Trigger Warning: This story contains mention of miscarriage that may be triggering to some.
“July 2nd, 2018, on an ordinary day with my friends and husband, I was 11 weeks and 6 days pregnant. Happy, proud, and in love. I remember exactly what I was doing, how it happened, and how I felt. We were watching a 2018 Fifa World Cup match and my team was winning. I am a Brazil fan! I was laughing and making fun of my husband because he hates Brazil and we were winning. That day was the most normal for us. And that day, I lost my baby.
Let’s start from the beginning. I am a professional social worker in child protective services, a very stressful and busy field, we could say. My job is to help, support, and accompany families who are struggles to provides a safe and sound environment to their children. That particular year was very hard on me at work. I was loaded, busy, and every week, I was in court at least twice with one of my families. In this field, we don’t really have support in the job. There are some supervisors and specialists in clinical activity but they are so busy themselves you mostly feel all by yourself. Also, it’s the type of work where you go home after a full day running around but the work still follows you. You never really disconnect.
That being said, I was stressed and struggling at work. My husband and I were trying to get pregnant without really trying. We were just ready to have a baby without forcing it. It would happen when it was supposed to happen. In April of 2018, my husband surprised me with a trip to… wait for it… Orlando, Florida to WALT DISNEY! Oh, I needed this vacation. That was the first time in months I’d felt relaxed and I allowed myself to enjoy every inch of it. I guess my body was so relaxed it allowed itself to welcome a little angel in our family.
You’ve guessed it! Weeks after Walt Disney, I was pregnant! I can’t put in word the amount of joy and happiness I felt when I saw the plus sign on that stick. I was going to be a mom. I told my husband and we were both excited. And you know after all that joy and excitement, the first thought that came to my mind was, ‘I will finally get some rest from work.’ Having a child means early preventive withdrawal from work and one year of maternity leave. It meant at least 2 years without working. I know! It sounds awful but that was the state of mind in which I was.
After finding out I was pregnant, we told everybody. I mean E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y! Did we wait for the 12-week safe mark? Well… no! My family knew, my husband’s family knew, my co-workers knew (but that wasn’t supposed to happen), our mutual friends knew. It wasn’t a secret and it wasn’t an issue because I was pregnant! We were invincible. Nothing could happen to me or to that baby because nothing bad happens to good people, right? Everybody was happy for us. After being in a relationship for so long, it was the next step for my husband and me. People around us were impatient to see us become parents. No pressure…
So, I was still working, I was still stressed out but what was different was I was relieved and happy.
On Sunday, July 2nd, 2018, we were watching the soccer game in our basement with some friends. Everything was normal. Nothing was out of the ordinary. I went to the main floor for some snacks and I went to the toilet at the same time. After wiping, I notice some pinkish discharge. It was curious to me but at that moment, I wasn’t worried. I returned to my friends but I wasn’t focused anymore. Something was wrong. I had a weird feeling I couldn’t explain it. I wasn’t reassured at all. I took out my cell phone, opened Google, and typed ‘pink discharge pregnant.’
Scrolled. Scrolled. Opened. Red. Closed. Scrolled. Opened. Red. Closed. Scrolled.
Everything indicated it could be normal. I put away my phone. Was I reassured? Not at all. I was preoccupied.
The game was over and my friends left. A couple of hours later, I was bleeding. It was no longer a small amount and it was no longer pinkish. I was bleeding enough to put on a pad. It was like a regular period. I was panicking inside! I told my husband I was bleeding and we went straight up to the hospital. (My husband is a nurse, so we went to the hospital he worked at.)
When we got to the emergency triage, the lady at the front desk asked me, ‘How can I help you?’ This never happens to me but I broke into tears. I was crying like a child. I couldn’t stop and I couldn’t talk. It’s like I knew what was going to happen. Not to mention I didn’t show any sign of emotions while going to the hospital but answering this woman made what was happening a real thing. It’s like I was admitting something.
I think I managed to say, ‘I’m pregnant… I’m bleeding.’ The lady handed me a paper and told me to wait for the triage nurse. While waiting, I managed to pull myself together. I heard my number and went to meet the nurse. Again she asked me, ‘How can I help you today?’ and there I was crying again like someone had died. I don’t remember if I managed to talk or if my husband took over. I remember being brought to an exam room and asked to put on a jacket. I was still crying.
