In February of 2007, I thought life was going great. My son was turning three years old, my husband and I were running a successful small business, and I was expecting a new baby in August. We were particularly careful about telling friends and family our news since I had miscarried only 8 months before this pregnancy at 8 weeks. At the time, my husband and I were stunned with the miscarriage, but our doctor told us it was “God’s way of weeding out the bad seeds.” Insensitive as it was, we were naïve and had no reason to assume she wasn’t right.
So there I was at the doctor’s office for my four month check up, waiting in the exam room for the doctor. We had recently told our friends and family, and I was excited to report to my doctor that I had felt the baby kick the night before. And then she and I listened for the heartbeat. After a moment of silence, she smiled warmly and said the baby was probably curled up and went to get an ultrasound machine. Call it mother’s intuition but I knew then…She got yet another ultrasound machine and then another doctor…I’d imagine this to be one of the worst parts of being a doctor. But the looks on their faces said it all. I had to drive myself 20 unmemorable miles to another office to confirm what I had already known. My baby had died, and in those brief moments, my life began to turn upside down.
In the months that followed, I tried to piece my life back together, but everywhere I looked there were reminders. Everywhere I turned there was someone else about to have a baby! Didn’t the world know I just miscarried? I avoided calls from family and friends. I secretly hoped I wouldn’t wake up some days. I had a very hard time dealing with my three year old and often took out my anger and frustration on my husband, who was hurting in his own way.
I tried and tried to find help—I called my own doctor’s office for grief support. But no one ever called me back. I contacted hospitals in my area and received very little feedback. I didn’t know what I was looking for—something to make me feel again.
I hit rock bottom in May of 2007 when my doctor informed me that the hospital had lost the test results from my D&C. Although I knew there was a slim chance any conclusive results would come back at all, I felt there was still a chance—maybe something that could help me make sense of this horrible tragedy…
A few days later I did a Google search on miscarriage and infertility groups in my area and Angela Le’s name popped up. I received a call from Angela, who explained how she would be able to help me through Chinese medicine and acupuncture—how she could help me get my life back, not just in the sense of losing my child but in losing myself.
At our initial meeting, I was skeptical. I was sure she thought I was crazy as I left that first day after telling her the happenings of the last year of my life. But we worked together weekly for three months, and she never once judged or made me or any emotions I was feeling seem insignificant. It was amazing to me to have someone who truly was there to help.
We worked extensively on my feelings, my anger, my hurt, and my grievances from the miscarriages, but we also focused on my nutrition and my diet. I learned at the age of 29 that I was gluten intolerant and that this intolerance caused so many of the “medical” problems in life that I didn’t understand and questioned for years.
Many of the changes Angela suggested I make were not easy. But amazingly, as I worked on myself, when I was ready and I committed, my life became remarkably better.
Four years after my 2nd miscarriage, I still meet with Angela quarterly. I look forward to our appointments where I have learned things about myself that would have never surfaced if I didn’t continue this important work. Most of my anxieties have disappeared. I started to love myself again and forgive myself for things that I had convinced myself I had done wrong.
With Angela’s support, I gained the courage to try to have another child, and she supported me throughout my successful pregnancy. Although there were days I was completely scared, she was there for me to talk to and help me not lose my way. When I look at my daughter’s eyes today, I am amazed at how far I have come.
Do I still think about my two miscarriages and lost children? Every single day. I know how blessed I am to have my healthy children—I know there are women out there who are not able to have what I do. But it still does not make it easier to live through any miscarriage or lose any children.
Now, when I think of my children who did not survive, I can smile. I can look inside myself and my heart and know their brief time in my life helped make me whole. It just took me a little while and a remarkable teacher to help me figure that out.