After my miscarriage, there were experiences I went through I was not ready for. I then realised that these were landmarks in the lives of girls after a miscarriage and passing through them was a part of arriving at a final destination of healing and wholeness. For those who have been there, you can see you aren’t alone.
For those who are wondering how your wife/sister/daughter/buddy is doing, perhaps this can help. And for those who are regrettably at the beginning of this painful journey, maybe knowing what’s ahead will prevent it from becoming scary.
- My initial period: if there was something which marked the real finality of this loss it was discovering that “Aunty Flo” was in town. I was pregnant and blissfully expecting nine period-free months which were not to be. It felt a giant red line was drawn under my pregnancy and written on that line were the words, “THE END”. Thank fully, I had been a part of an extremely supportive online group and they made me realise that this landmark is hard for everybody. After the miscarriage I became a recluse and wouldn’t go out. I could afford to because I needed to prepare for specialist tests so I stayed in and tried to study. However that didn’t stop this landmark from meeting me. I was watching the telly and there were, not one but TWO actors pregnant and due around what could have been my due date! There they were, thankfully talking to interviewers and whoever would care to hear about how excited they were and how the pregnancy was impacting work and how wonderful the world was. It was all I could don’t to shout at the TV! You will encounter someone you know who’s pregnant or somebody who knows someone that’s pregnant. And they will be busy giving you the gist of this pregnancy, blissfully unaware of your pain; and you will be tempted to shout or to let them shut up or to burst into tears. You may feel overwhelmed by the unfairness of it all and wonder what you didn’t deserve it; why is she pregnant and you aren’t? Don’t you deserve this happiness too? The main issue is to decide beforehand that if and when that day comes, you will be gracious and observe your fellow sister’s good fortune as you appreciate how valuable that gift is. So she is pregnant and you are not. That doesn’t make her better than you; it only makes her pregnant.
- The Due date: if you’d seen a doctor, you’d have been told the day the baby was due to arrive. When that day comes, it’ll be hard. Hard because you know you should be holding a baby in your arms and you are not. If you are lucky, you will be so distracted that the day will go by before you realise its importance. More often than not, you will remember the date. My advice is, do not spend time in dread as the day approaches. Plan something special for this day with your spouse or mother or girlfriend(s). Celebrate life on that day.
- The first time you admit the reduction: in the months and weeks that follow a miscarriage, all you do is think about it. You need to go over what happened, you would like to find out what you did wrong, you need to comprehend why and you would like to know what caused it. If you are lucky, you’ll have someone’s ear to speak off in the procedure. But I’m talking about the first time you need to tell someone who did not understand that you had had a miscarriage. For me it was in the practice, when I realised I was pregnant again and they asked if I was pregnant before; as I answered, I could feel the bulge forming in my throat and the tears threatening to fall. Additionally, it happened with my pastor, when I was explaining why I began using the Miscarriage Support and Information NGO. It’s hard because most times you feel you’ve moved on and have coped with whatever emotions which were connected to the reduction (after all, that is why you need to discuss it). But admitting that reduction brings all those old feelings back to the surface as you recall how hard it was for you. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you’ve relapsed to (in my case!) Your pyjama-wearing, “Pringles-munching”, “do not -want-to-see-anybody” days. It only means you lost something valuable and your heart knows it. So, for people who thought you were the only ones marking these landmarks, you are not alone. For those of you in the beginning of the journey, hope this can help you get to the other side . And for our friends and family members, hope this information can help you to be even greater friends to us. Hope abides; therefore I stick. Countless frustrations haven’t cowed me. I’m still living, vibrant with life.