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First Trimester Miscarriage – A Burst of Love

Trigger warning for miscarriage and suicidal thoughts following a first trimester miscarriage.

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I’m pregnant? I’m pregnant.

Oh, my goodness I’m pregnant!

Finding out I was expecting my second child was so exciting.

The time seemed right.

My son was almost two, I had a great career and my marriage was strong.

My husband, Chris, and I were ready to grow our family from three to four.

Just a few days after finding out I was expecting I got on a plane with my son, Braeden, to celebrate my mother’s 60th birthday.

I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to tell my parents in person that they were going to have another grandbaby.

My sister and I conspired a special way to share the news by making an “I’m going to be a big brother” shirt. 

A post shared by Plus Mommy (@plusmommy) on Jun 14, 2017 at 9:42pm PDT

When my mother saw Braeden in his shirt she leaped out of her chair crying happy tears.

My dad had this special look of pride on his face that I’ll forever remember.

That moment was beautiful and the entire visit was magical.

Braeden and I had returned home for a few days when I noticed some blood after going to the bathroom.

I was also having intense and painful stomach issues.

Chris remained strong and positive but I was scared.

The next morning I called my boss and told her I was going to the doctor.

While it would’ve been nice to have my husband with me, I didn’t see the sense in dragging our toddler to the doctor's office.

I went alone and had blood taken and then met with my midwife for an ultrasound.

We looked together and didn’t see anything.

With Braeden, there was a fetal sack but nothing else appeared at 8 weeks. By 10 weeks we saw more than just a sack and heard his perfect little heart beating.

That day, 6 weeks into my pregnancy, we didn’t see anything and I was sent downstairs to radiology for a more in depth ultrasound.

I hoped my weight was preventing anything from being picked up on my midwife’s little machine but deep down I knew…I knew that I had lost the baby.

I returned to work after radiology came back with the same results my midwife had. I was numb but my midwife told me that she never gives up hope and maybe it was just too early.

While I sat in my office trying to somehow focus on work I received another blow.

A co-worker gave me a heads up that my job was being looked at for year-end cuts.

The job I had been at for seven and a half years and provided the ability for Chris to work part-time and be a full-time dad.

I drove home in a daze and a few hours later I started having intense cramping. Then blood….so much blood. I was angry and confused.

I had just miscarried our child.

Chris tried to remain supportive but I was inconsolable.

Pain. Anger. Loss. Pain, pain, pain….

I took the following day off work and even met with some close friends for margaritas that evening.

Tequila made everything feel normal for a moment.

I spent the weekend attempting to keep that feeling of normal going strong by taking my son to the zoo with friends.

mother and son at the zoo

Deep down I just wanted to SCREAM!!!

I wanted to express how unfair I felt everything was and how I wasn’t ready for my pregnancy to be over and possibly also lose my job.

I returned to work awaiting the inevitable while looking for any sign that all of this was just a horrible nightmare.

When two colleagues walked into my office and closed the door behind them I knew it was over.

After they told me I was laid off everything else was drowned out by my tears and thoughts of how my family would survive this additional loss. They watched me pack all of my personal belongings and walked me out to my car as if I was a criminal being escorted off the premises.

The same company that threw me surprise baby showers in two different states when I was pregnant with my son.

The company I had worked at since I was 24 and thought of my colleagues as family.

I was without a job during one of the worst times for unemployment.

First, my body rejected me and then my employer.

I became extremely depressed. 

I applied for countless jobs that paid $20,000 less than I had been making.

My passion for birth was a distant memory because how could I support others during pregnancy when I couldn’t even keep mine.

I tried to process my loss by searching the internet for miscarriage support sites but it was difficult to find a place to belong.

Who was I to talk about loss when I had a first trimester miscarriage?

I know women who birthed their babies without ever hearing them cry or take a first breath.

How could I grieve a loss that I never even felt flitter within me?

At the end of June, before my medical insurance was cut off, I met with a doctor and requested a prescription for an antidepressant. I had a feeling I was going to need it even though I had never been on medication before.

Without having a care provider to monitor how the medication was working I started experiencing insomnia.

Soon after that, I had detailed fantasies of locking myself in the bathroom and slitting my wrists.

