There's no heartbeat.
My own heart felt like it sank to the bottom of my stomach when the doctor said something along those lines. Hot tears stung my eyes as I tried unsuccessfully to hold them back. They gave me a few minutes to cry in the exam room before sending me home with a follow up appointment to figure out my options.
I was on the phone bawling gibberish to my sister before I even got back to my car. She told me to come right over and I cried in her arms for a really long time. The M word.
We had tickets to go back to Pittsburgh to visit my in-laws the next day. We had been waiting so we could tell everyone in person. My husband insisted we didn't have to go, but I didn't want to have to explain why we weren't coming. So instead we flew across the country, with an unborn child inside of me. I had to hold my brand new niece while feeling incredibly hollow inside. I cried most of the trip. I honestly don't remember when I stopped crying.
Miscarriage. For most women there is about a 15% chance you will have one. That's a pretty big number. That's a lot of women every day going through this. A lot of people affected by something so commonplace. Then somebody tell me why the F it isn't talked about more. Why isn't there more literature about how very likely it is. Why doesn't every damn pregnancy test box have some information about it. Why don't the doctor's discuss it with women of child bearing age, especially when they know they want to start a family. Why do women feel so ashamed talking about it, as though they are failures when its a perfectly normal thing to happen?
I didn't know if I could have children. I didn't know if my Type1 Diabetes was the reason my body had failed me. I didn't know if I'd be able to plan my own one day when I had to attend my nieces birthday party surrounded by children. I didn't understand why that friend accidentally got pregnant when she didn't even want kids. I didn't know I would have my beautiful rainbow children. Because I didn't know how normal miscarriage was until after the fact. Until after I had grieved and mourned. Until after the fetus came out of me that traumatic afternoon.
Since then, I have talked about it. I told most of my good friends, so that they would know how very possible it is and they would know they could come to me if they had to go through it. I mention it casually in conversation, so that people don't feel like it is an awkward topic. I have tried to make it less taboo to discuss, because it really shouldn't be. My story isn't everyone's. Not everyone is lucky enough to only have one miscarriage. Not everyone has rainbow children. But those stories are a little less common than the ones like mine and I don't want anymore women to feel as unprepared and devastated as I was. I'm sick of women feeling like it's not ok to talk about it. I'm not about to have a conversation about my commonplace miscarriage over the checkout counter at my local Whole Foods, but I am ok with talking about it with a fellow parent without feeling like I'm less of a woman because of it.