Eating for a Rainbow: Our Story of Pregnancy Loss

Hi there, Mamas. I return after a long break with some heartbreaking news. Our family has lost two members in the past three months. We lost two pregnancies: one in January at 6 weeks and one earlier this month at 10 weeks. Things with the blog have been a bit spotty this year due to pregnancy-induced tiredness and then to the grief that comes with losing something you held so dearly in your heart. I think in part, I felt like a failure. While I know that there is nothing that I did to cause these losses, there was a bitter emotional voice inside me saying, “Why would you talk to women about a healthy pregnancy when you can’t even stay pregnant yourself?”

At first, I wasn’t sure how much (if at all) I would address these losses on RDNMama. After all, they aren’t nutrition-related. However, they are parent-related. With sharing my story, I have heard from so many beautiful and strong women who have also experienced pregnancy loss.  Before I became a member of this sorrowful club, I had no idea how common pregnancy loss is – about 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a loss before the first trimester. That’s 25 percent! Crazy! It helped me so much to speak with, hear from, and vent to these wonderful women about the situation. I figure if I can help even one woman or couple by talking about my experience, it will be worth it.

That, in addition to it being National Infertility Awareness Week, I felt compelled to share my story. Things I have learned during this arduous journey is that there are several types of infertility: the basic [can’t get or having trouble getting pregnant], and then recurrent miscarriages [technically you need three to “qualify” for this, so I hope we never get that label], and secondary infertility [inability to conceive or carry a child to term after one or more successful pregnancy/ies].

This situation is so bizarre to us. L was a very welcome surprise while I was finishing up my dietetic internship, so of course my habits changed once I learned about her existence (on April Fool’s day, no less). For these pregnancies, we made the changes beforehand – I even gave up coffee and switched out all of my good skincare products!

In the aftermath of our first loss on January 30th, I penned the following blog entry. I saved it and put it aside, partially because I had written it in an outburst of emotion, and partially because I didn’t know how my husband would feel about everyone knowing of our loss. After it happened a second time, there was no way either of us could stay silent. The losses are such a big part of us.

As I reread the second to last paragraph of the following essay, I couldn’t help but stop. I don’t think either of us thought we would get another loss “thrown at us” so quickly. I’m hoping that by sharing my experiences, it can help move me through the grieving process (though the loss will always be felt) and help me get back on track with the things I have let slide these past few months, including this blog. I won’t give up hope that our family will grow, even as dismal and distant as it seems right now.

 

Hi there, Mamas. I never imagined I’d write a post like this, or that I’d ever have the need. At any rate, in case you couldn’t tell from the title, please let me say: Trigger Warning; Pregnancy Loss.

I had the extremely unfortunate experience of losing my nearly six-week pregnancy this weekend.

This weekend should have been amazing! Nearly 60 degrees in January. By mid-week the hubby and I had planned to take L to the park on Saturday. We had toyed around with using the zoo membership we got for Christmas. Anything to get L out if the house and running around.

By mid-morning Saturday I knew something wasn’t right. My doctor said that sometimes bleeding can happen during a healthy pregnancy. Since it seemed to have stopped, I should just take it easy and check in Monday. I’d get another set of labs.

So, we took her to the park. But, after we got home, I knew things were worse. That I was no longer pregnant.

Really, I feel like I should have known from the start. With L, just one day late, the vertical (positive) line of the plus sign pregnancy test was darker than the horizontal line. Very clearly positive. With this pregnancy, all of the positive lines were extremely faint. I figured it was just because I was testing early. We were TTC, so I was testing as early as possible. Red flags shot up, though, when my OB sounded concerned at my faint positive during my first OB appointment last Monday.

I can’t even describe how many thoughts and emotions I felt all at once. Just a wave of despair and helplessness. In my mind, there is no reason for it. I am healthier than I was when we were surprised with L. I take a prenatal vitamin. I exercise. I swapped chores with E so I wasn’t cleaning the litter box. I stopped my occasional glass of wine as soon as I got the faintest positive. I even stopped drinking coffee. I was doing everything right.

But, I guess sometimes it doesn’t matter.

With L in the picture, we really have no choice but to move on. We can’t dwell on the grief. At least, not while she’s awake.

In the mean time, I’ll keep nourishing my body with healthy foods (aside from my Nutella binge today). I will continue to make my body strong through exercise. I will seek support from loved ones and focus on the beautiful child with whom E and I have been blessed to raise. I will try very hard not to become too stressed by this, or whatever else life has to throw at me.

I won’t stop preparing my body for a rainbow because if we are blessed enough to get it, I will be ready. I will do everything in my power to give my babies their best start.

Some resources I’ve found helpful during this time:

RESOLVE – The National Infertility Association

The Lewis Note – A mother’s experience with secondary infertility and recurrent miscarriages

Please let me know of your resources, Mamas. If you’d like to share your stories of loss and hope, I would love to hear them.

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