The Voice of Miscarriage {Guest Post}

© Photo Note: This sunset photo was taken in Puerto Vallarta in November 2011 shortly following our miscarriage experience. That particular trip proved very powerful for us, and what would be our final trip as a childless couple. Our quadruplets were born in July 2012.

Approximately 30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, chances are you or someone you know was affected.  Today, Erin is sharing her voice on this sensitive subject in honor of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month. 

If you were to ask me how many children I have, I would likely say that we have four: a three year old, an eight month old and that I have two bonus kids who are 11 and 14. What I wouldn’t say, and what you wouldn’t know is that I really have seven children. I have four here with me, and three angels in Heaven. One might wonder, why I didn’t mention the other three. If I did, I would force you to have a potentially uncomfortable conversation. You see, I had the unfortunate experience of having a miscarriage, not once, not twice, but three times. I lost three children. If I told you, you might say the wrong thing, or nothing at all. You might inadvertently discount my feelings or the experience itself. You might do these things because you “don’t know anyone that has experienced this.” The truth is, it is almost impossible that you don’t. Chances are you know someone who has experienced the loss of their unborn child. Your friend, your neighbor, a family member, perhaps even your own mother. Miscarriage is much more common than one would think. The problem is, few people talk about it and few people know how to support those experiencing it.

Sometimes even those closest to us, such as our spouses don’t know what to say or do. They don’t understand why we are still crying weeks or months later. Why our voice cracks at the mention of it…sometimes even years later. For men, sometimes they just don’t establish a true bond until they can feel the baby, see the baby and sometimes not until after birth. For them it is different. With that, husbands, boyfriends, wives or girlfriends….please offer support to your significant other. Just because you haven’t yet bonded, doesn’t mean that it is any less real. Understand that it is a death. There will be crying, grieving, a lot of questioning as to why this has happened, anger, dwelling…the list goes on. Ask how your significant other is feeling, both emotionally and physically. If she is questioning when you can try again, be open to discussion. That alone can give some women hope that one day they will be a mom. If your spouse can’t even approach the topic of another try, that’s okay. Revisit later. Be whatever she needs you to be. Realize that they may change from moment to moment, day to day. Whatever you do, remember that this is excruciating, heartbreaking and can take a huge toll on both the emotions and body of a woman. Be present.

It can be extremely difficult for others to understand the pain of this experience. I feel compelled to explain this for anyone who has ever found themselves saying the wrong thing, or not being there for someone. For those that one day will be in a position to say something and not know what to say or do. For anyone who has ever experienced this and felt alone in the darkness.

By sharing my experience, I hope somehow it may bring someone comfort knowing that they are not alone, other women have been there, felt the same darkness, the same disparity, and the same gut wrenching pain that goes beyond the loss itself. After miscarriage, you find yourself sad about what might have been.  You feel like a horrible friend when you realize that you are bordering on angry when a friend or relative announces a pregnancy, or has a baby. You get angry when someone complains about their baby crying too much or waking too much, or stretch marks, discomfort in pregnancy and so on….all the things that you would give ANYTHING in the world to experience…because it would mean that your baby is alive.  It causes one to be terrified the next time that they become pregnant.  You constantly scrutinize every little thing in your body…what was that pain, I didn’t feel the baby in the last hour, it’s taking them a long time to find the tiny little bean during that first ultrasound, taking too long to find the tiny heartbeat on the doppler…thoroughly inspecting the toilet paper looking for the tiniest speck of blood, checking for a heartbeat at home multiple times a day just to make sure the baby is still alive….the list goes on and on. It really can wreak havoc on someone, not just in the weeks after, but for months and years potentially. Miscarriage steals the ability be in ignorant bliss during subsequent pregnancies…it can tarnish the happiness one should and would be feeling, because the anxiety and fear take over. It can even cause postpartum anxiety and fear. Miscarriage is real. The loss is real, no matter how early on it occurs. As a mother, the minute we learn that we are pregnant, no matter how early…we are that baby’s mother, they are our child and our love for them runs deeper than any other love could. We are attached emotionally and physically immediately. We mourn the loss, we grieve, it is a death, a life taken too soon, a life that will never be, a dream that will never be realized and fulfilled…

