My 38th birthday last Monday was one of my favorite birthdays so far. Drew took the day off work and arranged for Jackson’s babysitter to watch him until mid-afternoon. We had breakfast at a coffee shop around the corner and then rode our bikes down to Brighton Beach before eating lunch at my favorite ramen place in the neighborhood. It had been years since the two of us went for a bike ride together. It reminded us of when we were dating and I still lived in Chicago and we’d ride through neighborhood streets and along the lake front when Drew would come to visit. It reminded us of when things were simpler (even if we did live long-distance) and we were just starting to dream about what our future together could be like.
After our bike ride and lunch, we had about an hour to kill before we needed to pick up Jackson. I suggested going for a walk. Over the weekend, the weather had changed from hot and muggy to cool and clear. Fall was in the air, change was in the air — we were excited about both these things.
“Let’s go for a walk and look for something for the baby,” I suggested. I’d suspected I was pregnant for a week or so, but it was only confirmed with a home test a couple days earlier. It was still early and we didn’t plan to do anything major, like tell Jackson or move to a bigger apartment (between you and me, though, I may have already picked out several pairs of maternity jeans to buy. Those things are like the second best part of being pregnant), but buying something small just to commemorate the day and the occasion seemed appropriate. How often in life do you turn 38 and find out you’re pregnant at the same time?
We’d only decided to start trying for another baby a few weeks earlier and, just like with Jackson, I got pregnant right away. I knew it wasn’t really fair — not when so many people try and try to get pregnant and can’t. But I also knew that there’s enough sadness and hardship in life that, when you have an opportunity to celebrate something good and be happy, you should embrace it and be grateful.
So Drew and I went for a walk, stopping in a couple gift shops before we found just the thing. It was a round baby rattle with a giraffe pattern and cute little giraffe head that matched the giraffe blankie Jackson has slept with every day since he was born.
“It’s perfect,” Drew said as we paid for it and I slipped it into my purse. I had an idea that maybe Jackson could give it to the baby in 8 months when it was born, a gift from its big brother. That would be in May. The month we met. The month my mom was born. Maybe they’d even share the same birthday. Maybe the baby would be born on Mother’s Day!
Unfortunately, three days later, on Thursday morning, I started spotting. I was worried, of course, but remembered that something similar happened early in my pregnancy with Jackson (and I also remembered my mom saying something similar happened when she was just a few weeks pregnant with me). The next morning when the bleeding hadn’t stopped though, I was really concerned. I called my doctor and she told me to come in right away. I picked up Jackson from his second day at preschool and asked my friend to watch him while I made the hour-long trek to my ob-gyn on the upper east side. Before I left, I took another pregnancy test just to see. I’d feel OK if it was still a strong positive. But it wasn’t. After all the positive tests I’d taken a week earlier (about six, altogether!), this one didn’t even have a faint line.
At the doctor’s office, I peed in a cup and had blood drawn and talked to a nurse about my symptoms.
“How much bleeding?” She asked.
“Not much,” I said. “It’s like the little bit of spotting you get before you start your period.”
“Any pain or cramps?” she asked. “No,” I said, feeling a bit more hopeful. Maybe the test I’d taken at home had been wrong. It was a different brand from the others — one of the cheaper store brands. Maybe that made a difference.
Then the doctor came in and did a vaginal ultrasound.
“Based on the day of your last period,” she said, “you’re about five weeks and a few days pregnant. I should be able to see something at this point,” she said, gesturing to the screen. “But I don’t see anything.” She continued moving the wand and pressing on my abdomen for what felt like an eternity but what was probably just a couple minutes. I squeezed my eyes shut, willing it to end. Oh, please, just end. She took the wand out and asked me to sit up.
“You’re definitely pregnant,” she said gingerly, “but based on your symptoms and what I can see, my gut is that you’re having an early miscarriage, or what we call a “chemical pregnancy.”
I already knew what a chemical pregnancy was. I knew that, this early on, there was a risk the pregnancy wouldn’t “stick.” I knew that a big percentage of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and most of those miscarriages happen in the first few weeks after conception, often before a woman even knows she’s pregnant. But I knew I’d been pregnant; even if I’d only known for sure for a few days, I still knew. I also knew that there was nothing I did wrong or could have done differently to prevent this outcome (and the outcome now is that I am no longer pregnant). I knew that this didn’t mean we couldn’t try again. I knew that this didn’t have to be the end. I knew that I was unbelievably lucky to conceive so quickly and easily and that there was no reason to think I wouldn’t get pregnant again very soon. I knew all of this, but it was still…so sad and disappointing.
