This is the second year I’ve been open about this and I’ve never told our story, so please be kind & patient. In summer of 2014, my husband and I got pregnant with our first child. We had named it Blueberry until we found out the sex, we had the appointment scheduled but unfortunately it was never attended.
On September 17th, 2014 we lost our Blueberry. It wasn’t the right time, nothing was remotely close to perfect, but Blueberry was, and it was the one thing Kevin & I agreed on. We were so close to being in the “safe zone,” literally a couple of days, and we had just settled into the fact this was really happening. We had told my parents, we were getting ready to tell our other family, we were picking out names, we had taken Blueberry to our first date spot. Then it all came crashing down.
I lost Blueberry about 4 days before we were supposed to be “in the clear.” My sweet, sweet husband has always said we lost Blueberry but it was my body that lost him/her, so I blamed myself. I gained roughly 50 pounds in less than 2 weeks due to hormone imbalances and of course the emotional & physical torment of a miscarriage didn’t help. I was told to “push through it” that it’d be okay, that Blueberry wasn’t even really a baby yet, that Blueberry knew something was wrong with itself so it sacrificed itself for its future siblings, that I probably didn’t eat enough, that I should have been less stressed, and so much more. None of these things helped. I was ashamed, I was silent, I kept everything a secret. I wanted no one to know what my body had done. I had stopped eating almost completely, I didn’t talk about it, no one was there to help support us. We only had each other, in hindsight, it made us stronger as a couple but it was a lot harder than it should have been.
Fast forward to December 31st, 2016 when we found out we have been blessed with Baby Kelley number two. This time around, we did things a little differently. We told our families at 7 weeks, because we knew this time if we lost our child we would need all the help we could get. My pregnancy was difficult because of two reasons: I was sick constantly and my untreated, undiagnosed PTSD from our miscarriage came in full force. I barely got to enjoy our pregnancy because the feeling of balancing on the edge of a cliff on one foot with strong winds was killing me. Every nightmare, every time I spotted, every time I couldn’t count enough kicks, every time I had an “unusual” symptom, every time our Little Crouton hid from the dopplers we would get a sonogram (almost every appointment) and I practically couldn’t breathe until the next one. There was never a “safe zone” for us.
But, by Gods grace on September 16th, 2017, almost exactly 3 years after we lost our Blueberry, we welcomed our Little Crouton into the world. I was finally able to breathe. She was so full of life even after a very brutal and almost fatal labor & birth. Karsyn Cecilia Kelley, the girl who took every ounce of our pain and turned it into a rainbow. After Karsyn’s birth I was surrounded by doctors, nurses, our family, and our friends. A few people noticed I wasn’t myself and I was finally diagnosed with PTSD (for the second time in my life) from our miscarriage, Postpartum Depression, and Postpartum Anxiety. It shouldn’t have taken so long.
After a miscarriage, you should be surrounded with those same people. Let’s get one thing straight, I am not blaming my family/friends; I’m blaming the stigma around miscarriages & loss and my original healthcare team. First of all, miscarriage is such a taboo subject that everyone steers clear from. We shouldn’t. We should be having an open dialogue about this, we should be surrounding ourselves around those who need us; and grieving mothers need us. Second of all, doctors & nurses should be around so much more than they are after a miscarriage. The only reason why my hormone imbalance was caught was because I kept having hot flashes so I was told to come in. Not once did they ask how my moods had been, even after I had reported significant appetite change which is a sign of depression. Alright, I’ll get off of my soapbox.
Now, today, as I sit here typing this up I haven’t shed any tears because I know all of this happened for some reason. I don’t know the reason, but I know now that it wasn’t my fault. I don’t know the reason, but I know that if I had saw one person post something like this I would have realized I needed to get help. I would have realized that I’m not the only one. I would have told Kevin I was struggling a lot more than I led on.
So, with that being said: I want anyone who is reading this that has gone through, or even is going through, a loss know that if you need anyone or anything I am here for you. I don’t care if I don’t know you, or if we don’t get along, or if we’re best friends; I don’t care who you are, I care about how you are. I want anyone who is reading this to hear my plea: please, please reach out to someone and see a counselor no matter how “fine” you feel. No one deserves to go through this alone and you don’t have to.
I’m not sorry for the novel, because if this can help one person then I know Blueberry isn’t alone up in Heaven and I know that you aren’t alone either.
I am 1 in 4. I am the face of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month.
If you, or anyone you know is experiencing a loss here’s are a few resources:
Text Support: send a message to their helpline at 503-894-9453