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October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, and Today, I Share My Story

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, and Today, I Share My Story

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In the spring of 2006, my husband and I decided that we were ready to start trying to have a family. Not full heartedly try, but just not prevent any longer. So it came as a huge surprise to me, that a couple days before Father’s Day, I found out that we were expecting a baby! I was pregnant! And in our first month of ’trying’ too! I went out and bought my husband a Father’s Day card, and that is how I told him! We were both so excited! We told our families and friends and they too were so excited!

I didn’t have a family doctor, so I was able to get in with a local doctor and had my first appointment and she went over everything with me, and we booked my next appointment and the appointment for my IPS ultrasound. Everything was going good, my due date was February 19th 2007! I could feel my abdomen swelling slightly, was getting increasingly tired, slightly nauseous but nothing major! Went out and bought a pair of maternity jeans (more so because I wanted the excitement of it, not that I necessarily needed it ;) ).

I went for my IPS ultrasound on August 8th, I remember it so clearly. This location didn’t have the screen for the moms to see, and my husband was not allowed in with me. So the tech started doing the ultrasound, saying she could see our baby! I was so excited! But then she said she needed to get a doctor and wouldn’t tell me anything and she would get my husband. I was so nervous, and alone. When the doctor came in, he said he needed to call my family doctor. My new doctor that I had only seen the once was away on holidays. So he told us the heartbreaking news, that our baby was no longer alive. My uterus and abdomen were measuring at almost 13 weeks, but our baby (fetus) had stopped growing and had no heartbeat and looked to be close to 10 weeks along. We were both devastated. The doctor told us to go home, and that I should start miscarrying anytime.

I couldn’t get in touch with ‘my doctor’, her office wouldn’t return my calls. I knew nothing about miscarriages at all. My friends and family were sorry for us, and didn’t know what to do. I was lost, and felt so alone. I was off work, just waiting for my miscarriage to happen. A week later still nothing. My doctor still wouldn’t see me. I went back to work still waiting. Finally on the 21st, 13 days after finding out, I was told to go to a hospital in Ottawa that evening and I would be admitted for a D&C. Once there I waited. 2 days on an IV, continually being bumped out of line for surgery. On the maternity floor, how unfair was that? I was surrounded by the sounds of babies, while I was waiting for mine to be reomoved. Continuous ultrasounds to see what was going on inside me. My baby still there not wanting to come out. It was horrible. Finally on the 23rd an amazing doctor, Dr. Fiegel from Ottawa came in to see me. He said he recommended taking pills to bring on the labour since I had been waiting so long. He explained everything to me. I had had a missed miscarriage. Basically my body was not aware that the baby had died, and was still acting as though the pregnancy was still viable. There was nothing we did wrong, and he apologized for how I had been treated by ’my doctor’.

So I went home, and gave myself pills vaginally to induce labour. It was the most horrible feeling ever. I was, and am so thankful for my friend who stayed with me and my husband through it all since we were both so scared. After 24 hours I had basically rid my body of the remnants of my pregnancy, but I couldn’t rid my mind and heart of it all. I don’t wish that experience on anyone.

We ended up seeing Dr Fiegel, and he went over everything with us. What we could expect the next time we tried, when to try, and not to be afraid. It was normal. I was so NOT aware how common miscarriages really were. People opened up to me afterwards about their experiences. It is kept so hush hush. According to the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network, 1 in 4 families will deal with this type of loss. We were fortunate to get pregnant again in October of that year, 2 months after our miscarriage. We had no problems the whole pregnancy. Although it pained me when February 19th came and went, we welcomed our baby girl into the world July 10 2007.

October 15th is recognized in several provinces in Canada as well as the US and UK. It is a day of remembrance for all of us who have lost a little one. Whether it be at 5 weeks, 13 weeks like us, or further into pregnancy or at birth. It is also a day to bring awareness about this type of loss that is so often not discussed. To offer support to those who have been through it and educate those who have not.

The main idea is for anyone who has lost a child, no matter at what age, light a candle in remembrance of them at 7pm (no matter what time zone you are in) and leave it burning for 1 hour to remember and acknowledge that little life that went way too soon.

I hope that if you are reading this, you never have to go through anything like I have gone through. I have 2 beautiful children, but I won’t ever forget. And if you have gone through a loss, know that you are not alone.