I planned out all the details from how I’d have candles lit to the music that would be playing.

Finally, I consulted with a pharmacist who told me insomnia and suicidal thoughts were a side effect of the antidepressants I was taking.

Why did I wait so long to figure out what was making me a broken version of the woman I once was?

The toll all of this had taken on me also had an effect on my marriage. Something needed to change quickly so I started to wean myself off the medication and then just stopped taking it.

Along with getting off the antidepressant, friends and family helped to pull me out of my disparity in October.

They reminded me of my worth, my passion for helping others, and my spark slowly returned.

My passion for birth work was back and I enrolled in a childbirth education certification program. I slowly started to share the fact that I had a miscarriage as others shared their losses on the Plus Mommy Facebook page.

I found comfort in helping others know they weren’t alone because it also helped me to realize that I wasn’t.

Today it has been about a year and a half since my miscarriage. While it has taken me this long, I’m finally finding myself again.

The photo below was taken by my cousin and it perfectly encompasses how I feel about my loss…a burst of love that faded away too soon.

It's framed in my home as a tribute to a baby that my husband and I were never intended to hold but will always keep in our hearts.

Love with sparklers

1 in 4 women will experience pregnancy or infant loss.

The statistics are staggering but not many people are talking about it. If you or someone you love has experienced a loss please seek support if you're struggling!  

A pregnancy loss, no matter how soon, is still a loss. I was not alone. You are not alone.   

Cover photo by Acoma Street Photography 

Jen McLellan, CBE
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Erin Surbaugh

Wednesday 15th of October 2014

I am 1 in 4. I have miscarried 6 times. At 19 weeks I delivered my twins after their water broke. My 3 baby in that pregnancy was not in the same sac and the doctors were able to stop my labor first was born 3 weeks late at 43 weeks. After that I have also has a sweet baby girl. They are both rainbow babies


Wednesday 15th of October 2014

Oh Erin my heart aches for all your losses. Sending you love.


Tuesday 14th of October 2014

I am 1 in 4. Lost my first baby in 2009 and didn't want to try for another until June of 2013. Haven't had any luck and I'm wondering if it will ever happen...thank you for sharing your story. I'm so very glad I found this site. It's nice to know I'm not alone...


Tuesday 14th of October 2014

Many of us share your same fear Nina ((hugs))


Tuesday 14th of October 2014

I became 1 of 4 January 2014. Went in for the first ultrasound expecting to be told baby was doing good and had strong heart beat. The heart beat wasn't detected at the doctor office or at radiology department at our hospital. 8 weeks along but it wasn't meant to be. Had a D&C with suction on the 10th while my oldest was in the hospital sick with high fever and a severe virus. The baby would have been our third child. I am happy to say that even though that loss is a child I'll never hold in my arms they'll always be in our hearts, and I'm now 16 weeks along with our 4th child and so far all is well. I say 4th because as I feel, baby #3, I lost but will never be forgotten and with God's grace I'll see them one day.


Tuesday 14th of October 2014

Kerry I'm terribly sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story.

Alycia Havard

Sunday 4th of May 2014

I'm 1 in 4. I just lost what would have been my 3rd child this year in January. I was 8 weeks a long and went in after just finding out a week earlier, and found out there was no heartbeat. My heart was broken. After I had my daughter 3 years earlier via c section the drs didn't sew me up correctly. I had internal bleeding and had a few procedures done without doing another surgery that the dr told me we may not be able to get pregnant again. I was not thinking about having more since I had just had my daughter. 3 years later I thought it was incredible I was pregnant again. It was devastating to find out there was no heartbeat and then I had to have it removed since it did not come out on its own. I didn't want to but I knew I couldn't wait around with this baby inside and no heart beat. I still beat myself over it because I wish I would have waited another 2 weeks to see if the heartbeat would come. I knew it wouldn't but I still think about it.


Tuesday 1st of April 2014

I lost my son in my third trimester 4 years ago on march 26 an lay him to rest on april 14. It get so hard around this. I be so depress but god has bless me with 3bboys since than one that's was born feb 2014 but i still wonder wat it would be likewith him here


Tuesday 1st of April 2014

I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss Joy.