Coping With Miscarriage and What’s Coming Next

If you read my last post, you know that at 5 weeks 4 days we had a biochemical pregnancy, or more simply put, a miscarriage. For those who don’t know, a biochemical pregnancy occurs when you get an early positive pregnancy test, but are unable to see anything on the ultrasound. Regardless of when it happens, though, it’s still a miscarriage. It’s been several weeks now since our miscarriage and I just want to share a little bit of my experience and how I coped with this loss.

I want to preface this by saying that it could have been much worse. Admittedly, had our miscarriage occurred after we had seen the gestational sac on the ultrasound, I undoubtedly would have had a much harder time.

Tips I used to heal after our miscarriage.

  1. Allow yourself time to grieve. This is probably the most important one. It’s one thing to put on a happy face when you’re at work or around folks who don’t know what you’re going through (if you’re choosing not to share), but it’s another thing entirely to hide these feelings from yourself and/or your spouse/partner. You are experiencing a loss and you deserve to grieve that loss. And remember, your spouse/partner is also grieving that loss even if it wasn’t their body. For me, I had my major breakdown at work the Monday before we officially found out we were miscarrying. My beta number was not nearly as high as it should have been and I just knew deep down that this pregnancy was ending. I sobbed (and I mean hyperventilating, not caring who heard, sobbed) for an hour and a half straight at work. About a week later, while I was in the midst of my period/the actual miscarriage, I cried almost every day. It was the most painful period I’ve ever had and also the heaviest, and it was just a harsh reminder that we lost our baby. But I will say this, after I allowed myself to cry, I felt so much better! I needed to get those feelings out rather than bottling them up. The only thing that’s going to happen when you bottle up these emotions, is eventually you’re going to break and it will not be pretty when you do.
  2. Find someone to talk to. Whether this person is your spouse/partner, your best friend, someone you met in a Facebook support group, or a parent, find someone who you can talk to. And it doesn’t matter if they’ve been through the same thing themselves. Just having someone who you can chat with so they can give you support is so so important. And believe me, your friends and family want to be there for you. Don’t think that just because they haven’t asked you about it, they don’t want to be there for you. Chances are, they really, really do, they just don’t know how or don’t know what you need. And if you’re not comfortable talking to someone you know, God will always be there for you and is always ready to listen. I spoke to God about our miscarriage almost every night. It helped me find so much peace and comfort knowing he was there. Friends and family, if you are someone who has been called upon to be this person, 99% of the time, your person just wants someone to listen and comfort them, so don’t worry if you can’t find “the right thing to say”.
  3. Do NOT blame yourself – it is not your fault you had a miscarriage!! Let me say it louder for those in the back – IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! I absolutely cannot stress this enough. You did not miscarry because you walked up too many flights of stairs, or carried one too many grocery bags into the house, or had a cup of coffee (200mg is okay!), or did one of a million other things women tend to think will “cause” them to have a miscarriage. There is nothing you could have done that caused your miscarriage to happen. Even if you used a PGT-A tested embryo, there still could have been something wrong chromosomally, or as is likely with us, the timing could have been off. There’s really no way to know unless you are able to biopsy the fetus. But at the end of the day, regardless of anything else, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
  4. Find something to occupy your time. It’s so easy to just wallow is self-pity, not moving from the couch. And that’s fine if that’s what helps your heart heal. But I also found it really helpful and beneficial to find something to occupy my time. Whether that is to find a new hobby, baking/cooking, finding a DIY project to work on, reading a new book, or even finding a new show on Netflix. I found that by finding something to do, it forced me to think about something else, even if only for a little while. (This being said, don’t force yourself not to feel anything at all. Remember coping tip number 1!)
  5. Try to find something positive to take away from this experience. You might be thinking, “You’re crazy. How can you possibly find something positive about losing your baby??” And that might be true, but I believe there is always at least one positive thing you can take from any situation, you just have to be willing to find it. For us, this was the first time we had ever been pregnant. Ever. This was a huge win for us! After almost 5 years of trying to get pregnant, I was beginning to think that it wasn’t physically possible for me to get pregnant. Now, however, we at least know that I can get pregnant, I just need to stay pregnant next time.

What’s Coming Next?

After our miscarriage, we met with our doctor to discuss what happened and what our next steps were going to be. Most likely, the reason for our miscarriage was that the timing was just slightly off. Leading up to our transfer, my body decided to do some crazy stuff and we weren’t able to perfectly replicate our ERA cycle. We had missed our opportunity to trigger ovulation to time when to start using progesterone, so there was a good chance we were slightly off on how much progesterone exposure my body had prior to transfer. Based on my ERA results, I need an extra day of exposure for my uterus to be receptive to the embryo, so if the timing was off, even by a few hours, that could have make a big difference for us.

For our next transfer cycle, we all agreed it would be extremely important to watch my body like a hawk. This means potentially more monitoring appointments, but it will reduce the chances of us missing our opportunity to trigger ovulation. Additionally, our doctor suggested having additional blood tests performed on me to look for any genetic issues. Kevin had these blood tests performed in early 2021, but I never had. Lastly, our doctor recommended redoing a saline ultrasound with her specifically (previous saline ultrasounds had been done with other doctors at the practice) so she could personally see what’s going on inside my uterus. At my last saline ultrasound, there was a spot that possibly looked like scar tissue so she wanted to double check and make sure everything looked okay before proceeding with another transfer.

Upon doing the blood test, it was discovered that one of my levels was slightly elevated. The elevated level can contribute to abnormal blood clotting and can also contribute to an increased risk of miscarriage. Knowing this information, the next time I get pregnant, our doctor will put me on Lovenox to aid with any clotting issues. Otherwise, all of my blood work looked great! Yesterday, February 18th, I went in for my saline ultrasound and everything looked perfect, or as our doctor so eloquently said, move in ready! We are thrilled everything looks great and we are more than ready for our next transfer! From here, we will begin stalking my body with monitoring appointments. If all goes well, we should be able to transfer at the beginning of March. We are fully prepared, however, to postpone our transfer if something doesn’t look quite right, or if there is a question of timing in this cycle. I look forward to giving you all our next update!!

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