Talking about miscarriage

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When I think of my miscarriage 19 moths ago, I think of how lucky I was.

Lucky isn’t necessarily the right word to use when you’re bleeding, disappointed and upset about “what was to be”, but it was what I felt nonetheless.

It could’ve been worse. It could’ve been my first baby, my first experience with pregnancy. It could’ve been totally unexpected. I could’ve undergone a medical procedure to rid me of the unviable foetus.

But as it turned out I lost the pregnancy naturally, after weeks of ‘uncertainty’. I knew it was coming. I’d even argued with my husband in the early stages of pregnancy; it didn’t feel right. I wasn’t tired enough, sick enough.

We had scans; there was no heartbeat. I prepared myself for the emptiness on the ultrasound screen and held back tears when my fears were confirmed.

But I was lucky.

It was early. There were no fingers or toes, just a hole where something should’ve been. I had a healthy, vibrant one-year-old waiting for me at home, ready to burrow into my chest and ease the hurt I was feeling at the time.

We left the obstetrician’s office and headed for a nearby cafe, where I promptly ordered a medium-rare steak and healthy glass of red, and texted family and friends the news that I was no longer expecting.

And then we got on with life.

We finished fixing up our house and sold it. We moved to my mum’s and within another six weeks we moved into our new house. That same weekend I found out I was pregnant for a third time, a healthy pregnancy that resulted in my second daughter.

The miscarriage, while upsetting and unpleasant, had been a thing of the past – until I decided to head to a mate’s for a psychic party recently.

Regardless of what I thought may or may not happen at the party, the situation forced my husband and I to discuss the loss: did a baby ever exist? How do we feel about that? Had we really dealt with it?

We agreed: the “baby” never had a heartbeat. It was nothing more than a missed opportunity.

We hadn’t suffered like the couples who had felt their unborn babies move, who had rejoiced at their magnificence at a 19-week scan.  We never speculated about the sex or the name.

So post-miscarriage, we just didn’t talk about it much together. Instead we spoke about it openly with family and friends – we weren’t about to hide it or pretend it never happened –  and we were heartened by the support and stories they shared.

As it turns out, around one in four known pregnancies in Australia end in miscarriage.

I found this staggering considering 14 children have been born into my extended family in the past four years, and mine was the only loss. Apparently we’re luckier than most.

The more we spoke of it to others, the more we discovered acquaintances, friends of friends and colleagues had suffered miscarriages. Each dealt with the loss in their own way and many did as we did and went on to have successful pregnancies.

I’ve always been thankful that I shared my experience and others chose to share theirs with me.  And while I respect some peoples’ need to grieve privately, I feel awful that many choose to suffer in silence.

Have you suffered a loss? Should miscarriage be discussed more openly? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.

If you have suffered a loss and need support click here or here.

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Comments

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have had three miscarriages myself. They were pretty early, though still heart-breaking. I spoke with my family about it but grieved pretty much alone. I wish I had beenableto be part of a support group of other women who’d gone through one (or more).
    Great post. 🙂

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    • Thanks Valerie. I’m terribly sorry you’ve had to go through that three times, you must be an awfully strong women for it! Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

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      • Well, having had three healthy children as well has kept me sane. I don’t think I could have JUST had miscarriages and been ok…but, see, the Lord knew that! 😀

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      • I know what you mean (though kids do a good job of driving us insane at times, too – as thankful as we are to have them). All the best to you and your family.

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  2. I’m sorry for your loss 😦 We lost our second child during first trimester, and the birth of four beautiful rainbow babies in the 8 years since has soothed my soul yet not quite filled the hole where she should be.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] remember the aching hole my miscarriage left in my body and soul. I remember the crushing desperation to be pregnant again. And yet I […]

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