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The Emotional Toll of Coping with a Missed Miscarriage

As morbid as it sounds, I honestly thought I was the miscarriage guru. After three pregnancy losses, I felt like I experienced it all. Each loss was unique with its own set of challenges and new lessons learned. Then we saw the light we had finally been waiting for and were blessed with our two sons. Knowing our family was complete, we thought pregnancy and miscarriage were behind us. Oh, how wrong we were.

A few weeks ago, at nearly 39, I was at a routine OB appointment and was told I was five weeks pregnant. Before you ask. No, we were not planning this. Albeit we were not preventing either. I mean, why would we? You know our history. The only way we were able to have kids was adoption and embryo donation. We were fully aware our procreating abilities as a couple were lacking. Looking back, we knew better and should have been more cautious. Not to avoid pregnancy, but to avoid the inevitable loss new were pretty familiar with.

After speaking in fragments and realizing the OB was not joking, my anxiety from prior pregnancy losses came back with a vengeance. I was convinced we would lose this just like the others, but then things started feeling more real and the pregnancy continued developing. As that happened my guard came down. I had heard of many women getting pregnant naturally after IVF so assumed maybe my body finally got the idea of how to carry a child to term. That was the trick my body was playing on me.

Two weeks later, at what should have been our seven week heartbeat appointment, we saw the baby had stopped developing at six weeks. Our baby was gone. I had experienced what is known as a missed miscarriage. Basically, your body still continues on like you are pregnant. The hormone levels, symptoms, and everything else continue but your baby stops developing.

I soon realized this was going to be really hard. Miscarriages are hard enough, but this kind just felt cruel. I felt like my body betrayed me. There were no signs our baby wasn't thriving and now I would have to grieve twice. The first time when we found out I was essentially carrying our baby who stopped developing. The second time when I would pass it. This is where it gets even more complicated.

Typically there are three options when a missed miscarriage happens. You can choose to wait and pass naturally, which could take weeks. Another choice is to take medication to induce shredding of the uterus. The other option is a Dilation and Curettage (D & C). This is a procedure that your OB can do and remove tissue from inside your uterus. There are pros and cons to each and thankfully my OB was very good at explaining those and letting me process first before deciding.

At this point, I still have roughly a week before meeting with my OB to decide my next steps. I am secretly hoping to pass naturally while simultaneously wanting to hold on as long as I can to our babe. I already feel empty knowing they aren't developing anymore, and as much as I know it will provide closure, I am just not ready to say the final goodbye yet.

For anyone who has been or is currently in this space. I am so sorry this happened. Everything you are feeling is valid and I hope you are being gentle on yourself. I wish I could offer lessons I learned from this experience, but right now, I just need to sit in this sad time and feel it. Maybe that is the lesson. With all my other losses, I had this need to power through and get better. Now that we have loss number four occurring, I don't have that desire this time.

The only thing I do know, is that pregnancy loss is really hard and everyone who has ever gone through it deserves only the happiest moments. I see you and I am sending you all my love.


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