My First Pregnancy and Miscarriage

I had a miscarriage with my first pregnancy. It was not a planned pregnancy, I was married and we planned to have children someday but felt like we were still a bit young and should wait a few more years.

Our Wedding Day!

After a while I got used to the idea of being pregnant and was excited about it. I started reading Grantly Dick-Read’s book, Birth without Fear. My husband and I were also reading some of the books about The Farm in Summertown, TN. Then one day we saw a poster in the town where we lived advertising that “Stephen Gaskin and The Farm Band” were going to be in town. We were very excited and went.

They did a slide show about The Farm and talked about the midwives and all the babies that they were delivering. I knew that I wanted to have a home birth, but I didn’t know any midwives were we lived, so I asked if it was possible to come to the farm to have your baby. Stephen said yes and that I should write a letter to The Farm first and set up a time to visit.

Then when I was about 3 months pregnant I started spotting. I remember how shocked I was when I saw the blood in my underwear. I thought, “no, this can’t be happening.”

I knew that sometimes a miscarriage is Nature’s way of rejecting a baby that wasn’t forming right or something and should have faith in the Universe that the best thing would happen. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to miscarry so I was taking it easy and putting my feet up.

Now that I’ve had a baby, I know that sometimes miscarriage can be just like having a baby. I had rushes (contractions) five minutes apart, for hours that got stronger and harder to integrate. But the big difference between this and a birthing was I didn’t want it to happen and I was I fighting it.

When I would try to relax and remember that I should have faith that the best thing was happening, it was much easier to integrate. I kept thinking, “If I can’t handle this, how could I have a baby born naturally?

After several hours of this and the rushes were still getting closer and stronger, we called the doctor. He thought I should come to the hospital for a D & C. That decision was like admitting defeat and I gave up trying. I started complaining and just fell apart. The ride to the hospital was terrible. I learned a lot though. I knew deep down that it didn’t have to be that way. At the hospital the doctor told me that I had actually miscarried but that the baby had not come out. I was bleeding a fair amount and he recommended a D&C. They gave me something for pain in an IV and I remember thinking that I would like for them to save the baby for me to see, but the medication made me not care enough to ask. Afterward when the doctor came to see me I asked him if he saw anything wrong with the baby and he said no.

When I was back home recovering from the miscarriage, my husband, Douglas, brought me some raspberries to eat. That was a special treat that I will always remember.

I spent a day or two just staying in bed resting before getting back to my regular routine. We decided to go ahead and visit The Farm and see if we could move there. In those days it seemed like most of the women on The Farm were either pregnant or nursing a baby. All I could think about was getting pregnant again and having a baby of my own. The wife of my childhood doctor told me to not worry, that many women have at least one miscarriage in their life and that I would probably get pregnant again and have no problems. She also advised that I wait about 3 months to let my body heal before trying again. I think that was good advice and she made me feel confident. As it turned out, she was absolutely right!

 

6 Months pregnant, 1974

 

We moved to The Farm a few months after the miscarriage, that was almost 43 years ago and we are still there!

Our first baby was born a year later. You can read the rest of the story here,

In 1983 I started apprenticing with The Farm Midwives and I am a practicing midwife at The Farm to this day. Over the years I’ve gotten phone calls and emails from women who were miscarrying. I feel like my own experience has helped me to council others through their experience.

I have encountered some cases where a woman would have one miscarriage and then another and another. This can be very disheartening.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help a lot with infertility issues. A clean diet and avoiding exposure to chemicals is also good. Using a topical natural progesterone cream in the early months of pregnancy works for some women.

 

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