Rachel Kile, 29, of Wichita, KS, just gave birth to her third child six weeks ago. As a medical insurance coder, who also has a 9-year-old and a 2-year-old, Kile takes care of her family of four on a salary of less than $40,000.
It was three-and-a-half years ago when the single mother found out she had lost what would have then been her second child, 10 weeks into her pregnancy.
"I had spent the day at a block party being held by my church," Kile told POPSUGAR. "After I went to bed that night, I woke up at 2 or 3 in the morning and saw blood and immediately went to the ER."
Kile was forced to wait three to four hours, she said, before she could get in for an ultrasound that showed her baby had stopped growing at six weeks. To be completely sure, Kile said she was told to come back in two days to recheck her hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels, which is a hormone produced by the placenta in a pregnant woman. And on May 4, 2016, which also happens to be Kile's birthday, it was confirmed she'd had a miscarriage.
Kile had what's called an incomplete miscarriage, meaning not all of the tissue from her pregnancy was expelled from her body. When this happens, doctors can sometimes give the patient the option of waiting to see if it will happen on its own or having a D&C procedure to remove the remaining tissue from inside the uterus.
Kile decided to have the procedure, which cost about $700 out of pocket because she had just met her employer-provided insurance deductible, which she was thankful for. But she said there was no option for emotional support through her insurance.
"If there was, I didn't know about it," Kile said.
Kile had used up all of her five paid days off from work, so she had to have the procedure on a Thursday and be back at work the following Monday because she couldn't afford to take more than two days off without pay.
"Going back to work so fast, it kind of felt like nobody really cared and it was shoved under the rug, because no one wanted to talk about it," Kile said.
"It was hard when I would see women come in and ask for pregnancy tests. And I coded radiology for insurance claims, so that meant I had to read ultrasounds from expecting mothers. That was really hard."
There was no option to avoid those tasks because only two people knew how to code radiology procedures, Kile said, and those responsibilities had to be split between the two of them
"Everyone at work knew what I was going through, too, because I had just announced I was pregnant," Kile said. "I did feel like my coworkers understood my emotional pain, though."
Then, just four months later, Kile got pregnant again. That child — her rainbow baby — was born on April 21, 2017, just two weeks shy of the anniversary of her loss. (A rainbow baby is how people often refer to an infant born after a pregnancy loss.)
"It was all kind of a blur, and I didn't really get to process the loss or think about it much," Kile said. "I pushed it back in my mind and then tried to just focus on the new pregnancy. But I found I couldn't get attached until I was about 18 weeks along, when I found out [it] was a boy."
Kile said she's had more time to process things now, but that some days her miscarriage experience still doesn't feel real, because she got pregnant again so quickly.
"Some days I think a lot about who the baby would've been, whether I would have had my other two, and if that would have been my one girl."