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Comments (24)

  1. Rachel Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
    Hi Crystal, So sorry for your loss! It is something that does need to be talked about more. My husband was the 4th and the last try for my in-laws who had suffered a miscarriage and 2 preemies that passed away. My hubby was born at 3 pounds and was lucky to have made it himself. I'm sure it was a nightmare for my mother in law and I doubt if there were many resources for her at the time to get support. Dr. Fiegel has been my gyno since I was 16 and he is an amazing man! So glad he was there to help you when you needed it :) Rachel
    • Crystal Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
      Thank you Rachel for your kind words. What an amazing story of your husbands birth, although tough I am sure for his parents. Dr Fiegel is amazing! He was my OBGYN for my daughters pregnancy and after care. Have heard nothing buy good things about him from anyone who knows him! :)
  2. Jolene Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
    Thank you for sharing, I have a very similar story as you right down to the year you lost your baby to having 2 amazing children after! Just wanted to leave a message saying thanks for putting this out for others to read.
    • Crystal Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
      Thank you for your comment, and I am sorry for what you went through as well. Happy to hear that you have 2 amazing kids as well. Makes it easier, but never goes away! *hugs*
  3. Tricia Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
    Thank you for sharing your story. Like you said its not talked about openly, yet so many women have had similar experiences. xo
    • Crystal Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
      Thanks Tricia! And thank you for being there for me while we were going through it, it meant so much, xo
  4. Tiffany Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
    Thanks for sharing. What's a D&C?
    • Crystal Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
      Hi Tiffany, a D&C is also known as "dilation and curettage", is a surgical procedure often performed after a first trimester miscarriage. They go in and open a closed cervix and scrape the uterine wall with an instrument or by suction. Usually done when a body hasn't gone through the miscarriage on it's own, or when a woman does not want to wait for it to happen naturally once no response is detected. Thanks for your question!
  5. Cheryl Emon Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
    Wow Crystal...what a touching story. So sorry I never knew any of this. Too many women suffer through this in silence. Thanks for sharing.
    • Crystal Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
      Thanks Cheryl! This happened back before I was on facebook, and when everyone lives were always an open book online ;) Figure if I can help someone else not feel alone, I am doing something good about a bad thing.
  6. Vanessa Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
    Crystal, I'm so sorry you went through that essentially alone. I wish I could take where I am now and go back in time to then to be there for you. One of my losses was also a missed miscarriage and it was certainly one of the hardest and most heartbreaking ones. I'm so sorry for your loss.
    • Crystal Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
      Thank you so so much Vanessa for your kind words. Although I felt alone in respects to knowing what was going on, I was surrounded by friends and my husband who made the process easier than it could have been. I am also sorry for your losses, it is never easy and is often hushed. It is sad that a person tends to blame themselves when like we know, it shouldn't be that way. Hopefully days like today (awareness days) can help educate people to know it is ok to talk about it. Thanks again, *hugs*
  7. Lynda Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
    Crystal. I too am so sorry to hear of such a heartbreaking loss. We too had a miscarriage in late 2000. We had waited for the 13 wks before telling anyone.. our parents were so pleased to become grandparents and we were exited that on the first try we had gotten pregnant. Not long after that...on what we knew to be week 15, i had blood and feeling awful. We went to the hospital and they immediately did an ultrasound. We too were told that the "fetus" had stopped growing but my body was still thinking it was alive. I don't remember crying so much in my life. Since I was bleeding the doctor gave me some type of medicine....I can't recall what it was but he said it should start to come out on it's own, like a period with blood clots he said... Well..other than the loss, what I remember most is telling my mother that I had a miscarriage and instead of understanding and being a "Mom"..she asked me what I did wrong. It sucked. I am blessed to have the three wonderful daughters we have now. The thoughts of that little baby still linger in my heart and will always. Thanks for sharing Crystal... it's warming to know I am not alone ;)
    • Crystal Monday - 15 / 10 / 2012 Reply
      Oh Lynda, I am so sorry for your loss as well. Even more so cause of how your mother made you feel. It makes it easier when we hold our children now, but as you said, the thoughts will always linger.
  8. Erin Blaskie Tuesday - 16 / 10 / 2012 Reply