This wasn’t the story I wanted to share with you, but it’s one I know many of you have been through and, sadly, many of you might go through yourselves one day. Everyone’s experience is different, of course, and there’s no right way or wrong way to process this kind of thing. I was really, really sad on Friday, mostly because I was grieving the idea of something (personally, I don’t believe life begins at conception exactly, though I appreciate that many people do), but by Saturday I felt much better and now, a few days later, I feel emotionally and physically fine. Writing this helped a lot — writing always helps me process my feelings, much more than talking them to death. It also helps that this didn’t come on the heels of many months of trying and waiting and hoping, or after many weeks of being pregnant. It happened so quickly (though long enough for my hormones to go a little crazy), that I’d barely even wrapped my head around being pregnant, so the loss doesn’t feel as big as it could. It helps that I know I still have time, I know I can get pregnant (and easily, if my history is any indication). And I have lots of hope that this isn’t the end of the story, but just a short chapter in it.
Regardless, I don’t need to wait for something new to celebrate and be happy about and embrace because, sometimes, the hardships and sadness in life are the best reminders of the good that already exists. And, deserved or not, there’s a hell of a lot of good in mine.
Addie Pray September 15, 2014, 2:43 pm
Oh that was beautiful and something that I think will really resonate with many people. I’m so sorry, Wendy and Drew. But as you said Wendy, this is not the end!
lets_be_honest September 15, 2014, 2:52 pm
I’m glad you wrote this, and that you are finding the good and positive during a difficult time. Thank you for sharing and best wishes going forward.
gigi September 15, 2014, 2:54 pm
I had a miscarriage at about 10 weeks. It was very hard for awhile, it felt like losing something undefinable, not a baby or a child.. but as you put it so nicely – an idea. An expectation, a possible future. I like that. Its still a sore spot in my mind, I try not to poke it too much…. so sorry for your loss.
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 3:10 pm
Thank you, and I’m sorry for yours, too.
FireStar September 15, 2014, 2:57 pm
Oh honey – I’m sorry. And I’m glad you have the perfect attitude going forward. Here is wishing you success in growing your family soon.
dietcokeaddict September 15, 2014, 2:57 pm
I’m so glad you are able to share something so personal with all of us Wendy. So many women go through this (myself included) and it’s still such a taboo topic and just is not discussed enough. I’m so sorry for your loss. I truly hope your family story unfolds exactly in such a way that you’re all happy. 🙂
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 3:11 pm
Thank you — that’s exactly why I wanted to share it. And I thought better to write it now while it’s still fresh in my mind and heart and I can be honest about my experience rather than writing just from memory.
Laura Hope September 15, 2014, 2:57 pm
I am so sorry, Wendy.
something random September 15, 2014, 2:59 pm
I’m sorry for you and your family’s loss Wendy. I wish you and your family the best in this difficult time.
sobriquet September 15, 2014, 3:12 pm
I’m sorry, Wendy. Thank you for writing this. My mom had miscarriages for YEARS before she was able to conceive (and then she went on to have 3 children) so I’m somewhat bracing myself for potential miscarriages. How exactly do you brace yourself for that, though? Know it’s a possibility, don’t get too excited about a pregnancy? I don’t know.
I’m currently trying to get pregnant and realizing that it might be a debilitating process. I’m as healthy as can be with regular periods, and yet nothing is really showing up on my ovulation test sticks. And apparently you only have a 4 hour window while you’re ovulating, so, ack, I don’t know! I don’t want to worry about it. This is my first month really trying and I haven’t looked into it too much because I don’t want to stress and over-analyze.
