Sunday, May 29, 2011

An Unknown Loss

**Disclaimer: You are warned right now that this is a personal, detailed, long post of what I dealt with when I had a miscarriage last week. You read that right, just remember, you were warned.***

I guess this all started back in December when a good friend from our BYU ward had a horrible miscarriage and decided to share her {experience} with her friends (and the worldwide web since it's on her blog). At that point, I had never had a miscarriage, but I felt drawn to her experience and story. I was touched at how incredibly brave she was so share her experience because she wanted to be there for her friends. I also wanted to show my support for her since she is my friend. ;)

Fast forward to the next month, January 2011. Greg and I were trying to decide if we were ready to have another baby. We did all the normal things we do when we make big decisions (pray, fast, temple) and then we got a phone call from a High Counselor; I was to direct Savior of the World. Okay, well, that's our answer--- not yet. A month later (while we're in the midst of SOTW production) we get the nagging feeling again and I stopped taking my pills. During the stoppage (tee hee), I felt stressed about SOTW and possibly getting pregnant so I wanted to go back on my pills, at least until SOTW was over. We had also just decided to go to Disneyworld and I really didn't want to be pregnant during my first trip there, so we waiting to make sure in the THREE WEEKS off BC that I wasn't pregnant.

Once I was 10 days late (I didn't take a test earlier because I HATE seeing negatives---comes from pre-Jared--even if I 'wanted' to see the negative like that moment), I decided to take a test. Negative. A few days later, I took another test, just to be sure. Negative again. So, back on the pills I went.

The rest of March and April went by fast because of SOTW. I had so much to do and little time to do it in. As a result, I was always tired, really grumpy, and emotional. Especially the week of SOTW performances, I was a wreck. I would cry at the drop of a hat; I thought it was because of how I personally react to the Spirit. I should have seen the signs.

After SOTW, I thought I would feel better. We spent the weeks leading up to vacation readjusting to our old normal. I got through the rest of April and Jared's birthday trying to remember what I did before SOTW. Then, about a week before vacation (a couple week of pills were still left) I started bleeding. I thought my period had just come early (which is highly abnormal on pills, but I shoved it aside because I didn't pills for those three weeks--- I must have messed up my body's groove). A couple days into the bleeding, I started to get hard cramps; the kind where you lay down and do nothing the rest of the day--meanwhile I still had to get ready for vacation.

On the morning the day before we left for Florida, I started to feel better; I was still bleeding pretty heavy (which is odd for the 7th day in) but I was feeling better. I was really stoked because I wanted to feel good on our vacation. Then it happened. My cramps stepped it up at notch. I felt horrible, sweaty and when I went to the bathroom, it was mostly blood. I knew something was wrong but I couldn't figure out what. The pain started to go away, so I got back up and told myself to get through the day. Then it came back and back I went to the bathroom. The closest thing I could guess what that I was having another ovarian cyst. It was that point I knew I needed Greg.

I had shut myself in the bathroom because I didn't want the kids to see me in pain, but I left my phone on the bed. Jared found me in the bathroom and he was able to get my phone and pass it under the door. In the midst of my pain, I was so happy that my little boy could understand me enough that he knew I needed my phone. I called Greg and asked him to come home now; he said he'd try, but didn't know how soon he could make it. The pain had gone away again, so I thought I could get up. I got up to wash my hands, and promptly felt myself mostly pass out. I was aware enough to try and stop myself, that's why I say mostly. Apparently, I had lost a lot of blood.

I crawled back into the bathroom and tried again to rally myself. After all, it was lunch time and , at this point, the kids were yelling for me to make them some food. So, I get up start to wash my hand and... get dizzy again. I knew I what was happening so I hurried as fast as I could over to the couch. I mostly didn't want Greg to find me on the floor passed out--- the couch is much better. When I come to a few seconds later, I let Greg know what just happened and that I needed him now. (this whole time I'm still in pain). So, he comes home.

I know, hindsight is 20/20. Looking back and remembering the pain, I was having contractions. I have been through childbirth twice, how could I not recognize it? I thought I wasn't pregnant. I was sure it was one of two things: an ovarian cyst or ectopic pregnancy (that would explain the negatives). I knew I needed to see a doctor, so when Greg got home he gave me some leftover meds from Annabelle, so I could actually walk/move/etc. and actually call my doctor's office to get an appointment.

I explained how I had no idea what was going on and that I needed to see the doctor today because I was going to Florida tomorrow; I had to see a different doctor because mine had already left for the day--- they kept asking me if that was okay and I told them duh, yes, crazy pain=go to doctor... I really don't care as long as it was an obgyn. The only opening they had was in 45 minutes. Sure, okay, so what to do with our sleeping kiddos? We then called my INCREDIBLE visiting teacher. We told her what was going on and she said, sure I just picked up my daughter and we can come sit with your kids. LIFESAVER.

I spent the whole ride to the office praying we could still go to Florida the next day; we really had no idea what was happening and it didn't look good for going to Florida. Three hours after the pain started, I was about to see the doctor. The first question they asked was if I was pregnant. Greg said some quip about having to do certain things in order for that to happen (he was frustrated because we didn't think it was possible and they were focusing on something that wouldn't fix the problem), the nurse ignored him and made me take a test. Negative yet again.

Enter the doctor. We told her what was going on and then she examined me. Through my painkiller haze, I started feeling pain again. She told me I look to be passing a large clotish thing and we needed to get it out and figure out what was it in. In my last few moments of pain, Greg held me hand and told me to close my eyes. It was then I knew what had just happened. A few minutes later, the doctor confirmed my fears. I was pregnant, I didn't know it, and I just had a miscarriage. After getting an ultrasound, we found out I didn't need a D&C and I was okay to go to Disneyworld the next morning. I have a follow up with my own doctor later this week to talk about why this could have happened.

