Coping with miscarriage and postpartum depression is something I wish I knew nothing about. With all my heart I wish I could say I sympathize with you those emotions but cannot relate. Unfortunately, that is not my story. I have been faced with some of the deepest hurt and pains over the past several years, caused by the loss of very much wanted babies.
I have endured 3 very heart breaking miscarriages. As a result I have dealt with each and every one of them differently. My first miscarriage came as a complete and utter shock! I was 12-13 weeks when we went for our first prenatal visit (with was my 4th pregnancy so my doctors said they didn’t need me to come in until that time). I felt very pregnant and even looked pregnant. We were so excited for that very first appointment. I knew there was a good chance we would hear our babies heart beat, and even get to see our little bean in an ultrasound. As soon as my doctor put the ultrasound wand on my belly I knew right away something was not right. I could see my little bean, but there was definitely no heart beat. I just sat there staring at my doctor in shock as she explained my “options” for miscarrying this baby. My hormone levels were all normal, my uterus was measuring normal, everything “looked” like it should – except my sweet babies heart was just not beating. I didn’t want to believe it at first. I didn’t want to even hear about the pills, surgeries or waiting out period for bleeding out my precious baby I had already fallen in love with. As my husband and I walked to the car, I dialed my work to let them know I needed to take the day off – and that was the moment I just fell apart. I couldn’t talk, breath or even function. I spent that entire day in constant emotional pain. I woke up the next morning went to work (coaching gymnastics) and every move I made I was afraid I was begin to miscarry my baby. I spent a few more days living in constant fair of the coming miscarriage. I finally called my doctor and insisted on another ultrasound. At that ultrasound we could still see no heart beat. I knew I couldn’t do it – I couldn’t naturally miscarry this baby – I couldn’t keep exploding at my kids because I was so sad and angry – I couldn’t continue to try and care for my 3 other kids while hurting so deeply – I couldn’t pretend to make dinner, clean the house and pretend to move on – I couldn’t just wait for the inevitable to happen. You see my body was not registering it had lost the baby. I was experiencing a what they call a missed miscarriage. So I asked my doctor about a D&C surgery, she agreed that would be the best option for my situation. So we went home, laid down on the couch and waited until the next morning when I woke up and checked into the hospital for what seemed like the worst day of my life.
Recovering for this miscarriage was hard. I spent everyday thinking about how many weeks I would be now, what the baby was (boy or girl), wondering why it happened to me and begging God to just allow me to get pregnant again right away. It was that thought, the knowledge that I could always get pregnant again that got me through this miscarriage. I focused on that fact, as well as constantly reminding myself that 1 in 4 pregnancies result in miscarriage. Since this was my 4th pregnancy I convinced myself it was just statistically going to happen. Thankfully I did conceive right away just 6 weeks later, with a very healthy pregnancy, and 9 months later I had my sweet rainbow baby Kyron Skye Campbell. (See his crazy birth story HERE)
My second miscarriage was very different. I was a little more guarded going into this pregnancy, but in the back of my mind I really didn’t think it would happen to me AGAIN. I found out I was pregnant on my birthday. It was the best birthday present I could ever ask for! I immediately called my doctor and asked for blood work to check on my new pregnancy. My first set of labs looked ok, but were a little low, so they asked for follow up labs 48 hours later. At this point we discovered my HCG numbers were rising but not doubling. They monitored me for a few more weeks, taking lab draws constantly and performing several ultrasounds. Finally at around 10 weeks after my HCG was still rising but not doubling and we had done several ultrasounds and were unsuccessful at finding the baby in my uterus. My doctor rushed me to the operating room for a D&C. She felt I was high risk of having an eptopic pregnancy since we did not see the baby in my uterus. Man was this hard on me. Going from cloud 9 to immediate surgery. With this miscarriage and operation. They still never found the baby in my uterus and had to do laparoscopic surgery to search for the baby outside of my uterus. I woke up from that surgery balling. I mean wailing out in sadness for the loss of my baby. I mourned that baby in such a deep way. I felt like they ripped my baby out of me without even giving it a chance. Several times I woke myself up in the middle of the night just crying out in sadness. I begged my husband to promise me we would try again for another baby. I just couldn’t think that my last pregnancy could result in such sadness and pain.
For nearly 2 years after my second miscarriage we tried to conceive. I was beginning to think it was just not in the cards for me anymore. I knew that the Lord had given me such a clear word that we would have more children, but I couldn’t see how, when or why it would take so long! I hold strong to the belief that my prayers would some day be answered.