It’s just funny. I’m 28 and up until this point, I have always thought that it was way too easy to get pregnant. Like there was a month in my early 20’s when I had protected (but drunk, so who really knows) sex one single time and my period was 2 weeks late, so there’s a possibility that I was pregnant and simply had a miscarriage. And now, I’m having sex every single day, sometimes a couple times a day, and there’s a chance that it won’t stick. Just crazy.
honeybeenicki September 15, 2014, 3:24 pm
If you are not ovulating (or maybe you are but it’s not showing up on the LH sticks for whatever reason) you may consider speaking to a Dr. Apparently it’s a fairly common issue that’s often easily treated. But beware of any of the medications they may offer you and prepare for side effects. I did 4 rounds on Clomid (which is supposed to make your body ovulate) and was an absolute nutjob that was just made worse by the hot flashes and sweating. But it was totally worth it for even just the chance of pregnancy. Good luck! I hope to hear soon that you’re pregnant!
sobriquet September 15, 2014, 4:17 pm
I don’t think I took my first ovulation test until last Wednesday, so there’s a good chance I already ovulated earlier in the week and just missed it (so could still technically be pregnant already). There’s also a chance that I drink so much damn water throughout the day that the test was just diluted. I read something about how you should test first thing in the morning, but also something that said that the hormone produces in the morning, so you should test in the afternoon instead. So, who knows! I’m not worrying about it just yet, but if I have trouble with the tests next month I’ll definitely look into it.
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 3:33 pm
A friend of mine just started clomid over the weekend. I wonder if she knows about the possible side effects. Hopefully, she will be pregnant soon (and you too! and sob too!).
honeybeenicki September 15, 2014, 3:46 pm
As with everything, side effects vary from person to person, but my doctors and pharmacist all told me that Clomid is one of the worst for side effects but it is pretty effective (although not for me). I went to see a fertility specialist 2 weeks ago and hopefully they will have me pregnant soon!
Ika September 15, 2014, 3:45 pm
Weird things can happen when you´re tryng to conceive! With my 1st we were 6 months trying, butt on cushion tracking dates, etc. And nothing. Then we were just like OK, we´ll relax and let whatever has to happen happen When I was like a week late I took a test, it was negative. A week late I finally got a positive one, but gong by the dates (from the ultrasounds) its likely that I ovulated and got pregnant like a week later than I actually thought.
Also, suppsedly having sex closer to the ovulation makes it more ikely youll have a boy, but further away means girl (Y sperm are faster but weaker, X sperm are slower but more resistant)
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 3:18 pm
About that “you only have four hours” point: it’s true that an egg has only a few hours (I’ve read it’s 12) in a woman’s monthly cycle that it can be fertilized, but keep in mind that sperm can survive inside a woman’s body for a few days. I’m certainly no expert in fertility, but I’d say if you have a rough idea when you ovulate (and for most women who have a 28-day cycle, it’s between cycle day 12-16) start having unprotected sex about five days before that and do it every other day (giving a man two days break in between gives the sperm enough time to build up some strength). Again, I’m not expert, but this is how I’ve done it and it has worked for me. Good luck!
sobriquet September 15, 2014, 4:26 pm
Oh yeah, I know that the sperm can hang out for a few days, I just think it’s fascinating that there is such a tiny window for actual conception and yet it seems like pregnancy is way too easy for so many women (I’m thinking about many a past DW LW).
If I don’t conceive this month, I’ll remember your advice. I like the idea of every other day vs. every day possible. Right now we’re doing it as much as possible, as long as we feel up to it, but every other day will probably help take the pressure off!
lets_be_honest September 15, 2014, 4:36 pm
I had guilt reading this. It sucks so much that women who want to get pregnant struggle with it and then there’s idiots like me who get pregnant like its impossible not to. Its hard to believe how small a window there is.
I don’t know what’s PC when it comes to trying to get pregnant, so hopefully this isn’t offensive but…try to enjoy this time. Maybe DON’T clock everything, evaluate when you’re ovulating and be aware of all the exact sperm-life hours, etc. I feel like people can go overboard with that kind of stuff when its not necessary (obviously it is VERY necessary for some, unfortunately). You’re young, just married, happy, and like you say, very healthy. Odds are you’ll be fine. Try to enjoy it rather than stress about it all. Or…maybe you love having control so then more power to you! Good luck 🙂
sobriquet September 16, 2014, 1:47 pm
Thanks, LBH! I’m not stressin’ yet, it’s just I’ve never tried to get pregnant before so this is all new! And for the record, I tested positive for the ovulation hormone today, so yay! That’s a relief.
mylaray September 15, 2014, 3:12 pm
This was beautifully written. I’m so sorry for your loss. I appreciate you being able to share this with everyone.
honeybeenicki September 15, 2014, 3:15 pm
I’m sorry to hear this Wendy, but I’m so happy that you have such a positive attitude. With our fertility journey, we experienced this on the 2nd round of ICI. Thank you for being so open because it reminds us (women) that sometimes things like this happen but we’re not alone and have so much support out there that we don’t even know how to tap into.