The first few days of vacation were extra hard on me. We had to watch out for a fever and extra bleeding (what do you consider extra?) for the three days following. I was so worried that I would end up ruining the trip for everyone. However, I was so grateful to have my parents and most of my siblings with me the week following this ordeal. That has been my mental mantra, I've been lucky. Lucky to have a husband who could rush home from work to take care of me without getting in trouble. Lucky to have one more opening to go to the doctor. Lucky to not need a D&C. Lucky to have it happen that day, as opposed to any of the days on vacation. Lucky to hug my Mom the day after. Lucky to not have known.

The last one is the hardest to convince myself of. Now that I'm home, and not on vacation, I constantly have to face it. It's the first thing I say when I've told others about my experience; I think because I'm trying SO HARD to believe it. The truth is... it still hurts. Yes, since all of the tests came back negative, the pregnancy was never really viable. However, if it wasn't viable, then how could I have had a miscarriage? I need to have been carrying something in order to miscarry it. I have to let the pregnancy be real in order to get through the grief of the miscarriage.

Honestly, I don't know how women get through this without knowing about the marvelous power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Whenever I felt like slipping into a corner and crying, I felt lifted up by Him and His love for me. He not only went through all the pain of our sins, but ALSO the pains of this world. He knows how I feel, and that gives me the most comfort of all. I'm worried about how this is going to effect our desires to have more children, but I'll do my best to replace that worry with faith. Faith in Him and the plan, the adventures, set out for us.

I wrote this out for two reasons: 1. to be there for someone who may need it in the future, like my friend was there for me and 2. it's part of me, and my history now. I want my children and my children's children to know that it happened and how it effected me and my family. I want them to know that no matter the trial they can ALWAYS turn to Jesus Christ and He will ALWAYS be there for them No. Matter. What.


  1. I normally don't comment on blogs, but I felt compelled to comment on yours. I am incredibly sorry for your loss Amber. I am also so appreciative that you were able to share this story which I know will help out other women in similar situations. It is empowering to see how strong of a woman that you are. You are simply amazing. Keep your head up, and I will keep you in my prayers.

  2. Just wanted to say that I'm really sorry you're having to go through this experience. It's great of you to share it here for others who are struggling with similar circumstances.

  3. I'm sorry that you had to deal with this Amber. I miscarried before Cami was born after our first 6 months of trying. I miscarried early and didn't know I was pregnant - for which I count myself lucky. As often as it comes up, I try to tell others about my experience because it happens so often and a lot of women don't talk about it. I had a friend who was came to me to find some support during her own struggle getting pregnant. Knowing that I could help her is somewhat of an answer to the "why?" questions I had after I miscarried. I hope you can have a similar experience. Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. So sorry for your loss Amber! I'm glad you were able to be with family and still go on your vacation. I had a miscarriage at eight weeks. It was really hard but I was comforted through a Priesthood blessing. This was in September. There are few days that go by that I don't think about the baby that could've been. I'm a lot more appreciative of my little girl now. Sending you hugs.

  5. Hi Amber... I'm Christina. I live next door to your parents in WA and I am also in their ward. We were over at your parents house tonight having dessert and seeing cute Disney videos! Your mom was telling us about some of your Disney adventures and somehow, the story of this loss came up. I asked her if I could read your story on your blog and felt really compelled to share some thoughts with you. You see, I had a very similar experience and immediately felt inspired to share with you a couple of things. I don't know why... perhaps you or someone else reading here needs to hear them, I just know that the spirit wants me to share. I hope you don't mind. By the way, I LOVE your family and feel SO blessed to be friends and neighbors with them. They have been a real blessing in our lives, in many ways!

    To start with, you can read about my own experience in a blog entry I wrote a few years ago about it. The formatting on my blog is BAD so to make it easier to read, you can just highlight the text. It took me a long time to grieve my loss but one day I was given the gift of understanding more about my loss and I blogged about it. You can find that story here:

    Also, I don't know if you have heard the song "Just Let Me Cry" by LDS singer Hilary Weeks, but that song has helped me in ways untold and I always share it with anyone who has experienced a loss! Sometimes it's hard for other people to understand why we cry a lot or why we can't just "get over it" quickly since it was such a new pregnancy. This song helps! Here are the lyrics:

    "I believe that everything happens for a reason
    We're not just tossed by the wind or left in the hands of fate
    But sometimes life sends a storm that's unexpected
    And we're forced to face our deepest pain

    When I feel the heartache begin to pull me under
    I dig my heels in deep and I fight to keep my ground
    Still at times the hurt inside grows stronger
    And there's nothing I can do but let it out

    Just let me cry
    I know it's hard to see
    But the pain I feel
    Isn't going away today
    Just let me cry
    Till every tear has fallen
    Don't ask when and don't ask why
    Just let me cry

    When I agreed that God could put this heart inside me
    I understood that there would be a chance that it would break
    But I know He knows exactly how I'm feeling
    And I know in time He'll take the pain away
    But for now


    I have felt joy the kind that makes my heart want to sing
    And so my tears are not a surrender
    I'll feel that way again
    But for now
    For this moment


    I believe that everything happens for a reason"

    You can also hear the song on YouTube at this link if you want:

    I pray that you will find peace and meaning in this experience!

  6. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May god give y'all the strength to overcome this irreparable loss.



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