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Janelle's Journey

Apr. 17, 2024 9:55 am

"Nobody prepares you for the thief miscarriage is. I feel if I can share my story, it might help somebody else from suffering alone, because they're not alone."

Janelle took a deep breath, paused, and then apologized.

"I'm sorry if I cry."

And then she began:

It was my first pregnancy, June of 2021. We had our first appointment. I felt great. They said everything looked great. Go ahead, tell the world, we're so excited for you. And then just shy of 12 weeks we miscarried.

And there was no reason for it.

We had no bleeding or anything up until that point. I remember clearly it was a Sunday morning when I first noticed some bleeding, then called on Monday. They got me in as soon as possible. Dr. Swift was in surgery that day when we found out our baby didn't have a heartbeat. While still trying to process the loss of our baby the Dr. gave us all of our options, which is kind of overwhelming. My husband and I went home and I decided on a D&C. That day was a whirlwind as my appointment was at 8:30am and I was at the hospital for the D&C at 1:30pm.

While we were in the pre-op room for the D&C, Dr. Swift came in. You could see the genuine shock and concern on her face. She was as surprised as we were, as a couple weeks prior everything was great. She said she wanted to do some genetic testing on our baby if we were okay with it. She said, 'I don't understand why this happened. I want to have peace of mind just as much as you do. Would you be okay if we did that?'

I said yes.

And she said, 'We've got two options: we can either run the genetic testing through the hospital, which will cost you an arm and a leg, or, if you're okay with it, I'll run back to my office and grab one of our kits and have it sent out this afternoon.' So she ran from the pre-op room all the way back to the clinic to get a DNA testing kit for me and my husband. I know it's not about money, but, yes, it is about money. Because we were looking at thousands of dollars' worth of medical bills had she not done that for us. She cared enough to run back all the way to her clinic to get this testing kit and came all the way back.

She didn't have to do that. 

I had the D&C in August of 2021; everything went well. Then at my follow up appointment Dr. Swift shared the results of the genetic testing: there was nothing wrong with our baby. It was perfectly healthy. So they don't know why it happened to us. But it did. Like it does to many. Because of that Dr. Swift wanted to do some other testing, with my permission. She said, 'I want to eliminate if you have a blood clotting disorder or some underlying condition that we don't normally check for with low risk pregnancy.'

There's wasn't really a reason to expect a miscarriage to happen. I wasn't high risk. I had no underlying conditions. I was 29 at the time; I was a fit, healthy person, so it left my husband and me heartbroken and dumbfounded. But Dr. Swift had a game plan. 'Here's what we're going to do for when you get pregnant the next time, just to make sure that we've ruled out everything that we can control on our end.'

She didn't have to do that, but she cares so much for her patients.

I know people whose doctors dismissed them with a 'Yep, you had a miscarriage; happens to one in four,' and then they expect their patients to just go about their day. Swift isn't like that; she wanted to make sure that we covered all of our bases so that my husband and I could have our family.

My miscarriage left this empty, hollow person for a long time. And to this day I still think about when we found out our first baby would have been a girl. Who would she be today? Would she look like me or would she look like her daddy? Would she have my personality? Or his? Also, a dear friend who's a photographer created a beautiful photo shoot to tell my stepson that he was going to be a big brother. We had all this excitement bursting within us, so we told the world and right after we told the world we lost her. And then we had to tell my stepson he wasn't going to be a big brother anymore because for reasons unknown to us God needed our baby . . . 


After trying for almost a whole year and not succeeding, we finally got pregnant again. As soon as they found out I was pregnant, Women's Care was like, 'We want you to come in. We want to monitor your levels, make sure everything is progressing the way that it needs to.' They were with me every step of the way. If I had any questions, I never hesitated to call because Dr. Swift and her team never treated me like I was a burden. It was always, 'We've got room for you. Let's get you in and get you taken care of.'

I was induced two weeks early because I experienced a heavier amount of bleeding than I should have. I had my 38 week check up on December 28, 2022. I also was exhausted and very fatigued. I had to drag myself to do every little thing. Something was not right. And then the bleeding got worse. I was in the following day, December 29, to monitor for contractions. Still bleeding. 

Swift said we were going to get the baby out now.

The induction process went really smooth and I progressed nicely. Labor started at around 2:00pm. The whole time I was in labor Dr. Swift came in and checked on me. Our daughter was born at 7:43pm. She was full of life right from the start and has continued to develop that little personality (she's 15 months old this week).

Her name is Wilomena. I call her Mena. My stepson calls her Wilo. My husband calls her Lolo. She loves our pets and her brother is the light of her life.

And she is the light of ours.


I'm currently pregnant now with our second child. We've been quiet about it just like with Wilomena, but I think sharing my experience at this time is important. I can tell you every single day of my life, even with my daughter and now with this pregnancy, miscarriage just sits there in the back of your mind and robs a lot of joy and happiness that you should be feeling. Because there's always that what if.

What if I lose this one too?

The beginning part of my pregnancy hasn't been easy. I had bleeding once again and those very same thoughts were present. But we've had a few extra appointments and ultrasounds. We're at 15 weeks now and the baby is healthy and developing appropriately. As I said, nobody prepares you for the thief miscarriage is. I'd like to say I'm fully healed, but part of that grief is always in your heart.

If sharing my story can help one person not suffer in silence, I think that would be wonderful.

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