Suddenly pain started. It was like really, really bad period cramps. I felt a clot and a little relief. Another nurse came to take some samples and ask me how many pads I’d changed in an hour. I couldn’t tell her because as soon I started bleeding, I put on a pad and came straight to the hospital. Then she said we were going to look. Well. She didn’t need to look too far because the bed, my jacket, and my underwear were all soiled. It’s at that moment everyone realized I was miscarrying!
The pain was horrible. I couldn’t stand it anymore. They gave me some morphine. Did it help? No! They did the first ultrasound and couldn’t find the fetus. I was still in excruciating pain. They brought me to radiology and did a transvaginal ultrasound. Again nothing apart from a lot of blood. After the exam, I had another clot and that is when suddenly the pain stopped. That’s also when the final diagnosis hit. ‘Ma’am, we are sorry to tell you that you’ve just had a miscarriage.’ The OB was still talking but I wasn’t there. I couldn’t hear anything. I remembered him saying I’ll stay overnight to be monitored.
From that moment until my discharge from the hospital, every time someone would ask me, ‘How are you doing?’ out of habit, I would break into tears. People tried to comfort me. They kept saying it was a common event, 15 to 20% of pregnancies end up with a miscarriage, and others would say women’s bodies are smart. When they realize the fetus wouldn’t be viable, the body rejects it. I remember asking myself how this could be helpful or comforting? I’ve just lost a baby. It’s about me! I don’t care about other women! I am in pain, not them! Again, I didn’t have the strength to argue with anyone…
That evening at the hospital, I felt naked, empty! I didn’t know how to feel. I was definitely sad but there was something else. Something I could put a point on it. I remember feel useless and I was disgusted. No word nor people could help me. My poor husband! I could see him feeling powerless. It’s like he was sad and disappointed with the situation but he didn’t want me to notice. He wanted to be strong for both of us. I never saw him cry or anything. I never realized how a miscarriage can affect men too. I don’t remember giving him time or space to grief. But… He was there for me.
The next step after my miscarriage was grief. I remember the first feeling I had was shame. I didn’t want to go anywhere, to talk to anyone. I was soooooo ashamed. I couldn’t even talk about it. I didn’t want to look anybody in the eyes. I was convinced people could see my incompetence. What healthy woman in her thirties loses her child at almost 12 weeks? I think that’s where my husband stepped up and took care of everybody. I was happy but I was also soooooo upset. I knew my husband had informed everyone but how come no one wrote me a text or called me? No condolences, no sympathy, nothing! Did nobody care at all? That’s how confused and confusing I was.
Then the guilt stepped in. It was all my fault, I caused this. I should’ve been more cautious. I should’ve taken it easy at work. The stress must’ve caused this. Maybe I shouldn’t have had sex the night before. Were we too rough? I went through my meals, my habits, my lifestyle. Maybe that glass of wine I took before knowing I was pregnant. Everything I did was under a microscope. I knew it was something I did wrong. I searched the internet, forums, and blogs for a possible explanation. I was so healthy, how come I miscarried? Even though doctors said it has nothing to do with me, I didn’t want to believe it. They were wrong, they didn’t know what they were talking about. I was thinking like a professional, like a scientist. There had to be an explanation. I was irrational.
All that to say I was lost, confused, ashamed, and nobody could understand me so I couldn’t talk to anyone. That’s when I realize what I was doing was unhealthy. I’ve consulted with a psychologist. I was more rational than emotional. I did not shut my emotions. I allowed myself to feel the pain but I thought I was a smart enough woman to think this through and look at it from a more scientific perspective. That’s when I found it! Other women went through this too. In my mind only women with fertility issues had miscarriages and that’s a misconception I had I didn’t know where it was coming from. Maybe the fact women with fertility problems are more in the out than others. What about the ‘others?’ The fertile ones, the healthy ones, the sportives ones, the ones with healthy habits, etc?
I realize women are suffering in silence and that miscarriages are taboo. Nobody talks about it. What helped my grief was to know other people went through it. I wasn’t alone. We were a lot in the same boat. It was to know it happens more than we think. We should talk about it more. That’s why I wanted to share my story. It is not an exceptional story. It is probably one among many but maybe there’s another Rhodia somewhere who’s looking for answers and maybe she will find comfort in my story.
Today, I have a beautiful 23-month-old rainbow daughter and I am 33 weeks pregnant with a baby boy and I am filled with love and joy. When you wanted a child, when you made up your mind, when a child is wanted, desired, and wished, you NEVER forget the day you lost one. But.. it’s okay to grieve, it’s okay to heal, and it’s okay to remember.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Rhodia Dieudonne from Nemaska, CA. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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