Rebecca Swift was born in Tennessee and raised in South Dakota. She’s a mother of two daughters and has three pet squirrels. She’s a singer, writer, and a Disney enthusiast. Here Rebecca shares with the social media audience what it’s like to have a miscarriage in the age of social media.
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Rebecca and Patrick waited till the first 12 weeks were over to announce on the social media that they were expecting a baby. They felt great with all the good wishes pouring in from everywhere. Friends started to speculate about the sex of the baby. Some of them even went a step further and started to look for names.
The Most Unpleasant Surprise
After a couple of days, Rebecca started to bleed—and it wasn’t just a drop. Patrick was alarmed. They set a doctor’s appointment for the next morning. The entire evening they looked for possible answers to Rebecca’s condition on WebMD and Google, but they couldn’t find a concrete answer. They found so many other women were also in a frantic search to look for answers to a similar situation.
As Rebecca and Patrick walked hand-in-hand to the clinic the next day, they tried to make light of their situation and made jokes.
When the doctor started examining her, Rebecca jumped at the sound of a heartbeat, but the doctor told her that it was her own. They didn’t hear the heartbeat they were longing to hear. As tears started streaming down her face, their worst fear was confirmed. The fetus had stopped growing after 7 weeks. However, Rebecca’s body had still responded as a pregnant woman’s; the amniotic sac that surrounded the fetus had continued to grow.
Rebecca was given two options: she could either let nature take its course or have a D&C performed. A D&C would remove the contents of her uterus through surgery. As she wasn’t quite aware of either, she thought she’d take some time to think about it and let the doctor know.
The rest of the evening was spent letting friends and family know about the miscarriage. Rebecca was thinking about how to handle the questions she would face on social media. Recommendations about having a D&C were made, saying that it would speed up the process and give closure to the episode. So, they decided to proceed the next day.
Rebecca didn’t have to go for a D&C. The night before her scheduled appointment, she started to have excruciating cramps. It was like she was going into labor. She soon realized that they were not ordinary cramps—she was having contractions. Patrick carried her to the tub filled with warm water and Epsom salts. Rebecca remembered her doctor telling her that she may or may not feel pain and it was possible that she wouldn’t even notice anything.
After half an hour, the embryo in the amniotic sac was pushed out from Rebecca’s body. The pain was gone immediately. The couple had no idea that the pain of childbirth could be experienced even during a miscarriage.
Rebecca and Patrick put the fetus in a gold jewelry box and buried it in their backyard. Although the physical pain had gone away, it was heartbreaking for the couple. What they were looking forward to as days of happy parenthood and childhood, suddenly turned into a time of grief and tragic loss.
The Morning After
Mustering all her courage, Rebecca realized it was time to break the news on social media. So, she did what she had to do, and was surprised by the outpouring of love and support from her friends and family. Rebecca was surprised to learn that miscarriage is common—an estimated 1 in 6 pregnancies in the US end in a miscarriage. She wished she had known that D&C would have been a less painful procedure for her.
With support from her friends and family, Rebecca was able to navigate and cope with her misfortune. She ends her post by reaching out to all women who have or are going through a miscarriage and shares how talking about it can help shorten the grieving process and make it less grueling.
If you would like to share any experience of miscarriage, please use the Comments section below. You might like to read Top Three Facts About C-Section Moms That Everyone Should Know.