Trigger warning: This article discusses miscarriage/pregnancy loss and a rainbow pregnancy.
While we are always elated to hear about pregnancies conceived using kegg, sadly many pregnancies end in loss, and some of our kegg mamas have also experienced this heartbreak. At kegg, we know miscarriages are devastating, especially after experiencing the joy of finding out you are pregnant.
While the cause of miscarriage is often unknown, about 50% of miscarriages occur due to a genetic disorder. Other causes can be due to uterine anomalies, infection, chronic health conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and thyroid disorders.
Our hearts are with you, future kegg mamas. At kegg, we are here to support you every step of the journey. We know every mama grieves in a different way. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the kegg mama.
One of our mamas, who wishes to remain anonymous, shares her story of loss followed by a rainbow.
I had heard the statistic: 1 in 4 pregnancies. I knew the meaning of a “rainbow baby” but none of this truly had a significant meaning to me until I was 1 in 4. My baby. My experience.
My husband and I were eager to begin trying for baby #2 after things calmed down a bit from the pandemic. We did all the things: 4 months of supplements to ensure good egg and sperm quality, exercise (but, not too much exercise!), FSH and LH tracking, and consistent kegg use. Twice a week I emptied our bank account on acupuncture. Every night I would meditate and pray for the sweet baby I longed to hold in our arms. I had preconception visits with my reproductive endocrinologist, my endocrinologist, OB, and primary care doctor. We had the green light from every dimension.
Cycle one, about 10 days after my fertile window, I could hardly believe my eyes. Two beautiful pink lines. Pink lines that progressed! I had won the lottery. How could it have been this easy? For our first child, I had undergone 3 very invasive surgeries and tried for months. But, this time, I conceived during our very first cycle trying. I was ecstatic, nervous, hopeful, and wanted to shout from the rooftops that I had another baby on the way!
But after just one week of feeling one of the happiest moments I had ever experienced, I started to feel a deep seeded fear move in. One night, I dreamed of a little baby girl flying away. I immediately woke up panicking and just knew I had suddenly experienced “1 in 4”. I was an angel mama. My positive pregnancy tests had stopped getting darker and seemed as if they were actually getting lighter. A few days later, blood work confirmed I was experiencing a miscarriage. It took another two weeks for my body to recognize what had happened.
This was a new kind of grief. I have had a lot of heartache in my life from loss of loved ones to health diagnoses that are sure to shorten my life and the lives of dear loved ones. I know pain and sadness. But this was a different form of grief. I tend to be very introverted and especially quiet about my plans to try for another baby. I felt so alone. My husband tried to be painfully optimistic about trying again-which in the moment made it sting all the more.
I began to question everything. Was it the decaf coffee I consumed during my 2 week wait? Did I not schedule enough acupuncture sessions? Was it the one missed prenatal vitamin? Perhaps I had overextended myself in the hot summer sun? My mind wouldn’t stop and NEEDED a cause. A blame game. Something to give my mind answers so I could ensure I would never feel this sadness again.
Awaiting my bleed was even more agonizing as I knew what was coming but did not know when it would come and if I would be emotionally prepared.
I tried to stay busy and distract myself. Thankfully it was summer and I could be outside with my oldest. The thoughts never left me, though: “why me?” I also felt this pressure to tell those I loved. It didn’t help. Instead I ended up feeling guilty when friends would remark “oh, I didn’t know you were trying!” As if that was any comfort during those moments. Some friends did open up, though. I learned one friend had experienced five miscarriages in a year. Another friend told me she lost her baby at 14 weeks. Yet another friend told me she had been struggling to conceive and had been trying for 2.5 years. I never realized how much we as women hold in and fear discussing with others. Why isn’t this normal practice? Why hadn’t I shouted from the rooftops I was pregnant, so when I did experience loss I could have the support I truly needed? This experience shifted my mindset.
Life went on and I assured myself I wanted to try again right away. I promised myself that diving into the fertility process again would relieve my pain. I set my sights on my rainbow.
Literally. I was always coloring rainbows with my son, searching the skies, and making paper rainbow crafts. We read books about rainbows, baked a “rainbow bread”, and created rainbows with reflective pieces of glass in the sun.
I was clinging to hope, and at the moment, it helped.
I also found statistics about miscarriage comforting. This truly was a “normal” process and I didn’t cause my miscarriage. 50% of miscarriages are caused my an issue with sperm. Wow, I hadn’t hadn’t even considered the possibility that my body didn’t cause this. I also read that the woman’s uterus is an expert in identifying if a pregnancy has the proper chromosomes for survival. Was my body attempting to save me from heartache later on? The “1 in 4” estimate of pregnancy loss is likely a gross underestimate as many pregnancies end before the mother is aware she was pregnant.
One day I was tickling my son, being silly together on the floor. He sat up and said “there’s a baby in mama’s belly.” I felt sad thinking he was remembering our angel baby, but decided to take a test anyway. There they were again. Two pink lines. I was flabbergasted. Beyond using my kegg to time sex, I hadn’t done “all the things” this time. In fact, we had only had sex one time during my entire fertile window.
This cycle was unique. After my bleeding, it seemed like my body struggled to get on track to ovulate. I typically ovulate around cycle day 15. But with this cycle, I could see that I was just entering my fertile window on cycle day 15. I ended up ovulating on cycle day 19 which was confirmed by ultrasound. I am thankful I was able to see that my fertile window had shifted using kegg, as I would have missed it if I had relied on my calendar app.. My doctor assured me that it is very typical to have changes in your cycle after a miscarriage. I suspect even the stress alone had an influence.
Colors In the Distance
Pregnancy after loss was brand new to me and I learned a new scary feeling of worrying endlessly about the tiny clump of cells growing in my uterus that I have already fallen in love with. I tried to tell myself to not get attached, but that was impossible although my mind wanted to protect my heart from devastation. I was thankful that my doctor was aware of my concerns and had me come weekly for ultrasounds.
My story has a very happy ending. As I write, I am holding my sweet “rainbow baby.” I find myself having thoughts of “if we hadn’t had an angel first, I would never know this rainbow” muddled with “I wonder what our angel baby would be doing right this moment if she were here.” Her due date was particularly salient as I laid on bedrest pregnant with our rainbow baby. I’ve learned to appreciate the small moments. I tend to get wrapped up in picturing the future. Miscarriage has helped me recognize that life is a culmination of fleeting moments, both good and bad. Finding the good in the small daily moments has helped me appreciate more in life.
Everyone grieves and works through pain in different ways, at least that’s what I am told. Through this experience, I have learned this is no right or wrong. My feelings are mine. Justified. Present. Ever changing. If you are grieving a loss, know you are not alone and brighter days will come. Please know, I recognize that some women will not want to try to conceive right away after a loss, or will try but not be successful for several more cycles. However, your journey takes you, my heart is with you.
At kegg, we know the journey to motherhood or growing your family can be incredibly challenging. We are here to support you. Consider joining our Private Facebook Community where kegg users share charts and support one another along the way. Do you want to read other success stories with kegg? Visit our blog.
*Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels