A Miscarriage After Our First Month of Marriage

Positiva.

Even though my Spanish wasn’t excellent, I couldn’t mess that up. It was clearly positive. When I opened the email containing my blood test results, I skipped over everything else and went straight to the part that showed my hCG hormone levels and arrived at that one word that started a ripple effect in my life.

Positiva.

It took my breath away. Like the time I fell out of the big tree we always used to climb in my grandparents’ backyard as kids. I landed on my back and for a few moments the impact left me breathless for what seemed like an eternity. On the day I read my pregnancy test results, it was very similar. It hit me with such an impact that I was stunned. I wasn’t expecting it at all and I was left gasping for some sanity.

This is an intimate blog. I want to be vulnerable because I know I’m not the only one who has struggled through this. Some of the following is very personal, but it is heavy on my heart to share it openly and honestly.

About two and a half weeks into our marriage, I felt a little out of sync and suspected a UTI or a yeast infection, so I went to the doctor. He confirmed my suspicions and then asked if I was pregnant. I nervously laughed and said that we had only gotten married two weeks ago. He put me on medicine and said no sex for at least a week. Exactly what you want to hear your first month of marriage … after you’ve just had a long-distance relationship for 17 months.

After a week of abstinence and medicine, my infection started getting a little better, but I was still feeling a little odd, so the doctor sent me in for a blood test to check out my cell counts and other medical things I didn’t understand. The thing I did understand was that he also asked them to check for the pregnancy hormone. I was panicking. I hadn’t even been married for a month, I was still dealing with culture shock from my mission trip, still getting to know (again) this man I married after a ridiculous long-distance relationship, still getting accustomed to moving back to Costa Rica after being gone for almost two years, super emotional from all the changes, and frustrated that we couldn’t have sex for two weeks during our first month of marriage. Everything was out of control.

Then I received my results. Positiva. I was pregnant. Two days before our one-month anniversary, I found out we were expecting and I literally could not handle it. I’m ashamed to say it, but honestly, I was devastated. This wasn’t what I had planned and I didn’t feel emotionally stable enough to take yet another change on top of all the madness. It was so overwhelming, I just shut down.

I spent a few days in survival mode. Albin tried the best he could, but I would just lay in bed and cry. I felt lost. I was thousands of miles away from my family and my best friends, and my poor husband was at a loss. Finally, a couple of days later, he sat down and told me that we needed to accept that I was pregnant and that he wanted our baby to be “wanted.” Completely valid, and again, I felt completely ashamed. It wasn’t that I wasn’t going to love or want our child, I was just too overwhelmed to fathom that we were going to have a child. Albin’s comment struck my heart though, and that day I decided that I was going to accept that I was pregnant, embrace this new life inside of me, and move forward.

Over the next few days, we began working through this new situation and I started coming to terms with the fact that things were going to be different and that was okay. I knew God had a plan and it’s not like we were unwed teenagers with no means to support ourselves. I was 26 and Albin was 30. All my friends were on their second child. It wasn’t the end of the world by any means.

Then I started having some back pains. Then stomach cramps. Then spotting. I was so confused. We had just started to embrace this baby and move forward. Albin took me to the doctor. I can’t adequately describe my emotions at this point. I was in a daze. I remember sitting in the cold, white examining room and trying to answer the medical questions being fired at me in Spanish, but instead just wanting to be at home in bed. At one point, the nurse asked me something I didn’t understand. I looked to Albin helplessly, but he didn’t know how to translate her question. After a long and grotesque description of the word they were using, I realized she was asking if there were many clots coming out in my blood. I affirmed that there were and she tried not to show her dismay. I could see in her eyes what I already knew. I was having a miscarriage. The doctor drew blood and checked my hormone levels again. My hCG levels were dropping and I was losing our baby. Again, I was left speechless.

