My miscarriage has changed my life drastically.

September 11, 2015

 I was 19 and a sophomore in college. My boyfriend and I were house sitting for his brother one weekend at the end of September and we were taking advantage of the oportunity to play house. That weekend I missed 3 days of birth control in a row. Fast forward to October 17th. I was late. I had only been with my boyfriend for 4 1/2 months. I went to Walgreens and bought a pregnancy test and took it that Thursday night. It came back positive. I had never been so scared in my life. I threw away everything immediately. I didn't know how to tell my boyfriend. I was so scared of how he would react. 5 days later I was in my Chemistry II lab and felt a warm gush. I ran to the bathroom and saw a ton of blood. Over the summer I had worked as an intern in the Emergency Room of a hospital in my home town of Little Rock, Arkansas. I had seen countless women miscarry but had never assumed it would happen to me. I knew exactly what was happening. I took a deep breath, put a pad on, and went back to lab. I barely kept it together for the rest of my classes. That night at home, I was crying hysterically. I couldn't keep it together. During those 5 Days I had gotten so used to the idea of that little baby growing inside me. I wanted that baby. I walked to my boyfriend's apartment. I layed down on his bed and cried and cried while he held me. I didn't want him to leave the room or let go of me. It felt like I was breaking apart. After I don't know how long of him asking "What's wrong" I finally choked out the words "I was pregnant." That was the first time I had said it out loud.

 

He let go of me and rolled over and asked me to repeat myself, which I did. At first he was angry. He wanted to know why I hadn't told him when I thought I was pregnant and even more he wanted to know why I hadn't told him the moment I found out. He talked with two of his long time friends who are now married and have a baby of thier own and they said that given how long we had been together they understood completely why I had behaved the way I behaved. The next day we told a few close friends what had happened. We named our baby Daniel Patrick. I didn't want to eat or shower or go to class. All I wanted to do was lay in bed and cry as my body pushed out what was left of my baby. I never went to the doctor. That would mean that my parents would find out. That next weekend was fall break and I had made plans for Mark and I to go down to Arkansas to see my family and watch my brother in his championship football game. All weekend I knew my parents could tell something was up. I could barely keep it together infront of all the babies and little children at church and the games. In total I bled for 9 days. And after I stopped bleeding I took another test. It was negative, confirming the loss. I cried myself to sleep that night. And for pretty much every night for the next few weeks. I couldn't tell my parents. I didn't want to see how disappointed they would be.

 

My boyfriend was all I had and I leaned on him heavily for support. I spent every night at his place. I was scared to sleep alone because of the constant nightmares I had that all focused on the death of my child. My first period post miscarriage came in November and I remember shaking uncontrollably when I saw the blood. It was like it was happening all over agian. I was emotionally unstable. I was failing my classes. It all came to a head that December. I felt like a failure. I was a healthy 19 now 20 year old and I couldn't keep my baby. I got out of the shower at my boyfriend's place and saw a bottle of Tylenol sitting on the counter. I thought about taking the whole bottle and just drifting off. At least then I could meet my baby. I froze right then. I had wanted to die for the last few months but I had never thought of a way to actually kill myself. I had a moment of clarity. I needed help. So I got dressed and then told my boyfriend what had happened and he held me while I cried and called Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the student health center's psych department, and made an appointment for the next day. I talked with a therapist who diagnosed me with an inability to adjust to my new circumstances and was put on antidepressents.

 

That winter break I went home for Christmas on my new meds. My parents could tell something had been wrong for a while. After Christmas I drove back up to Kansas for my boyfriend's birthday and New Years. When I came back after that weekend my parents were the only ones home. They had made sure my younger siblings were at friend's houses for the night. They staged an intervention for me. My mom was convinced I was on drugs and even had purchased a home drug test at Walgreens. After a while of them begging me to tell them what was wrong, I caved and told them. They were heart broken. They were mad at my boyfriend. Their immediate reaction was to try to get me help but then I explained that I had already gotten it. They helped me retroactively withdraw from my failed semester. All they wanted to do was help. I know that. But I didn't feel like they needed to know or be involved. I felt that what had happened was something that should have been kept between my boyfriend and I. I felt like they had violated my privacy by bullying me into revealing my deepest darkest secret to them.

 

The next semester they reluctantly sent me back to school in Kansas. They tracked me on my phone and if I deleted the app or changed the password that called me and made me reinstall it or give them the new password within 24 hours. They didn't trust me to make my own decisions anymore and it drove the wedge even deeper between us. I grew up conservative and Catholic in the south. I wasn't supposed to be sleeping over and having sex with my boyfriend. I couldn't be at his place past 11 o'clock without them texting me to go home. I specifically asked them to keep what I had told them in confidence and my mother told a few close family friends as well as some family members. I found out and got extremely angry with her. She had yet again violated my trust. That semester my boyfriend asked me if I wanted to move in with him for the fall. I said yes and we signed a lease together with a friend. When I brought the idea up with my parents they completely shut it down. Even when I suggested I just live with the friend on the lease (a gay man) they shut it down. I was living by myself or coming home. So that summer I told them I was moving in with my boyfriend despite thier disapproval. They cut me off financially. They yelled at me. They told me I was taking all their hard work and throwing it in their faces. They called my boyfriend irresponsible. They called his mother unfit. I have barely talked with them since. Its still hard to talk with them but I keep it civil and see them when they come up so that one day my children can have a good relationship with thier grandparents. The one year anniversary of Daniel's death is coming up on October 22nd.

 

A lot has changed in the last year. My miscarriage has changed my life drastically. The hardest thing has been that when I did reach out to people they would tell me that I shouldn't be sad or even that I should be grateful because "it wasn't your time" or "you weren't ready for a baby" or "the pregnancy was unplanned." Danny was unplanned but he wasn't unloved or unwanted. I often feel my experience is brushed aside because I am so young and that people think that the mothers who were trying or were ready have more of a right to be upset than I do. It's been a tough year but I am stronger because of it.

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