For friends and family of those going through this, or who have…I hope this guides you to a place of better understanding. To a place that will allow you to be there and be of great support to those in your life that have experienced this tragic loss. For all of you have experienced this loss, you are not alone. Know that there is hope. While it is sometimes very difficult to find hope, keep the faith and move forward. There were times that I thought I would never be a mom. After three consecutive miscarriages and after finding out that I had a genetic blood clotting mutation, I went on to have two healthy and happy little boys. It took some work to keep these boys safe until it was time to meet the world, but my dream has been realized. My heart is full and while the sadness surrounding the loss of those three angels will never disappear, the void has become smaller and I know that they are watching over us and one day, we will be together again.

Erin is a work from home mom. She is a Corporate Recruiter by day and a mommy by day and night. She has two boys, Kieran (3 years), Kohen (8 months), and two bonus children, Abby (14 years) and Keegan (11).  In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, her Great Dane – Izzie, and crafting when she can find the time.

Related Posts:

Tips for Helping a Friend After Miscarriage

The Gifts of Infertility & Miscarriage

Reflecting on Miscarriage

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day: October 15

Water Table & Sidewalk Chalk {Summer Bucket List}

Between Texas heat and potty training quadruplets, my sanity is questionable most days.  One lifesaver has been water play.   Our Little Tikes water table and iconic pink NICU bathtubs have been well used this summer.  I try to introduce novel items with water play to keep it engaging.  If I’m dressing four kids in swimsuits and setting up water, it has to last at least an hour, preferably longer.

1. Little People Bath Station

I was inspired by My Nearest and Dearest to set up a Little People water park and bath station on the front porch.  I gave each of the kids a tub filled with water, a mini bottle of baby wash, a wash cloth, and a few Little People dolls.  They spent the entire morning scrubbing dolls and squirting soap.  Lots of clean fun!


little people bath station

2. Dish Washing Station

I borrowed this idea from a neighbor because it was brilliant.  I gave each child tub of water, a stack of play dishes, a scrub brush (I found super cute ones with animal handles at the Dollar Tree), and a Softsoap bottle filled with a little bubble bath and water. They got busy washing their dishes, and then scrubbing the patio before they jumped into the tubs themselves.  It’s hard to imagine they used to take a bath in these tubs and can barely fit inside now.

As the quads splashed around, my tootsies enjoyed a Mary Kay foot soak followed by energizing mint lotion.  I was in a foul mood that day thanks to countless potty accidents paired with many tantrums.  My little Mom foot spa worked amazingly at changing my demeanor.  I felt rejuvenated and the kids behavior seemed drastically better when I felt better.


NICU bathtime

Bath time in the NICU. Rylin is on the left and Harper the right.

And now…

NICU bathtubs

water play

3.  Condiment Bottle Squirters

Another day, I set up shop on the front porch.  I situated myself on an angle so I could supervise water play on the porch and sidewalk chalk drawings on the driveway. For water play, I used the NICU tubs and Softsoap bottles with bubbles, but also gave each of the quads an assortment of empty condiment bottles filled with colored water to mix.  I enjoyed another foot soak, this time whilst sipping fresh lemonade.   From time to time, the kids would give me a little foot treatment by pouring bubbles over my calves, which was sweet.  When we were finished playing we dumped the water tubs over the sidewalk chalk art to clean the driveway.

I love knocking out two bucket list items all at once!  Stay tuned as we wrap up the bucket list.

