Not Really Confessions…Just Life Ish (part 2)

(TW: Miscarriage)

Heyyyy! I’m impressed that I actually followed through with the sequel like I said I would. This probably would have come a lot sooner, like at one of those 1 am wakeups, but I can’t figure out how to post stories from Medium on my phone anymore. Ah well. The timing of this post is actually right on time, as you will soon see.

First of all, Happy Mother’s Day to all who are celebrating today! Whether you have children or have helped to raise children in any capacity (i.e. godmom, aunt, play aunt, educator, etc.), I salute you. Enjoy your day!

When we last left off, I shared the details of the most painful time of my life, which occurred mainly in July of 2021. I was pregnant for the first time, but we lost the baby due to a missed miscarriage. We found out at the first ultrasound, when they could not detect a heartbeat, and this was confirmed through another provider a week later. Whereas the first office had left me feeling high and dry, I got the exact opposite treatment from the second OB, who was gentle, empathetic, and treated me like a human being.

That same day, I had a couple of friends come in from out of town. They gave me grace and asked if I wanted to cancel, but my husband encouraged me to keep my plans to lift my spirits. I am glad we did go out, because this did, in fact, help quite a bit. One friend drove me to the location to meet the other, and on our way, we saw the most beautiful rainbow in the sky.

I had to filter it because, by the time we got to the parking spot, it started to fade.

For those who may not be familiar (I wasn’t until I experienced it), a rainbow baby is a baby who comes after a loss of a previous child. The way someone broke it down to me was that after a storm comes a rainbow. This to me was a major sign. I took a picture of this and saved it as the wallpaper on my phone. My lock screen has a selfie of my husband and me, minutes before we got married. The wallpaper symbolized the child that I hoped we would one day have.

I went to the new OB a few more times before she cleared me in August. I will skip over all of the gory details, as they are still a bit painful and personal. Let me just say that in the wake of everything going on politically, I am fully in favor of a woman’s right to choose under any circumstances. I think that before going all gung ho on opposing it, anyone should think about things such as when the baby has passed on but the mother’s body will not let go. From what I have learned, this can lead to major problems which can include infection, sterility, and death. But again, I support a woman’s right to choose in all cases. I don’t want to stray too far from the story, so I’ll get back to it.

The rainbow was the first sign. The second sign was one day when I was meditating. My mind wanders, as it usually does. I had a voice that came through loud and clear, “please don’t give up on me. I promise not to give up on you.”

At the time, after going through the first experience, I was unsure if I was up to trying again. I was happy before I had gotten pregnant, ecstatic when I was pregnant, and devastated/barely functioning once we lost the baby. I didn’t know if I could handle such an emotional rollercoaster again. However, for this sign, coupled with other meditation daydreams I was having (signing up a little girl for kindergarten, a little girl sitting next to me on a plane, a teenage girl in a soccer uniform), I decided to listen.

September was no dice, so I looked to a few communities on Reddit and learned more about the science behind pregnancy. I ordered some supplies from Amazon, based on group recommendations. In October, I was late again, although only by a couple of days. I took a test, and there was the faintest of a line there. However, I soon found out this was a head-fake, as a couple of days later I found out this baby didn’t stick.

At this point, I started to panic and again fell into a depression. But this time, I began to furiously do research: reading books, talking to people, listening to podcasts, etc. I put myself on a daily cocktail of pills including Acai Berry and about nine other things I don’t currently remember, which I read about in various books. (If anybody really wants to know, please send me a message. I have all of this stuff in a drawer somewhere and would be happy to look it up.)

Early November, I tested when I was once again late. Again, a very faint line. I felt angry, expecting the worst. I had also bought a test that spelled out “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” in words. It claimed the former, but I didn’t put too much stock into it — I had lost trust and faith in my body. I waited for the inevitable confirmation that this month would again bear no fruit. I waited. And waited. And waited.

It never came.

I had bought a 20 pack of tests and went through them pretty quickly. The line got stronger and stronger each time. I called and set up an appointment with the OB for early December.

I held my breath during the ultrasound, expecting to get a repeat of bad news. “There’s a heartbeat, and it’s strong,” she said. I felt all the feels but managed to keep my composure. “Congratulations,” she told my husband and me, as she handed us a blue folder full of information on what to expect.

Fast forward. Today, as I write this, it is Mother’s Day, and I have just turned 30 weeks, which I told myself was the deadline to write this post. So as I stated before, this is actually perfect timing. We are expecting a baby girl due this summer, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. There have been some scary moments, but this is the happiest I’ve been in a long time.

She is currently kicking the mess out of me. I think she knows I’m talking about her.

Despite being 40 and having “risk factors,” this pregnancy has been pretty uncomplicated. I got the morning sickness and all the regular stuff in the first trimester. Second trimester, my anxiety flared up really badly some days and affected me physically. Now in the third trimester with under 10ish weeks to go, I’m feeling pretty good (with the exception of catching COVID…boo…but I’m almost over it).

I say this to give anyone reading this hope. On Reddit and other message boards, I see that several people have pregnancy concerns about things such as their age, their weight, their family histories, etc. I would like to encourage anyone having doubts to remember that we are all individuals and your mileage may vary. Some people have easier times, some have harder times. Sometimes risk factors may play a role, sometimes they don’t. My advice is to try to stay positive, unless and until you get to any difficulties you may have to overcome, then take them one step at a time.

I am grateful to Baby Girl for coming back to us and sending me messages to keep going. I am grateful to my husband for being my rock, partner, and overall awesome human being. I am grateful to my family and friends for all of their support.

PS I haven’t told everybody yet lol. Rolling it out in waves. But I wanted to come and give an update :-D I will announce it on various platforms in time, thanks!

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Sarah Thomas, PhD

Educator/Regional Tech Coordinator. Passionate about using social media to connect w/ educators around the world. We all have a story. What's yours? #EduMatch