Jane63 September 15, 2014, 3:15 pm
I am so sorry. Best of luck for whatever the future brings you!
ktfran September 15, 2014, 3:16 pm
I’m sorry Wendy! That totally sucks. Your story describing your experience was really very lovely though, as sad as it is.
P.S. I was secretly excited the first couple of paragraphs for you and Drew, and then I remembered the title and got teary eyed. Again, so sorry.
Addie Pray September 15, 2014, 3:27 pm
The title didn’t register anything with me. (I just Googled it.) So I was really excited for Wendy. I almost texted her “Congrats I guess I’ll be drinking for you at the NY Meetup!” but then I was able to read the whole thing first. Ugh, I’m sorry.
ktfran September 15, 2014, 3:34 pm
I actually think the only reason I knew what a chemical pregnancy was is because a couple different friends have had a similar thing happen recently. And they’ve talked about it. I think it’s becoming a less taboo subject and I think it’s great that more people are opening up about their experiences.
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 3:20 pm
That’s why I gave it such an explicit title. Didn’t want to lead anyone on. Also, hopefully the title is a built-in trigger warning as I know the whole subject of miscarriage, along with being so taboo, is a sensitive issue for many people.
othy September 15, 2014, 3:33 pm
Thanks for sharing. From what I understand, these are quite common among the women in my family. Almost all of my aunts have had this happen at least a time or two. But it really is a topic we don’t ever talk about.
I like to think that it was the body’s way of clearing out what was not meant to be (usually because of a severe genetic problem) in order for my aunts to have my awesome cousins down the line.
Ika September 15, 2014, 3:39 pm
I´m so sorry Wendy. A lot of friends have been trouh miscarriages and I had a scare at 5 weeks also, so I don´t know exactly what it´s like, but I can sympathize.
I just want to say dont be surprised if Jackson says something about it, before I was ever even late with my 2nd pregancy my eldest was telling everyone I was pregnant, and I didn´t even hav an inkling (it took us like 6 months to conceive her, so I was expecting another few months of trying).
Diablo September 15, 2014, 3:42 pm
Your openness and honesty are key reasons i follow the site, Wendy. This story is about something totally foreign to me. But it opens a window for me to learn something i would not otherwise have a chance to know. The next LW who rakes you over the coals for your candour should know that you apply the same lens to yourself.
rosie posie September 15, 2014, 3:52 pm
I’m so sorry Wendy. This was beautiful and moving. Thank you for sharing it with us.
jottino September 15, 2014, 3:52 pm
I’m amazed at how well you write & tell such personal stories. Thank you for sharing! Thinking of you, Wendy. <3
veritek33 September 15, 2014, 3:52 pm
Awww man. I’m so sorry Wendy. That just kinda sucks.
A dear sweet friend of mine found out a few days ago that she has a very severe case of PCOS and might never get pregnant after trying for the last year. And if she does get pregnant, her chances of miscarriage are astronomically high. She’s only 26.
I just wish the people that want kids could get pregnant and stay pregnant without having to go through this stuff. Hugs to anyone going through this. Especially you guys.
Ika September 15, 2014, 3:57 pm
I know its just anecdotal, but I know 2 cases where they were told theyd never get pregnant because of PCOS and they both got pregnant straight away, and went on to have several kids, with no issues. I hope the same is true of your friend.
veritek33 September 15, 2014, 4:00 pm
Thank you 🙂 I hope this too
stickelet September 15, 2014, 7:49 pm
This is anecdotal as well but my sister has PCOS and she became accidentally pregnant and has a healthy, happy 6 month old baby girl. She wasn’t necessarily told she would have trouble getting pregnant because she wasn’t trying to become pregnant, but she knows she has the PCOS and what all that entails. I wish your friend luck!
niki September 15, 2014, 4:02 pm
Thank you so much for writing this. I just had a miscarriage 4 weeks ago at 8 weeks pregnant. I never had a chance to see my baby on an ultrasound. I never had a chance to hear his heartbeat. It’s been stressful on my husband and devastating to me.
