Previa Alliance Podcast

Miscarriage

October 09, 2023 Previa Alliance Team Season 1 Episode 75
Previa Alliance Podcast
Miscarriage
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Who among us truly understands the profound grief and the often unspoken realities surrounding a miscarriage? It’s a painful journey, one that is often overshadowed by medical jargon and a lack of empathetic resources. This episode seeks to provide solace and understanding, underlining the unfortunate labeling of miscarriage as an abortion in medical charts. Our stories and conversations are a journey through the emotional turbulence, with the hope to instill hope and comfort.

As we traverse this challenging terrain, my friend's mother, who provided a beacon of comfort and understanding, joins us in the dialogue. Navigating a healthcare system in a new state, grappling with the fear of losing a baby, and the emotional turmoil that accompanies it, we share our experiences. We delve into the scarcity of understanding and support from medical professionals in emergency situations. Trust us when we say, you are not alone, and seeking compassionate support is crucial.

In the final part of our discussion, we shift our focus to the importance of mental health for mothers, particularly those grappling with postpartum depression. We highlight the Previa Alliance podcast, created for moms by moms, and its potential to provide solace. We emphasize the significance of honoring the lost child and seeking professional help to navigate through grief and loss. We invite you, our listeners, to find comfort, understanding, and resources on this heartfelt journey.

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Speaker 1:

Hey guys, welcome back to Pre-Liance Podcast. This is Sarah and Whitney. Today we're going to talk kind of a heavier subject, so there's a trigger warming on this miscarriage. It is something, unfortunately, that statistics, we know at least one in four women experience, if not more.

Speaker 2:

I was about to say. I think it could be more truly, because I've known some friends of mine who have experienced a miscarriage. They knew it was a miscarriage when they were passing it at home. So therefore it may not actually get recorded by a doctor's office and it's a really hard thing that you know people aren't really going to be very open about.

Speaker 1:

It's not something you can accurately count the numbers for. But, the thing about miscarriages is it's a loss and it's a grief. And it is something that will always stay with you.

Speaker 2:

You will never forget that.

Speaker 1:

You'll never forget it and I'll just share a little bit about my story that we, our first pregnancy, came to us as a surprise and we went in, everything was fine at like eight weeks, heartbeat was great. So then everybody tells you you wait till 12 weeks, right, and you announce, and it's great, and it's fine. So we went, whenever we went to the beach, we wrote in the sand baby. And there was. I had a bottle of water, we had a bottle, I bought a bottle and then Bill had a beer, took it, put it on Facebook and announced it and I was like, okay, this is my first pregnancy, this is what's going to happen, right, like you were just like, oh, it's going to work, right. And then that same week I kid you not, I was at, we were shopping and I was having like some cramping and I was like, oh, oh, gosh, okay. And I was. I tried to get out of the car and I like held on. I remember this very vividly and this was six years ago I held onto the car door and I was like Bill, something's wrong, like something's wrong. And I just was like I think I'm losing the baby and we had known that it was a girl we had did blood tests. I was going to ask if you all did the blood test the chromosomal test we did and we knew as a girl we had named her her name was Ava and I was like this can't be happening, like this cannot be happening. And he was like okay, just rest, like we called. We actually called one of Bill's attendings at the time we were in Boston and he said can Sarah come in? Like you know, I, my husband, with his profession. We got to go through the back door and he was like can we scan her Because other separate pre miscarriage experience I've had to go. I had to go to the ER and I'll tell I'll share with that a little bit, but that was traumatic. But this one was kind of like a backdoor way and had its negatives too. So we got in there and remember the older sound tech knew my husband from work and it's one of those things you're just literally holding your breath because you're just like I don't know if the baby's okay and your head, your worst case scenario. She scanned me. I'm sitting there, I'm looking at the screen, I'm like okay, I see a baby, I think it's fine, like you know, and I can't tell that they're trying to search for a heartbeat and there was not one. So Bill, I could tell by his face and she actually left the room like immediately and she got the attending who Bill was working close to. He came in. I'll never forget this. He looks at Bill. He said out, I get emotional just saying this and he was scanning me like just kept, and I was like oh gosh, you know what's going on Exactly, especially if they're making Bill go out very quickly and like why would they make him go out?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, your support person.

