The following has been written by a dear friend of mine. She suffered in silence through having two miscarriages and is finally ready to share her story. She is not a blogger, just a regular mom, like you and me, who had a story in her heart that needed to get out. Thank you, dear friend, for being brave.
As women, there is a taboo subject we so often don’t discuss – miscarriage. When you are trying to get pregnant and start a family, or maybe you already have a kid or two and are just trying to complete your family, that little plus sign on the stick is the start of all your hopes and dreams and excitement and you already love this little combination of cells that isn’t even a baby you can hold yet. If that little combination of cells somehow doesn’t make it to birth we don’t discuss it, we hide it, we keep silent, we find shame in it. We find ourselves suffering in silence through a miscarriage. Well, that silence and shame stops with me.
Miscarriage happens to 1 in 4 reported pregnancies. Think about how often that is and possibly how often people don’t even know they miscarry. I read somewhere that if your period is late that was probably a miscarriage. It is essentially the body’s way of evicting a set of cells that was not going to be a healthy baby, a solid continuation of the species. We dismiss it with rational explanations…whatever.
This is not a rational event. Why in the hell didn’t I know how real and often the possibility of miscarriage was? I want a baby so why isn’t this working? All the teenagers in the world seem to be able to sneeze and get pregnant; I hate them. It seems like we are all too ready to talk about the infertility process and the eggs and zygotes and embarrassing husband appointments of it all, but miscarriage becomes “it which shall not be named”. I don’t know why that is exactly except that it is so personal.
It makes you feel broken.
After that plus sign your heart grows a whole other room just for this little person. Then sometimes days, sometimes weeks, and sadly in some cases even months later, your heart shatters. You are going to the bathroom like normal and there’s blood. You start googling blood while pregnant. You try to convince yourself it is really just brown and probably just spotting. You put a pad on and check it every hour and you know, it’s too much. It’s over. You go to the Dr. and they prescribe a heavy pain killer because while the emotional pain is terrible your body goes ahead and rebels and the cramps are awful. A terrible reminder that you are losing your hope for the future.
Then, maybe you have a friend that has a baby the same day, or another friend that finds out its twins. You are so happy for them. Your heart swells and breaks all at the same time. Suddenly you see pregnant people everywhere. You’ll know at least two other people that will have babies due around the same time yours would’ve been. You’ll hate them just a little while still being happy for them (and you are truly happy for them). It’s an odd place to be.
You start to ask yourself irrational questions. What did I do? What should I have done differently? Is it because I drank Diet soda or stayed up too late, or slept too much or not enough? Was it because I ate this or didn’t eat that? Is it because I’m too fat or too thin? Is it because I’m a terrible person and this is Kharma for all the crap I did? Your partner in life wants to hold you and help you and make it better and they can’t. You rail against the unfairness of it all.
Then the tricky part comes. Did you already tell people? Will you have to correct them when they ask how the baby is doing? Did no one know yet? Can you keep this secret to yourself (and your spouse)? Do you reach out for support or hide because, after all, you are broken? Do months and years go by while you try to get pregnant, get pregnant again then lose that baby too? Do you discover you haven’t spent time with friends, called anyone, gone to do normal meetings, rehearsals, parties with people you like because well they might know. Later you wonder, did anyone notice you stopped participating in life, that years happened where you just didn’t engage?
Maybe you are a lucky person and you already have one child and this is really the second attempt. So two years goes by while you try to have another only to miscarry again. You have withdrawn from all things not connected to trying to have another kid. Does your child know? Have you withdrawn there also? When/If you finally get pregnant are you concerned that you are so fragile you won’t even pick up your child anymore? I did.
What is really unfortunate is that there are so many children out there just looking for a family, but somehow once you miscarry this need to have a baby from your body becomes all-consuming and you become blind to any other option. Then you visit your doctor(s) and that Goddamn question is always there: how many pregnancies, how many births. You want to say 6000 and 0 you @#*($) @#)hole, but you know somewhere rationally it isn’t a condemnation of you as a human but just medically significant. Years later I still cringe at that question and mourn the loss of two pregnancies.
I suppose all this is to say because we don’t talk about it, we are so unprepared for it. So I’m talking about it. It sucks, it happens. It’s maddening and heartbreaking. Miscarriage is common, be informed. You aren’t alone and you certainly aren’t to blame. You didn’t do anything wrong. You aren’t being paid back for some perceived ill you put in the world and you don’t have to suffer in silence. It’s just life and sometimes life stops, but it begins again if you let it. Talk to the people you know, odds are one of them has had the same experience. Somehow knowing you aren’t alone in the world helps a little and maybe, just maybe life can begin again.