A year ago, around January 2019, my husband & I decided to start to try to conceive (TTC). Prior to this, I have not taken any pills, my menstrual cycle was regular (and still is) and I did not have any known reproductive medical condition that may affect conceiving. But before we TTC, we sought my first OB, Dra. Ultra from MCU Hospital, to check if I had any reproductive problems just to be sure. And it was a relief when were told that there was no possible problem for us to getting pregnant and she encouraged us to TCC during my ovulation and fertile days.
And true enough, I got pregnant on the second cycle.
But as fast at that pregnancy came, the loss followed just a few days after. That pregnancy did not last long, I started bleeding at 5 weeks 3 days and was told it would be a miracle if the pregnancy will progress. Despite the bed rest and medication, I bled and miscarried at 5weeks 6days. My OB then told us that it was not a healthy pregnancy to begin with. I have had flu every month, in the last 6 months prior to getting pregnant. She prescribed me Vit. D along with Prenatal vitamins and were told not to get pregnant for 3 months, so that my body can recover and reset.
On the fourth month after the first miscarriage, we tried to get pregnant again and on the following month, we found out I was. Since we moved to a new apartment that was hours to away from our OB’s clinic, we sought another OB near the area. This time we happened to chance on an OB-Perinatologist (who specializes in high-risk pregnancies), Dra. Maria Elsa Aquino from Metrodocs handled our case. Around 5 weeks the same bleeding issue happened like what did during the first pregnancy but my OB was quick to instruct us what to do and medications to take. The bleeding happened again at 7weeks but bedrest and medications immensely helped. At 8 weeks, we finally heard the baby’s heartbeat. This was a milestone for us and we had high hopes that we would hit milestones after milestones. But around 10 weeks, I started having flu-like symptoms. We went to see my OB at 11 weeks 1day for the same flu-like symptoms I felt during the first pregnancy. I was hopeful that it was just an ordinary flu that pregnant women sometimes have, but we could not find a fetal heartbeat. My OB took her time to search for it but was unsuccessful. Just few days shy before a major milestone, the first trimester graduation, we lost the baby. And this time, it was more painful.
We took the second miscarriage hard. After hearing the baby’s heartbeat and feeling a lot better throughout the pregnancy, we were really putting our hearts on the pregnancy to succeed. It was difficult for us to wrap our head around what had happened. The OB said, “It’s an unexplained pregnancy loss”, that we could not find the reason why the baby’s heart ceased beating. And because this was my second unexplained miscarriage, she recommended I see an Immunologist because I might possibly have APAS (a Reproductive Immune Disorder).
Ofcourse, it was hopeful to hear that there was someone who can help us navigate our questions why I kept on miscarrying and to help us, eventually, have a healthy pregnancy but the toil of the two miscarriages and having to go through D&C (raspa) each time was difficult to thread.
And because it was very early on the pregnancy, only a handful of my friends knew about our loss. And I found it more limiting, not being able to talk about it as openly as one could. I was shut by people saying “It was not yet formed“,”It was too early anyways“,”You should’ve taken care of yourself more” or “Another baby can fix it” to try to comfort me and make sense of the tragic loss.
I knew they meant well but I realized they would never know the gravity of the loss because they’ve never been in the same shoes I was wearing. They never lost a (possible) family member they have longed, prayed and waited for.
I wish I could tell you how easy it was for us to pull through one loss after another. But the truth is, it wasn’t. It was like standing firmly on your feet and having the carpet pulled from under you. And even when you tried so hard to stand up, the floor was just to slippery to get a proper footing.
It’s okay to feel defeated.
I wish I could tell you how brave I was but I, sometimes, allow sorrow win over me. I let myself cry as I wonder how my babies would’ve looked and what kind of humans they would’ve been if they had a chance in life. All we have of them is fuzzy black & white ultrasound images that will fade in time.
It’s okay to grieve.
There were days when I found some strength to get on with life and then there were days I just wanted to wallow in the sorrow. And it was a cycle that never ended as my empty womb reminded me of the loss of the lives of the would-have-been children I will never get to hold.
It’s okay be sad.
In the sorrowful days, I am comforted by having a supportive husband who allowed me to feel all the grief I needed to feel and also mourned alongside me. And I am blessed having supportive family and friends who knew how to thread the waters of a grieving person.
These feelings are valid.
Even after years of loss, the pain in the memory will be there. It is, however, important to tell yourself that life does not end there. And that our sorrows are meant to help strengthen us and our faith. We will always have storms to pass through but we have you look forward to seeing a rainbow after those storms.
One of the things that greatly helped me coped with the loss is to lift my sorrows to God. I followed devotional reading plans like Walking Through Miscarriage with God to help me make sense of His plans in our family life. I’ve also found a ton of comfort and encouragement from verses and passages in the Bible and that has brought the comfort and peace that His plans and His time is always better than the one I have in mind. I may not understand His plans for our family life but I know that His plans will always be better than mine.
And in the days you feel sad, allow yourself to feel it but do not let it swallow the life out of you. I know that it will be difficult but it will get better in time – as cliche as that may sound. God always uses time to help us navigate our emotions in our own pace with His comforting embrace because you are never alone in your grief.
Kaya yan. Kakayanin yan.