May 5, 2016

I Had a Miscarriage & I Don’t Know Why.

grief breathe sad woman

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant.

I was sitting with a friend and her beautiful little girl in my new home. I was explaining that through the stress of the move my body was responding and that I had had some light spotting.

She bolted up and said she knew something was different about me—of course, implantation bleeding.

After a quick calculation and some nervous laughter, I knew instantly I was going to be a mother.

I had had an abortion 10 years earlier, and although it broke my heart, I knew it was the right thing to do at that time in my life. But this, this was real. This felt right, and all I could think of was making the spare room a nursery.

When I was pregnant with the abortion baby, I hadn’t taken it seriously because I knew it wasn’t my time. I hadn’t considered if it was a boy or a girl, or if I should quit smoking; I hadn’t considered the full weight of responsibility.

But this was different. This was real.

So my friend popped out, and a little after an hour later she was back with the stick that would confirm it all. Yes, I was pregnant, I held the stick like a trophy. My friend told me to write the date on the stick and keep it for my scrap box, so I did; it still sits in my jewelry box now.

By the time I saw a doctor when I was around eight weeks pregnant, he gave me a flu jab and made an appointment with my midwife. Excitement, nerves and joy overwhelmed me.

I was booked to fly to Morocco with my dad for a 10-day holiday. Hesitant as I was, all of my research told me it was safe to fly, so I did.

The bleeding started on the plane.

The day I landed back home, I knew I had lost the baby, My mum came to get me at midnight and take me to the hospital where they told me, yes, it was probably a miscarriage, and there was nothing to be done but rest.

I went to the EPU the next day. They scanned for a heartbeat; there was none.

It was over, but what followed was unexpected. Until this point I had never fully understood miscarriages. I had always read most women will go through one and assume it was like a late and heavy period. My sympathies were never really there, because in my mind it was such a fleeting experience.

This is not the case. The emotional and physical pain was unbearable. Being roughly 11 weeks pregnant, I was told to expect to pass a large clot, to rest, and to call if nothing passed. They offered me a D&C, which I refused. I went home, and over the next few days a little light cramping and blood would appear, so I went back to work on the Monday morning.

That Monday night I came home and passed what I thought was the baby—it was painful, it was large and it was scary. My mind didn’t cope well. Two days later the pain started again. This time it was definitely the baby. A very small, semi-formed fetus. The grief overwhelmed me.

This, they did not tell me to expect. This, I was not ready for.

After the miscarriage, those who knew and those who came to know soon shared with me their experiences. This was a new world to me.

It seems that miscarriage is a taboo subject, only to be discussed if experienced. Bullsh*t.

As soon as the gates had been opened, it seemed that so many of my friends and family had experienced a miscarriage during their lives. Suffering in silence as they carried the burden of the loss of a child.

Nearing what would have been my due date, a colleague came to me and told me that she thought she was having a miscarriage. My heart dropped, but she wasn’t looking for sympathy; she had already come to terms with the loss. Instead, she asked me what to expect and when it would all be over.

It was as if somebody had put a mirror to me; it was exactly how I had felt, and I could relate.

It occurred to me that she had come to me only because she knew, and had she not who would she have turned to?

These subjects need to be raised and discussed so that women do not feel alone—so that the only support network is not a forum of anonymous words, but real people openly discussing their experiences. People should not feel shame in looking at the baby that they lost whilst sifting through the toilet. This isn’t shame. It’s grief in all it’s glory.

What my miscarriage taught me:

1) I know I can get pregnant.

If you have had a miscarriage, this was probably one of the first responses. And it’s true, once we feel the baby and our body feels pregnant, I think we realize the magic our bodies are capable of. Not only can we create life, but we can bring so much more joy to our own life. My miscarriage was a test drive, to let me know my mind, body and soul are ready for motherhood.

2) I want children.

I wouldn’t call myself a baby person, but I don’t think you necessarily have to bond with other children to want your own. Once I made the decision to go through with the pregnancy, I realized I do want children. I want the responsibility that comes with making choices not just for myself. I want to direct my energy to something meaningful.

3) I have a whole lot more love to give.

In the 11 weeks that I was pregnant, my body was going through a lot of changes of which I was semi-aware. But in the four weeks I knew I was pregnant, those changes happened in my mind. There was a shift in my thought process, and I became more conscious to these thoughts, because it wasn’t just about me anymore.

I realized that I was lacking love in my life. Love for myself, and for others. I realized that in order to love this baby, I needed to love myself more through my diet, my lifestyle and others.

I would like to share a poem I wrote whilst going through the miscarriage, which I hope will open this topic for discussion:

I had a miscarriage.
I don’t know why.
I had abortions, maybe it’s karma.
The father didn’t want to be involved, maybe that’s why.
Maybe it’s because I have a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol.
Maybe I didn’t want it enough.

I had a miscarriage.
I don’t know how.
How did it disconnect from me?
Nobody can tell you what to expect.
That the cramps will be excruciating .
That the clots will be big.
That the baby will come out.
Nobody tells you the sense of loss you will feel.

I had a miscarriage.
How did this happen?
There was a baby, and then there wasn’t.
There was a baby, then there was blood.

I had a miscarriage.
I understand.
It wasn’t my time.
I wasn’t supposed to share my love right now.

I thought I had a baby.
You taught me my true desires.
You taught me that I can love, and that I want to be loved in return.

I had a miscarriage.
I had a miscarriage.


Relephant Reads:

Bringing Miscarriage out from the Shadows.

Coping With Miscarriage: Why I Refuse to Suffer in Silence.


Author: Stephanie Lendon

Editor: Toby Israel

Image: sakiryildirim/Deviantart


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