One of the worst parts of that day was that they kept referring to the miscarriage as an “aborto.” In my mind, aborto= abortion. Being adamantly pro-life, I kept trying to correct them and tell them that I didn’t have an abortion. Albin gently explained to me that “aborto” was the medical term they used also for when a woman’s body rejects a baby naturally. It seemed too harsh. All I was hearing was, “Your body is aborting your baby.” Like I had chosen to lose this baby. Like my body wasn’t good enough to keep the baby in. It’s almost too painful for me to write about. I felt like my heart was being ripped out.

I went home and was paralyzed with shock. A little over a month ago I was in a white wedding dress with a beautiful adventure in front of me. It wasn’t supposed to look like this. The next few days were miserable. If you have ever had a miscarriage, you know how excruciatingly painful it is for you to see those “clots” and all the blood. Part of you is seeping out slowly and there is nothing you can do about it. It was absolutely sickening for me to flush the toilet because I knew. I knew it wasn’t just a normal period and that fact left an internal wound somewhere in me that I didn’t even know existed.

Then it is over. You’re left empty. Lost in your own thoughts. Overwhelmed with regret, shame, grief, confusion, leftover hormones, and shock. It came in waves. Waves that threatened to pull me under with each fresh swell. If I’m brutally honest, I was so afraid. I was terrified that it was my fault we lost our baby since I had cried so much about not being ready when I first found out I was pregnant. I was devastated all over again.

Those were some of the darkest days I’ve ever experienced. Because of the miscarriage, sex was off-limits for another two weeks. I mention that because not having sex for a month during your first two months of marriage creates a lot of unwanted distance. On top of that, I was so utterly wrecked that I didn’t even want Albin to come near me. One of my biggest mistakes was not sitting down and working through everything that had happened. I tried to move forward and forget because I felt like I couldn’t handle the burden of everything. My family and friends felt a million miles away. I didn’t tell many people about our loss because it was too painful and too abrupt. Several people that I did tell tried to comfort me by saying “at least it was an early miscarriage.” I stopped telling people I had a miscarriage after I heard that a few times. Does the fact that we lost the baby in an “early miscarriage” make that baby’s life any less valuable? I felt as though my grief was unjustified when people said that. I understood what they meant. They were relieved that I wasn’t far along enough to have to suffer through the D & C procedure, relieved that I hadn’t told all of Facebook and started purchasing baby clothes. I truly did understand, but in my head all I heard was that I had no right to mourn like other women whose situation was “worse.”  People who meant well were incredibly hurtful and I tried not to be offended, but we had lost a part of us. How could I not take it personal?

It took months for my body and hormones to get regulated again. I wish I could say the same for my heart and my mind. I had been through so much in such a short time, I was literally reeling. We went through several very difficult situations after this as well (future blogs to come) and I felt like a trapeze artist tottering on a high wire, afraid that one misstep was going to send me into an abyss of depression that I couldn’t get out of. I was overwhelmed with confusion. I kept asking God why He allowed that to happen so soon after getting married and during a time when I was going through so many other things. Why did I have to even find out I was pregnant? If I hadn’t received the blood tests saying I was pregnant, would I have known? Would I have just thought I was having a late and abnormally heavy period? Was all of that necessary? I wouldn’t say I was angry, but I was shaken to the core.

There are a lot of questions that are still unanswered, but one thing I can say that I am certain of now: God was there in the midst of that situation. Just as He has been intimately involved in every aspect of my life since day one. None of these things were a surprise to Him. He holds our lives in His hands and He cares. He knew and created that baby inside of me even though it was just starting to form. He held that little life in His hands.

For a long time, I had almost pretended that the miscarriage didn’t happen, like it was just some bad nightmare. About a year and a half after it happened, I wasn’t able to sleep one night and I heard the Lord whispering to my heart. He told me many personal things, but I want to share something that set me free in a lot of ways.

Tricia, that baby was real. All of that really happened. It’s okay to acknowledge that and grieve your loss.  Someday you will meet him in heaven, but for now, I’m taking care of him for you.

