5 Things I Wish I Would’ve Known When Having a Miscarriage | You didn’t do anything to cause this. You can be older or younger. Black or white. Fit or fat. Rich or poor. Anyone can have a pregnancy loss. Loss doesn’t discriminate. I remember feeling like I could never win the lottery, and then I was the less than 1% who had back to back miscarriages.
If you haven’t had a loss yourself, chances are you know someone who has. It’s that common. I had two healthy children at the time. “Easy pregnancies”. I didn’t even know that secondary infertility was a thing. It wasn’t the sushi, or the chai latte, or the cigarette, or the glass of wine that you had before you knew you were pregnant.
Many are a part of this unfortunate club that none of us wants to be in- mothers who have felt the fullness of their womb relieve itself from their body. Trying to have a baby is hands down the most brave thing many of us have ever and will ever do. Pregnancy after loss is like playing Russian Roulette. You barely can exhale the entire time because the future is so uncertain. It’s harder to celebrate the milestones because you don’t ever really feel safe to. With my 3rd child, I found balance and tried to celebrate each day- because I knew that every moment brought me closer to having him in my arms.
I have had as many miscarriages as I have children. Growing up and yearning for the days of motherhood, I never contemplated pregnancy loss. I didn’t even know it existed. To me everyone talked about getting pregnant but no one that I knew of had ever had a stillbirth or a miscarriage. At least no one ever said it out loud. It hadn’t been spoken into existence and because of that lack of normalization, I remember feeling guilty and angry. And devastated. When it first happened to me, I felt alone. I remember the first sign. I didn’t think anything of it but I later found out that was the beginning of the end. That fear of going to the bathroom while pregnant was palpable. Seeing blood while pregnant- plagued me. No one told me what to expect. No one told me about the physical and emotional pain I would experience. No one told me how lonely the entire process of pregnancy loss would feel. No one told me that 1 in 4 confirmed pregnancies will end in loss. No one told me how painful it would be to lose a part of myself I’d never known.
Finding support from your family, friends and healthcare providers is an integral part of your healing. The pain of pregnancy loss is immeasurable, but you are not alone. These are the things I wish I would’ve known when I had my first miscarriage.
- IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT.
- YOU AND YOUR PARTNER WILL GRIEVE DIFFERENTLY.
Emotional output is personal. Everyone processes in their own way. Sometimes partners feel that miscarriage brings them closer together, while others may feel that it has torn them apart. It is important to give space for your partner to respond to their grief in a way that honors their journey to healing. It may be frustrating to see them acting differently than you feel after having a pregnancy loss. Continue to talk with each other and support each other throughout the healing process.
- YOU MAY STILL FEEL PREGNANT
Many birthing people are faced with the awful conundrum of feeling pregnant even though they are no longer pregnant anymore. This is largely due to the hormones that fostered fetal growth in your womb in the first place. This personally was the hardest for me to endure. Pregnancy symptoms persisted for weeks after my first miscarriage. In fact, they grew stronger before they slowly desisted.
- YOU HAVE OPTIONS (& RIGHTS)
Some people choose to have a natural miscarriage. Others opt for surgical or medical miscarriage interventions. It is your right to choose. Some care providers have options for you to bury or cremate the remains of your baby.You should be given time to decide this. Talk with your care provider about the best and safest option for your pregnancy.
- IT’S OKAY TO BE SCARED TO TRY AGAIN
And its also okay to be excited! Not all people will react with grief after having a pregnancy loss and that is okay. Pregnancy after loss can elicit a wide range of emotions. Take each day at a time and try to celebrate every moment!