I thought, ‘Oh, I must not be as far along as I thought.’ But as time went on, I said, ‘Is something wrong?’ The tech said, ‘Yes, we should hear a heartbeat.’

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“Our journey to conception started on October 28th, 2017 – our wedding day. My husband, Tim, and I decided that after we were married I would stop taking my birth control and we would have a baby right away. I thought ok, I will give my pill time to wear off and we will be pregnant by January for SURE. I had been tracking my period for about a year prior to our wedding day in preparation and started taking prenatal vitamins the day I was off my birth control. We were so ready!

I had been on birth control for about 5 years. When I was not pregnant by January I thought, ok … it is taking a little longer than expected. No big deal, right? Well, by March things got harder on me. Why is this not happening? At this point I was tracking my periods on an app, I was testing for my exact ovulation day, we were having sex every other day some months, other months we tried having sex EVERY DAY during my ovulation week. Tim started taking fertile aid and I even purchased a lubricant that was said to help the sperm swim. I think it was April when I started crying, hysterically, every time my period started. What is wrong with me? I am not a small woman so going on diets and TRYING to get to the gym as often as possible was on the list of things I needed to keep up. My sister said every time she lost weight she would conceive. Ok, I can try this!  I wouldn’t say I lost weight, but I was at the gym working out and trying to eat better. Nothing.

When I opened up to my family they would say, ‘We don’t want to bring it up, but we’re wondering how you were doing.’ This was confirmation for me that I was not the only one questioning why this was taking so long. They would tell me it was ‘normal.’ It took them ‘a year.’ Ok, but were you actively trying? The answer was always no. By the summer months I would talk to others about our struggle. ‘Oh, it takes a while, you are fine!’ But, in my head I was just waiting for October 2018. I read that a couple needs to try to conceive for a year before going to a doctor to talk about possible issues that they may have regarding conception. So, the countdown was on. Yes, we were still trying, but at this point I was sure it would never happen.

Woman smiles in selfie as she sits at outdoor table of restaurant
Courtesy of Ali Bauer

Then it did. In August I was ONE day late for my period. Yes, ONE DAY. But, I knew then. I AM PREGNANT. I talked to Tim about it and we agreed to give it a few days before we test. But, for the last year my period had been like clockwork. Headaches the week before, bloating, mood swings. I couldn’t remember any of that from the week before! So, on Sunday, during our drive home from visiting our families we said, ‘OK we will wait until the following Sunday to test.’ Well, I could not wait. Monday after work while Tim was running out to get our dinner I took a test. Right away it came up positive. HOLY SH*T. This is real. What do I do? Is this really, finally happening?! Ok, I will wait and tell Tim in a cute way, right? Of course not. As soon as he walked in the door I ran up and said, ‘BABE! We are pregnant!’ ‘WHAT??For Real?!’ – I shoved the test in his face. ‘OMG ALI! I am going to cry.’ Then we stood there and cried tears of pure JOY! We did it! We are going to start a family. I could not believe it.

We let it sink in and decided not to tell anyone because we did know the risks. We were going to wait until our one-year anniversary to tell our family, October 28th, 2018. How cool is that? On our one-year we will let everyone know we are in our second trimester of our pregnancy! What next? What do we do now? It doesn’t seem real. I naturally took at least two more tests to confirm that yes, I was actually pregnant.

I called the doctor the very next morning and made our first appointment. We went in the next week and it was… not at all what I expected. We sat there so nervous because of the unknown, but mainly just gleaming with excitement. We were here. We made it! Then we go in and the mid wife says, ‘So, you think you are pregnant?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Did you take a test?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Ok, then you are pregnant. The possibility of a negative is extremely rare. Today we will take your blood. It will tell us the level of HCG in your system and let us know that everything is OK. If you do not hear back from us, then all is well! Next week you will come in for an ultrasound and then we will have the informational appointment.’ …Oh? Am I the only one who thought you would walk in and have an ultrasound done, like in the movies, and then you would see you sweet baby on the screen and look up at your crying husband and think life gets no better! No? I am the only one that thought that? Oh, ok.  Needless to say, I gave blood, we made our next appointments and left. Walking out I said to Tim, ‘Man, that was anticlimactic.’ He totally agreed.

