Last week, I donated all my baby and maternity clothes to a thrift store. Some of these I had for ten years and I’ve used with four pregnancies and babies. I was keeping them “just in case” but now it’s obvious that my body is getting too old to make babies. It’s hard to let go and I kept some baby blankets and tiny socks. I will give those items away eventually but I’m not ready yet.
Something happened four weeks ago and I’ve tried to keep it inside: I was pregnant and I had a miscarriage, again.
Of this sad event, I will share one anecdote: on a Friday afternoon, the (NaPro) physician assistant told me that my progesterone levels were 11 ng/ml and they should be at least 15. I would probably need progesterone shots. I wasn’t too worried, 11 is pretty close to 15, right?
Out of curiosity, I looked up miscarriage studies on the internet and found this: “91% of pregnancies with progesterone lower than 15 ng/ml will end in miscarriage.” *
I should know that stuff by now but I was stunned. The next morning, I started bleeding and everything was over. I saw the remains of a tiny membrane that must have been the gestational sac.
I’m not sharing this to throw a pity party, nor am I seeking medical advice. I tried to keep it inside but now I need to put my thoughts and feelings into words.
Perhaps you too had pregnancy news that you didn’t want to share because it might end up in *another* miscarriage. Perhaps you miscarried and it’s not a sorrow that you can bear alone but you can’t easily speak about it. I’m writing this post for you, too. Our children existed and our pain is real.
I’ve been sharing my abortion story publicly for eight years. It’s one thing to denounce abortion and help women on the internet but it’s another entirely to speak to an audience when you just had your third miscarriage in eleven months. It requires a kind of peace and strength that I don’t feel right now. September 10th is a national day of remembrance for aborted children. Two churches asked me to share my story but I can’t. Ministry is important but taking care of our mental and emotional health is more important.
I’m slowly moving toward healing, even though it’s still a little hard to look at newborn babies. I’m a complex person, too. I have my Catholic faith, an introverted-contemplative-artistic personality and I need those wings to fly. I’m fortunate to have a husband who gives me the love and the space that I need.
Enough sharing for now. Back to my interior world.
*gestational age 5 to 13 weeks