That brings me to my most recent pregnancy. I found I was pregnant by accident. Well, obviously not accident, but I was reviewing a pregnancy test for the blog and took the test to show how the result window read and to my surprise it was positive! I was beyond myself! But obviously after experiencing 2 previous miscarriages I was very guarded. I called my doctor immediately and requested blood results. We spent months checking up on my HCG and progesterone levels. At first my levels were fine, then they didn’t double, then they begin doubling, then my progesterone dropped and I had to go on supplements. At this point, my morning sickness got BAD! I mean the worst I had ever experienced in my 7 pregnancies. I was coaching gymnastics and swimming full time in the summer and I was miserable. I just knew that being this sick had to be a good thing. We had an early ultrasound around 8 weeks, and were so excited to see the gestational sac – but it looked empty! I just wanted to believe the Lord could fix it, maybe my baby was just “hiding”. My doctor said it was possible and since my HCG levels were good, we just waited. We repeated an ultrasound 2 weeks later – still seeing just an empty gestational sac. I refused to accept it as I was already showing and my morning sickness was kicking my butt. So we waited another 2 weeks, repeated the ultrasound and still we were not seeing the baby. My doctor recommended taking the pill to cause miscarriage (Misoprostol), but at this point I was nearly 13 weeks pregnant and it could be risky for me, I could of course try to wait it out, but again that was risky as I was further along and my body obviously did not know anything was wrong (I mean come on I was taking anti-nausea medication to help with the horrible morning sickness), so in reality the only option for me was once again a D&C surgery. I begged my doctor to let me wait a little longer, give my baby a littler more time to grow bigger and be seen on the ultrasound. We scheduled the ultrasound for a few days out and one last ultrasound directly before the procedure. It was on that last ultrasound we could finally see there was something in the gestational sac (my baby) but it was not living. So we went forward with the surgery.
The recovery this time has been much worse. I feel like each miscarriage I suffered I had a little bit of depression kick in, but this loss was WAY different. I woke up from surgery unable to sleep, eat or even feel emotion. I felt empty. I felt nothing. I wanted so bad to cry, scream, feel pain – but nothing came this time. I was and am so full of emotion, yet feel totally emotionless. It has been 7 weeks since my last miscarriage and I still feel so sad, but emotionless at the same time. I feel like everything makes me mad, sad, angry – I can’t sleep at night, but all I want to do all day long is sleep. I never want to get up in the mornings, I just want to stay in bed and ignore everything and everyone. I don’t want to make dinner, clean the house, talk to ANYONE. I don’t want smile, laugh or be happy. I know that what I am feeling is postpartum depression, but I don’t want to get medicine. I don’t want to be that person (not that there is anything wrong with needing to take medicines…it’s just not me). The pain that I feel everyday is different. It is redirected. It does not feel like it is a result of my miscarriage, yet everyday I think about that baby I lost. I named her my sweet Brenna Hope. I don’t know if it was a girl, but I felt like she was, and it helped me pray for her while I was still carrying her in my womb.
Dealing with this current bout of postpartum depression is something I wish I could shut off. I wish I didn’t feel. I wish I wasn’t so useless everyday. I wish I could have the old me back. But I feel like the old me has slowly disappeared with each loss. So here I am not sharing my story, hoping that by talking about it (via writing since I can’t physically speak about it at all), will help me through the healing process. Hoping that by sharing my story I can relate with someone else who has struggled with the very same issues of loss, miscarriage and pain. Praying that the Lord will make me whole again.
I do have a game plan for facing this depression and I will let you know how it works…I plan on calling my OBGYN today to schedule an appointment with her. I don’t want the medications she will likely want to prescribe me, but I want to make sure I share what is happening with me, in case she has suggestions to help me. I am also going to “TRY” to make myself exercise daily. Even if it’s just a little bit. Enough to get my endorphins up and running. Lastly, I plan on praying, spending time in the word, listening to worship music and doing some time doing deep soul searching.
I need to find myself again. Through the past months, I feel like I have completely lost my identity. I feel like I don’t even know who or what I am anymore. I feel like everything I used to identify myself has been stripped away from me and now I am bare. I know it’s time to start identifying myself in the Lord – it’s just so hard to do. I need prayer, support and help. I need motivation. I need something and I don’t even know what it is.
Please if you can identify with my story (very long story…sorry about that), please comment below. Please share you stories of loss or miscarriages. Hearing the stories helps me and I am hoping that if there is someone else going through these emotions and loss right now it will help them!
If you are struggling with Postpartum depression – please seek help as well! You may also want to checkout this website, which helped me understand my symptoms and processes of healing.
If you are feeling thoughts of hurting yourself or other please contact your doctor and/or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).