Whilst not breastfeeding specific, this is certainly motherhood related, with an estimated 1 in 4 of us experience miscarriage.
However ‘common’ miscarriage might be, it doesn’t stop it being traumatic.
Many diseases are even more common, but treated with the importance and understanding that it deserves.
Miscarriage should be no different.
Every miscarriage matters and every mother (and family) matters.
I’ve experienced my fair share of grief, having lost my father suddenly at a young age, but the grief of miscarriage was something unexpected and unexplainable. Not in the least, because it felt and still feels like a dirty secret I shouldn’t be allowed to share.
Tomorrow it will be 2 years since my 3rd pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I wrote this a few days following my miscarriage and I hope it helps someone who is experiencing their own feelings of loss.
For those needing support, please reach out for this. www.tommys.org might be a good place to start.
My heart is breaking, but it’s a secret.
On Christmas Day I got up at 5am for the 3rd time since midnight to encourage the children back to bed. Once I finally persuaded them that it wasn’t time to get up for the day I went to the bathroom. I peed on a stick and put it in the cupboard.
I wrapped up the test in Christmas paper. I gave it to my husband, an extra Christmas present, it told him we were expecting our 3rd child. We sat in disbelief and smiles, another child, I felt like we were pushing our luck.
Nearly 7 weeks in and it started. I bled with my previous pregnancies, so I hoped perhaps this is just what I do, but I knew by the Monday that this wasn’t just me. I saw the Doctor, but I couldn’t get a scan until the following day. I’d already waited 2 days over the weekend wondering what was happening so initially was upset I had to wait longer. In hindsight this was a blessing. I miscarried that afternoon in the comfort of my own home, alone.
I was frightened. I knew what was happening, but held on to some hope that the pregnancy was still there.
The following morning I knew it was over. My symptoms had vanished overnight and my body felt different. I continued to bleed. The scan confirmed it was over.
6 days since it started, I continue to pass the remainder of my pregnancy. A pregnancy we wanted. A pregnancy we’d been waiting years for. It feels cruel that I have to be continually reminded of this. When will it stop? I left the hospital with no advice. I don’t know what to expect.
We had not told people about the pregnancy as did not want the children to know until the 20 week anomaly scan, once we knew everything was okay. They still don’t know. Once they are old enough to read this, they will be old enough to know.
I don’t know how to feel. I don’t know what to grieve. I don’t know what to tell people, or indeed whether to at all.
I’ve received differing advice and thoughts on it, ranging from taking time to grieve to forgetting it ever happened. I’m still unsure what my take on it is.
What I do know is that I’m exhausted and hurting, in every sense.
Whatever your feelings on miscarriage (did I lose a baby or merely hopes and plans?), the process of miscarrying is traumatic regardless. I still don’t know where to stand with this. I can’t forget it happened, but do I want a grieve a baby, the most painful thing a mother can do? No I don’t.
What I do hate is that it feels like a secret. Grief is private, in our culture at least. I learnt this when my father died. However I wasn’t expected to pretend to those around me that nothing had happened. I could at least tell people what had happened, without feeling like I was doing something wrong by telling them.
I was already concerned what reaction we would receive on having another baby. Would friends say we were crazy? Would family think we were irresponsible? Are we being greedy wanting another after 2 healthy children?
Now I worry what will be the reaction to my losing it. Do you think I’m indulgent writing this (If you do please stop reading!)? What will others think about me sharing it? Whilst this is a public post, I haven’t shared it wider, mostly for fear of what others would think if I did.
I never understood why it was always a secret when people miscarried. I’ve cried for friends when it has happened to them. I don’t know why it should be a secret, but somehow it feels like it should. Why is that?
Should I be ashamed? I question myself, did I do something wrong? Perhaps I shouldn’t have done that spinning class or eaten the cheese. I will never know the answer.
I can’t begin to think about trying again. I range from wanting to be pregnancy again immediately to never wanting to do it again. Possibly for fear of going through this.
Physically I’m exhausted. The simplest things are draining me. I don’t know what to expect or how long it will take to complete. I just want to feel normal again.
I’m empty and my heart is broken, but I don’t know what for. This is the oddest type of grief. Secret, shameful, forbidden, desolate grief.
What I know is we loved that baby, we wanted that baby and we miss that baby. Whether that be the idea of what was to come, or an actual life that had already started in utero. I haven’t processed how I feel about this yet, but my body aches and my heart breaks.
Originally written by me on 19th January 2017 on my Personal Blog, Me and My Lot.