Nobody tells you about miscarriage, because nobody talks about it.
1 in 4 women will miscarry, but will not talk about it.
I am 1 in 4…
But I talk about my experience. If miscarriage is so seldom discussed, the feelings associated with pregnancy after a loss are even more seldom talked about. I know how I felt when I went through my first miscarriage.
One side of me felt total shame. Though I never felt self pity as in, ‘why me?’ I often felt shame. Shame that I couldn’t hold on to the one thing every woman should.
I couldn’t bear for my husband to look at me, or to hold me because I had lost what we had. I had lost all of our hopes and our dreams in one morning.
It was my job to look after it and keep it safe and I failed.
That was one side of me. The other side of me wanted to scream. I wanted to scream STOP! Stop laughing, stop singing, stop playing, stop joking, stop asking me what’s wrong! But in my case I was celebrating my Nana’s 80th birthday, so I couldn’t.
I wanted people to know what I was going through, not because I wanted their pity or sympathy, but because I wanted them to know that I’m not myself right now and this is why…
But it isn’t that easy. If you keep it a secret that you’re trying for a baby then there is the possibility that no one will ever know unless you tell them. And telling them is hard, so hard.
I’m a person who doesn’t respond well to pity or sympathy and so I didn’t like telling people, ‘I just had a miscarriage’ because I didn’t like how it made them feel and I couldn’t handle their reaction, no matter how good their intentions were.
People are stunned, people don’t know what to say. What they don’t realise is that they don’t have to say anything. They just need to be there.
Unfortunately, this is something I have been through numerous times, each time feelings of joy and excitement being replaced with anxiety and nerves, whilst still trying to hold on to hope.
I think there’s a misconception that once a woman conceives after a miscarriage, that somehow her previous miscarriage is erased– that the feelings of loss are replaced by feelings of joy for this new baby, and that everything moves forward as it should be. In my own experience, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s hard to believe that our pregnancy problems have been going on for over two years now. It’s hard to believe that we have had the same excitement so many times over, the same love…the same anxiety.
We happily planned our wedding as I worked through my teaching qualification, our life was mapped out. We knew when we were moving into our first home, when we were getting married and when we were going to start a family.
The only issue with it all was that the universe had a different plan for us.
We were married a year before we decided to try for our family, and did not expect it to happen so quickly. I was the happiest I had ever been in my life! I was married to my best friend, I was finishing my teaching qualification, and I was on my Honeymoon - PREGNANT! My life was like a fairytale in every way possible.
‘How perfect is my life?‘ I thought to myself every single day.
Even though it was early we got so excited. We began to pick out nursery furniture, we thought about paint colours, we made a list of our favourite names, we picked our pram, we thought about what they’d look like, my hair, your eyes, whether there’d be two!
We googled old wives tales about give away signs about what the sex would be. I researched nursing methods, the best foods to eat, exercises during pregnancy. We made plans for our future and stuck to everything the doctor recommended.
I loved the feelings I was getting whilst pregnant, I loved that my boobs hurt, I loved that I felt sick at 10:25am everyday, I loved that I snacked on ArrowRoot biscuits to help me feel better, I loved that I was breathless, I loved that even though it was so early, I was showing! It all meant things were going as they should and I was growing a baby!
That was until the last day of our honeymoon. I was folded over in the bathroom in agony with slight bleeding. We called our midwife who told us not to worry if it was ‘fresh’.
We flew home from Dubai in distress, both trying to reassure one another, trying to find reasons for what was happening - any other reason than miscarriage.
I remember repeating over and over that I would put up with the pain every day, as long as everything was alright.
This unfortunately was not the case. Once we landed, we were meant to spend the evening celebrating my Nana’s birthday party, instead we sat waiting in Liverpool’s Women’s Emergency Department.
Over the weekend the pains got worse and our first baby left us on July 21st 2014.
We were devastated. We felt things that are indescribable. Everything was gone. Something we only knew about for a short while was gone.
How could we be so excited about something that was never guaranteed? How could we be so upset over something that we never had?
I knew miscarriage was a possibility, but I never imagined it happening.
I am so lucky that my husband is who he is, and that our families are who they are. They got me through it. They listened when I spoke, they held me when I cried, and they asked me how I was. We grieved together.
We eventually felt up to trying again and were so lucky! We were pregnant again super quick.
Unfortunately the universe was still playing with us, and has continued playing with us ever since. It has been for 29 months. We have had good news, then bad. Then more good news followed by bad over and over again.
Over time we learnt how to support each other, and how to count our blessings. We learnt how to be grateful for the things we have and how to hold on to our Hope.
Not everything with our story is negative, but that’s because we aren’t negative people. We have had set backs, but we’ve learnt how to pick ourselves up and carry on.
We have been given hope by doctors after every set of testing we’ve been through and are currently exploring even more options, some through the amazing staff at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and some with specialist Professor Shiobhan Quenby and her team in University Hospitals Coventry and Warwick, which is funded by Tommy’s Charity.
Despite our setbacks and heartache, we are excited about what lies ahead.
I have been writing my own blog online at www.stillwaitingforthestork.wordpress.com
Please note that the opinions expressed by users in Tommy’s Book of #misCOURAGE are solely those of the user, who is unlikely to have had medical training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of Tommy’s and are not advice from Tommy's. Reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. We strongly advise readers not to take drugs that are not prescribed by your qualified healthcare provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, midwife or hospital immediately. Read full disclaimer