For the next week we impatiently waited for the appointment where we would FINALLY get to see our sweet baby! During that week I told Tim I could not wait any longer and I needed to talk to my mom and sisters about this. I was so excited and needed their advice. He agreed and one night after work we decided to Facetime our parents, siblings, and grandparents. Everyone was ecstatic, a few family members even cried! It was everything to have them know and celebrate with us. We made plans, ‘Ok mom, so you need to take a week off in April because I will need you to help when Tim goes back to work.’ We went to fairs and craft markets and bought things for ‘Baby B’ as we called our little jelly bean.

Opened book that has slip of paper that says, "Baby Bauer April 2019"
Courtesy of Ali Bauer

A week later and our ultrasound day came. We sat in the waiting room more ready than ever to see Baby B. The ultrasound technician took us into the room and as I was undressing I said to Tim, ‘What a great job this would be. I think I could do it!’ The technician came back in and started the ultrasound. Because it was so early in the pregnancy the ultrasound was internal. Once in, I noticed it was silent.  The ultrasound tech said, ‘At this stage in the pregnancy we should hear a heartbeat.’ I was so excited to see my baby I thought NOTHING of this statement. Tim and I sat there holding hands and watching the monitor. I thought, ‘Oh, I must not be as far along as I thought.’ But, as time went on I said, ‘Is something wrong?’ The tech said, ‘Yes, we should hear a heartbeat.’ Right away I heard Tim say, ‘No.’ That was it. I start bawling, trying to hold back as much as I possibly could thinking how awkward it was to cry in front of this woman I don’t even know! Just leave the room, PLEASE, I was thinking. But, she had to take a number of pictures confirming we did in fact have a miscarriage. Once she was done she said she was going to take us into another room to talk with a Midwife about what do to next. I got dressed.

I sat there staring out a window while we waited for her. Is this happening? I knew it was too good to be true. I KNEW it. I sat and cried thinking I NEED OUT OF HERE. Tim sat next to me holding in his emotions so he could be there for me. ‘It’s ok baby. We are going to be OK.’ The doctor comes in and tells us what we have to do next. The next day we will have a D&C procedure which removes the baby and cleans out my uterus. Fine, great. I know most won’t understand this, but the second it all sank it, I wanted my baby out of me. It wasn’t there anyways. It was in heaven. Please remove this from me now! After that she tells us we have to schedule the procedure. You are kidding right? Just schedule it and call me. I will be there. I couldn’t stand trying to be strong around these complete strangers, and to be honest, I was not doing a good job of it anyways. We went and scheduled it for the next morning and left. FINALLY. Walking out with everyone staring at your red, blotchy face knowing exactly what happened is an experience I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.

Close up of ultrasound picture
Courtesy of Ali Bauer

I left the office and had to drive myself because Tim and I met there after work. I called my parents as soon as I left. ‘Mom, we lost the baby.’ Those were the hardest words I have ever had to say.

We got home and I went upstairs to change. As I was walking down the stairs I see Tim come to the bottom. All he said was, ‘Ali,’ and then I walked up to him and we just held each other as he was finally able to cry. He cried hard. Harder than I have ever seen. ‘It’s ok babe. We are OK. We are going to be OK.’ We have said this to each other A LOT the last month. From the very beginning we agreed we were going to be extremely open about this situation. We didn’t care if it was 4 months later, a year later, it didn’t matter. If we wanted to cry – CRY. If we needed to talk – TALK. Don’t hold anything in. This is something that is very hard for me. Luckily, Tim is amazing at noticing when I am holding anything in.  He would pull it right out of me. ‘Talk to me Ali!’ I would open up and eventually cry. It gets easier each day, but it never gets better. It has only been a month for us. I am hoping it will get better.

