Social media (blogs included) have a tendency to show a highlight reel of our lives. And even when we attempt to show our shadows, it’s often faint and just personal enough for a glimpse inside but is often missing depth. But today’s post is different. This is a glimpse into our very personal lives and it’s because I wish I’d known just how common it is for so many reasons.
I Had a Miscarriage.
My husband and I went from happy celebrations and planning a home birth to mourning the loss of our baby in a matter of minutes.
Why is talk of a miscarriage so hush hush? Why is it one of those things we don’t talk about? And why is it we don’t share the news about a pregnancy until after we’re in the “safe zone”? Yes, it’s a personal decision when you tell others that you’re pregnant; however, we felt largely pushed to keep it to ourselves until that second trimester even though we were bursting with the words at the tip of our tongue.
I’m telling you this very personal story because I want women that go through this to feel like they can talk about it openly and have the support from their family and friends. And if you’re like me, so you can stock up on natural remedies and tools to make the process a bit less painful and traumatic.
I was under the impression that all miscarriages are like a period with maybe some extra cramps. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Turns out, each one is different. Some are silent and some act with all the pain of labor but none of the joy. And all are emotionally taxing leaving the parents to grieve for their unborn child.
HOW IT HAPPENED.
I noticed some light spotting and felt like something was “off” just prior to interviewing a midwife one Thursday afternoon (we were planning a home birth). A couple of hours later it felt like my period was starting and soon some light cramping followed. As the night went on, the cramps intensified becoming more and more painful. By midnight that evening, they were what I’d consider full-blown contractions with no time to rest in between. I searched google multiple times trying to understand what was happening to my body since everything was so foreign and unexpected. With my husband's support, I made it to seven am the next morning before reluctantly giving in and going to the ER to get meds for relief. I remember distinctly thinking that if there was any joy to come from this, I could have pushed through despite the exhaustion.
Nature left a cruel reminder that there’s no baby anymore with a week and a half of bleeding and an indefinite heartache…
There’s the continuous guilt, shame, and constant “what did I do wrong” questions… “Was it the frozen pizza I ate?” “Did I push myself too hard at the gym?” Then there are the doubts and insecurities that plague your mind… “Did she know I wasn’t sure if I was ready?” “Was it a boy and did he know that I really wanted a girl?” “Did she know I wished she would have waited just a couple more months?” And ultimately, “Did I cause this?”
Talking to women who have been through this (apparently there are a lot) has helped bring me peace more than anything. Even talking to women who are currently pregnant or already have children has been helpful. Hearing how they all had the same doubts and insecurities reminds me that in fact, I’m not special... that a miscarriage can happen to anyone and for no good reason at all. If you ever go through this, please reach out. We all need comfort to heal and we need a connection to get that comfort. An email, a text, and thoughtful gift go a long way. A phone call and visit go even further. The vulnerable “me too” conversations have the biggest healing punch of all.
Let’s swap stories. Let’s have more meaningful talks. Let’s share our fears. Let’s be there for one another. Let’s talk about it.