Speaker 1:

And I'm just laying there and I just I felt like I was so like naively dumb. You were hoping.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I was like oh my God, like we just announced to, like you know, that should be going to my head when it was.

Speaker 2:

And well, because then you're thinking, now I have to tell people that we've lost her?

Speaker 1:

And so Bill comes back in and I'm trying to get dressed because I was with those horrible gowns and he just looks at me and this look, and he was just like she's gone and I to this day, I mean I have two children, I can't get in this upset, but it breaks me.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I'm like well, because it's not something that you should have to go through.

Speaker 1:

No, it just broke and it still does.

Speaker 2:

And yeah.

Speaker 1:

I remember going home and I called my parents and I couldn't even talk. You know and they're like you know, call your OB, blah, blah, blah. I was telling my parents. I'm like please just tell her, right, I can't tell everybody. Yeah, remember going home that night and my husband actually was on call and he told his senior or resident was like can you please take my call? And Sarah's had a miscarriage, and like we just need to know the next steps. And they said you need to man up and didn't let him didn't let him swallow. I was like, wow, no one cares, that's awful, and so fast forward. They're like we don't think you're gonna pass the baby, you're gonna need a DNC Cause I was 13, I was 14 weeks at that point. Yeah, I had that. So then I had to go in to the hospital again, of course, and to have your DNC, have my. Dnc and it is labeled as an abortion on your chart.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a medical abortion.

Speaker 1:

And I'm like I remember I got really upset about that and I was like no, you're like I didn't choose this.

Speaker 2:

I didn't choose this.

Speaker 1:

This is something she, she wanted, she was needed everything and I remember the anesthesiologist was making jokes and I'm like this is the worst day of my life.

Speaker 2:

You're like now's not the time to make jokes or be light about this, and this one nurse.

Speaker 1:

She came up to me and she goes I'm so sorry. I've experienced miscarriages too. I I'm so sorry, like this is, and I was like thank you, that's who you needed. That's who I needed, not someone who was like trying to just joke about the day, cause it literally is like the worst day of my life and I just remember I'd go to bed and I'm like I kept being like this is a bad dream. This is a bad dream had the DNC and the OB at the time was like it's okay, you're young, you'll get pregnant again. And I was like what? And I just kept thinking how am I going to tell people I'm not pregnant again? I felt like at that time, all my friends were pregnant and like having babies, and successfully, and I was like I was the first time my friend group to ever have a miscarriage and so I was like why is this happening to me? Like you know, there was nobody saying what you, how do you, how do you grieve in miscarriage? I was Googling Like yeah, how do I do this? Well, cause no one really talks about miscarriage and no one talks about grief. So, of course, when the two are hand in hand, there's no guidebook no guidebook and you know I was like Googling what can you do to prevent a miscarriage? Cause I was like did I do something and it wasn't my fault, but I was like could I give a reason?

Speaker 2:

Well, and I think oftentimes, especially with grief if we know the why we think that we can fix it or prevent it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, and it just I went into like a depression. I truly did, and I isolated. I remember the holidays were upon us, I didn't go home, I could not face my family my parents came up at like my extended family. I didn't want the questions, I didn't want their comfort, I didn't want the you can try again. I didn't want any of that, you know. And one of my best friends moms I'll never forget came to me and she shared her miscarriage story with me. Yeah, and it was like 20, 30 years ago, really, and me and her both looked at each other and had the same tears in our eyes. And I was like there are so many women who have this hurt that we get each other.

Speaker 2:

It's not a club anyone wants to belong to, but the support and community that is there is incredibly unique.

Speaker 1:

She comforted me in a way no one else had, could Correct.

Speaker 2:

She understood.

