Miscarriage – the one word that brings with it a flood of emotions for those who have experienced it as well as those who haven’t. Those of us who have personally experienced the heartbreak of having a miscarriage can have the wind knocked out of us by simply thinking of the word. For those who have yet to experience a miscarriage they are instantly filled with dread and wish with all their might that they will never have to experience one in their lifetime.
Chances are you have had one or you know someone who has. And dealing with the aftermath is heartbreaking.
I won’t go into the nitty gritty of what having an actual miscarriage is like, because I guarantee those of you who have had one (or more) know exactly what happens in graphic detail and you will never forget. Each one is different in it’s own way, much like pregnancy is. What I WILL say is that no matter how you miscarry, whether it’s early on or further into a pregnancy, the grief felt is universal. The loss and the mourning that takes place afterwords is felt by all. Because we are mourning our babies, the promise of our child. The second we find out we are pregnant it is not just a foetus, it is our baby and instantly becomes the love of our life. So when the life of that love is cut short, we mourn the loss in our own way. And we never forget. We may get on with life, but we NEVER forget.
We all deal with miscarriage in our own way. Some of us choose to keep it to ourselves and mourn privately, some choose to share it with others so they can process their loss vocally.
Your loss is real, it’s normal and healthy to mourn the loss of your baby. Take all the time you need to recover, whether it’s a month, a year or a decade. There is no “right” way to deal with it.
I’m sure many of you have been advised by a health professional or a well meaning loved one that ‘it was meant to be’ and it ‘happened for a reason’. And yes logically that may be the case, but it doesn’t lessen the impact of the loss and it is perfectly normal to throw logic out the window and completely ignore it – because knowing that it ‘happened for a reason’ doesn’t mean a thing to you right now.
Miscarriage. A group that many of us are in yet one we desperately wish we weren’t a part of. But in saying that, it means we aren’t alone. We have the chance to be there for one another, to empathise and mourn with others. We can support each other should it happen again, or be there for those who have experienced it for the first time.
For those who prefer to mourn privately, I hope that reading this brings you some comfort. I hope you know that whatever you feel it is normal. It is ok to be utterly devastated and incapacitated by grief and to avoid pregnancy because you are too scared to experience this loss again. It is also ok to be disappointed yet determined to try again as soon as you can.
For those who heal by sharing their stories I hope you feel free to share your story here with us, so those reading this post can relate to your personal story of healing, and take comfort in knowing that we are all here if need be.
So to begin the thread, I will share my personal experience with miscarriage.
I have had two miscarriages, both after my eldest son. One was very early on in the pregnancy, the other a little further down the track and happened on Father’s Day a couple of years ago. Although both were heartbreaking in their own way, the miscarriage on Father’s Day is the one that still haunts me. Perhaps it was the fact that it was on that particular day. Or because I was a little further along. Or the fact that at that time I had many health issues and I was frustrated with my body for letting me down once again. After that day I had decided I did not want to go through that again. That it was just too heartbreaking. I was truly content and blessed with my one miracle boy.
Eight months down the track when I least expected it – I started feeling a little strange, and I found out quite early on that I was pregnant again. We were so excited! We’d been given another chance! But we were nervous, and we didn’t tell anyone ‘just in case’. Then at 7 weeks I started having the familiar pains and cramps. The pain that brings with it the all consuming fear and dread that it could be happening again.
The doctor feared the worst and informed me I should prepare for the likely chance I had just miscarried again. I was numb. I couldn’t let myself feel any emotion because I knew it would be my undoing. So when the sonographer told me she could not see the baby’s heartbeat I wanted the floor to swallow me up whole. All I could think of was ‘Why?’ ‘Why is this happening to me again?’. Then upon further investigation, there it was, his little heartbeat. And it was strong. My baby boy was fighting for his little life. As each day passed I was grateful that I was one day closer to his due date. I tried my best not to let the toxic fear seep into my mind – the dread that he might not make it. As I passed through each trimester I continued to thank god that he had survived, that he was still fighting. I suffered many complications throughout the pregnancy but we fought through it together, and he was very active – almost as if to give me peace of mind that he was still there and he wasn’t going anywhere.
It wasn’t until he was born and I heard him cry that I realised I had been holding my breath for 9 long months. I was finally able to admit to myself that throughout the pregnancy every trip to the bathroom was met with dread, the dread that perhaps I would see the sign that I was miscarrying again.
Did my history with miscarriage rob me of really enjoying my pregnancies? Perhaps. But it also made me grateful for the little man I had already given birth to, and the little fighter who came into my life afterwards.
Will I ever forget my miscarriages? No. I don’t think anyone really forgets them. Perhaps we move on and we heal, but we will always remember the day, the year, we can calculate how old that child would have been and we still dream of how their little lives would have been within our family unit.
I initially chose to deal with my miscarriages privately with my loved ones, but after having friends and acquaintances sharing their own experiences with me and us all finding comfort in knowing we weren’t alone, I now extend an open invitation to all those who would like to share their experiences. This is a safe place. There is no judgement. There is no right or wrong. It’s just about you and your personal journey.
Love and Hugs,