I am 1 in 4: Recounting Our Personal Struggle Through Miscarriage

If you didn’t know it, October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I wasn’t sure how I was going to write this post, because I’m still trying to put the pieces together in my own life. Usually when I write, the words just flow from my head onto my fingertips, and today, for the first time, I’m struggling to discuss this topic: miscarriage. What do you tell others? How much is too much? Am I even knowledgeable enough to write about this?

The Vintage Modern Wife recounts her personal struggle through miscarriage during pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. A great read for those that have or haven't experienced a miscarriage.

Our readers know how much our family has gone through in the past two and a half years. I had a very rough pregnancy with Addison and pretty much had every complication known to pregnancy. Not only that, but at 18 weeks when we went in for our anatomy scan, we found out our sweet baby (girl, yay!) had, what we would later find out, a sacrococcygeal teratoma. We were devastated. We had a special Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor that we saw every other week, an amniocentesis, and we even took trips to Texas Children’s in Houston to monitor sweet Addie. We prayed over our baby constantly and one specific prayer I had was that the Lord would use sweet baby Addie for His glory despite the outcome. We were choosing life for her and wouldn’t have had it any other way. Once she was born, Addie stayed in the hospital 10 months. 6 months in NICU, home for 6 days, and then 4 in PICU. But ever since? She’s been home- and it’s been over a year that she’s been at home thriving.

Fast forward to June of this year. Mathew had brought up the idea of another baby the past few months but I wasn’t ready. It finally hit me in June that I was ready to start planning for another baby. I looked at my fellow Go Shout Love mama, Katie Ewing, and how her special needs daughter Paisley, has the most adorable little sister, Ivory. The two of them are the perfect little pair. I remember watching a video of Ivory cheering on her big sister when Paisley was learning to run in therapy. It melted my heart and I knew that I wanted that for Addie too. Someone to love on her and cheer her on. Someone to snuggle with her. Someone to just be her best friend. So in June, after lots of conversation and thought, we started the process of planning for another baby.

July was a crazy month for us. I had just gotten home from Young Living Convention, I had my 30th birthday Fiesta (I still need to blog about BOTH of those, geez!), and I was preparing for my trip to Branson with my mom and sister. On July 20th, several days after I should’ve had my period, I took a pregnancy test and found out that I was 4 weeks pregnant. I was SO excited and scared! This was really happening. I ran out the door and told Mathew I had some errands to run. I went all over town looking for some kind of “big sister” outfit for Addie so we could surprise him the next morning. Keeping it a secret from him was the hardest thing, but I wanted my announcement to him to be perfect. The next day, I got Addie dressed for the day and she wore this outfit.

Love this sweet baby announcement for a big sister!Mathew was thrilled. He couldn’t stop smiling and giving Addie and me hugs. It was such an amazing day and we were on Cloud 9. The weeks that came after were joyous. I was nauseous and tired but found Ningxia Red helped me feel more like myself. I was diligent about taking my prenatal vitamins, and scoured my copy of Gentle Babies to see how I could use essential oils during my pregnancy, since I hadn’t even known about essential oils when I was pregnant with Addie. We talked about baby names, where we’d keep the baby (we currently still have a pack and play/ bassinet in our bedroom from when we prepared for Addie to be born), and spent hours researching double strollers that would work with our particular needs. All was wonderful.

Love this sweet baby announcement for a big sister!

We had our very first appointment at 6 weeks on Monday, August 1st. It was such an exciting time for us that we ended up making a family trip out of the appointment! Mathew and Addie came and it was just everything I envisioned. We got a picture of our sweet baby and asked a billion questions. Would we need another MFM doctor? Would we need another amnio? Would we need to speak with the genetics team? There were so many questions. Our doctor suggested we just take things as we went, come back in 2 weeks, and we all agreed that was the best idea. Two weeks later on August 15th, at 8 weeks and 4 days, I decided to go to my appointment alone. Mathew watched Addie and I excitedly went to the doctor. While getting my ultrasound, I noticed something was wrong because there was more pushing around than usual. That’s when I was told that our baby hadn’t made it. That our baby lost its heartbeat maybe 1 or 2 days before the appointment. We would be going through a miscarriage.

Wind chimes- a wonderful way to remember loss through miscarriage.

