‘I don’t know why you’re in pain.’ I had already miscarried, I knew this wasn’t normal. Had I not been persistent, I would have bled out.’: Young woman shares miscarriage grief and ectopic pregnancy, ‘I hope my story can help someone else’

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“This photo was taken two days after our wedding day, in the ER. We didn’t tell anyone, but we found out four days before our wedding we were pregnant. I did everything right from the moment I found out, even switched out two bottles of wine with non-alcoholic wine so no one would notice I wasn’t drinking, but regardless, I miscarried late on our wedding night. We woke up the morning after our wedding in a pool of blood.

I was only 5.5 weeks along and didn’t have an OB, so my primary doctor suggested we go to the ER. I snapped this photo in the ER, just to document our ‘honeymoon’ and to be able to look back on all the things we’ve made it through. It was hard for us both, but we wanted to make sure we kept our honeymoon week separate from the miscarriage, and tried our best to enjoy the rest of our honeymoon at home. (By the way, our original wedding day was cancelled and then rescheduled/made into a backyard wedding due to COVID. Our honeymoon was also cancelled for this reason, so we decided to fill a blow-up pool and pretend we were in Barbados in the same place we had our wedding, and just make the best of it.)

It turns out it was even harder trying to mask all the emotions which come with a miscarriage, especially one where no one knows you were pregnant. Gray was strong when I couldn’t be, and per usual, the most loving husband I could ever hope to have. Our wedding day was beautiful, but the amount of love and support he shows me during the hard times is so much more beautiful than anything else, all prettied up, could ever be.

Fast forward 3.5 months: October 10, we found out we were pregnant again. We were so excited. It was just a day full of pure happiness, and we knew this time it would work out. A week or so later I started having some pain and concerns. I’ll spare the details, but ultimately we were told it was another miscarriage. Five days after being told we miscarried, the pain was back and so incredibly severe. Having already had a miscarriage, I knew this wasn’t normal pain, but my OB said to take some Motrin and hopefully it would go away.

The next day, it was even worse. He brought me in for an ultrasound and to draw more labs that morning. The ultrasound showed nothing. He again said he wasn’t sure why I was in pain, because I definitely had miscarried, but to give it a day or two and it should go away. The next morning my lab results came back, and instead of continuing to go down, my HCG levels were going back up higher than my initial test, which confirmed my pregnancy. He then told us I was obviously still pregnant, but not a normal pregnancy. But he wasn’t sure if my pain was related to a potential ectopic, or if it was just maybe a kidney stone.

We immediately left his office and went to the ER. After more ultrasounds and a CT scan, another doctor was clearly able to see internal bleeding and I had emergency surgery for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. They don’t know how long ago it had ruptured, or how much longer I had before I bled out, but it would have definitely had happened had I not been so persistent. I’m resting back at home now with one less Fallopian tube, but feeling better already.

Gray is my rock, per usual, and is taking excellent care of me. Things have been hard the past couple of months, and it’s so much harder when you feel alone—hence why I’m sharing this. The taboo mentality which goes along with pregnancy loss…I don’t quite know how to make sense of it. It’s hard because no one wants to talk about it. Until suddenly…you DO want to talk about it. You NEED to talk about it, and cry about it, or scream about it when you see other people’s pregnancies thriving and you’re left wondering why yours didn’t. But you don’t talk about it because, well, you just don’t. No one ever does.

Maybe it’s just easier this way, or more ‘comfortable’ for everyone else, to not make them uncomfortable by having them search for the right words to say. But I think this needs to be shared, because when you’re already hurting from the loss, hurting in the shadows makes it worse. I’m learning as I go that sharing this experience, as uncomfortable and awkward as it may be, is necessary for healing. I’m hopeful it will open doors for other women to feel more understood and not so alone in their pain. So, to anyone else who is struggling with loss of any kind, especially this, know you’re not alone, even though it feels that way most days.

And if you need to talk, or just need me to listen, I’d love to do it. I’d love to hear your story. I’d love to hear how strong you are and how you have healed or are still healing. Please keep us in your prayers for the next week or two as I heal from surgery and our hearts heal from another loss. Even though things are hard right now and not going the way we had hoped they would, I remember the days I prayed for all I have right now—the days I prayed for Gray. Those days were very dark and extremely hard at times. Those prayers were answered, and most certainly these prayers will be, too.

Again, I didn’t write this for pity or sympathy, but I hope it paints a picture of the current season we are in, and even more so, helps someone else going through their own difficult time find the strength they need to pick themselves back up and try again. We are okay, and I truly couldn’t ever do this without Gray. Through all of this, I see the man who has never fallen a step behind in supporting me, encouraging me, and loving me. He knows the pain and hurt I’m feeling. He’s feeling it too, he wants this just as much as me. But he remains strong when I’m weak and I need a rock. He holds my hand through the peaks and the valleys, and God answered my prayers when he made his heart for me. I see my biggest blessing. I hope everyone else is able to see their blessings amongst their hard times, too.”

Courtesy of Alyssa Smith

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Alyssa Smith. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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