After carrying my first baby to term, enjoying every single sonogram during the pregnancy, I was thrilled to find out I was pregnant for a second time exactly when I wanted to be. My two kids would be about 3.5 years apart, I would have the summer “off” to bond with the new baby, and my older baby would be starting pre-K shortly thereafter.
However, when I went in for my confirmation appointment around seven weeks, my baby was measuring behind and had a weak heartbeat. I had to go back to the doctor a week later to confirm what had been found. Sadly, there was no heartbeat and I was officially miscarrying. I was actually suffering from a “missed miscarriage” because there were no symptoms. I decided to wait and see whether I would have a natural miscarriage before exploring other options.
Well, about a month later, reviews of Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, started to come out shortly before its official release. Michelle – I call her by her first name because I identify with her that much – revealed that she suffered a miscarriage and used IVF to get pregnant by with her daughters, Malia and Sasha.
This is exactly what I needed to hear at the time.
I had just decided that I needed to have a procedure to remove the pregnancy because I still had not “naturally miscarried.” I was struggling with the miscarriage. I initially thought I was OK – I intellectually understood I had done nothing to cause the miscarriage; that miscarriages are common; and that my next pregnancy was likely to be successful. But, none of that mattered as the emotions of losing a life that was growing inside of me took over.
Michelle had gone through it, revealed it in her book and used the words that I was feeling: “lonely, painful, and demoralizing.”
I felt guilty that I was sad about the miscarriage because I had one healthy child. I felt guilty that I wasn’t myself. I felt guilty that I wasn’t being a good wife to my husband.
I have since read Becoming and it’s everything and more. But, I’ll always be thankful to Michelle for sharing her story right when I needed it.