“A Person’s A Person No Matter How Small,” Dr Seuss – My First Trimester Loss

By | 2017-08-03T09:56:54+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|1st Trimester, Loss After Loss, Parenting After Loss|1 Comment

I was six weeks along. There was not yet a gasp and smile at the sound of the heartbeat. There was not yet a tear at the first sight of the bean on the ultrasound. There was not yet a name assigned. There was no cramping. There was just blood.

In the middle of the night I woke up to use the bathroom, and for whatever reason my mind told me to look at the toilet paper, which showed blood. My heart started pounding. I told myself to relax. Spotting happens to a lot of women. I drank a glass of water and laid back down in bed. I tried to go to sleep and not worry. I got back up to check the bleeding, which was hardly there. I text a friend who was in medical school, apologized for it being the middle of the night, and asked for her advice knowing she couldn’t tell me much. I checked my bleeding again, which was barely noticeable. I told myself the baby was fine, that I wouldn’t lose it. That doesn’t happen often, and it certainly won’t happen to me.

Somehow I fell asleep, and woke up a few hours later with a small amount of bleeding still. I decided to go to the emergency room, in case something could be done. My mom took me at sunrise, and my husband stayed at home with our sleeping one year old, as I didn’t want her to think something was wrong. I think not having my husband there was my subconscious trying to persuade me that things would be fine, and there was no need for him to be there.

The on-call ultrasound tech couldn’t say much, but I knew what wasn’t on that screen. My baby. They diagnosed me with a “missed miscarriage.” How can this be happening? I cried, but I don’t think it completely hit me that I was no longer pregnant. I remember on the way home I told my mom I needed some coffee and something to eat. When we got home I just walked inside, ignoring my daughter, husband, nephew and father-in-law playing in the front yard. I spent most of the day crying and laying in bed with my one year old. At one point she even shoved her pacifier in my mouth, as if to say that she didn’t want me to be sad.

I never knew this baby. Was it a boy or girl? Would it have looked like me or my husband? Blue eyes like its big sister? I was only 6 weeks along, and sometimes I felt silly being so upset with this loss. I never knew the baby. Never felt any movement, not even the slightest kick. I had just started getting morning nauseous the day before. How could I be so devastated?

Dr. Seuss wrote, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” That baby was a person living inside of me. I had been growing it for 6 weeks, and dreaming about it for a lifetime. From the time I found out I was pregnant I was already in love. We had been trying for that baby. We wanted another child, a sibling for our daughter.

You may not understand the hurt someone feels when they lose an unborn baby- you may not have even known they were pregnant. A first trimester loss is still a loss. It’s early, but a mother feels love for the baby inside her before anyone else. There are times when I feel that I have to rationalize my feelings about my miscarriages. Sometimes when talking about my losses I preface the conversation with, “Mine were just first trimester losses,” as if that were to change the amount of pain I feel. The feeling that all this sadness and grief that have been completely life changing to me are not justified. This is not acceptable, it shouldn’t be anyway. The feelings of pain and sorrow are just as present in a first trimester loss as one that happens later in pregnancy. The feelings are different with each person and pregnancy, but they are still warranted. I have to remind myself to accept that and acknowledge these feelings, and let myself know that it is reasonable to have these feelings of such grief after a first trimester loss. If we can change our own perceptions of our feelings and how it is normal after losses, maybe soon others will be encouraged through us to grieve properly as well.

To my three unborn babies, who were all first trimester losses, I love you and though it may seem that I minimize your impact on my life sometimes, you are always on my mind and always in my heart along with your Earthside sisters.

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About the Author:

Katie McKenzie
Katie McKenzie lives in rural central Ohio with her husband Jesse and two daughters, Charlie and Evan. A year after she had their first daughter in June 2014, she and her husband began trying to conceive again. They experienced 3 first trimester miscarriages in 8 months. In May 2016 she found out she was pregnant again and gave birth to their Rainbow in January 2017. She wrote about her pregnancy in a blog, and has began to continue to write about her everyday life, now as a mother of two. You can visit her blogs, Life isn't always Rainbows and A Princess and a Rainbow. Katie is a Registered Nurse who currently works on a postpartum unit. After her own experiences with loss, Katie has become passionate about speaking out about miscarriage and ending the stigma that comes with it.

One Comment

  1. Janet Holtz August 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Attachment begins when you start planning for the new baby; when you decide that it’s time for another; when you see the positive pregnancy test. Attachment brings the love . when you have lost something that you have loved you grieve. I am so sorry for your losses. They are very real and it doesn’t matter if you were 6 weeks or 6 months. This was still your baby. Cry when you need to and don’t feel like your have to explain your sorrow to anyone. It is not selfish to make your grief a priority; it is necessary.

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