This year I’ve had the unfortunate displeasure of having not one, not two, but three pregnancy losses.
The first was in January at around ten weeks. I went in for my first prenatal appointment, all giddy with excitement, to learn that there was nothing going on “in there.” After fertilization and implantation, my little bean had stopped developing. All that was visible on ultrasound was an empty fetal sac and a placenta. This type of miscarriage is called a blighted ovum and is generally thought to be caused by chromosomal issues in the developing embryo. They’re generally seen as instances of bad luck and moms are told they probably won’t reoccur.
All the same, I was devastated because I had gone that many weeks looking forward to having an addition to our little family. I had the bloating, the morning sickness, the vivid dreams—all the normal pregnancy stuff. I thought everything was okay, and was shocked to see that empty ultrasound screen.
The worst part about it was that we had started telling people and then had to break the news that “Never mind—there’ll be no baby.”
A few months later, we conceived again, and early on, I knew something was wrong. I called my doctor’s office and begged to be seen early to confirm my suspicion. Three days after being seen, I was in surgery having an ectopic removed from my right fallopian tube.
While my first loss this year devastated me, the second one really annoyed me. They were unrelated losses, both categorized as flukes by my doctors. So, why me?
Just a month ago, I had loss number three: a little loss. I was four weeks and three days pregnant when I miscarried. Because the loss occurred before a heartbeat could be seen on ultrasound, it was considered a “chemical” pregnancy. That isn’t to say I wasn’t really pregnant—just that it started and stopped very quickly. Had I not been obsessively testing I wouldn’t have known as early as I did that I was pregnant at all.
The chemical pregnancy didn’t make me sad. It made me frustrated. I’m ready for another child and it’s been almost a year since that first pregnancy. The three have been categorized as a sequence of bad luck, the stars not aligning, the fates not being on my side, and any other cliché you can think of—and I’m mad as hell about it.
I find myself questioning, “Why is it so easy for some people?” The more I sit and brood, the more I realize that sadness isn’t the only emotion that women who have miscarriages deal with. The trauma from little losses may not make us cry, but can certainly inject us with a mighty dose of cynicism that taints every aspect of our lives going forward. We become resentful, and envious of those around us who don’t even try but end up going to term without problems.
I’m trying to heal, but I know that the only cure will be holding a healthy newborn in my arms.