The Grief of My First Miscarriage

When I was a little girl, I grew up dreaming about what my life was going to become. I certainly did not dream of being a stepmom to five children. I remember skipping with my friends (non-blended families) and singing this song:

(Girl's name) and (boy's name) sitting in the tree,

K-i-s-s-i-n-g! (spell it out)

First comes love.

Then comes marriage.

Then comes baby in the baby carriage.

I thought it was that easy:

Step one - fall in love.

Step two - get married to the man of your childhood dreams.

Step three - buy a white picket fence house.

Step four - have a baby.

Ha!

Thank you world for cheating me of my (and most little girl's - in my era) dreams! Now, the falling in love part happened. It just so happened to be with a wonderful man who had five children. I had always wanted a large family, so I thought it was smooth sailing off into the sunset. Little did I know that there were tidal waves ahead and that I would need a hydrofoil to navigate them.

Soon after, I learned that I might never be able to have children. It was best to start trying immediately – even before getting married. UUGGHH -- as this wasn't working according to my plans. The first step was to do all the extensive testing. I knew it was my issue as I said to the Dr: "I doubt it is my husband, he has five children!" While he supported every single step we took, I was still feeling overwhelmed by every turn.

As things turned out, I was lucky enough to become pregnant naturally, yet the experience opened my eyes to how tough it is for so many who are keen to be loving parents.

The day I learned we were expecting we were elated. Picture me doing the happy dance...on steroids! It was a dream come true. I felt like I smiled all day, every day. My husband surprised me with a "Babymoon Getaway" – something I had never heard of and sounded like a new type of vacation to help tourism; but, whatever!, I was in. We spent a lot of time walking and talking, hand in hand, on our trip. Since it was my husband's sixth child and was a seasoned dad, I quickly realized I was the one with all the questions: "How should we tell the kids? Will they be happy for us? Will they love their new sibling?".

Our plan was to return from our babymoon and let everyone know the good news. On the plane, though, I could feel something was wrong so when we landed, I went straight to my Dr's for an ultrasound. The waiting was painful; minutes seemed like hours. The Dr spoke softly and broke the bad news. "I am sorry, there is no heartbeat." Almost 12 weeks of connecting with the thought of having our own baby it was all taken away in just one moment.

I was beyond heartbroken. The months it took to get here. I thought it was smooth sailing after my baby basket was full. I cried while my husband held me and told me not to worry and that we will try again. And then reality hit. I still have five children showing up at our house. I had two choices. I could stare at them and allow their presence to heighten my sense of loss or I could embrace the people who I loved dearly, and who loved me in hopes for some comfort. Then I heard the kids pile in one by one. At first, I was numb. To avoid them having to process anything we told them I had the flu. They checked in with me to see how I was feeling. I had no idea how hard it was going to be to see all the kids roaming around. It felt unfair. The thought of starting all over again was terrifying. It didn't make sense. I cried and cried and cried by myself in the den. It felt lonely in such a busy place. It was then I decided to embrace my family, and to this day I am so glad they were around to help me stay busy and loved. I felt like I mattered and I had a purpose even though it wasn't what I so desperately wanted.

Looking back I realize that I am part of a club, well actually a few clubs. The stepmom club, the new wife club and the one nobody talks about nor wants to be a part of nor talk about – the miscarriage club (none of which were part of my dream). The club I was not part of yet was the new mom club. I was hurting as I so desperately yearned to be a mom of my own. I wish at the time that I was brave enough to share with other stepmoms what I was feeling. I could have had been comforted, or felt normal instead of feeling like something was wrong or somehow I deserved this. I wasn't then, but I am now. Being a stepmom and having a miscarriage (or two or three or whatever the number may be) is a lonely place without having a support group.

Here is my advice to Stepmoms who are trying to get pregnant:

Eliminate stress

Eliminate stress

Eliminate stress (getting my drift)

Find peace within yourself

Do yoga, meditate or anything that relaxes you

Find a support group for the whole process, not the rough times

Finally, eliminate the stress!

Feel free to reach out to me if you want to share, learn, or talk!

Sarah Paterson – Social Stepmom

Feel free to reach out to me if you want to share, learn, or talk!

Sarah Paterson – Social Stepmom

  1. Eliminate stress
  2. Eliminate stress
  3. Eliminate stress (getting my drift)
  4. Find peace within yourself
  5. Do yoga, meditate or anything to relax you
  6. Find a support group for the whole process
  7. Finally, eliminate the stress!

Feel free to reach out to me if you want to share, learn, or talk!

Sarah Paterson – Social Stepmom

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If you are a stepmom or stepkid and want to contribute your stories please send them to us at blog@socialstepmom.com, for any collaborations email us at sarah@socialstepmom.com