We had been told through genetics, in the past, that our chance of miscarriage was higher than most people. In fact, roughly 1 in 4 women will experience this type of loss in their lives. Still, we were given the clear to grow our family because the odds of a baby having the same genetic issues with Addie was pretty unlikely. But when my doctor told me our baby lost its heartbeat I was floored. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I tried not to cry, but to be honest, I was in pure shock. I was told I had several choices with our sweet baby. I could 1) Take some medicine to help me speed my miscarriage up faster. 2) Have a D&C in the clinic. 3) Not do anything and wait for my body to take care of things on it’s own. Although I was told I didn’t need to make my decision right away, I chose option 3. I checked out at the doctor’s office (painfully, as the receptionist asked if I got my “payment plan” for my pregnancy. She hadn’t gotten the memo.) and called Mathew immediately once in the car. I sobbed the entire way home.

Love this sweet baby announcement for a big sister!

We’d only known about our baby for a month and were so heartbroken over our loss. Just a few days before our 8 week appointment we had taken birthday pictures for Addie and had a couple announcement photos taken by our friend Lauren Gilbert at the same time. We planned on announcing to friends and family at Addie’s 2nd birthday party. In fact, we had this whole plan that we’d open one of her birthday gifts and it’d be the pictures we took along with a “big sister” outfit. To know that we wouldn’t be doing that, it was heart wrenching. Mathew and I sobbed for days just out of nowhere. It was especially hard because it was supposed to be a fun week with Mathew’s birthday. Going to dinner that week on his birthday and Medieval Times with him was much needed over that next weekend because we had been devastated all week.

Love this sweet baby announcement for a big sister!

We told close friends and family that we had been expecting a baby and our baby had passed away, but we were still awaiting a miscarriage. Friends and family showed so much love towards us, I’m honestly so humbled by it. Dinners were brought, friends came and shared their stories of loss, texts were sent, and the flowers- there were SO many flowers you would think I opened a flower shop. It was beautiful. Although we hadn’t told many, we knew we had so much love and support by others. We needed it all so badly, and I just still am amazed at all the people we had at our side during that time.

Gorgeous white flowers from friends during a miscarriage

On August 30th, a few days after Addie’s 2nd birthday (which I’m thankful for), I officially miscarried our sweet baby. It was awful and traumatizing, and I did it by myself at home. Mathew watched Addie because I was in no shape to do so, and I was in intense agony for hours. I won’t even get into details, but I will say, the process is just like giving birth, because that’s exactly what you’re doing, except with a smaller baby.  I tried to be strong and do it all by myself, but started to feel very faint and dizzy after laboring all day. I finally admitted to myself that I needed to go to the hospital. Thankfully, my in laws were nearby and took me. Triage was wonderful and they got me right in after uncontrollably sobbing that I was miscarrying. Turns out, the stress made my blood pressure so high that it’s no wonder I was so faint. After several tests and some pain meds, I was told that my body did what it needed and there was nothing more to do but rest.

Landing in the hospital after miscarriage

Now, a month later, I’ve rested, we’ve prayed, we’ve cried. We’re still confused about it all. We thought this baby was our redemption baby. After everything that went on with Addie and the struggles we faced within the first year of her life, we truly thought this was our chance to have a child that would be Addie’s best friend, her confidante, her cheerleader. We’d experience what it was like to have a baby come home from the hospital as a newborn, and those sleepless nights that a baby brings. However, the Lord had other plans. It wasn’t time for our sweet baby to meet us. So now, it’s time to wait. We will wait for the Lord to make the perfect rainbow baby to come from heaven to join our family. We have no idea how long that will take, but we have hope that it will happen someday. While thoughts of planning another baby are now pushed aside for a little bit due to fear, we know that the Lord will help us realize when the time to plan to grow our family will be. There are still many days that we cry out of nowhere and are so hurt and confused. Other days, I take great comfort in knowing that our baby is waiting for us in heaven and we will one day see him/her.

I am 1 in 4. A sweet friend of ours recently wrote, “The loss of a child divides your life into two parts, before, and after.” It is so very true. If you have personally mourned the loss of a baby through miscarriage or infant loss, I am so very sorry for your loss.  If you haven’t, I urge you to talk with a friend that has. Bring them meals, send them flowers, just let them know you’re thinking of them. Let your friend know that they aren’t alone.

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Comments

  1. Oh, Stephanie, I am so sorry you went through this. Prayers for comfort and strength.

  2. Mary Greenwood says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, I am also one in 4, with two miscarriages, I am now 74 years old and still think about my two little angels. Addie is a big sister, it is just that her baby sister lives in heaven. My love to all of you, find comfort in Jesus and each other. Stay strong for each other.

