Parenting comes to life in the stories we share.
Whether it’s a moment of joy or a moment of distress, we can learn from each other.
Hayley, Waterloo Region
I knew this day would come, the day when our baby was supposed to be born. 29 weeks ago, I had a miscarriage. 30 weeks ago, I was carrying around a new life inside me. A new life we were so excited about and so ready to embrace—a little boy who should have come into our lives this weekend. A little brother for our daughter.
We’d been very lucky in conceiving both times. When I was 11 weeks along with baby #2, the ultrasound showed a strong heartbeat and a clear-as-day picture of our new little one. Then one day I got sick, a flu that completely knocked me out. I remember going to various doctors so sick I could hardly move, and my only question to them was ‘Will the baby be okay?’ They reassured me and sent me on my way. When I started to have some spotting, they reassured me and sent me on my way. When I started to experience some actual bleeding, we waited all night in the emergency room being told ‘If you’re miscarrying, there’s nothing we can do’. I felt that I was being told to just sit out there while your baby dies and maybe we’ll help with the aftermath.
The bleeding slowed and I thought it might just be okay. I went to the doctor that next morning and had an ultrasound that showed a healthy heartbeat and a lovely, dancing baby. I will never forget my joy in that moment. The next morning, I woke to find the bleeding had started again. The ER doctor did another ultrasound. The baby was still healthy. ‘This is the best-case scenario’ he said and sent me home. At 4 am that night, I woke up with horrible cramps and bleeding. Screaming for my husband, I tried desperately to fool myself into believing this wasn’t really happening.
But it was. I miscarried the baby at home. I know exactly the moment it happened. You just know. One minute I was 3 months pregnant and the next I was nothing. Gone- just like that. Anyone who thinks that a mother has not yet bonded with her child during those first months is completely and utterly incorrect. I cried everyday for months. I still cry for my precious boy.
Devastated, we tried to move on with our lives, focusing on our daughter, trying casually to get pregnant again. ‘If I can just be pregnant by the due date…’ I would say to myself ‘…everything will be okay’. But month after month, the universe failed me and I would find myself bitter, sad, and angry when I was not pregnant.
So here I am today on what was meant to be the birthday of our second born. 7 months of trying and failing to be pregnant, 7 months of grieving, 7 months of keeping quiet about the miscarriage.
The miscarriage isn’t something I talk about frequently or easily (with the exception of a few amazing people who helped me through). It is actually something I’m a bit ashamed of—I don’t know why. It feels that the topic of miscarriage is taboo, that it is something to keep quiet about. It shouldn’t be. I want to talk about it—but the truth is, even 7 some odd months later, I can’t talk about it without crying. Writing this story helps.
Tonight, we took the crib out of our daughter’s room. The crib that was waiting for her new sibling. She was excited to sleep in her big girl bed. As my husband and I were reading her bedtime story, I looked around the crib-less room and realized how good it looked and how right it felt. I know in my heart that this moment, as we are right now, is how we’re meant to be. I have to stop trying to control the uncontrollable and learn to experience and love what is right now—in this moment. Whatever is meant to come will come. It’s time to move forward.
So, as I lay here now, with an ultrasound picture of the love that we lost on my right, and our precious girl sleeping soundly on my left, I’m committed to moving forward and taking things as they come. This is a hard day for me, and that’s okay.
Editor’s note: Hayley’s story is very personal and very evocative. We thank her for sharing this very difficult time in her life with us. We know that many people—moms and dads alike—have experienced the pain of miscarriage. You may find this article from The Record helpful. We also invite you to visit the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network (PAIL) of Ontario for further information and support.