I posted this photo today on Instagram. The caption reads:
“The slight smile on my lips can’t hide the grief in my eyes. Rolling into my D&C a year ago today (5/31/2017). I get pretty loopy coming out of anesthesia, and my conscious came to crying out, “Did you see my baby?! Did you see my baby?!?!?” “
Finding out you miscarried, no matter how early, is traumatic. Going through the process of actually passing the baby is an equally traumatic, drawn out process. Some women pass the baby on their own. Others need help in the case of a missed miscarriage (sometimes called a missed abortion). If your baby dies and your body hasn’t passed it yet, your options are to wait and see if you’ll pass it on your own, take medication to start passing it within hours, or go to the hospital or clinic and have a dilation and curettage (“D&C”).
I chose the D&C because 1) I didn’t want to hold on to false hope that if I waited a week, MAYBE my baby would spring to life, 2) I heard taking the medicine is ROUGH, and 3) my friend had a D&C, bled for a day, and then it was over. The D&C sounded like the quickest and most pain-free (physically) choice. WRONG. I hurt so bad after the D&C and I bled—A LOT— for the following six weeks after, complete with cramps that would momentarily cripple me. It was awful, but I would still consider it if faced with the decision again.
Having the D&C did give me the opportunity to have the baby’s genetics tested. We’re told the number one cause of miscarriage is a genetic defect. Assuming JB had a chromosome issue gave me some relief, because at least I didn’t have to find out later and have to decide with my husband whether or not to terminate. Over a month after JB was gone, I got the genetic results back, and found out he had 23 perfect pairs of chromosomes, a little boy. I was devastated all over again. It killed me that my “perfect” baby died. What happened? Will it happen again? Was there something wrong with him that couldn’t be tested for so early? Was there something wrong with me? Did I do something to kill him???
I’m sure most of us loss mothers have asked those questions, and we rarely get answers. Unfortunately, miscarriage is common. It’s normal. It’s a part of life and we all know someone, probably several women, who have gone through it. This is why we need to talk about it, share openly, and normalize the conversation. We don’t stop talking about our older loved ones after they pass, so why do so many of us not talk about our babies when they’re gone?
I hope Invisibaby and my shirts help women to celebrate their babies and motherhood and break the silence of pregnancy and infant loss.