  1. Movies
  2. Sea Life Aquarium
  3. Train ride
  4. Fire station tour
  5. Library story time
  6. Sprayground
  7. Zoo
  8. Bahama Buck’s
  9. Frozen yogurt
  10. Community pool
  11. Grill dinner outside
  12. Water Table
  13. Inflatable Pool
  14. Sprinklers
  15. Ice Cream
  16. Indoor playgrounds
  17. Lee’s Grilled Cheese
  18. Blow bubbles
  19. Chalk drawings
  20. Board games
  21. Play dates
  22. Summer Reading Club
  23. Dance classes
  24. Fireworks
  25. Sleep over with grandparents
  26. Nature Walks
  27. Bounce house
  28. Popsicles
  29. S’mores
  30. Sparklers
  31. Water pistol duels



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Today is October 15th, but I’m sure you knew that already.  It may not mean much to the average person, but holds special meaning to families all over the globe as it is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.   At 7:00 pm, households burn a candle for one hour in their respective time zones.  The resulting chain of light will span the globe for 24 hours to honor and remember children who die during pregnancy or shortly after birth as an “International Wave of Light”.  Reflecting on the past year, it has been an incredible journey that we never could have imagined.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rembrance Day candle

12 months ago, I wrote this:
“Sweet Angel, I will never understand why you only stayed with us for a brief time, but I can tell you this-I did love you and would have done anything I could to protect you.  The moment I knew of your existence, I fell in love with you and when I saw your tiny heartbeat, my heart melted.   I did everything I could for your well-being.  I know that you didn’t leave because of anything I did, or did not do, but I want you to know I did everything I could for you. I got just a little taste of what it is like to become a mother and to want to protect someone with every fiber of my being.   It is a feeling like no other to love someone that way and I am happy I got to feel that even for just a moment.  Despite all of the emptiness I feel from your loss, I am truly happy you were here.  You gave me hope that we will one day have the family we have been dreaming of for so long, and for that I am grateful.”

11 months ago, we traveled to Puerta Vallarta as an escape from our infertility struggles. We saw four beautiful baby sea turtles travel out to the sea and they gave us hope of having a family.

10 months ago, we celebrated Christmas not knowing if we would ever celebrate that special time with children. Apparently the only picture taken was of our nativity.  It served as a reminder that we are never alone for He is with us.

9 months ago, we went to our Reproductive Endocrinologist for our fourth and final IUI (after four they consider IUI a fail and recommend moving to IVF). Reminders of the sea turtles were everywhere, giving us a sense of calm and hope.

8 months ago, we went in for our first ultrasound and discovered four healthy heartbeats. Although we were told that one or more may “vanish” or that we should consider a reduction, we knew that all four were meant to be and would be healthy as we remembered the four sea turtles.

7 months ago, we started preparing gender neutral nurseries for four.

6 months ago, we discovered we were having a girl and we named her Rylin Skye.

6 months ago, we found out we were having a boy and we named him Harper Stone.

6 months ago, we learned that we were having another girl and we named her Sydney Raine.

6 months ago, we discovered we were having a second boy and we named him Mason River.

5 months ago, strict bed rest began and I was only allowed bathroom privileges. Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who took care of me and friends who kept me company.

4 months ago, I was still on bed rest for my baby shower. I cheated a bit and moved from bed to the sofa for a few hours.

3 months ago, we made it to 30 weeks, 5 days of a quadruplet pregnancy.  On July 20th,  forty little fingers and forty little toes entered our lives. As an aside, I didn’t actually count a single finger or toe until several weeks after the babies were born. Fingers and toes just didn’t seem very important in the scheme of things.


2 months ago, our four were in the NICU growing and getting strong enough to come home. At four weeks old, they were able to take their first picture together.


1 month ago, all four babies came home within a week’s time.  Our home was finally filled with the family we dreamed of.


Today I know what it is like to hold four healthy babies in my arms at the same time.  After the years of struggle, I do not take them for granted.

Tonight, we will light this candle for an hour in memory and honor of our first as we will do every year.