Speaker 1:

No one, and now we, you know. So, in Previa, what's so important to us is if you have a miscarriage or if you have a loss we stick with you for three months after, because that is, you can have depression after this Postpartum depression. You can have that. And I was never screened again. I was never educated about grief, depression, loss, none of that, and there was just no resources. But once I started sharing with people, I heard so many silent me too. I was like why are we not talking about this? Because we're experiencing this and we're isolating and we're feeling shameful and it just really to be truthful. It impacted me in those relationships during that time. Oh sure, because I grieved differently than him and it was my body and she was real to me from the first moment of the pregnancy test. So we had a hard time because then I was like, okay, I have to get pregnant right away again. And that didn't happen. And then it became a I can fix my grief by getting pregnant again. I didn't want to sit in the loss. I don't know, but it's so hard I did not want to sit in that, and so then we ended up getting pregnant of Will, that whole experience. And then we got pregnant again and had another miscarriage, and that time it was super early I went in Were you here in Birmingham then I was in Tennessee, Okay you weren't in Boston anymore. We weren't in Boston, we were in Tennessee, so a whole new kind of healthcare system and it was early, like we went in super early, and they're like, okay, they appeared to be twins. I was like, oh, dear, bored, help me. And then there was no heartbeat yet. And they're like it's early, like it was six weeks, and they're like come back at like six and a half or seven or whatever. Yeah, because it is hard to see a heartbeat. So then we come back and then there was one sack. So then they're like, okay, we're not sure what's happening. And then they still they're like come back because it had grown. And they're like, okay, maybe you're just way off on your date. So then I literally was having like multiple ultrasounds with this like delayed, like am I gonna grieve, am I gonna lose it? Like what am I gonna do? And then I started bleeding and I had to go in because we always had to get a Rogan. Those shots they're very painful, oh my gosh. Second only to the shot of the steroids for the lungs.

Speaker 2:

That I got for.

Speaker 1:

Will that. I still remember that shot Like that. I was just like that was. It was horrific. And it was this period of we hadn't told me people I was pregnant. I didn't know if I was gonna miscarriage again. Like I knew in my head, like I'm not announcing anything on Facebook or Instagram, and they could not tell me what I was gonna like, if I was gonna be able to keep this baby or not, and it was like I felt a prisoner in my body, yeah. So then we came back in and there was no heartbeat. And then again we had to have a DNC and then they thought it was a molar pregnancy. They thought one of the sacs was molar. So then I was like, oh my gosh, now am I at risk for cancer? Right, cause molar pregnancies are related with cancer at times. And so then I literally had to have blood work for months after till my HCG dropped, cause it wasn't dropping. So that's another thing with molar pregnancy. Sometimes it's super high HCG, which I think twins in the beginning, and then they're like we don't know if this was twins, if this was molar, like we have no idea. So then they had to do the DNC. They had to send it off for path results. Something happened with the path results, where they were like lost and found, and I was held hostage of just this whole situation.

Speaker 2:

That's miserable.

Speaker 1:

And then you know, but that miscarriage wasn't like my first one in the sense, cause in my head I was numb. I was like okay, I'm just gonna miscarry, like I checked out. Yeah, so two different experiences. Then with James, I was bleeding randomly at 20 weeks and I was like I can't lose him, I can't lose him.

Speaker 2:

Was it a subchorionic hematoma?

Speaker 1:

I don't even know why, they don't even really know why. It was a small amount, but like I was freaked out and I went to the ER and I was like crying hysterically and they brought me back into like this OB triage stuff. But I mean, I was that person in the ER, hysterical like I'm losing another baby. Yeah, and people just did like the ER I remember where, like they don't mean to be cold, but it's like it's just another day to him and your life is like you feel like it's over and no one's caring. You're like you're losing a child or you're fearing that. So those experiences 100% shaped me who like how I am? I think 100% it added to my postpartum depression anxiety.

Speaker 2:

Mm-hmm.

Speaker 1:

I think what I wish I would have known is that I should have got into therapy post-miss-garage and been in therapy for my the whole time, through all the pregnancies, because I never had anybody to validate me, to help me grieve, to help just walk. Walk through it because, like my husband, at some point he just like had to heal himself. My family didn't know what to say or do. My friends had never experienced that. Yeah, so you didn't have a safe place. I didn't have it and people. It wasn't like on Instagram now, where people are very open. It wasn't like that. No, I felt very alone. So I hope, if you're hearing this and this resonates with you, that you just know that I'm so sorry. I really have not had that gut-riching hurt, anything else that's touched me like those miscarriages have.

