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Saturday, October 22, 2016

a miscarriage story - Jennifer Buck

October is a National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and as such I find it very important to open up the dialogue about miscarriages. The more women talk about it, the more I feel they will realize they are not alone. I'm grateful to Jennifer Buck for opening up about her own personal experience with losing a baby at 10 weeks along. She is so courageous and strong, and I admire her greatly for sharing with us. I know this will help another mom feel less alone through this tragedy.

Images shared from Jennifer Buck

1. When did you experience a miscarriage? How far along were you?
It was March of 2015. I was 10 weeks along. My oldest daughter was almost a year and half. I had a little spotting but I didn't think much of it. Then I had a bad dream that I lost the baby, which completely freaked me out. When I went in for my 10 week appointment, my first ultrasound, I had a bad feeling... It was almost as if my body was trying to mentally prepare me. We discovered  the baby had no heartbeat and hadn't progressed beyond 6 weeks. I was heartbroken and beside myself. The ultrasound tech didn't say much (just that the baby hadn't progressed) but it was obvious.  When I went back in the room with the midwife, one of the docs was there as well. They confirmed the news (missed miscarriage) but were nonchalant about it. I felt they were not comforting and not empathetic. My husband agreed. It was odd.. I remember having to walk through the waiting room after, big baby bellies everywhere. It was absolutely awful. I ended up switching practices not long afterwards.

2. What do you remember physically about the process? What was the most difficult part physically? 
I remember not knowing what to do. I think I was still in shock. My choices were: wait to see if I would pass it on my own, drugs to induce contractions, or a D & C. I recall feeling a little pressure by the staff to make a choice.

I chose to try the drugs to help my body pass the baby.  I remember feeling the induced contractions and sitting in the bathtub. bleeding, with the shower running, that was the worst part. I didn't want to see what was happening. I realized then it probably wasn't the best choice for me.

After two days I didn't feel like the drugs were working, so I went back in the office to have an ultrasound. The ultrasound confirmed I still had a lot of tissue that hadn't passed. The dr on that day said he could try and take care of it in the office. At that point, I just wanted it to be over and done with so I said, nope, I want a D & C.

So my mom came up and watched my daughter and my husband came with me to the hospital. After my d & c they realized there was still a lot more tissue left than they realized, so I was definitely glad I chose the procedure.

3. What do you remember emotionally about this process? What was most difficult emotionally to consider?

I was sad, somewhat lost, angry, and probably surprised. Although I knew friends that had experienced miscarriages, after having a normal first pregnancy, I just didn't think of it happening to me. 

I was also angry at the reactions of the midwife and Dr. Especially after I had a positive experience with them with that practice with my pregnancy and birth of my first daughter. I felt like they were so used to seeing women have miscarriages in the office, that it didn't mean much to them. But even if it didn't, they could have tried to pretend. It was certainly traumatic for me.

4. What feeling words would you use to describe this experience? 
Raw,  trying, & helpless.

5. What were some of the thoughts you had in your mind that maybe at the time didn't make a whole lot of sense, but still you were thinking them all the same?  
That I was being punished for some reason. That perhaps running a 5k caused it to happen.

6. What medically happened for you? Did you have any procedures? What helped you through this process medically - medicines, baths, sleep, etc.?

I had misopropyl and was told it worked 95% of the time. I was part of the 5% it did not work for. I then had a d & c in the hospital under anesthesia. I only took Ibuprofen (they didn't prescribe anything else) and that didn't do much for the pain. Sleep probably helped the most.

7. What helped you emotionally through this process? Do you remember things someone said to you that helped you feel better?  

My amazingly supportive family and friends. I actually talked a lot about it to friends and in a mom group.  It helped to share openly for me.  I also made a pinterest board for the baby with quotes, etc. Hearing stories of friends who had gone through it as well, helped me the most because I felt they understood.

8. What are some of the worst things you heard from people about this time? 
"You'll have another baby." I was mourning the one I had just lost..I wanted that baby. Also, who knew what the future held. Or people who knew it happened but didn't acknowledge the loss to me. I remember being surprised by the people who did acknowledge it (an uncle,  dental assistant) and who did say "I'm sorry for your loss." That meant a lot.

It wasn't anything anyone said, but I also had two good friends who were pregnant with their second children during this time.  We spent a lot of time together. It was hard to be around them for a while because our babies were all due around the same time, and I had been excited for all of us to be pregnant together.

9. What is your advice to a mom who has gone through a miscarriage? What do you hope they remember?    
That they are not alone, and to take their time and grieve. Don't be afraid to speak openly about it, if you felt comfortable doing so. Journal, cry, take time alone. Be gentle and kind with yourself. 

Remember although it is common, it is a tragic loss, and you will have good days and bad days.

10. What is your advice to a friend of a mom who has gone through a miscarriage?  What do you want to encourage them to do or not do to be supportive? 
Just be there and tell them you care. Ask your friend what is helpful to them. I imagine some women may need space, but it helped me immensely to talk about it.

11. Why do you think moms don't talk about miscarriages? Why do you think they SHOULD talk about their experience?
I think sadly, in our culture, miscarriage still isn't something  you talk openly about. Once I had one, I later found out a close aunt had a few, so and so had one., etc. Basically people came out of the woodwork and I never knew before it happened to me that they had suffered. 

It's common to wait until after the first trimester is over to announce a pregnancy, but it doesn't have to be. You should announce whenever you like. If you then have a loss, hopefully those people who you announced to will be supportive, and in turn some more of the stigma of talking about it will be erased.

12. Do you do anything to honor the baby you lost, the due date, or another part of this experience? 
My husband got me a Pandora charm after my oldest daughter was born. I looked for a charm that would symbolize my angel baby but I was surprised to find they didn't have one (beyond a regular angel) I thought about writing to them and suggesting they create one. Otherwise, I light a candle on the baby's due date, 10/24. Two days after my oldest daughter's birthday.

13. How has this experience made you a stronger mother? 
It has made me a better advocate for myself. It had helped me be more grateful of what I have, appreciative of my daughter, and more understanding to those who have infertility struggles.

14. Is there a happy ending to your story? 
We conceived our beautiful rainbow baby, Lylah Elizabeth, in August 2015, three months after my d & c, and she was born 4/28/16.

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