Miscarriage is a traumatic experience and there isn’t enough open conversation about it. Women need to be reassured that they are not alone, that it’s OK to be hurt and upset whatever stage you are, and we need to help their partners cope with the loss too. If only one person reads this I hope they reach out to a friend, a doctor, a family member, an acupuncturist to release their emotions and start to heal.
We got married on NYE 2019 and just before then we had agreed to ‘stop not trying’ so that Christmas was full of love and total abandonment. We thought it would take a few months to get pregnant so pregnancy wasn’t really on our mind in a serious way, more of a romantic, won’t this be lovely when we’re married way.
In January I was a week late and took a pregnancy test and sobbed that it was positive. Selfishly I wasn’t prepared for this, I wanted my pregnancy timed to work around my desires. I lamented all the ‘newly married’ stuff we wouldn’t be able to do, visiting cocktail bars and hotel stays now that we weren’t saving for a wedding. I even considered a termination. On the Saturday my husband and I sat in our local pub and started talking about this little person growing inside me, how we would tell everyone and we started to get excited. It’s a certain bout of irony that resulted in a chemical pregnancy or a missed miscarriage that evening. I remember the blood clot and total crumbling on the bathroom floor. I felt guilty for having considered a termination and it felt like my fault.
We moved on quickly, we didn’t talk much about it, and put on a positive face, sure we had only just started trying, atleast this meant we could get pregnant. Plus it wasn’t a baby yet was it? These were the things we told ourselves so we could pick ourselves up and move on quickly.
Four months later it happened again, amid a pandemic this time. The supermarkets were only allowing in the vulnerable (pregnant and elderly) in at early times. I told the security guard I was pregnant, I had taken a test that morning so I was 4 weeks + 3 days. The next day I experienced another miscarriage. I berated myself for telling anyone I was pregnant, that was what had caused the miscarriage, it had to be, right? No it definitely wasn’t my fault, it was a chromosomal mismatch as I call it, it wasn’t meant to be and had nothing to do with me or my husband.
At the time, I felt it was important to talk to friends about my experiences, no one had mentioned it to me when we started trying for a baby and it had blindsided me. The more women I spoke to, the more I felt comforted, that it wasn’t unusual, in fact it was scarily and reassuringly common.
However I still dismissed my experiences, saying ‘well I was only 5 weeks’ trying to brush it under the carpet. It was only when I visited an acupuncturist on the advice of my brother who’s wife had conceived the following month after seeing one, that I started to acknowledge my real feelings. I sat in her room and I was rushing through my medical history, the miscarriages, the epileptic fit I had experienced in February, the job losses. She asked me ‘are you having trouble breathing?’ I said ‘no I just wanted to let you know everything, but yes i guess i’m nervous’ she knelt down next to me and held my pulse and said ‘wow this must have been really tough for you’ and I burst into tears of relief. It was relief at validation that my loss was no less than anyone else’s and that I was allowed to grieve. That I had been through a rough time and that I was allowed to be upset about that and not just pick myself up immediately and carry on.
I went 3 consecutive weeks following that first appointment. I don’t know whether it helped me conceive but I do know it helped my mental health, it helped me fully let go of all the pain and anxiety.
I am now 9 weeks pregnant and I’m terrified everyday that I will see blood, that even by writing the ‘p’ word that I’ve jinxed it, that it will be my fault if there is no heartbeat in 3 weeks time. But being part of the Mylo community has opened my eyes to the amazing women out there and their journeys, how they want to support each other with advice, their stories and kind words. I hope all goes well but I know if it doesn’t that I’m not alone and I know to take time to work through whatever loss might come my way.
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