December 2014: silent miscarriage
Gestational age: 9 weeks (discovered at 12 weeks)
March 2015: silent miscarriage
Gestational age: 6 weeks (discovered at 9 weeks)
Sibling: age 2
Jacquie’s story: I had my first miscarriage in December, 2014. I was 26. Since people never speak about their miscarriages, I never even considered that this was a possibility so I was completely blindsided when it happened. There were no physical symptoms, so I only found out at 12 weeks and was told the baby had died at 9 weeks. I had a D&C on Christmas Eve.
I ended up getting pregnant again very quickly and suffered a 2nd silent miscarriage in March 2015. I found out at 9 weeks and was told the baby did not make it past 6 weeks this time. I felt devastated, like I had failed and there was something wrong with me. The doctor told me 2 miscarriages in a row isn’t considered “multiple” so they would not do any testing. It felt like multiple to me. During this time, I felt I had to hide my pregnancies and miscarriages from my work, so despite everything I was going through over the course of those months, I had to pretend that everything was fine.
After waiting a year, I got pregnant again and took Progesterone and baby aspirin for the first 12 weeks (something I had read about and asked my doctor to prescribe). I had anxiety my entire pregnancy, always thinking something had gone wrong again. I gave birth to my beautiful healthy baby November 2016, who will now be turning 2 soon.
We are starting to consider a second child and I know that despite having a healthy child, I will be a nervous wreck all over again.
After the photography date, Hannah reached out to participants with the following questions. These are Jacquie’s responses.
1) In what aspect has your loss impacted your life the most?
Even years later, I still think back on what might have been and feel sadness. I’m also grateful because I might not have my son Malachi now if it wasn’t for my first two losses. Mostly I am reminded that nothing is certain in life and that I cannot control everything. This gives me anxiety, but also encourages me to meditate and try to be at peace with the way things are.
2) What is something you wish society understood better about perinatal loss?
Even though more people are speaking up about their losses and there is a greater understanding that it is very common, it can still be so isolating for the people going through it. Even with a good support network, and people to speak to (including a strong and understanding partner), I still felt very alone in my grief. Even having experienced two losses myself, I don’t really know what the solution is to make sure that parents going through this do not feel so alone.
3) What are the ways you incorporate your experience with perinatal loss in your day to day life? How has you grief changed over time?
When the timing is appropriate (like if it comes up in conversation), I speak openly about my losses. I don’t feel like this is a part of my life that needs to be hidden. I hope that sharing my story will help spread awareness, and perhaps make someone else feel less alone.
Losing two babies back to back in a short period of time was devastating and was deeply painful. After giving myself a year to recover physically and emotionally, I felt ready to try again. My grief turned more into anxiety throughout my pregnancy and early days with my son. Now with my healthy two year old, I feel it more as a sad memory lingering in the back of my mind.