I know it wasn’t my fault, and that there wasn’t anything I could do to prevent it, but that doesn’t make the guilt go away. We hope to conceive again and odds are it will stick, but there is fear and caution that sets in that wasn’t there before. It’s just so hard to put my feelings into words and am grateful for someone, like you, who can.
I’m so sorry for your loss, Wendy. Sending positive thoughts and, as they say on all the baby forums, baby dust your way.
Ika September 15, 2014, 4:04 pm
I´m so sorry niki. 🙁
niki September 15, 2014, 4:09 pm
Thank you. It’s really just a big bag of suck, but it’s getting better.
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 6:25 pm
I’m so sorry for your loss. I know with every week of pregnancy, there’s a deeper connection and the loss, I imagine, is much harder.
Please don’t feel guilty. It wasn’t your fault. Someone actually told me (to my face) that maybe what happened to me happened because of the bike ride I took on my birthday. I said sternly: “No, that’s not why this happened. I did absolutely nothing wrong. There was nothing I could have done to prevent this and there’s nothing I have to feel guilty about.” The same goes for you. You did nothing wrong. I hope you will feel a sense of healing soon. Be gentle with yourself.
Ika September 15, 2014, 6:29 pm
I´m sorry for that thoughtless person, Wendy. And I thought I didn´t have a filter. That´s just awful.
stickelet September 15, 2014, 7:35 pm
I hope you’re not friends with that person anymore. What an awful thing to say and I’m so glad you stood up for yourself.
niki September 15, 2014, 7:51 pm
Thank you for the kind words Wendy.
SasLinna September 16, 2014, 8:37 am
OMG what an ignorant and hurtful comment! I really admire your response, I think I would have run that person over with my bicycle. I’m glad you are doing OK and wishing you good luck for the future. PS: Reading this piece, I had one of those “Wendy is a freakin’ awesome writer” moments. It’s really good, even though the occasion is of course a sad one. I appreciated reading it.
Lianne September 15, 2014, 4:05 pm
Aw Wendy, so sorry to hear about this! But, as always, you put things into words so well, I can feel that you are okay. What an amazing perspective. Good luck trying again. And thank you, as always, for sharing.
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 3:13 pm
Thanks, everyone, for the kind words.
Moneypenny September 15, 2014, 4:22 pm
I’m so sorry Wendy! Thank you for writing this and sharing your experience with us.
Hannanas September 15, 2014, 4:30 pm
I had a blighted ovum half a year ago, which we found out about at 11 weeks. Your story makes my heart break all over again. Thank you for sharing, Wendy. Because as isolated as I felt back then, and sometimes still do, there is great comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one.
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 6:27 pm
I’m so sorry for your experience. 11 weeks is a long time to grow attached. I hope you are feeling ok today.
Just Max September 15, 2014, 4:40 pm
I’m so sorry Wendy.
Thank you for sharing with us.
muchachaenlaventana September 15, 2014, 4:43 pm
Man I am really sorry. As others have posted both my mom and my older sister had multiple miscarriages before conceiving and in between healthy children my mother had further miscarriages and late-term stillbirth of twins (8 months). I know that I will have issues with this and in fact have had one miscarriage and am fairly certain I had a very early miscarriage about 2 weeks ago. I can totally empathize and hope you heal from this and move on to have a healthy baby. For myself, I deal with this by basically accepting I will have a really hard time getting/staying pregnant naturally (just seeing what my sister has been through to have her children) and so don’t put much stock in to my future as a mom or envision having kids one day. Hopefully you will be more successful in the near future. Good luck and hugs.
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 6:28 pm
That’s hard. Sounds like you have a good attitude about it. I hope you have happy news and will get to experience motherhood eventually!
the_optimist September 15, 2014, 3:46 pm
Oh Wendy, <3. Thank you for posting.
My mother, too, had multiple miscarriages between when my sisters and I were born. The three of us were born healthy, but like sobriquet I wonder if I will go through what my mother did to have us.
I am so sorry for your loss, and for the losses of all of the women who have gone through the same. Love and luck to you all.
Regina Chapman September 15, 2014, 4:46 pm
I’m so sorry to hear this. At least writing about it will certainly be a gift to many people. All the best to you and yours, Wendy!
Bon Vivant September 15, 2014, 4:47 pm
I’m sorry to hear this, Wendy. Sending positive thoughs your way.
