In 2017, my husband and I had been married for 4 years. We never thought we wanted children, but something happened that year and we decided to go for it. Within a month of stopping birth control, I became pregnant. Before taking a pregnancy test, I knew I was pregnant, I felt it. After the doctor confirmed the test was correct, we shared the news with family and friends. We were excited about becoming parents and having a baby.
However, sharing that news was a mistake because I did not realize at the age of 37 I was at risk of having a miscarriage. To be honest I did not know anything about miscarriages. A taboo topic that no one speaks about, nor had anyone told me about. Very early on into my pregnancy, I stopped getting morning sickness and started spotting. When we went in for a checkup to hear the baby’s heartbeat, it was not there. Due to the complications that I had, I was required to have a dilation and curettage procedure (D&C) in order to terminate the pregnancy.
I know I am not the only woman who has miscarried. I know there are several woman who have and know the pain and grief that you experience. To be honest there are no words to describe what it feels like and what it does to your body. The grief that came with losing a baby was hard for me to process. Grief exposed raw emotions I had never felt before and as a woman. I felt like I was failure for miscarrying. I knew that it was not my fault, and miscarrying was out of my control. However knowing that truth, I still felt like I did something wrong. I went into a state of depression for several months. Finally, one day I knew I had to do something for myself to get out of this dark place and return to the woman that I was.
In high school I ran track and as an adult I did the occasionally 5K or 10K. The furthest distance I ran was a half marathon. I remember how proud I was of that. I decided the only way to get out of my depression was to train for my first marathon. My husband agreed and was my number one supporter of this idea. He knew that I could do it, and he planned to cheer me on through it all. I started training for the 2018 Colfax Marathon. I knew that if could train and run the Colfax Marathon it would help me heal and get out of my depression.
As I trained for my first marathon, I became stronger physically and emotionally. After completing my first long training run, I signed up for another race. A race I had always wanted to try but always felt intimidated by because it was held in Leadville, Colorado. Somehow, I knew that if I could run my first marathon I could tackle a 20K trail race in Leadville.
When I ran the Colfax Marathon at one point during the race, I cried. I cried because my body could endure, it could race, and I could run. Maybe I could not have a baby, but I could run. Two weeks later, I ran that trail race in Leadville and I cried again. This time I cried because of the overwhelming beauty of the trail. Being in nature and being free was the healing I truly needed. Not just running, but running in the mountains. I learned to appreciate the surroundings and the simplicity and beauty of life. That race turned me into a trail runner and a Trail Sister. That race brought me healing and gave me a life full of new adventure and excitement. A life ever changing and challenging. A life that astounds me each time I explore a new mountain or a new trail.
My husband and I may never have a baby. That is okay. I have made my peace with it. When I completed my first 50K this past year, he was there to crew me and support me. He knows that I have found something that has given me life again. Had I never trained for that marathon, I would have never felt strong enough to give trail running a try. They say things happen for a reason. We may never know why life unfolds the way it does. However, due to my tragedy I have found myself surrounded by the beauty of nature doing something I love, running. I have found a community of runners who support one another on the trail and who share the love of nature.
I only hope sharing my experience and tragedy can help other women who have experienced the same thing. It is okay to feel however you want to about your miscarriage. It is a very personal experience and no one can tell you how to feel. It is not fair, and I am sorry that it happened to you. For any of my sisters that have experienced a miscarriage, my hope is that you too can someday find peace. I will always mourn the life that could have been. However, I will always be thankful for what running has taught me about myself and what the trails continue to show me. With the love and support of my husband, family and friends, I have all I need. When I am running the tree line, I know how fortunate and lucky I am regardless of my tragedy.