My experience is something 1 in every 4 pregnant women go through. In July, after trying for what seems like forever, I found out I was pregnant. At first I was in shock as I didn’t think it would happen again (it took us 5 years to fall pregnant with my daughter). Then followed immense happiness and we started to imagine what the future would be like with another little one. Everything was just as it was meant to be, I felt so blessed and we were excited, my daughter has wanted a sibling for years and I couldn’t wait to tell her, but we decided to wait until after the 12 week scan before we told her. I was so glad we waited, because in August I had a miscarriage, and I was heartbroken.
It was such a dark time for me, nothing made sense. When a woman has a miscarriage, she always feels like its her fault. I completely blamed myself and felt I must’ve done something wrong, given my positive first checkup. Telling my husband (who was also ecstatic about the pregnancy) was the hardest thing I have had to do, and the guilt I felt consumed me. The truth is 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and no-one will ever know why it happened or if there was anything that could’ve been done differently to change the outcome. But when you’re going through it, nothing makes sense and the anger and upset you feel is unbearable, even writing this now has bought up emotions I thought I had dealt with, but the hurt never really goes away, you just find a way to deal with the loss and try to move on. This isn’t my first miscarriage. The last one was when I was 22 years old – I was 14 weeks pregnant at the time and wasn’t sure what I wanted until it happened, so whilst it was hard at the time, I don’t think I dealt with the emotions and just buried them. This miscarriage bought all the past hurt and emotions to the surface and I mourned for the 17 year old child I could’ve had today and for the baby I just lost. The anger took over, I was angry at god for letting it happen again and I was angry at the women who were currently pregnant. Its unfair! Why can they be blessed but I can’t? I must’ve done something to deserve this? These are the kind of irrational thoughts that went through my mind, and goes through the mind of almost every woman who has experienced miscarriage.
For me my husband was my rock, even though he was going through the heartbreak of the loss too, he understood I needed to vent and be angry, and to let my feelings out. My family and friends have been amazing and I honestly believe the support was vital. At first, when I started sharing my story outside my support unit, it felt like it happened to someone else and I was narrating their story. But the support from people has been overwhelming and being heard initiated my healing process.
I now understand that all the feelings I felt are completely normal, but what I don’t understand is why the subject of miscarriage is still taboo? Its such a common tragedy and affects some many women and couples, but people don’t talk about it which makes me sad. People suffer in silence when there is absolutely no need. This made me want to share my story more, and the more I talk about it now, the more I heal and feel I can help others. Since initially sharing my story, I have been contacted by so many colleagues who have been affected by miscarriage, both men and women. We must remember that whilst this happens to women, men are also affected, but they feel their pain pales in comparison to their partners. This isn’t true as the loss has been suffered by both parties, so whilst my husband was my rock, I then became his. He shared his feelings of not being able to make this better for me – my husband is a fixer (as most men are) and when he couldn’t ‘fix’ this for me he felt helpless. I listened as he talked and shared his own anger at not being able to take care of me, somehow thinking if he had looked after me better then maybe this wouldn’t have happened. This was an eye opener for me as I thought the guilt was mine to feel, not his. The truth is I didn’t know what he was feeling as I was so consumed by my own demons.
I know I’m rambling but the point I’m trying to make is that talking helped me and people didn’t look at me like this is an experience I should be ashamed of (which was another fear I had). Talking also helped my partner in knowing that he isn’t alone in this experience. Many couples go through their pain alone, not wanting to share in fear of upsetting the other. We have to feel what we feel, its what we need to heal. If we deny and bury our feelings, they just fester and whilst for me it caused me pain to deal with those feelings, it was a process I needed to go through, but many don’t and carry the pain inside. Its a horrendous experience to go through but I just want people to know they are not alone. Thank you for allowing me to share 🙂