Betsy September 15, 2014, 4:56 pm
Wendy, I am so sorry for your loss, but I am so glad you shared your story. All too many of us are familiar with the pain that can be associated with trying to conceive and the stress that can especially be associated with the early weeks of pregnancy, but no one really talks about it. I was terrified of getting pregnant before I was ready and totally not expecting the difficulties we encountered once we started trying.
I am just starting my third trimester, my husband already talks about trying again and I just don’t know if I will have the strength to go through the emotions of trying to conceive again. I have enjoyed your candor in talking about a second child and I hope you continue to share your experiences.
I think I might only comment on pregnancy related topics, but it’s a topic I have such strong feelings about right now!
MayeFoo September 15, 2014, 5:15 pm
Recently been there. I was 10 weeks pregnant. Sorry for your loss.
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 6:31 pm
I’m so sorry. Hope you are feeling ok.
Sue Jones September 15, 2014, 5:17 pm
I am so sorry, Wendy.
Fabelle September 15, 2014, 5:45 pm
Aw, I’m sorry Wendy 🙁 But thanks for writing this. I think, like someone said before, it’s becoming more acceptable to talk about, which is great–more people being open about this lets others who are going through the same thing know it’s okay to talk about, & when people know they can talk, then no one needs to be alone with their pain if they don’t want to. And the more people talk, the more awareness is raised about how common miscarriages are (a good thing, so pregnant women & those who love them maybe don’t blame some outside factor, & correctly attribute the loss to something natural).
Anyway, sorry I’m a bit rambly. But hugs.
Simonthegrey September 15, 2014, 6:01 pm
I just experienced this a couple months ago. I’m 33 and trying to get pregnant for the first time, so it was a little disheartening. Mine was not even that far along; it was basically positive test, then gone. It was still something I was sorry about, although I knew and understood that it was a possibility. I feel the loss of the idea, and understand the feeling that isn’t quite grief.
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 6:32 pm
I bet you will get your positive again and hopefully, a baby soon after. Good luck.
HmC September 15, 2014, 6:04 pm
I’m very sorry Wendy. It’s interesting that so many women experience miscarriages yet many of us are shielded from that fact because women so often do not talk about it. And I can certainly empathize with not wanting to talk about it. But I do also appreciate those that are willing to talk about it, because I feel like it reveals how very common they are and how devastating they can be for so many. It’s also crazy that many women experience them and don’t realize it, because they can occur so early.
Again just, thank you for sharing, and my condolences.
Samba September 16, 2014, 10:37 am
I’m so sorry you had to go through this Wendy. I was thinking the same thing as HmC and others said above–I had no idea how often this happened until it happened to 3 women close to me in the last year. I was so surprised that it wasn’t something that was really talked about before, since not knowing makes it that much harder to go through I think. Wishing you and Drew the best, and for a happy and healthy new addition to your family soon 🙂
tbrucemom September 15, 2014, 6:17 pm
Such a heartfelt article and I’m so sorry. I too had a miscarriage after already having a child several years earlier. I felt comforted by the fact that I already had a child which meant I could carry a child full term (I had another child a couple years after the miscarriage too). I like to think it’s nature’s way of letting you know that something isn’t quite right. I’m sure that’s not particularly comforting to women who have had more than one and haven’t been able to carry one full term, but it helped me in my situation.
TaraMonster September 15, 2014, 5:27 pm
So sorry to hear about this, Wendy. All the internet hugs from me to you!
d2 September 15, 2014, 6:48 pm
I always enjoy reading the personal life experiences that you share with us, but my heart sank when I read the title. I’m sorry for your loss.
Classic September 15, 2014, 6:55 pm
Oh, this is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing the hard times as well as the good times. I wish more people would, because it helps everyone. You’re the best, dear Wendy.
Lyra September 15, 2014, 6:56 pm
I’m so sorry Wendy!
I saw this personally with one of my best friends. She got pregnant at one point and 5-6 weeks later she miscarried. She took a week off work, spent time by herself, and really grieved privately with her husband. She never announced it to anyone besides her parents, husband, and her closest friend. Then she got pregnant again a few months later and they waited until about 3-4 months before announcing it. She announced it to us, her friends around 2 months, then publicly when she was in her second trimester. Unfortunately a few weeks after she had announced it, she went to the doctor and there was no heartbeat or movement whatsoever. She was heartbroken. She tried going back to work after she physically was cleared to go back, but after a day or two, she decided that she would take 2 months of leave. That was about a year ago. She is much better off now, but it took a LOT of time and a LOT of counseling and a LOT of time to get to that point.
