Me sitting down and writing my story has been a long time coming. It’s not easy to expose yourself  and share your emotions (at least for me it’s not) but no one should ever feel alone. I want to thank my sister friend, Emily, for creating such a beautiful space and community for women to share their truths.   Emily and I call each other sister friends because once upon a time we were sister in laws. So using the word friend doesn’t really seem to do our relationship justice. This little backstory does have relevance to my current story because in my previous marriage, my ex and I had fertility issues. And of course Emily has been by my side through all my baby struggles.  

I can’t really remember exact dates or a time frame for when my ex and I tried to have a baby, it’s not really important…. what matters most is the overwhelming feeling of sadness and hopelessness that we felt.  I was really young at the time and I don’t think I actually let myself feel the weight or severity of what we truly were going through. I always have been a glass half-full kinda gal, who never let anyone crush her dreams.  So I pushed forward through doctors appointments, procedures, and needle poking because in my mind there was NO WAY I would never be a mom. The detail I am leaving out is that my ex was the one with the infertility. But in my mind if he couldn’t have a child, I couldn’t have a child.  It was our infertility. After push came to shove we had exhausted every option possible. I’ll never forget that day in the doctor’s office after hearing the news that the last procedure didn’t work…I’m pretty sure I felt numb inside. I was completely defeated and for years after I was in a very dark place.   I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. I truly felt like someone else. I also felt like my time allowance to talk to family and friends about my sadness was up. So I buried my sadness like every other normal human being because that’s what you do right? But I couldn’t even fake being happy for people who were getting pregnant.  And I remember crying all the time in my car when I was alone. My once happy go lucky attitude was lost and I felt really isolated. I tried getting counseling, which helped me personally realize a lot of my issues and struggles, but ultimately it did not help our marriage. I hate to blame infertility on my failed marriage because it CERTAINLY wasn’t the only thing but it played a roll.  We couldn’t get on the same page after all that we went through. I could tell that when he looked at me he felt that he failed me. No one should ever feel like that towards their significant other, it’s truly awful. And I know I wasn’t a gem to be around either.

I think I painted a pretty depressing picture for you all.   So you can imagine that it took me a little bit to crawl out of that hole. The thought of being pregnant was sooo far removed from my brain that it still felt unattainable.   But like with everything else, time heals all wounds and I started to re-imagine my life with a child in it again. The good news is, I did get pregnant last spring and it truly felt surreal.  My boyfriend Josh and I were excited, but I did have a lot of thoughts going on in my head. I had just started a new career, moved to a new city and honestly were we even really ready for this?  Josh wanted to tell the world about the baby, but I was VERY reserved. I was afraid to tell a random stranger on the street, whom I would never see again, let alone a co-worker or a friend. Something inside was telling me not to get too excited.  At first, I blamed it on my past and tried not to be such a pessimist. Not every baby journey has to end in sadness. I eventually allowed myself to get excited with the idea and have a positive outlook on this pregnancy.

I didn’t feel too different, no real terrible signs of pregnancy to report.  My doctors appointments at first were all normal. Then at around 8 weeks, the baby was measuring smaller than they should have been.  Everyone assured me this was typical early on. My doctor ordered me to get a dating ultrasound at Johns Hopkins in 2 weeks and that was that.  Josh travels for his job quite often and he was going to be out of town during my dating ultrasound. I didn’t even think twice about the fact that he wouldn’t be there other then I was sad he would miss seeing the little bean.  I arrived to my appointment and quickly start the ultrasound per usual. At this point, I was a little over 10 weeks. There was an ultrasound tech and a student tech in the room, since we were at a teaching hospital and all. Both women were incredibly nice and we had been chatting up a storm the entire time.  Eventually they had to leave the room to speak with the doctor, she said she would be right back. All of a sudden the room was flooded with music and my heart sunk. I knew something was wrong. I don’t think I can ever listen to “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles the same way again. My heart was pounding for what felt like 20 minutes as I waited. Both techs came back in with the doctor.  I could see the look of sadness on the poor young techs face and for some reason I wanted to be brave for her. The doctor told me there was no longer a heart beat and I tried to hold back my tears. I was successful for some time but once the doctor had left the room, the lump in the back of my throat was unbearable, and I bursted into tears. What exactly just happened? What do I do now?  If I didn’t have these two sweet women in the room with me, I don’t know what I would have done. They both hugged me and consoled me and tried to talk me through my next steps. The girl asked me if I had anyone that could come get me and sadly I had just moved to a new city and told her no. Then she asked me if I needed to call anyone and my heart sunk even more. I now have to break Josh’s heart with the news.  Because he is the amazing man that he is, he flew home to be with me immediately. I couldn’t bare the thought of being alone. But unfortunately for him my demons had quickly boiled to the surface. And just like that, all my old feelings had IMMEDIATELY rushed back to me like they never had left. I’m never going to be a mom, it’s not in the cards for me, maybe God is trying to tell me something….And I was sad and heart broken over the miscarriage for longer then maybe I should have been.

It was hard for me to shake those terrible thoughts out of me head.   Luckily my boyfriend is a saint. He is patient and kind and he let me completely fall. I  cried all the time but he never made me feel like I “needed to get over it”. I wanted to get back to my normal self for him, for us.  What was being in this dark place again benefiting me? Nothing. So I let myself feel it, be sad for awhile, probably drank too much wine…but eventually got back to my normal routine. I want to try this again.  I want to be that happy go lucky girl that I know is deep down inside me that was buried years ago.

As I sit here typing up this novel, sorry guys… I am constantly being kicked and reminded by my little miracle baby boy inside, Atlas. There is now light at the end of the struggle.  There is a reason I had to go through these tough times and I will be a stronger women because of it. You can also be damn sure I don’t take any day of this pregnancy for granted!  I am a little over 6 months pregnant now, and I want to be an example of hope and light for anyone else who has felt as hopeless as I did. Women need each other during these times, especially when our hormones are running rampid.   It is hard to explain the sadness that we feel, so at least if you can express it on a site such as this beautiful one, we won’t feel alone anymore. This is the first time I am publicly putting out there that I had a miscarriage.  I’ve never really opened up about it and I am upset at myself for hiding it this long. It’s not that I felt like people didn’t deserve to know… I think I felt like everyone would normalize it. Sooo many women have miscarriages and we are meant to feel like it’s not such a big deal.  Everyone kept saying, you will get pregnant again, so and so had 2 miscarriages and now they have a healthy baby, and so on. I felt like my feelings were swept under the rug often by people who knew about it, so I didn’t really want to bring it up and have my feelings minimized. To me, it was a big deal and I had my worries that something major was wrong with me. Even though everyone kept reminding me 1 in 4 women have miscarriages.  But this was my miscarriage, not theirs, and I was scared and upset about it.

So please do yourself a favor and go share your stories because there is no better release. You also could be helping other women out there having the same exact feelings as you are….

-Colleen