I finally feel like I can write this post, so here it is. I’m no expert by any means, and I don’t think I’ll ever be “over it” so to speak, but things are finally starting to feel back to normal, literally and figuratively, and I feel like the gray clouds are starting to lift! I still have sad days, and will probably always be sad when I think about it and I think that’s totally normal. I’ll always remember August 13 and March 25. But, I’m honestly just tired of feeling sad and I’m ready to move on and put this behind us. God’s got this, and I’m not worried. We’ve had a couple really good weeks, and we’ve been soaking up this time with Adeline, and spoiling her something fierce! For the most part, I’m feeling pretty good!
I can’t tell you how many blogs I read, YouTube videos I watched, and friends I talked to about miscarriage. It’s not something you ever think to research until you’re experiencing it. And when you’re experiencing it, there’s nothing more helpful than reading or hearing others’ stories. There’s something strangely therapeutic about it and reconfirms you’re not alone. Miscarriage is as common as 1 in 4 pregnancies, maybe even more common than that, and you shouldn’t have to go through it alone! I’ve been so surprised by how many friends (and strangers!) have reached out to me and told me their own experiences and I couldn’t be more grateful to have that community.
So, here are 10 things I learned after a miscarriage. And remember, this is my opinion, my experience, my lessons only. Everyone experiences it differently. No two miscarriages are exactly the same, just like no two pregnancies are exactly the same. But if it helps someone else who’s going through it, or heaven forbid about to go through it, then it’s worth it to share.
It will hurt, and there will be way more blood than you’re prepared for.
- It will be like the worst period you’ve ever had, only worse. I’d known a couple people who had gone through miscarriages but I’d never asked how it all actually went down and I honestly never considered the option of it happening at home. For some reason I thought everyone just always had a D&C and you were told ahead of time that you would miscarry.
Your emotions will be all over the place and you won’t know how you “feel”.
- But you’ll figure out that it’s ok to be sad one day, fine the next, angry the day after that, and on and on. Don’t feel guilty if you wake up feeling happy one day, it doesn’t mean you’re “over it” or forgetting everything that happened.
You won’t want anyone to give their opinion.
- Everyone will have an opinion on what you should do next, when you should or shouldn’t start ttc again, and how you should feel. Take it all with a grain of salt and try not to snap at anyone, they’re just trying to be helpful in an awkward situation.
You’ll suddenly notice ALL the pregnancy announcements.
- You’ll be especially sensitive to the ones that pop up for the month you were due, and you’ll be not-so secretly jealous and bitter. Not because you’re not happy for them, but because in your mind that was going to be you.
Immediately after your miscarriage, they’ll ask if you are RH- or RH+.
- If you’re RH-, you’ll have to have an injection called Rhogam to prevent your body from producing antibodies that could harm the fetus in your next pregnancy. RH- is rare, but not uncommon. Basically, it comes down to blood type compatibility. If you are RH- and your baby is RH+, there could be problems. So because they didn’t know the blood type of the baby we lost, I needed the shot to protect a future baby. It’s kind of confusing, but you can read about it HERE. And just a heads up, insurance doesn’t typically cover the Rhogam injection so you’ll be out of pocket about $130. (Which isn’t exactly the kind of retail therapy you’ll be craving!)
After you miscarry, you’ll have to have weekly blood work done to check your HCG levels.
- They’ll do blood work the day you go in for an ultrasound to confirm everything, mainly to see where your HCG levels are, and then they’ll have you come into the lab to draw your blood every week. Your HCG is supposed to be crazy high while pregnant, and after you miscarry it plummets then slowly fades. And until it comes down to zero, they advise you not to have intercourse. AND, your monthly cycle won’t resume until they’re back to zero, or I think technically less than 5. All in all, it can take 4-6 weeks for your cycle to come back on average. We had 3 weekly blood tests done before my HCG was completely gone (3500 the day after, 55, 7, 0), and my cycle came back exactly 2 weeks after that. So it was about a 5.5 week ordeal in total.
You can ovulate between a miscarriage and your first post-miscarriage period.
- Typically, your ovulation precedes your period by about 2 weeks. So, in theory, if your HCG levels are gone your body could still ovulate before your period returns. Meaning, you could get pregnant right away and never even have that first period. Although, most OBGYN’s advise against it so that your body can fully heal and your uterus can be ready to support another healthy pregnancy. Mine told me to be sure and not “try” until after my first period came back, but also said it technically wouldn’t be a big deal if we did happen to get pregnant beforehand. (We didn’t, in case you were wondering, ha!)
You’ll be ecstatic when you finally start your next cycle, but waiting for it will feel like an eternity.
- It was only 5.5 weeks for us, and in the grand scheme of things that’s no time at all, but in the moment it felt like it took forever. It felt like time stopped for 5.5 weeks. But the day it came back felt like a door was closing on a chapter I never want to open again.
Find a friend you can word vomit everything to throughout the entire journey.
- Trust me on this! No matter if it’s your mom, a best friend, a friend who’s been through it or a friend who hasn’t been through it – just find someone who will listen. You’re going to NEED to talk about it and you’ll want that non-judgy person to spill it all out to. For me, it was a fellow mom friend who hadn’t been there herself, but was willing to listen to me and offer the encouraging and brutally honest words I wanted to hear.
You’ll remember you’re not in control and you’ll realize how thankful you are for what you have.
- I didn’t think it was possible to love Adeline more, but now my love for her is so insanely deep I can’t even put it into words. She is the light of my life and brings me more joy than I ever thought possible.
Thank you again to everyone who’s reached out! It meant more than you know, and I hope you’ll also reach out to the next person.