I’m rambling. Take care of yourself, Wendy.
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 7:01 pm
Oh God, that’s so hard and so sad. I do worry that if this happens again, even if it’s very early like this was, it will be much harder to deal with. Feeling like, ok, this is something that happens to many (most?) women at some point, makes it easier to digest. Like, it’s just my turn this time. But to have it happen multiple times or before a successful pregnancy would be very hard. I’m sorry for your friend.
Lyra September 15, 2014, 8:14 pm
Yeah, I had no idea how I could help her. I wanted to help her, but I didn’t know what I could say or do to make her feel better. Fortunately some quality friend time did lift her spirits, but what do you say or do to help someone like her feel better? It definitely brought her and her husband closer together. I’m glad that she has her husband to lean on. He is such a fantastic guy and they were able to help each other through it. Their marriage is stronger because of it. They are looking into adoption now because she’s not sure if she wants to put her body through that again. I’m no expert, but I remember her saying something about that she had to get blood work done monthly for a year after the fact and she had to make a bunch of different appointments because of it. It was so awful.
freckles September 15, 2014, 7:14 pm
I’m sorry for your loss Wendy. You seem to have a very healthy attitude about it. My MIL had two miscarriages before going on to have three very healthy boys. Like others have said before, it’s nature’s way of saying something isn’t quite right. I applaud you for sharing this because it is comforting for women to know they aren’t alone, it isn’t uncommon, and it isn’t their fault. My thoughts are with you, and much luck in the future.
CellarDoor September 15, 2014, 7:19 pm
I’m so sorry you went through this. So many chemical pregnancies go completely undetected by women who aren’t actively trying to get pregnant because they pretty much coincide with when you’d normally expect your period, so if you aren’t taking an early detection pregnancy test you might never know. I read that something like 50% of all fertilized eggs don’t end up successfully implanting and now that we’re able to detect the pregnancy hormone so early there are many more women becoming aware of these early miscarriages than ever before. And just because it’s an early loss doesn’t mean it isn’t heartbreaking when it’s something you want. I was taking pregnancy tests a week before my period was due and had the faintest of lines. I spent the next two weeks absolutely insane because I knew the statistics. For me it ended up being a successful pregnancy, but if I ever decide to try again I think I will wait until my period is a week late before breaking out the pregnancy tests. It took me weeks to get excited about being pregnant because I was so worried about staying pregnant the entire time.
stickelet September 15, 2014, 7:46 pm
So sorry for your loss Wendy and Drew. What a beautifully written essay. I appreciate how much you let us into your lives, thank you for sharing.
RKKW September 15, 2014, 7:46 pm
Wendy, I am going through the exact same thing- for the second time, just on Saturday. I was also due in May. I went ahead and tried again immediately after my first loss, and now I’m wondering if that was wise. I am someone who reads your site every day, but a total lurker until this moment. I just needed to reach out to tell you that it’s okay to be sad, and I am so glad you are sharing your story. It makes me feel less alone. I am trying to stay away from the negative thoughts, and hope you can do the same. But I am still grieving as someone who lost something they loved. Because I know I did- and so did you.
Dear Wendy September 15, 2014, 8:05 pm
I’m sorry you’re going through it too. And for a second time in a row. My doctor did tell me it was fine to go ahead and try again right away, so maybe in your case waiting wouldn’t have made a difference (at least physically; emotionally is a different story, I’m sure). Remember: you didn’t do anything wrong. You could not have prevented this. It’s not your fault.
rocketgirl September 15, 2014, 8:35 pm
This was beautiful, Wendy. I am so sorry – I experienced something similar many years ago…hard to go through and really not talked about.
spark September 15, 2014, 9:16 pm
What a beautiful essay about a devastating part of motherhood.
footsytoesies September 15, 2014, 10:30 pm
I’m so sorry, Wendy. This happened to me 2x in a row. I decided to give it 1 more go & I am rocking the result of that attempt right now.