I can’t even begin to describe to you the release that I felt in my heart. The permission to truly grieve and to be reminded that the Creator was intimately involved in the situation gave peace to my heart. The Lord started to heal those deep places of my soul that were wounded from our loss, and also began to heal the pain from the cutting words people had unknowingly pierced me with.

Healing, as always, has been a process. I had to work through the thought that maybe my body was defective in some way and that I wasn’t able to do the one thing women were supposed to be able to do. I had to work through mixed feelings when friends found out they were pregnant. I had to surrender the paralyzing fear of having another miscarriage when I was pregnant with Mariah. Oh, and I still hesitate when people ask me if Mariah is my first child. Yes, well no, but do I really want to explain?

The ugly truth is that a miscarriage is a heart-wrenching experience and the healing process isn’t easy by any means. The beautiful truth is that our Creator is intimately involved in every moment of our lives, from conception to our last breath.  He knows that there is a time to grieve and a time to rejoice and is there in the midst of it all. He is there with us when life knocks the wind out of us and He is there in every positiva that comes our way. He is not surprised, not confused, and never uncertain of the next step. I can rest in the fact that since He created the depths of our souls, He is more than capable of healing them too.

I would love to hear from you on this one, especially if you’ve gone through a similar situation. It’s always encouraging for me to hear that I’m not alone from people that understand.

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 139:13-16

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

.

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12 thoughts on “A Miscarriage After Our First Month of Marriage

  1. Felisha says:

    Totally choked up and feeling so many emotions. Life is so precious. I wish I had the words to express my gratitude and respect for your vulnerability and willingness to be a beacon of light in a situation where you could easily hide.

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tricia, what a blessing you are to open your heart, your life to the world. I’ve never had the experience of miscarriage, but have known several who have, I can’t possibly understand your feelings, but pray you will never have to go thru them again. Mariah is such a cutie,hope having her eases the pain of loss you felt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gail Carter says:

    I’ve had 2 miscarriages. The 1st was my 3rd pregnancy and the second was my 5th pregnancy. My 1st miscarriage, I was 11 weeks along. I was showing and people knew I was pregnant. I knew I was losing the baby because I felt like I was going into labor. It was a very difficult time. I had to have a D & C. Most people do not understand what your going through. I got a lot of comments like; you have two others you’ll be fine. Or you’ll be able to have more if you want. My oldest had already named the baby “sweetie pie” we had to go to her and explain (she was a very smart 4 year old)to her that sweetie pie was in heaven. She cried but I believe Good allowed to take it very well.
    My second miscarriage want as bad as the first but still I was heartbroken. I suspected I was pregnant when I started having the same symptoms as you did. I was about 6 weeks and I called your Mom, I told her what I suspected and asked her if she could watch my kids while I went to the doc. She came right away. I left and I’m so thankful she was here when I came home. She was a huge comfort to me and just what I needed. I don’t know if you had to collect the baby when you passed him, but I did. The doc said I would know when I saw the baby. He was right. It took a couple of days but I knew I had to take the baby to him. I cried the whole way. It was awful

    To anyone who had not had a miscarriage and had a friend who has. DON’T make light of it. Acknowledge. You could say I’m so sorry about your baby or nothing just loveher and Listen to her, it is very healing for her to tell her story.,even the tiny details.
    Trisha, I’m so sorry, I know exactly how you feel I still remember March 26,2001. Then December 2004.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Thank you so much for sharing Gail. You are so right when you say that people just need to acknowledge it. It has been soo encouraging to read so many messages from people who have gone through the same thing, so thank you!

