Over the next two years, I had 4 miscarriages, all around 6-7 weeks, as well as a few chemical pregnancies. My mental health was getting worse and worse. There did not seem to be a reason why I was always miscarrying. We were being followed by the fertility clinic and given progesterone supplements. We were thankful to be there but also found it more stressful as they do early ultrasounds. We would always see our baby just before loosing it which made things so much harder.
Every miscarriage I was told it’s common, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and I always knew other pregnant women and felt like I was doing something wrong, wondering why I was always that 1 in 4. I felt so alone. Some doctors that I saw would tell me a miscarriage is just like a period and to just take Tylenol. A miscarriage is nothing like a period. You get bad cramps and then mild contractions until the tissue is passed. Even at 6 -7 weeks it was very clear what tissue was the sac and cord.
I had started doing my own research into recurring miscarriages. The fertility clinic could not find any reasons why I was miscarrying, and I wanted more information. After my 4th miscarriage, my mother found out she had celiac. I also did the blood test and was borderline celiac. The next pregnancy I tried to limit my gluten intake which was hard as that is what I craved with the nausea from the progesterone.
That 5th pregnancy/miscarriage was the one that made it fully to 7 weeks. We saw our Jellybean on a few ultrasounds. The last ultrasound the technician used what I thought to be too much pressure with the wand and her hand, she was trying to get a better view of my tubes. I started spotting immediately after and miscarried a few days later. I was told by my doctor that it was “for the best” as Jellybean was measuring a couple days behind.
This miscarriage was my breaking point. I did not want to stop trying but felt like I could not handle any more miscarriages. Each ultrasound we saw Jellybean grow and were so hopeful it was the one to survive. When I spoke with the doctor after I asked more about my borderline celiac test, he agreed I should try going gluten free. I immediately cut out gluten and we took a couple months off trying. Then exactly 2 years after we started trying, I got pregnant with my rainbow baby Dylan. Throughout the pregnancy, I was so scared to lose him. Every time I went to the washroom, I crossed my fingers and had to check hoping for no blood. After loosing Jellybean, I was gifted a butterfly box. It had information about the Butterfly Run. We had only told a few family members about our miscarriages, we signed up for the run and asked them to sponsor us. We went to our first Butterfly Run when I was 8 weeks pregnant with Dylan. When I first got in the field house at Carleton and saw everyone there, I just cried as I no longer felt so alone. There were people who had similar experiences to me and would understand what it’s like. I wrote that we were running for the 5 Spearin babies on the banner which felt so good to acknowledge them.
We waited for a while to buy anything for Dylan I was worried we would jinx it. At around 22 weeks we bought a car seat and stroller, that day I saw blood when I went to the washroom. I cried all the way to the hospital thinking the worst. He was fine as I found out it was a UTI, but I never felt he was safe. He is almost 2 years old now and we love him so much!!
I have family in Victoria, BC and saw that the cemetery where my grandmother is buried has a spirit garden for miscarried babies. One time when we were visiting, we decorated a spirit house to represent our 5 babies. It is such a beautiful spot in the trees with wind chimes and so close to my grandmother’s grave.
We started to try for another, and I already had a chemical pregnancy/early miscarriage. I am still gluten free and have a typical celiac reaction if I eat gluten. I am in therapy and on medication now for my anxiety. We are not trying to think about it too much and hoping we can give Dylan an earth-side sibling.
- A big thanks to Christina for her courage to share her story.