    Crystal, thank you so much for being brave, honest and open with your story. I think it's amazing how strong you were then and how strong you continue to be. As you know, I went through a miscarriage as well and while ours was very, very early on in our pregnancy, it devastated us. After years of trying, we were very excited to welcome our pregnancy and our new baby but it didn't work out then. The way I look at it now, had that pregnancy worked out, I wouldn't have my wee Willow. I know I would have another beautiful baby to love and cherish but she may not be here so today, I am grateful for how things turned out in the end. Thank you so much for shedding light on this topic... It is way more common than people think.
    • Crystal Wednesday - 17 / 10 / 2012 Reply
      Thanks Erin! It doesn't matter at what stage the loss is, it is still a loss. You get excited, plan for the future and then in an instant everything can change. I often feel as you described. My life would be different, our children too. We may not have Ava & Mason, and who knows what our family would be. Everything DOES happen for a reason, even if we never know why or what the reasoning is. xo
  9. Jen Alsop-Lee Wednesday - 17 / 10 / 2012 Reply
    Thank you for sharing your story and acknowledging that so many women experience a pregnancy loss. After having my daughter in 2008 I have had an early miscarriage and a pregnancy loss when I was 21 weeks pregnant. What has helped is talking about and hearing about other women who've been through it too. It also gives me great hope when I learn that so many people go on to have healthy babies afterwards. The more people that talk about it, the more people out there who don't have to feel alone if it happens to them. We can't give up hope!
    • Crystal Wednesday - 17 / 10 / 2012 Reply
      Thank you Jen for your sharing your story, and I am so sorry for your losses. I agree, that although still doesn't take away our pain, it is nice not to feel alone in what we go through. It happens to so often that it is a wonder it is not more talked about. You aren't alone, and never give up hope! *hugs*
  10. Melissa Moody Thursday - 06 / 12 / 2012 Reply
    Crystal, Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry for your loss. Life can be so cruel. My husband and I have just lost our baby girl Emma at 23 weeks. I have what they call an incompetent cervix. Which I had never hear about before being diagnosed. I have no problems during my pregnancy other than the morning sickness. I even had an ultrasound a few weeks ago and everything was normal. It was a Sunday my husband left to the states for a course and I was relaxing at home pj sunday. And then it started I thought oh its braxton hicks oh great! Oh but now I wish that was the case. In fact I was going into labor. I called my midwife to find out what I should do as I started to bleed and she said stay calm and if it gets worse go to the hospital. I still at that time thought it was just braxton hicks and I was fairly calm. Well the contractions started to get bad and the bleeding increased so I drove my self to the hospital. The nurses couldnt pick up the contractions so they didnt really know I was in labor at first. By the time the doctor got in I was fully dilated. And my husband was in the states and I had no one with me at the time. Things happened so fast I couldnt think who I wanted to be there. All I could do was to call my mom and to page my husband. It broke my heart to hear her heart beat and feel her moving before I had to push. My family lives 3 hours away so by the time they got there the delivery was over the doctors were gone. I was just in shock still in the dark room holding her in my arms. Just thinking how cruel life can be. But at least my family and my husband made it back in time to hold her. She was so beautiful. We are proud parents of an angel :) To think we had to go through that to be diagnosed with incompetent cervix sadness me. Some woman have to go through 2-3 losses before they are diagnosed which is horrible. I just wanted to share my story a little. I am finding it is really helping to see we are not alone. Thanks again.
    • Crystal Sunday - 09 / 12 / 2012 Reply
      Oh my gosh, Melissa, I am in tears here reading this. I am so so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you went through and having to do it alone giving the circumstances. I can't imagine holding that precious little girl, not knowing what could have been. I am so sad for you. I am sending you my thoughts, prayers and hugs. I hope that in time you and your husband will be able to try again? Thank YOU for sharing your story, and you are right, those of us who have suffered losses are not alone, even though it can really feel like it. *hugs*
  11. Melissa Moody Thursday - 06 / 12 / 2012 Reply
    Just thought I would let people know this Sunday is Worldwide Candle Lighting Celebration in memory of our children who left us too soon. This sunday will be one week since we lost our little Emma so I cant think of a better way to spend the night.
    • Crystal Sunday - 09 / 12 / 2012 Reply
      Thanks for sharing this as well. I have been ill, but I see that Tricia was able to put it up on our Facebook Page for others to know about as well :)


  1. “Morning” Sickness – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly! | Ottawa Valley Moms :: Ottawa Moms, Arnprior Moms & Renfrew Moms on Parenting, Life, Love and Staying Connected - November 15, 2012

    [...] why “The Good” in my title? I had a miscarriage previous to my pregnancies (see October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, and Today, I Share My Story) so the constant pregnancy symptom was reassuring (weird, I know!). I also didn’t gain too [...]

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