It's estimated that one in every four diagnosed pregnancies end in miscarriage. The reasons for miscarriage vary wildly, however most miscarriages do not ever have a diagnosed cause. Whatever the cause -- known or unknown -- miscarriages can be devastating. Even worse, miscarriage is a taboo subject, the type of loss that is rarely discussed.
Here is my story.
Shortly after my middle son turned one, I realized I hadn't gotten my period in ... well, I couldn't tell you the last time I'd had it. But I'd recently weaned the kid off breastfeeding, I'd been stressed about the death of a good friend, and, um, there had to be a zillion and a half reasons I couldn't recall the dates of my last period ... right?
I'd had a single ancient pregnancy test from the lengthy time it took to conceive Child #2, and I figured, "What the hell? May as well set my mind at ease -- there's no way I could be pregnant!"
Famous last words.
I did, indeed, see that a second line YOU'RE PREGNANT popped up after I'd peed on the stick. It was a little fainter than I'd remembered, but hey, the test booklet said a line is a line is a line.
Happily, I showed the stick to my husband, who said something to the effect of, "Really? How did THAT happen?" I shrugged my shoulders, completely unsure. Things had been such a mess that I honestly had no IDEA how that had happened.
I went to bed that night, smiling about the new life growing inside of me. Perhaps this wasn't a PLANNED baby, but it was my baby, and I was going to love every second of it. This would be my last baby, so I intended to enjoy it all (except the sleepless nights).
The following morning, I woke up and went to the bathroom. When I wiped, there it was -- blood. In the toilet -- more blood. The cramping began almost immediately afterward.
It took a week and a half for the "products of conception" to vacate my uterus. A week and a half where my emotions ranged from happy to crying in a few short minutes. The roller coaster was almost unbearable. I sobbed myself to sleep most nights; when I was awake I buried my head in my toddler's head, and breathing in his smell. Sometimes that helped. Sometimes it didn't.
I somehow managed not to kill people who told me "it was God's will" or "it happened for a reason," because no matter how true that may or may not have been, it hurt to hear.
Several weeks later, I planted a rose in honor of that baby. Every year, I breathe in it's heavenly scent and am reminded of that sweet baby -- who will never, ever be forgotten.
Image via rosmary/Flickr