  3. I am so proud of you for sharing your experience! And thank you for your vulnerability…I promise you, there is a woman or a family out there who will read this and find comfort in your words of strength, and most importantly your faith. I’m always praying and rooting for you guys! God bless <3

    • That is so true, I’m one of those that finds so much comfort in her faith especially. I never talk about my miscarriage with anyone. I do have three healthy children to be so thankful for. Her steady faith in our Lord always reminds me to keep my own faith. I absolutely love this family!

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing sometimes it helps to talk about it. I can’t promise you risers from here forward but I can tell you that one day you will remember your sweet baby and smile. The tears will always come but not as often and not with so much hurt. Sweet baby girl I lost at 23 weeks she only lived exactly one hour and in my arms the whole time. That was almost 23 years ago this December. So I understand what you feel. Take care of eachother and love daily. Our Lord has his own timing and plans. Bless you all! Hugs being sent your way!

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. I’m also 1 and 4. It’s been two years since my miscarriage, and I think of my sweet spirit all the time. I will pray for you and keep you in my thoughts. You are not alone. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Aw Stephanie, I am truly sorry for your families loss. This article is beautiful and strong. I thank you for it as I too am 1 in 4. My first pregnancy was a miscarriage, I was devistated, heartbroken, and lost for a few months. Then the Lord answered my prayer and sent me my beautiful rainbow baby. I pray that the Lord will send you your rainbow baby when the time is right.

  7. Dana Bradley says:

    I am so sorry ! I will pray for you in this area that God would heal you take away the fear and give you the peace! I love you strong girlfriend! You inspire so many people now, and by opening up you have helped so many more. God bless you! Blessings,

  8. Thank you for sharing your experience. While I still can’t discuss my own it brings me comfort to have read your story. Thank you.

  9. Julia J Streeter says:

    I am a 1 in 4. I found out on my 27th birthday, I was having a miscarriage. The next day I had to have a d&c. To this day, I have a hard time celebrating my birthday. I am so sorry for your loss..

  10. so sorry for what you went through. I struggled ten years to conceive lost my first baby at 20 weeks . You never forget. Two years later with help I fell pregnant again with a boy and then two years later I fell pregnant with twin girls. I still think about my little one often and wish things were different. My baby would have been born November and 8 years old this year.

  11. Stacey Gibson says:

    My heart goes out to you and your family. My life was divided into the “before and after” on September 6, 2012 when my beautiful daughter’s heart stopped beating at 35 weeks. My Isabella was stillborn. The saying that “time heals” is not true for me. Time has just made things different. There are no words to describe how much I miss her. The pain hasn’t gone away but I hold Gods promise close and I know I will see her again. My faith has kept me going so that I can be the mother that my 2 other daughters need. I will keep you in my prayers ❤️

  12. Oh Stephanie and Matthew, I am so very sorry for your loss. 🙁 you are all in my prayers. Thank you for bravely sharing your story.

  13. I can sympathize with your pain. We (my husband and myself – because it effected him just as much) are 1 in 4. I’ve miscarried twice. It’s shocking to go into your ultrasound and find there isn’t a heartbeat any longer. I applaud you for telling your story. It’s the most difficult thing to talk about. I don’t understand why that is either. Hardly anyone speaks about a miscarriage. Thank you for telling us about your loss. I found out I lost our baby just before you on July 25 and had a d&c the next day. We are hoping for a rainbow baby as well. Good luck to you.

  14. Sandy Wing says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m also one of the 1 in 4. I had 3 miscarriages and I lost a son after an uneventful pregnancy. He lived 8 hours, but was so critical, I never had a chance to hold him until after he died. However, I also have two healthy children, a boy and a girl, who are now adults and are both married. I’m 64, but many times just talking about this makes it feel as if it was just yesterday. I know those sweet babies will greet me in Heaven, but I still grieve. Hope you and your family are well.

  15. I am so incredibly sorry, Stephanie. Lots of love to you!

  16. Sandra M Annis says:

    My heart goes out to you all. Loveand prayers your way. lots of them.

  17. I’m so touched you shared your family’s story with us. Sending lots of love….

  18. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I’ve had two miscarriages myself and now I have three healthy daughters. May you be blessed with the right little miracle in gods own time. You’re an amazing and blessed mom Stephanie and I admire you and your beautiful strength. I don’t even know where you find it. 💕💕