Reluctant Veteran of the Pregnancy Loss Journey

A mother goes through so many emotions when she gets a positive pregnancy test. She experiences excitement and joy for the little person she will love and raise, looking forward to all the things she will teach that little human, and wonderful thoughts of how that sweet baby will change her world forever. Other emotions come up as well…fear of the unknown. How am I going to really do raising this baby? Is the timing going to work with this school or work project? How will we afford to make it all work?

No one prepares her for what comes when the pregnancy takes a different turn than she expected. When the HCG doesn’t rise the way it should, or is barely reading pregnancy levels. When she goes for her first ultrasound and the baby hasn’t grown, or has disappeared, or there isn’t a heartbeat any longer. When she has to have a D&C because her body doesn’t want to not be pregnant and is holding on because it was her deepest desire to have that baby.

I experienced all these emotions and thoughts in the last 9.5 years of trying to start a family with my wonderful husband. We experienced more losses than I’d like to admit and have walked some very difficult as well as rewarding paths to try to make sense of it all.

In coping with these losses, I found it important to allow myself to feel all the emotions and to write down my thoughts in a journal, whether it be to celebrate that baby or to mourn and pour out my broken heart. I would often find myself listening to worship songs that spoke life in the moment, even if that meant that I would be weeping for hours. I also tried to reach out to that close friend or family member whom I trusted to help me by listening or taking me out when I needed to get out of the house. I always seemed to want to quiet the negative thoughts, replacing them with positive ones, either by finding a small speck of joy to focus on or by quoting scriptures to battle the inner turmoil. I didn’t always feel supported or noticed by my community or really even have a community during some of my losses (due to moving), but when I did have access to that support system, I found it so helpful to reach out and get close to people I could trust. When I miscarried and there was an identifiable sac or baby, we would buy a plant and bury our baby under that plant as a memorial of their life and the sign that there can be new life and beauty even when it feels like there is nothing to look forward to. I always tried to cling to the hope that I was created to create and my body was originally designed for this even if medically speaking I was mostly considered a fertility “lost cause”. I had moments of doubt and moments where I resigned myself to the thought of never holding another baby in my belly past ten weeks.

Friends who have also experienced losses shared with me they found it helpful to write a letter to the baby, or to pull a friend or family member in to celebrate that life, and stressed the importance of giving a voice to what you feel on the inside even if it feels unnoticed or unreasonable. The emotions experienced during a loss are quite normal, and we need not fear them…they are part of the healing process.

We started working with the Creighton method and NaPro about five years into our journey to have a successful pregnancy. We had already endured losses, and we carried deeply rooted, heart wrenching hurts because of the way traditional medical professionals treated us during what they considered a nonviable pregnancy. We noticed right away with NaPro how the narrative could be different and that we might actually be able to hope again. We were learning so much along the way about our health we never knew before working with our NaPro doctor, and it didn’t take long to get pregnant, but we again lost the baby. After this first loss since working with NaPro, we continued on with surgical treatments and hormone balancing protocols. We got a bunch of testing done and learned even more. I continued to get pregnant and then lose the baby a few days to a few weeks later. Nothing seemed to make sense.

After two full years of trying different things we took a break and began to prepare our hearts and home to welcome children into our lives through adoption. After completing all the classes, being approved and even being presented to birth mothers, we found out we were pregnant again. It had been at least a year and a half since we had seen a positive pregnancy test! We were very unsure about the outcome as we hadn’t been preparing my body for a pregnancy like we did during our active NaPro treatments. I called my NaPro doctor right away and got on the right hormones and other life saving medications we talked about, but not everything. We lost that little love a few weeks later and we were devastated once again.

I had an endometrial biopsy shortly afterwards to make sure there wasn’t an infection that caused the loss. While treating said infection, we got pregnant again—with the little one snoring in my arms as I write all of this down. We finally tried something we hadn’t yet tried and somehow, despite the odds against him, this sweet little boy is finally here! All the things we learned, all the things we tried and procedures we endured, including the break to pursue adoption, all led us to our story of success. Had we not listened to the wisdom of our NaPro doctor, we might not have ever found a path to success.

While not everyone may end up with a story like mine, there is that possibility that maybe when you least expect it to happen, least expect something new to work this time, least expect this baby, this pregnancy to make it past ten weeks, it can very well work out and there can be hope and joy again in your heart that you didn’t know was possible.

About The Author

Bridget Jessee
Bridget Jessee, formerly a special education paraprofessional, is now a very happy stay at home wife and mother.

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