Tomorrow is my due date for the baby we lost in February and is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. If you have been following along this month, I have written about the first miscarriage I had in 2004 and am writing about our most recent experience. It is amazing to me to find out how many women have experienced miscarriages. I found these statistics here For women in childbearing years, the chances of having a miscarriage can range from 10-25%, and in most healthy women the average is about a 15-20% chance.
- An increase in maternal age affects the chances of miscarriage
- Women under the age of 35 yrs old have about a 15% chance of miscarriage
- Women who are 35-45 yrs old have a 20-35% chance of miscarriage
- Women over the age of 45 can have up to a 50% chance of miscarriage
- A woman who has had a previous miscarriage has a 25% chance of having another (only a slightly elevated risk than for someone who has not had a previous miscarriage)
We were ecstatic to find out the Lord was going to bless again with a little one. We can never keep the news a secret for very long so had already began telling people. I was expecting to get sick any minute, but it never happened. I usually start getting sick a few days after I find out I am expecting. The family was so excited. Our youngest would be two in four months and we were ready.
Then on Friday, the 25th, I started bleeding and cramping. By the next morning, I was pretty sure what was happening. I called a midwife friend of mine. She confirmed what I suspected and told me what to expect. This was going to be so different than in 2004. I was 15 1/2 weeks then and "gave birth" to our son, Nikolas. This time, I would not see the same things. She explained what she thought I would experience.
I hung up the phone and cried. In about four hours, things happened exactly as she told me they would. I was so relieved to know. I called my husband and he held me and we cried. It was over. We would never hold our little blessing in our arms, but we could hold each other and trust in our Heavenly Father. He would take care of our precious baby now.
My emotional state was depressing. The difference this time was that I didn't have that much to keep my mind off of our loss. In 2004 we lost Nikolas in June and went on the road two weeks later. This time I just had the regular day-to-day things. We also were experiencing some other difficulties that were adding to my depression at this time. I seemed to have a harder time "getting over" this loss. My theory is that because my hormones were so high in number in the beginning of pregnancy that it was harder to get back to "normal".
I did not research this deeply, but found this information here that confirmed some of what I thought. I wanted to share this with you to unofficially "prove" my theory. The first hormone to make its appearance after conception is human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), also called "the announcer of pregnancy," as it is hCG that's picked up by a urine or blood test to determine pregnancy.
In a normal pregnancy, the level of hCG approximately doubles about every two days during the first 10 weeks. HCG keeps the pregnancy hormones known as estrogen and progesterone at their appropriate levels until the placenta has developed enough to take over this function. Morning sickness tends to peak around the eighth to tenth week of pregnancy when hormone levels are highest and should then taper off as the second trimester begins.
In the first few weeks of pregnancy, hormones are so crazy then tend to taper off in the second trimester (13-26 weeks). I think that since I was not as far along that I had crazier hormones to deal with than in 2004. Just a theory.
All of that being said, I'd like to share with you something that we did in 2004 and then again this year to help us deal with our grief. It was my hubby's idea.
He is such a sweetie!
As I said earlier, we went on the road two weeks after our first miscarriage (which was termed a stillborn). Our hearts were so saddened. Sometimes guys can be labeled as "fix-it-quick" guys. It is true; they want to fix things quick for lots of reasons, but this particular time my Hubby wanted to ease our hurts. He took us to Build-A-Bear and we picked out a teddy bear that we thought fit. We named it Nikolas, got a birth certificate, each kissed the little heart that went inside the bear, and picked out clothes for him. Every year on his birthday, we go to a Build-A-Bear and buy a new outfit for him.
This was therapeutic for us all. It gave our kids something tangible to hold and touch when their little hearts were grieving.
It helped Mommy a lot, too.
Our youngest at that time was six years old. He bonded with the bear most and made sure that we had him on all of our trips. The kids all took turns sleeping with the bear. We still have him and take him around with us. We have now added a Georgie bear! It is so precious to see our six year old now (Hailey) play with the bears and dress them up. She will come ask me what the birth order of all our children is and is the one to make sure Mommy says we have seven kids, not five. It is so sweet.
If you are struggling with having had a miscarriage you might try visiting a Build-A-Bear. It may seem trivial and childish for yourself, but you might be surprised. If you have other children it would be beneficial to them in this time of healing. Just a thought. I hope it helps with your struggle of dealing with grief.
We are so blessed to have the privilege of loving, raising, molding, and mentoring five special blessings today. Thank you, Lord, for that awesome privilege and responsibility! Help those who are struggling with empty arms and give them strength to make it through this day. Show them Your love in a specific way. Remind them of Your faithfulness and I pray they lean on You in this time of need. Amen!