I’ve had a miscarriage. In fact, I’ve had three. I’ve lost three children… and I don’t really talk about it much.
It wasn’t until my last miscarriage that I really began to “feel” the loss. For whatever reason, I disregarded my first loss. With my second loss I felt that because it was so early, I wasn’t justified in feeling grief. And to be honest no one really wanted to talk about it.
My third miscarriage was almost two years after the birth of my fourth child. I had just started my dream job. I had four beautiful children and though not unwelcome, another baby was a shock. It took us a couple of weeks to come to terms with this pregnancy–to let go and let God worry about what being a full-time employee and new mom would look like.
My husband and I started to get excited. On Valentine’s Day, we dressed the youngest up in a shirt that said, “Big Sister.” The kids were so excited and I was finally content–resting in God’s plan for my life.
Since I worked in a pregnancy resource center, I decided to make an appointment at the one the next town over that offered ultrasound services to officially date my pregnancy. Even though they knew me, I went through all of the intake paperwork and met with a client advocate.
I now wish I had been more honest with her about all the feelings I had going into this pregnancy. She was a sweet lady and I probably would have benefited from her kindness.
Next, I went back for the ultrasound. The nurse, Alex, was also kind and I was excited to see my baby on the ultrasound screen. I had literally seen dozens of these early ultrasounds so I knew what to look for.
Alex was chatty and knowledgeable. They had a nurse in training there that day I and I joked about how I was an easy client since I knew the process. Alex grew quieter throughout the ultrasound and I held my breath realizing we weren’t finding a heartbeat.
I was supposed to be at eight weeks. I should have been seeing arms and legs and a clear heartbeat. I didn’t see any of that. Even as I write this, I fear putting it out there that my baby didn’t look “normal” because then maybe someone will tell me I wasn’t really pregnant or I didn’t lose a life.
Alex worked for a long time to identify a heartbeat before finally saying, “I can’t find a heartbeat and something doesn’t look right. I think you should see a doctor.”
I held back tears–struggling to come to grips with the reality that we may not be meeting this baby on this side of heaven. The PRC staff gathered around me and prayed over me. I went into the lobby and told my husband the news.
A follow-up visit with my midwife and another ultrasound confirmed that the baby did not have a heartbeat and had stopped growing at about six weeks. Not wanting to experience a D&C, I choose to have a natural miscarriage and remained pregnant for another six weeks.
Following the miscarriage, I became emotionally numb. I tried to cry–prayed to cry–but I just didn’t. I refocused on my new career, reminded myself how blessed I was to have four children, and tried not to make other people feel uncomfortable around me.
But I wasn’t the same. I never will be.
The truth is, despite wanting to rationalize that my pregnancy was void of life, the loss hurt too much for that to be true. My husband and I were pregnant with our child. We lost a baby. We lost Parker Pierce.
This true story was written by Save the Stork’s Lead Consultant, Shara Pierce.