Speaker 2:

It's different.

Speaker 1:

And it makes you feel like you felt and your body felt.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it makes you wonder what could I have done to prevent this, or did I do something that caused it and you didn't?

Speaker 1:

And I am, you know, like six years removed from it the date, but I remember the date still, like I, that we went in. I know exactly the date we went in, I found out for her that there was no heartbeat I might had I think how old she should be, yeah, and so that she'd be in kindergarten. Yeah, and that she'd be the older. You know, we talk about it like. People are like oh, you're a boy mom and I'm like well, I was a girl mom, you know. But it's one of those things that's like do I break it down and tell them about all my losses, and you know? Or somebody goes how many kids you have Easy answers too yeah.

Speaker 2:

I do have a client who has told me before where she'll tell somebody that she has one child here and she'll, you know, say I've got my daughter, I've got my son and one angel baby.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, and I, you know, I've started saying that to some people and others. It's just yeah.

Speaker 2:

I do think that it can help circumvent a little bit of people saying why don't you try for another?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Why don't you try for this gender? It's like you've experienced loss. I need to not cry.

Speaker 1:

I don't need to, I don't. Yeah, I need to shut you down, or you know, and it's not even to shut the other person down.

Speaker 2:

It's to have that authenticity.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But it's also to protect you from other invasive questions, and they ask you and it's like when are you getting pregnant?

Speaker 1:

Cause, then that was the question.

Speaker 2:

Cause, when you're married, they're like when are you getting pregnant, blah?

Speaker 1:

blah blah, or you have a baby when you have another one. Welcome to the south and you're just like and some people I was like you know what I just miscarried. I remember specifically with the miscarriage after Will, I was in the grocery store pushing around his you know he was waving at everybody, he was cute, you know he was two or whatever. And this woman goes honey when you gonna give him a sibling and I said actually I just miscarried, so I can't tell you when I'm actually gonna be able to carry this baby. And she's looked at me and I probably shouldn't have been so brash and just I'm just like, yeah, my face.

Speaker 2:

I Don't know her place to ask and I'm just like I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I can't tell you. If I could tell you, that would be fantastic. Yeah, so it was a whole lot of the stages of grief we talked about, right, like I was in denial, I got angry.

Speaker 2:

Yes, bargaining, which is trying to figure out the why it's my.

Speaker 1:

Google searches like okay, maybe it was my progesterone. Okay, maybe I should stop working out, maybe it's my caffeine all this stuff.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And I don't think I really got to acceptance until. I did therapy post will uh-huh and I, so that was like, honestly two and a half years.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, well, and here's the thing with the stages of grave. People think that you're supposed to go through them in an order and check them off and like, once you could plant the anger stage, you'll never go back there. Yeah, and that's not how it works. You unfortunately Bounce around them like a pinball. Yeah, you know. So you can say that, yes, I've accepted this. I understand that this has happened to me, but probably on those Anniversaries you might have a flare of depression or anger.

Speaker 1:

Yeah that's appropriate 100%, and I I've shared this before and Whitney knows this, so I feel that Eva shows to me herself in the yellow butterfly. Mm-hmm and Whitney has her bird. I do have my birds, um, so we see that for each other. But I will say, in really hard moments of my life, or transitional, I will always see a yellow butterfly and I think that Say whatever you want to say about me saying that, but to me, mm-hmm, that's what I need to know. She's there.

Speaker 2:

It's a comfort.

Speaker 1:

It's a comfort and you know we one of my friends Sent me the second miscarriage. It was very thoughtful of her. She sent me this lost package and it was like some seeds to plant for the baby. So what has helped me Heal is Remembering and naming and acknowledging, yeah, this child or these children that I've lost, sharing, being open about it, and I think it's important to say that, like the two boys I have do not replace the two babies babies that lost. Yeah, they never will. That's not their role, and a lot of people think that does that and it does not, and or that we're each their own person and they'll say it to me like well, you have two boys now and I'm like what I still lost my child.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I hate to say it, I think people do tend to dismiss miscarriage Versus another form of child loss, you know so it's early yeah. Someone loses a teenager in like a car accident. It's more seen. Yeah and so people will acknowledge it, as opposed to miscarriage where they're like well, you already had two other kids. Like you're good, uh-huh. Well, if I knock on wood, lord, don't let this happen. But if I lose a child, that's a teen. I'm probably not gonna get that question of are you gonna have another one to replace one of your daughters? No, no. I'm sorry, I can't replace them. They are their own person and you shut it and it's no.