      Like

  4. Karen Carney says:

    Tricia you are not alone! I also had a miscarriage and all I could her them saying as well is “You are aborting”. All I could think was I am not having an abortion quit saying that. I was young (17) not married or walking with God and honestly went on with my life but then years later and after 2 children I found myself in the same situation. This time a decision had to be made because of health factors, abort or take a chance my death, the child’s death or complications. I only had a day to make that decision due to the weeks along. I forgot to say I did not know I was pregnant until this exam and I was in shock because my mind was saying, ” How could this be”. My husband was flat of his back after an accident and yes we did have sex, but the doctors said it could not happen. But surprise! I went home and shared the good news, but also the bad that there was also a tumor growing that we had to make a decision that night about terminating the pregnancy.
    He was not supportive of continuing with the pregnancy. That was my desire, but I did not have his support at all. He said, why would you want to take the chance of dying and leaving me with 2 children to raise alone. The ultimate decision was to terminate.
    I totally remember every step of the processing and was thinking, God Forgive Me. Yes I was serving God at this time, but my husband was not and really resented my going to church and serving in the church. My error was I did not go to God first. My process was not in a hospital, because they would not except me I was to far along and I remember laying on the cold metal table as they gave me the drug to sleep and hearing them say she is really to far. I thought again, Father FORGIVE ME.
    I can say that it put a very huge whole in my heart and a very large separation between my husband and I, which ultimately lead to divorce. I did not believe in what I was doing and my heart was being ripped out. It was the hardest thing I think I have ever done.
    I wasn’t until about 19 years ago in Monterrey, Mexico on a missions trip that I really understood and knew that God had forgiven long long ago on that cross at Calvary. He spoke to me that night and said, Karen my daughter, I forgave you before you ever made your first mistake in life, I love you my child. You must NOW forgive yourself and continue to serve me.
    I am so thank that he made me whole again on that night, but I can say there is still not a year go by that on those 2 dates that I do not think about my children in heaven.
    I am also thankful that God has allowed me to use my life’s lessons as a teaching tool for other young people.
    Tricia you are not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Wow Karen, thanks for your honesty. I love the part about needing to forgive yourself. I think I’ve forgiven myself but sometimes that little fear of it being my fault since I wasn’t overjoyed to find out I was pregnant at first creeps in. It’s crazy how profoundly these losses can affect you in so many ways. Anyway, I appreciate you post, the honesty going on here is overwhelmingly encouraging.

      Like

  5. Caitlin says:

    Oh, Tricia, I can relate to (and want to validate) so much of what you’ve experienced. I cannot imagine going through it so far away from family! You are one strong woman, and you have one strong God!

    I blogged about my miscarriage here – http://janeandeugene.blogspot.com/2011/11/our-loss.html if you want to read. The question of whether she’s your first baby was an awful one to me too. I kept feeling like I was disowning the child we lost. ( On the other side of things, I was also amazed at the vast amount of love I had for that little one I never met. How much more must God love us, His children? That’s a powerful, powerful love.

    I’m certain your story will help encourage and heal others. Even just writing mine helped me heal in some ways. God used my blog to help at least 5 other women who experienced a miscarriage. They commented to me in various ways, and we prayed for them to conceive again and heal, and God did it for each woman! He is so good like that. I know He will use your words that way too.

    Prayers for continued healing for your heart. God has given you a great gift of writing and sharing the story He is writing for you, and such a sweet heart he gave you too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Thanks so much Caitlin for your constant encouragement. I feel like we’ve had some similar battles and similar heart struggles and I wished we lived closer. Thank you for posting your blog as well- what a beautiful thing vulnerability is. I LOVE that those five women all conceived again and healed- God is so good and your faithful prayers are heard! I appreciate your prayers and messages so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Robin says:

    I also had a miscarriage with my 1st pregnancy and understand all of the emotions. I had a male coworker comment that he and his wife had been through a miscarriage and “she looked at it like a baby died”. All of my female co-workers couldn’t believe it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      When I first read the comment from your coworker, I didn’t even understand what he was saying because it was too harsh. How painful for his wife to have to go through that without him trying to comprehend her pain. Yuck.

      Thank you for your honesty about you miscarriage and emotions as well.God has encouraged my heart a lot through these messages!

      Like

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