Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pregnancy Journal: Milestone

By Kelly

I’m 13 weeks pregnant today.

Depending on which pregnancy book you read, I’m either at the tail end of the first trimester or on the cusp of the blessed second.

It doesn’t matter greatly to me. More important is that I’ve passed the 12-week mark, because that’s how far along I was in 2007 when I miscarried.

I don’t think it’s unusual for anyone who’s gone through pregnancy loss – be it an early miscarriage, a late-term death or even a stillbirth – to breathe a sigh of relief when they pass that date where everything changed. (See the touching 19-2 post at I Should Be Folding Laundry for proof.)

It’s a strange thing, but for some reason, our minds and hearts attach great significance to making it beyond that milestone. Intellectually, we know it doesn’t mean things couldn’t still go wrong. We also know the date of the last loss doesn’t necessarily have value. Statistics tell us 20-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage these days. (In that sense, I’m right in line with the numbers, since I’ve been pregnant five times and one ended in a miscarriage.) So it doesn't matter, really, when we miscarried. It rarely means all our pregnancies will have the same sad end.

But cold statistics don’t ease the pain. A baby lost is a baby loved, a baby missed. Our mother hearts grieve that we’ll never get to know that little one this side of heaven.

Maybe that’s why we attach significance to the passing of this anniversary. Not only is it a way for us to move on and secure more hope for the baby we are currently expecting, it’s a way for us to remember the ones we miss.

And that's a milestone worth marking.

You can read more about my miscarriage here. But if you’re dealing with pregnancy loss, I also recommend you read this post by Molly Piper, who’s little girl was stillborn at 40 weeks. It’s also helpful for anyone who’s walking down the path of grief with a friend.


Kelly blogs at Love Well.

11 comments:

  1. This is really well-said, Kelly. For us, our milestone is 2.5 years. If each of our children can make it past the 2.5 year mark without having seizures, it's a big deal in our house considering past history and increased likelihood that siblings can have what Noah had (and it usually presents itself around age 2.5)

    I'm sure everyone has their own milestone anniversaries kept secret in their hearts and minds.

    Steph

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  2. You know, it's been 6 years since my miscarriage and I still tear up when someone talks about theirs.
    I found out that my baby had died during an ultrasound. I held my breath during every subsequent ultrasound in both pregnancies.
    Those beating hearts were the most beautiful things I had ever, ever seen.

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  3. "A baby lost is a baby loved, a baby missed. Our mother hearts grieve that we’ll never get to know that little one this side of heaven.

    Maybe that’s why we attach significance to the passing of this anniversary. Not only is it a way for us to move on and secure more hope for the baby we are currently expecting, it’s a way for us to remember the ones we miss."

    I'd quote the whole post if I could... but this part will do.

    Continue giving every day over to Him; it's the only way I got through. Celebrating this new life inside you and anticipating the day you hold this little one in your arms! Love you, friend!

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  4. Thank you for sharing your heart and your loss with us. I am happy that you've sighed some relief. I'm struggling with the loss of the twin of my 3 month old and find comfort in knowing that others wouldn't think my grief was childish or unjustified.
    It'll be so much fun to join you on this journey! Thanks for letting us do so!

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  5. It's amazing how much differently I view this pregnancy after having a miscarriage. Our first was easy and I never thought about it. Then at 6 or 7 weeks the miscarriage and now this one. 19 weeks and feeling the baby kick me and I'm finally starting to think that we will have a baby. It's so hard to hope and trust again...

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  6. sister-in-law, JulieNovember 11, 2009 at 7:28 PM

    I have never had a miscarriage. But, for 10 days, I thought I had a miscarriage due to some very early (in weeks) similar symptoms and an incompetent (in the OBGYN specialty) general family doctor who told me based on my described symptoms that I had a miscarriage. It was my first pregnancy and I was so ignorant, I didn't know I should have been going to an OBGYN and not just a general practitioner. When I finally made it to a highly recommended OBGYN, I saw a heartbeat at about 7 weeks. What a JOY !! But, I never felt "safe" in either pregnancy until those first 12 weeks were over....

    Congrats on getting past those first 12 weeks!

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  7. Well put. The miscarriage I had at 10 weeks in my second pregnancy has colored my two subsequent pregnancies, and each time I have breathed a huge sigh of relief when I passed 10 weeks, and also when I saw or heard a heartbeat the first time (something that I never got to do with the baby we lost).

    In some ways, the next pregnancy after the miscarriage was the hardest. It was only 6 months later and still fresh, and this journey that had seemed so natural and happy with my first son now seemed so fraught with peril and the potential for heartbreak. But, at the same time, I had very strong first-trimester symptoms that pregnancy that made me feel more confident.

    This pregnancy, there were several symptoms and early on that were similar to the pregnancy when I miscarried, and I sometimes didn't really feel pregnant. Although I didn't worry as acutely, there was a part of my mind that I think I unconsciously tried to keep aloof from this pregnancy...just in case. The relief when I got to see this baby's heartbeat on ultrasound at 12 weeks was immense. I don't think I really felt like it was real until then. Now I'm 26 weeks, and I have constant confirmation that this is very real!

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  8. While I have never had a miscarriage, I have seen too many of my friends go through the pain. But, they are all so honored to have had that time with their child, however limited it may have been.

    I love that you see this anniversary as a milestone, it is.

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  9. Congratulations on the milestone, Kelly. I totally understand how meaningful it is to pass a heartbreaking milestone.

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  10. Yes, I agree with you! After 2 healthy pregnancies, I just assumed I would have healthy pregnancies. Then I had a miscarriage and was devestated. It was right about 7 weeks. The next pregnancy was another healthy, strong baby, but I was nervous, on pins and needles the whole first trimester. After that, I had another miscarriage at about 7 or 8 weeks and was again devestated. I left the doctors office with tears streaming down my face, driving and yelling at God, "It's not FAIR to make someone go through this who has already been through it!" After this, it took 6 more months to get pregnant again, this time with my 4th and final baby. The roller coaster of trusting God with the ups and downs is so, so scary. I am so happy for my 4 blessings though! I always felt like God had put on my heart that I would have 4, and once the 4th one was born, I felt such a sense of my family being complete; that everyone who was supposed to be here was here now! What a journey!

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  11. P.S. And it does not help AT. ALL. when the well meaning doctor or a friend says something like, "But look on the bright side, you already have 2 (or fill in the blank number) healthy kids!" You still grieve for whoever you lose.

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