We will never fully understand why our first baby was with us for such a brief time nor will we know why we are now blessed with not one, but four healthy babies.  We know that He has great plans for us and is always with us no matter the tears or triumphs.  We are on now the most incredible journey of raising quadruplets and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

in peace,


Mile Marker 28

We made it to week 28!!!! This is a HUGE milestone for us as the survival rate for the babies jumps up to 95% and the risks of long term disabilities drops dramatically. Of course we don’t really want the babies coming this week, but at least they have good chances if they did. I may not love being on house arrest, but I am really fortunate to still be home at this point. I love having my fur babies at my side all day and friends dropping by at home. Though I must admit, each day is a challenge for me. The discomforts increase each day and contractions are more common these days. It pained me to do it, but I had to take Tylenol in order to rest last night. I have had intermittent rib pain on the right the entire time (now exacerbated by Mason’s cute little feet), but it started on the left last night. I finally had to cry “uncle” and just had to down some Tylenol. I did actually sleep from 3:00-6:45 because of it.

I know each day the babies simmer is better for them, but my body is starting to rebel. Each day I put my big girl pants on (figuratively and literally) to make it another day because each day is a victory. Your prayers and positive thoughts have helped us make it here so please keep it up. As I become increasingly large and uncomfortable, my patience is thinning. So, perhaps pray that I remain calm and patient.





Pray, Pray, Pray!

We had our weekly visit with Dr. Tabor today. That meant I fixed my hair, wore a “cute outfit”, and put on more make up than I have been. I have to admit, seeing the sunshine during the car ride was nice. Sometimes it is the simple things…

My vitals were all good and there were no signs of dilation. Also, my contractions have become fewer and further between, which is also good. George noticed that I always had contractions in the evening after taking my calcium supplement so I started taking it earlier in the day and spreading out the dosage. We mentioned this to Dr. Tabor who said we might be onto something since they use magnesium as a calcium blocker to stop premature contractions. Good observation, George!

After our last appointment, we knew we’d have to keep a close eye on tiny Sydney, but we didn’t know how much. Today she didn’t get the best report card. Her amniotic fluid levels are slightly low, which is causing some pressure on her umbilical cord and a lower heart rate than her siblings. What bothers me is that there isn’t really a treatment for this, just careful watching (and praying). I read that hydration can help so I will force some more fluids down even though I already drink a ton of water (George is excellent about keeping track of my water consumption and reprimanding me if I get behind). Extra fluids can’t hurt.

Dr. Tabor will continue to watch Sydney very closely to make sure conditions do not decline. If they do, all of the babies will have to be delivered much earlier than we would like. Of course with quads we have always known they would be premature, but ideally they would be delivered at 30-34 weeks. We are at 24 weeks now, which is the first point of viability. Babies born at 24 weeks have about a 50% chance of survival and the NICU could help their odds. While viability is a milestone, we do NOT want our babies arriving now. At 26 weeks, the survival rate jumps up to 80%, which is better but not great. However, babies born after 28 weeks have a 95% survival rate. Dr. Tabor said he would feel comfortable if we could make it to 28 weeks at least. This is all very scary still.

I am doing my best not to worry too much and remember the positives:

1. Rylin, Mason, and Harper are all doing well

2. my vitals continue to be good

3. while Sydney’s heart rate is lower than her siblings, it is still 140 bpm and that is within the normal range (the other three are at about 150 bpm)

4. Dr. Tabor said that Sydney is very active, which is a great sign

5. Dr. Tabor said he is not terribly concerned, he is just watching carefully. I know that if he were very concerned he would have admitted me today rather than making an appointment for next week. I trust him and know that he knows what is best for the babies.

Since prayer is one of the only treatments we have, please pray that Sydney’s conditions are stable and we do not need to deliver prior to 28 weeks. Also, pray that I stay calm! I do not need to work myself up about this. This may mean I will be taking LOTS more baths!



24 weeks, 2 days

House Arrest

Today started off with a bang! I spotted a very tiny bit this morning, which was slightly alarming. While George wasn’t concerned, I called Dr. Tabor to check in about it. He said, “Go to maternal observation at the hospital immediately”. Dr. Tabor doesn’t get worked up about things so if he says “don’t worry”, I don’t. However, the words “hospital immediately” are generally cause for concern. So George and I threw a “go bag” together and headed out to the hospital. We decided that since it was now our second run to the hospital we should have a better plan for the “go bag”, and make sure both cars always have gas (once again, George had the van in the red).

