Well this post is going to be hard to write, and likely to be hard to read for some of you too.
A few years ago I had a miscarriage and only now I’m comfortable about making it public.
I read an article today about photos of stillborn babies, in which they say “Miscarriage in particular doesn’t have any outward representation – you don’t have a funeral, there’s no headstone, maybe no one even knew you were pregnant. It’s a quiet kind of grief and maybe talking about it on a public platform doesn’t feel right”.
That sums up for me why it’s been hard to talk about, most of our family and friends didn’t (and some still don’t) even know we were pregnant, though had started sharing as we had met the ‘magical’ 12 week mark.
Or so we thought!
Turns out I started bleeding the morning of the 12 week scan and was told the baby probably had only made it to 7 or 8 weeks.
I go through what I would call ‘waves’ of grief, when certain things like seeing a baby, or hearing about someone being pregnant, can set off emotions remembering how much I’m missing out on. And of course all the anniversaries like the ‘due date’, and special occasions like Mother’s Day and Christmas are really hard to deal with too, imagining how big they would be toddling around the place.
What helps is knowing I’m not alone. Every time I have mentioned it to anyone, they always know someone else it has happened to. I just read that I am also not alone in this. An article by Haroon Siddique says “The importance of hearing from others who have gone through the same experience was highlighted by a significant minority of those who had suffered a loss in pregnancy. Almost half said they felt less alone when friends disclosed their own miscarriage and 28% stated that celebrities’ disclosure of miscarriage had eased their feelings of isolation.”
And if having one wasn’t hard enough, some of my friends have had several!
I have only had one ‘official’ miscarriage involving midwife and hospital etc, won’t go into the gory details here. However, a few other times I have been a week to 10 days late and have wondered if they were also miscarriages. My doctor has been particularly unhelpful or sympathetic so I no longer ask her anything.
Another reason for writing this post is that just yesterday I was 2 weeks late, (the latest ever without having been confirmed pregnant) and was going to pick up a test on the way home from work. However I started bleeding at lunchtime and the dream was over.
I am feeling particularly upset today as I had just started to let myself think of the ‘what ifs’, the potential due date, how it might affect future things like our overseas trip, etc. And then to come crashing back down to reality was a huge disappointment, and I took it quite hard. I must have had some sort of glazed look as I finished the day of work and burst into tears when I got in my car and tried to text my husband about it. I couldn’t find the words.
So anyway, here are some words about it, hopefully me talking about it will help someone else. And if this happens to you, or someone you know, ask if they want to talk about it, don’t say ‘oh you are young you can keep trying’, and give them chocolates.
Chocolate helps with everything.
And here are some other blog posts you might like to read about it: Scary Mommy, Lipstick and Politics.