Lessons From My Pregnancy Losses
* The following story was submitted to us by local mom Heather Ballachey, who bravely shares about her experience with miscarriage and pregnancy after loss.
I experienced two miscarriages in 2013, shortly after getting married. The first loss was super early and might’ve otherwise felt like a late period if I hadn’t taken a pregnancy test right away. I felt sad but I was reassured that it was so common and felt some comfort in the fact that we had gotten pregnant so quickly. I remember my family doctor saying, “You got pregnant on your first try? Wow! So lucky. You’ll be fine.”
I felt comfortable trying again right away because I figured the odds of experiencing another loss were quite low. My second pregnancy loss hit me hard. I didn’t experience the ‘traditional’ miscarriage symptoms you see portrayed in the movies, and I associated with pregnancy loss - no bleeding, no cramping. But at my dating ultrasound I was told there wasn’t a heartbeat. It was an experience that was beyond awful. I feel deep empathy for other women who have had to hear those same words uttered to them.
I was referred to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic at BC Women’s Hospital and was very grateful for the highly specialized and compassionate care I received there. In the years since, I’ve come to realize how lucky I was to be referred to such an amazing clinic, and just a short drive away from my house.
After my second pregnancy loss I had a long stretch of time when I didn’t get my period at all. Looking back on it, I feel like this was my body’s way of dealing with the trauma of two back to back miscarriages. Finally, after focusing on other aspects of my health and wellness, my period came back after 8 long months. Starting to try again after experiencing two losses was hard. When I found out I was pregnant for the third time I felt terrified. More than anything else, I absolutely did not want anyone to know I was pregnant until I was reassured by seeing a fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound. I remember going to great lengths to hide my early pregnancy by making sure people could see me holding drinks at parties. Anything to avoid the pressure of people wondering or, even worse, ASKING! If there is anything I have learned from my experience, is that pregnancy after loss is incredibly difficult and for many, trying to get pregnant can be a heartbreaking journey. For as long as I live, I will never again ask a woman if she’s trying, if she’s pregnant or when that’s going to happen. None of your business, people!
Our rainbow baby, a beautiful girl, arrived in August of 2015. Then, two years and one month later, our rainbow TWINS arrived! I went from experiencing two pregnancy losses and wondering if I would ever have the chance to be a mom to having THREE children in 25 months. Life can be full of surprises.
*Heather as she brings home her twins for the first time.