Speaker 1:

I mean the things that. That's why it's like never asked someone if they're pregnant. You don't know how many times they have tried or lost correct. You do not know what their struggle is. Don't ask them. They're having siblings. Don't ask. I mean that is just none of your business and you. It just happens way more, yeah. Then I remember you know, my grandma got told about it at a baby shower I don't know why it happened that way and she just was like that was impossible to hear at that moment, right, yeah. But then I was speaking of that like I got triggered after that, like I was like I don't want to see baby showers, I don't want to see pregnancy announcements. Yeah, I don't want to see your holiday cards with your cute babies that I was supposed to be having to, like I was supposed to be this month's pregnant at this moment, or I was supposed to have her, like that was in my head. Then I just I had to move past that anger, yeah. So if you guys are out there, we'll give you some tips that from a therapist's perspective and someone has lived it that helps you heal. I think the first is to grieve, let it out, don't try to hold it in.

Speaker 2:

Correct. And remember Give yourself the space to grieve.

Speaker 1:

It's going to be ugly.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, grief is incredibly unpleasant.

Speaker 1:

And it's going to be. You can't wish it away and you have to Trust me, if we could, we would. You have to go through those steps. Know that people around you, your partner, your best friend, they may not get it, so a therapist to save space, or someone that has lived that, yeah, who's maybe not in it with you but like, been through it, that could be really important. Figure out how to name and remember your child that you lost. Realize it is a loss. Don't let anybody define that for you it is a loss. Correct and do something for yourself, like if that's forcing yourself to get up, especially immediate post miscarriage it was like a force to get up, get dressed, get yourself ready and do something for you. And you almost felt like I felt like guilty, almost enjoying life.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because you feel like I should honor them all the time. And here's the thing honoring somebody can look so different on a different day. Honoring them can be getting up, getting dressed and going and enjoying something that you think they would have enjoyed. It can look like crying and remembering them in that way. It can look like discussing what your hopes and dreams for them were. Honoring somebody can look so different in so many ways and it's OK that we choose different ways to honor them. It's not just one way, but I really wish I would have had therapy.

Speaker 1:

It just would have been a game changer. So, if this is resonating with you, we've talked to you before but is it psychology today? Psychology today, it's a great way to find counselors, therapists that are in with maternal mental health, that deal with moms and loss and can support you Because it's just, it's not something you're supposed to. It's like one of those things is not supposed to be this way, no, so you need help. Guys, I'm sorry if this was a heavy episode for you, but I feel like it's going to reach people, yeah.

Speaker 2:

That resonates it. You know, y'all know us at Previa. We're going to be real and we're going to talk about the hard stuff.

Speaker 1:

We may cry, we may laugh, that's OK, you're going to get a little bit of everything from us, but we're here for you and share this with someone. Sometimes, if you don't know what to say to them, this would be a great way to say you know, like I like enjoy listening to this podcast. They talked about this. I don't know what you're feeling, yeah, but here's their experience.

Speaker 2:

Or like I'm here for you, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So use that as that, but till next time, guys. I mean, see you, maternal mental health is as important as physical health. The Previa Alliance podcast was created for and by moms dealing with postpartum depression in all its variables, like anxiety, anger and even apathy. Posted by CEO founder Sarah Parkers and licensed clinical social worker Whitney Gay, each episode focuses on specific issues relevant to pregnancy and postpartum. Join us and hear how other moms have overcome mental health challenges, as well as access tips and suggestions on dealing with your own challenges as moms. You can also browse our podcast library and listen to previous episodes at any time. Please know you're not alone on this journey. We're here to help.

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