This photo was from the month after when we were on holidays in the UK which was perfect timing!
So it was over. We wouldn’t be having a baby in October like we’d thought. I knew miscarriage was common but I never really thought it would happen. I just really hadn’t given it any thought at all. After I’d had my dating scan and seen that the baby was in the right spot, had a strong heartbeat etc I was a lot more comfortable, so I certainly wasn’t expecting to find myself a statistic just 2 days later.
It’s important to remember that everyone handles things and grief differently. If you’re reading this and you’ve been through a loss, firstly I’m so sorry and secondly, as you’re reading my experience, if you don’t feel that same or are handling it differently that is completely fine. It’s a very personal journey that will be influenced by so many individual factors.
I’m a realist & I like to consider myself to be quite a mentally strong person. As you might have seen “strong” was one of the three main characteristics my husband had attributed to me. I hadn’t realised during our pregnancy announcement that STRONG was exactly what I was going to need to be – through this stage and stages to come.
But I couldn’t be strong just yet. I needed some time to process. While the practical side of me knew that what had happened was for the best, it didn’t make it ok. Something obviously wasn’t right and in reality I was lucky that my body did what it should have, and in the most efficient way which meant I wouldn’t need to have a D&C operation. It was also a better outcome than finding a problem “not compatible with life” as Doctors describe things down the track and then having to make a heartbreaking decision. For about 5 days I was in a daze, scouring the internet for blogs and YT videos of other people’s stories. Anything to give me hope and to not feel so alone. I was sad, I was tired, drained and felt a bit adrift but slowly I got myself together. I felt like I went through the stages of grief in rapid succession. Well some of them –
STAGE 1 – DENIAL. Given how things happened there was no denying it so I skipped that.
STAGE 2 – ANGER. I was pretty angry for about a day. “Why is this happening to me? What have I done to deserve this? People not fit to have kids do all the time! I don’t drink, smoke, take drugs. It’s not fair.”
STAGE 3 – BARGAINING. I don’t remember really going through this. I knew it wasn’t something I could control. There was no way to do a “deal” with whatever it is that was going to change it.
STAGE 4 – DEPRESSION. I wouldn’t say I got depressed but I was certainly sad and had a little cloud over me for a while after.
STAGE 5 – ACCEPTANCE. I accepted it fairly quickly, but I didn’t like it.
Going back to work the next week and getting on with things helped.
Through the next few months I found I was hypersensitive to all things baby. I saw pregnant people everywhere, little babies in prams or being nursed by their Dad’s and it broke my heart. People announcing their pregnancies on FB, due the same time as I would have been. I was happy for them of course, but it stung. Would that ever happen for me? What if it never did? What if this kept happening?
I’d been told by my Doctor there was no reason to believe it would happen again. They wouldn’t even bother looking into why until I’d had 3 in a row. 3! She kept reiterating that it was common and that I shouldn’t feel like it was anything that I’d done. She really pushed that point. I assume lots of women might blame themselves but luckily for me, I didn’t really go down that path. I just felt sad. She also told me that I should give myself at least one or two cycles before trying again but the main factor was when I felt mentally ready.
I’d also made the decision to be open and honest about what had happened pretty soon after. I wasn’t going to be broadcasting it around as such but I wasn’t going to hide it. The surprising thing was, the more open I was about it the more women told me “Me too.” and shared their different stories of lose. It really was SO common. But no one talks about much. It’s still a bit of a taboo. So when it does happen, you feel quite alone. What I realised is there is a tonne of people feeling alone, altogether, when they shouldn’t be. Of course, it’s a very personal thing so if you don’t want to talk about it then you don’t have to. But women shouldn’t feel like they need to hide it. By hearing other people’s, for me, it went from “Why me?” to “Me too”.
And that’s one of the reasons I’m sharing my story. Hopefully my journey can help women to feel less “Why me?” and more “Me too”. The really positive and empowering thing that has come out of this experience for me is speaking with other women who’ve been through it and feeling like my perspective might help them in some way. The women who shared their stories really helped me.
And of course it goes without saying that my family and friends (along with my husband naturally) were a huge support to me through this time.
Thanks for reading,