We went through all the check in business at hospital and they had me in a gown and hooked up to the Toco monitor like before. I wasn’t having contractions, which was great news. My cervix was also fine and we got a peek at the babies who were all happy as clams. YEAH! Dr. Bleich noticed that Rylin’s placenta is just barely touching the cervix so that could have been the cause of the spotting. However, because of this scare, my bed rest just got significantly more strict. I am to stay either in bed or on the couch for the day unless I need to go to the restroom or shower. No getting up to grab snacks in the kitchen, going in the nurseries, and definitely no trips to Target even with a power chair. George did his best to set up a good post in our bedroom in an effort to make it easy for me. He brought my office fridge and microwave beside my bed so snacks are about three feet away. I also have my laptop, i pad, books, notes, and credit card (for online shopping of course) on my bedside table. It’s not a bad set up by any means. I can do this! My goal is to stay out of the hospital as long as possible and of course keep from delivering before 30 weeks. (Pray for that please).



23 weeks, 2 days

Emotional much?

It is official, my hormones are in overdrive and I am an emotional roller coaster these days.  Here’s how the past two days have gone for me:

Yesterday we had our 20 week check up and it was GREAT!!!  Again, the babies are all the right size with good fluids.  Of course Rylin has not yet decided to head further north, but it’s okay.  I’m thinking she got a bit of the stubborn gene.  My vitals were also good.  I managed to hold off on another week of bed rest.  I left feeling very confident.

About 9:30 last night, less than four hours from my appointment, I started having Braxton Hicks contractions.  They weren’t painful, but my stomach was absolutely tightening.  This of course made me feel anxious and not so great.  I phoned a few friends and then decided to call the on-call doctor.  She said to drink water/ lay on my left side and if the continued for 30 more minutes to head to the hospital.  UGH!  She also thought my anxiety might be making them worse so I opted for a warm bath.  It helped, the contractions stopped and I was able to get to bed.  Okay, disaster averted.

This morning started off as usual with the rush hour nightmare that is my commute, but there was also a wreck where two highways merge so it was completely gridlocked.  I knew better than to get on the highway when I saw the sea of red taillights so I opted to stay on the service road and take some back roads.  The only problem was I wasn’t the only one with this brilliant idea.  The stop and go of the commute made me queasy so I felt rotten by the time I got into the building (I possibly had a green tinge to my face too).  What should have taken about 25 minutes took well over an hour.  I immediately headed to the  school nurse (she was a high-risk OB nurse before coming to the school system) to ask her about how to correctly monitor contractions and what to look for.  She immediately noticed I felt bad and naturally inquired.  Of course, this set me off into a crying spell for no apparent reason.  Sweet Nurse Patty sent me to my office with a blanket and literally made me rest on my side eating ice chips to calm me and settle my stomach.  However, throughout the day when certain people would stop in or I would start talking about something (not sad), tears would start flowing for no reason.  But, the good news is that I did survive the day and managed to finish a report!


This picture really doesn’t fully capture the gridlock fun I experienced, but it’s an idea. ARGH!!!!

This evening when I got home, George was very thoughtful and made Chex mix for me.  That was the perfect way to wrap up an overly emotional day for me!  However, as he was making the Chex mix, I decided to catch up with my emails and blog reading.  Of course, someone posted a You Tube video about a man who was a disabled veteran who was told he could never walk again. As I watched videos of him learning to walk again and then practice yoga, tears streamed down my cheeks!  However, as I bawled, I simultaneously laughed at myself!  I knew it was silly, but could not stop either.  It is like a lucid dream, so weird.  I managed to get it together and enjoy watching some Big Bang Theory with George as I stuffed my face with Chex Mix.

He has the keys to my heart!

George is so smart…he suggested that I head to work extra early to beat rush hour and leave early to get home before rush hour hits again.  Why didn’t I think of that???  So, here’s to a better day tomorrow perhaps with less gridlock.  Just maybe…I’ll be able to control my emotions.