Journal for pregnant mothers opened to a page that says, "We're growing"
Courtesy of Ali Bauer

Last week I went for my follow up appointment. As I sat in the waiting room I was looking at this young couple that just walked in, like Tim and I, full of love and excitement for one of the – what looks like- first of many appointments. It took me back to only a month ago when that young couple was us. Sitting in this same room waiting to find out what we do next. Talking about names and finalizing when we would tell our family and how. Looking at this couple and seeing how happy they are I couldn’t help but think – will their world come crashing down today at this appointment? Will they learn, what they thought would never happen to them, happened – they lost their sweet, sweet baby? Another woman sitting there with multiple children and her husband, pregnant with her fourth. Will that be me someday? Or, is this it?

Oh my gosh. How could I think that?! My outlook on pregnancy has changed so much. While I was sitting there I got my phone out and decided to start writing down what I was feeling at that exact moment.  The next passage is just that. It is raw, heartfelt and sad. But, it is true, and I am sure I am not the only one that feels this way.

My candid emotions:

Miscarriage is so common and yet NEVER spoken of. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE. For us women! We need to talk about this and let our feelings out.. no one is alone in this! You read such positive stories about conceiving after a miscarriage and how fast you can become pregnant. But, you can’t help but focus on the few not so positive articles, even though it’s uncommon. ‘If you do experience two or more miscarriages you will need to see a doctor and find the issue.’ Will that be me? Will I blessed enough to carry my own child or is this it? I guess at this appointment I won’t find out. All that this appointment will tell me is if we are ok to start trying again. This month of us waiting to try again has been the longest month ever. ‘Can we try? Why haven’t I gotten my period yet? I took an ovulation test and it looks positive – should we try? What is protocol?’ Everything you read is different. We saw two doctors who said different things. ‘Try right away!’ ‘No, you should wait.’ Of course I want to listen to the doctor who said try right away. I feel Tim and I are emotionally ready, so why not? But is it safe? Some articles say yes, it’s better to do it right away. Others say, ‘no it’s dangerous. Give your body time to heal.’ This is such a confusing time that no one will understand unless they are in your shoes. What you want so bad, what you had and loved so deeply, what you and your significant other worked to have for months, is gone. You had it, and in a blink of an eye it was, what you feel like, taken from you.

Box of baby things for mother who had miscarriage
Courtesy of Ali Bauer

What do you do now? Where do you go from here? You cry and grieve and feel like, ‘Ok, you are doing good. I’m handling this so well. Tim and I are handling it so well.’ Then your 1-year-old niece comes to visit and you see your husband loving her, playing alongside her and you think, ‘why couldn’t I give that to him? The one thing he wants most in the world I lost.’ I know, I know – ‘It’s not your fault.’ But I’m sure everyone in my shoes is where I am. It is me. It must have been my weight, I didn’t exercise enough, I lifted weights but it must not have been ok, I ate something wrong, Tim and I shouldn’t have had sex, it’s me I know it is.

For those of you who don’t have a partner as amazing as mine is, I would suggest blogs or a friend to allow you to let go and grieve the way you need to. When I saw Tim with our little niece my heart broke all over again. I was so sad and just cried. I’m so sorry I couldn’t give you that. I will try again and again until it happens or until they tell us it can’t happen. But of course, I just tell him I am sad and hurting still. He holds me and lets me cry. I can tell he is holding back tears too. Trying to be strong for me is something he has been doing for a while now. He does let go and cry … cry harder than I have ever seen him. It’s so good to see him grieve. We both lost our baby, we are in this together.

I am in the office now waiting to hear that I am good to go. Thinking of all the questions I need answers to, that I will never get. For now, we sit and wait. We will have that family one day, no matter how it happens.”

Page of children's book that says, "You and me snuggling in a cozy bed..."
Courtesy of Ali Bauer

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ali Bauer, 29, of Akron, Ohio. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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