I debated writing a blog post about this. Not only is miscarriage deemed a taboo topic in general, but it’s just an uncomfortable one, too. But I thought about what brings me comfort throughout these losses, and a lot of it is the knowing that I’m not alone–that many women have experienced this pain, and the shared experience can bring more relief than statistics and “self-care.” It is my hope that others may find comfort in reading a similar story. Also since everything carries trigger warnings now, just click that X on the right upper corner if you don’t want to read about miscarriage because if the title didn’t give it away, that’s what’s being discussed here today.
This past week I miscarried…again. It was my third loss, and it just…SUCKS so much. Every time. As usual, I made it to the cusp of the 1st trimester! I was almost there to the “safe zone.” In fact, I have not had a miscarriage sooner than 10 weeks, ever. My first loss was at 12 weeks, second at 10 weeks, this one at 11 weeks. “Missed abortions.” That’s what they call it when you don’t really have symptoms of miscarriage, and no I’m not going into gory symptoms about miscarriage. Google them if you want. The important part was the no heartbeat on the ultrasound when there had been a strong one 3 weeks prior. The important part is that my pregnancy “continued to progress,” meaning my body still thought I was pregnant even though the baby was dead.
Fortunately for me, or maybe unfortunately, I get weird senses about things and knew that this was going to happen. I wanted to remain hopeful, but I just knew Monday afternoon. The physician I work with was really great and helped me get an appointment with my OB first thing Tuesday morning. Like I said, I just had a feeling that history was repeating itself, so I made sure to avoid eating/drinking anything Tuesday morning. I went in, had the ultrasound—no heartbeat. When my really awesome OB offered to do the surgery the same day, I was able to say “Yup” because I had been NPO since midnight and could have anesthesia. So the Tuesday timeline= loss was confirmed around 8:30am, I had surgery at 12pm, and I was home by 1:30pm to begin the recovery process. That was a godsend.
One of my besties immediately sent me cookies. The following day, one of my other besties sent cupcakes. They know me well and they understand miscarriage all too well as they have both experienced its bitter taste for themselves. As a result, they *get* it. Family members sent chicken soup, flowers, and spa packages (yes, really). It was really so sweet of all of them and appreciated.
Miscarriage sucks. It hurts your heart. It hurts your body. You add up the months as “wasted” and mourn a due date that won’t be yours. You want to tell people, but don’t want anyone to know either because there’s a sense of misplaced shame. You go back and think of all the things you ate or didn’t eat enough of, the nights you forgot your prenatal vitamins, the extra cup of coffee you sneaked and wonder if it was your fault. It wasn’t. It wasn’t my fault, and it isn’t your fault either. People will tell you that and you’ll try to believe them. I’m here to tell you that you should believe them. I mean, crackheads with zero prenatal care have like 7 babies a piece. Your propensity for sugary carbs and/or aversion to exercise didn’t cause your baby to die. Your baby just died.
Since I’ve now had three miscarriages, I consider myself an
unwilling expert veteran with some knowledge on how to navigate this particular issue.
- It’s truly up to you if you decide to share about your situation.
- Here are the pros to sharing:
- People will generally be nice to you.
- They won’t ask you if you’re planning on having children because clearly you were.
- You might get cookies.
- Here are the cons to sharing:
- People act awkward AF
- They may (definitely will) make super insensitive and unhelpful “at least” comments including “At least you have other children,” “At least you know you can get pregnant,” “At least it was early” ad nauseum. Feel free to ignore them altogether. They probably aren’t *trying* to be insensitive assholes.
- Here are the pros to sharing:
- You get to be sad. You get to grieve. Feel your feelings, but don’t drown in them. In fact, I’m even going to put a time limit on it. Get help if your dark place is too scary or lasts longer than a month. Yes, you totally get to be sad for longer than that. But if your sadness is impacting your ability to do daily activities, including but not limited to, your job, being a mom, being a wife, or even just existing then you need a hand up out of that ditch, sister. There is nothing wrong with that. Get the help.
- Don’t go down the bitter road. It actually is a conscious choice, so don’t do it. Don’t get mad at your coworker for having the audacity to be pregnant. Don’t get angry when the family member who wasn’t even trying gets pregnant. Your journey isn’t hers. And you need to be okay with that for your sake and for others. There’s only so much sympathy for a bitter b*tch, so don’t be one. That probably sounded harsh, but I mean it. It is possible to be happy for others whilst being sad for yourself, and if you don’t know how to do that, you should probably learn.
- Be gentle with yourself. Know that you don’t have to throw baby showers for friends if it hurts you too much. You don’t have to do all the things. You can let your house sit instead of vacuuming, dusting, cleaning, etc. This is easy for me because I’m a mediocre housewife on a good day. Anyway, you don’t have to be around a bunch of people, volunteer at the church/synagogue, and/or participate in any activity that requires you to make small talk. Good lord, NO. Let the little stuff go for a minute and just be. I give you permission, and clearly I’m an authority here. You don’t have to be super woman right now.
- Do the things that fill you up and make you feel better, even if it’s not long-lasting. For me, I like to bake. I’ve made homemade scones, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and cookie bars in the last two days because I freaking wanted to. I also watched the entire Emily in Paris season in one sitting whilst high on pain pills (prescribed from the surgery, yall. I’m not *that*fun) accompanied by a heating pad. Do what you do, yo.
I’m going to close out this rambling blog post by saying that I am Christian, and I 100% believe my babies are with Jesus in heaven. They never suffered a day on this planet. They never had neurosurgery like my 2 earth-side babies. They weren’t picked last at recess or dumped by the love of their lives. They didn’t break their leg before the big game, and they didn’t miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. They are in heaven in the arms of my Savior. That knowledge brings me immeasurable peace and provides a soothing balm to my still stinging heart. If you’ve experienced miscarriage, I want to encourage you to get to know our Lord if for no other reason (there are plenty) than the hope to meet your baby(ies) one day when this life fades away. I’m so sorry if you’ve experienced losses of your own. It’s unfair AF and miserable doesn’t begin to describe it. You aren’t alone, and there is always room for hope. Maybe you’ll have a healthy baby next time, maybe you won’t. But God will always find a way to tell you He’s sorry for your loss, too. You just have to have your eyes open to see it. Love to all ❤