't have to see the tissue. Luckily, nothing happened and I was able to go through with the surgery.
A week after my surgery, I received a call from the surgeon explaining to me that lab work came back and he explained to me that it was a partial molar pregnancy and what that meant. I was shocked but knowing this information somehow brought comfort and a sense of closure to us.
As a result of this, I had to get blood drawn on a weekly basis for almost two months to ensure that all of the pregnancy cells were completely removed and my hormone levels were going down. I now do it on a monthly basis and have to get blood drawn every month for the next few months and cannot get pregnant for at least a year. This is to ensure that all of the bad cells were removed and that growth doesn't start again which could put me at risk for Cancer.
Besides all of the blood work needing to get done, I've also had to deal with my miscarriage physically. My clothes did not fit for a while after my miscarriage, I still had a formed belly and unlike my pregnancies with the boys, where my uterus began shrinking pretty quickly, it took me a long time to not feel or look pregnant. I hated even looking in the mirror because it was a constant reminder of what had happened and felt that my body had failed me. Also dealing with pregnancy hormones, cramps, hair loss, bleeding and everything you normally get with having a baby is pretty much what you go through after a miscarriage. This, you can imagine took a big toll on my confidence.
Despite all of this, I remained positive, I was not angry and I understood that things could have been far, far worse. As weird as it sounds, I felt blessed in a way knowing that things could have been far worse but it did not get to that point. I also talked to my husband about it often, especially at night after the kids went to bed. I cried, silently and alone, because I needed my space and my time to grieve, and most importantly I prayed every night for healing.
What I think has helped me the most is taking that and turning it into something positive. I woke up one day and told my husband that I wanted to take this very negative experience and turn it into something positive. So I decided it was time to work on myself. I began giving myself more alone time, pampering myself more which I hadn't done in so long, eating healthier, shopping for myself and going for morning walks/ jogs.
During these walks I would sit alone and watch the ducks, exercise and would meditate. I felt at peace when doing this and slowly my confidence grew and I have become much more confident in my skin again. So my advice is to give yourself time to heal, cry when you need to, talk about it with a loved one and most importantly take care of yourself!