18 weeks and Still Truckin’

This week we saw Dr. Tabor for our 18 week check up.  All of the babies measured the correct size and had good fluid levels.  Baby A is settled a little bit too low, which puts me at risk of placenta previa.  However, Dr. Tabor thinks she may move up in the next few weeks so he is not concerned at this point.  If she doesn’t find a way to head north, I would be put on bed rest due to a risk of bleeding. Placenta previa also means a c-section is necessary, but that would happen for us anyways so it doesn’t make a difference in that regard.

Dr. Tabor seemed surprised at how well I am doing.  After my exam he said, “hmmm”, which was a bit confusing.  I asked what he meant and he said, “it looks good”.  He said my blood pressure was “rocking” (good), and I have no swelling so no bed rest!  I’ve been granted another week of freedom.  I don’t want to take advantage of my freedom though.  I try to take it as easy as possible and not over do (this can be hard for me sometimes, but totally is worth it!)




Remaining Gender Neutral

Our appointment with Dr. Tabor went well today.  We only waited about 15 minutes, which was great!  Last time the wait was 90 minutes.  All four of the babies have grown and he said their fluids were good, no organs were herniated, their nuchal folds were normal, and my cervix was fine.  Everything checked out perfectly!  The ultrasound was pretty cool today; we could see the brain hemispheres!  However….no news on genders yet.  No one was in the right position and it is still on the early side.  So everything is still gender neutral for now.  We go back in a week and a half and Dr. Tabor is certain he will be able to determine genders then.  I’m looking forward to that!  I’m ready to pick nursery colors, and names.






English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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While George and I have known we are expecting quads for over seven weeks, last week was the time we told all of our extended family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.  It has been an amazing week sharing the news.  I only wish I had a camera to capture all the facial expressions.  Better yet, video footage.  It would be a hysterical you tube montage! Reactions ranged from excitement, amazement, shock, and I think even some fear.  My favorite reaction was when a co-worker hugged me because she could see I am expecting, but literally jumped back three feet when she heard it was four.  It was almost as if having quads were contagious. One principal squealed in delight.  It was priceless.

The funniest thing was what my boss did.  I told him the day before we went on spring break, but waited until after spring break to tell everyone else.  He asked if it was a secret and I said “no”.  I was thinking he might mention it to our secretaries or other people in the administration office.  However, I did not expect the “Welcome Back” email he sent to our department the Monday we returned.  The memo read:

“Good Morning!

Hope everyone got in some good relaxation time last week. It’s been a busy spring break for some, however.

Amber told be Friday before the break that she is expecting and I’m sure she spent time getting ready.

Danny had a baby girl Friday.  Her name is “Zoey Elizabeth.” Mom and baby are fine.

Amber is pregnant.

Claire emailed me Friday to say her doctor scheduled her delivery for today. No distress but thought it wise to do.

Amber is expecting.

So, I hope all is well with you. We’re very happy for Danny and Claire.

And I should mention Amber is expecting a fourth time, since they are quadruplets!”

When I read the memo, I literally wanted to crawl under my desk.  I’m not a person who feels comfortable in the spotlight and this certainly was like putting a high-powered spotlight on me.  I didn’t get much work done that day because my phone exploded with calls and texts, and my email kept pinging.  Most people said when they read the memo they thought our boss had really lost it this time and forgot what he typed.  Too funny!  I also got quite a few office visitors that day, as my office mate kept sending people in saying I needed to meet with them.  When our assistant principal came in he was panicked that something crazy happened with a student.  He seemed relieved to find out it was just news that I am expecting quads (no big deal ya’ know).

It has been fun sharing this news with everyone, but I have really appreciated the warm, supportive response we have received.  Everyone seems to share our joy and many people have offered to help in some way or another.  I think I should start taking names of volunteers now….just in case they forget.  So far I have baby rockers, feeders, launderers, cooks, and housekeepers- not bad!

One of my schools has already organized a shower as well.  They are all so sweet and excited about being a school where there are quads on the way.



A girl holds The Washington Post of Monday, Ju...

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