Jenny September 15, 2014, 10:31 pm
Thanks for sharing this, Wendy. Your willingness to share the highs and lows of your life, as well as your incredible gift as a writer, in order to help others is really honorable and inspiring to me. I am so sorry for your loss, but I believe your story will have a happy ending. Xo.
Portia September 15, 2014, 11:05 pm
This is such a beautiful essay. I feel like I’ve been hearing more lately about people’s experiences with miscarriage and I’m glad to see you writing about it and so many others chiming in with their own. With such a painful experience, I can imagine it helps to know others have gone through it too.
Sunshine Brite September 16, 2014, 9:44 am
Thank you for sharing and sorry for your loss.
Gah, I was worried a few weeks ago about an accidental pregnancy after I added up when my last period was. Which freaked me out as it was after a week of binge drinking on vacation. Plus, it was right as I was ending birth control which I know throw’s everything off which what was what happened in my case and it was just late with about 2 months or so in between periods. It extra freaked me out as my sister had a miscarriage at that time just coming off of birth control one October about 10 years ago.
SGMcG September 16, 2014, 9:49 am
Wendy, I am so sorry to hear about your now angel baby. Yet you and Drew sound like you have a strong family foundation if the stories you share of Jackson’s progress is any indication. As long as you keep hope and love in your family, I believe your rainbow baby will come to light after the storm of sadness from this loss.
Nothing but good wishes and prayers to all.
Taylor September 16, 2014, 10:54 am
Thank you Wendy, for sharing, and for supporting all of us with your truths.
mcj2012 September 16, 2014, 2:38 pm
I’m sorry Wendy. I know a little bit about that. When I was pregnant with my oldest, I knew I was pregnant from taking tests and went for my first sonogram. The sonogram showed twins but one was not growing. I remember leaving there feeling so empty and sad.
Cassie September 16, 2014, 10:55 pm
Thank you for sharing this Wendy. I’m sorry for your and Drew’s loss.
Jess September 18, 2014, 10:48 am
Wendy, I am so so sorry. It is good of you to share what so many women experience. I know you are already feeling good about your fertility but I wanted to add that I have seen MANY women get pregnant with a healthy baby the month immediately after a chemical pregnancy. I’ve heard doctors theorize that your body corrects itself somehow after a loss.
In the bigger picture, I am excited that you are ready to embark on another pregnancy and expand your family. Please come see me when you are ready for the latest tips on maternity wear and mocktails! Oh and IF you decide you are comfortable with low & infrequent alcohol consumption —the new “radler” beer trend is one to check out once you are pregnant. The ABV is roughly 3% which means you can sip one through a meal without much worry. Not as good as a real glass of wine or mug of strong beer but it’s an upgrade over NA beers and sparkling cider 😉
Dear Wendy September 18, 2014, 10:57 am
All good to know! Thanks, Jess. Hope your pregnancy is as comfortable and happy as can be.
MissDre September 18, 2014, 10:57 am
I’m sorry that I didn’t take the time to comment on this earlier. I’m so sorry for your disappointment. I just wanted to let you know that you’re in my thoughts.
Ashley December 8, 2018, 2:51 am
I’m so sorry for your loss the same thing happened to me I’m staring down at a positive pregnancy test after my bbt thermometer told me to take one… very faint and then tons of blood a week later I rushed to my primary care physicians office to be told to repeat the test immediately… after checking my blood work she had done a week prior and asking about my symptoms she confirmed it… she said I didn’t need a d and c because it was so early and it wasn’t even a baby yet just cells… today I ran into her secretary at work and was reminded of this horrific situation
Ashley May 21, 2023, 2:00 am
Thanks for sharing this. I had to use a fertility doctor for my first baby. Then I miraculous got pregnant the first time I tried with my second. I’m 38 and having a chemical pregnancy after the first try, and it’s hard to articulate the feelings. Disappointment is a lot of it, but I also feel like I’m in this weird in between place of not pregnant and pregnant…. Like, I can’t stake a claim to a little sadness because it was so early. I never even got a strong line, but I know my body so well, and I know I was; I was already having all-day nausea and very frequent urination. Anyway, I only have one fallopian tube and I’m older, so it feels extra heavy. I can’t try next month, and I have 3 opportunities left this whole year. I hope I quickly feel better. I think disappointment is a great way to put it. Currently having crazy hormones and hot flashes! Will be relieved once this passes.