Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The 'M' Word: My Miscarriage and Me

Guest Post by Crystal M. Hernandez


Disbelief. Despair. Guilt. These are just a few words to describe what I felt when my doctor said the "M" word: miscarriage.

My husband and I were elated when our pregnancy test came out positive. Our minds and hearts raced with excitement; we're going to have a baby! Immediately, we dutifully started discussing names and researched everything that had to do with pregnancy.

Now the hard part - telling the family. You see, I'm 21 and have been married to my high school sweetheart for two years. Some family members were supportive; my mom took me out to a store and we bought my baby's first blanket. Others, on the other hand, were not so thrilled. I was told my life would be over, no more fun, no parties, only work from here on out. One went so far as to feed me the ol' "babies shouldn't have babies" line. In a way I was scared too, but deep inside my heart had already grown attached to this little miracle. There seemed to be a permanent smile plastered on my face that even their negativity couldn't wipe off.

After verifying the pregnancy with a uterine test at the doctor's, I set up an appointment with an OB/GYN. Two days before the appointment, something went horribly wrong. At 13 weeks, the bleeding was light at first and I didn't worry initially, but it progressively got heavier. I called my OB/GYN (who I haven't even met yet) and he recommended the ER just to be safe. Test after test was showing I was pregnant, but nobody could see the baby. When the ultrasound came in blank, I knew there was trouble. When a very stoic doctor entered the room with not so much as a smile, my heart sank. I was ready, I prepared myself for the worst, and the worst was about to come - she said the "M" word. My entire life shattered before my eyes. It was all I could do to stay standing, my body was cold as ice, my insides boiled with rage. How could this happen to me? My baby...gone. Forever. I would never meet my baby face to face or hear a precious laugh. I would never get the chance to hold, comfort or nurture him/her. Even the words "I'm sorry" pierced through my heart.

(source unknown, please advise if you know)
I felt guilty. In my mind, it was all my fault; my body didn't do its job. My body rejected a miracle, my body is not good enough. All these thoughts of "why?" and "what's wrong with me?" plagued me. When I saw the tiny little body parts that were part of what my body rejected, that little head, body, arms, and legs, along with all the blood, I thought it looked like a murder scene. Then, that's how I felt, that my body had murdered my baby. I was wracked with guilt.

(Pregnancy Loss Statistic Shirt by BornToHeaven on Etsy)







I have now experienced two miscarriages (a second at 10 weeks). Let me tell you, it does not get any easier. Unfortunately talking about miscarriage is taboo in our society. Why should we keep quiet? Why suffer in the dark pit of silence rather than speak up? I'll tell you why: because it's easier. It's easier than reliving the pain each time you tell the story. And it's easier on everyone else, because they don't know what to say or feel they're saying the wrong thing (and sometimes they are). But, I've learned that only by releasing all emotions that go with a miscarriage can you truly be free. Let's not suffer in silence, let's release ourselves from the shackles of despair.



Crystal is a former student of mine, so she has a special place in my heart.
She says about herself, "I was born and raised in Arizona. My parents divorced when I was just six years old, but were always a great support for me. I quickly learned independence, and what it looks like to struggle. That, I believe, is what helped me overcome the struggle with miscarriage. Along with my wonderfully understanding and compassionate husband, I am currently living a fast-paced, on-the-go kind of life without the constant pit in my stomach, hazy mind, and the little voice of despair occupying my every thought. I feel happy and have accepted these events for what they are. No, I can't control what happened, but I CAN control MY life."

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