*Trigger Warning. Discussion of misscarrage.*
The signs were all there. Sore boobs that wouldn’t stop growing, softer edges, shape changing, nausea, suddenly craving salt – something I dislike, mood swings like you’ve never seen and feelings. All the damn feelings. I was going off a good breakfast tea, off foods, couldn’t stomach seeing anything ‘gross’ and my sense of smell had magnified. I knew it this time, I was growing a tiny human. We did a test (those fancy ones that cost a mortgage) and prepared to phone the doctor to make our first appointment. We were ready, we were excited and we couldn’t wait for our next adventure. Mi
12 hours later, just as I was about to start hosting a kids party, it happened. My fear I hoped wouldn’t come true, the one thing I wished never to face again. And I had to ignore it and go do my job. I was alone, in some area of Edinburgh id never heard of before miscarrying whilst a family were celebrating their darling little ones birthday. I sat in that cubicle trying to find humour in the irony of this happening on mothers day of all days, so I could find the strength to still give this kid the best party ever. We went to A&E (after a lot of being passed about place to place) and after three hours of poking and prodding and waiting, our fears were confirmed. We had lost a second baby. Despair doesn’t even come close to describing how I felt as I left howling in a way I never have before.
Did you know how common miscarriage is? Did you know that one in four women have experienced one? Did you know that 15-20% of Pregnancies end in miscarriage that’s 1 in 8. However the fact most happen in the very early stages, its not always known so these numbers could be greater. The reason it can go unnoticed is that many of the side affects are similar to that of a period. So if you didn’t know you were expecting, you could just assume that your late period decided to hit you with a vengeance. Many women are irregular, so skipping periods or are not things they think about. Sudden heavy, painful and debilitating period is something many of us have experienced, therefore if you didn’t know you were pregnant, you’d be forgiven for assuming that’s just the joys of being a woman. Most recognised miscarriages happen between the 7th and 12th week though the 4th-6th is thought to be seen as the ‘danger’ weeks. Once a heartbeat has been detected, chances decrease.
Miscarriage is when loss happens before 23 weeks and is down to basic science. No one is to blame. There’s no real reason for the cause of it happening. Its basically down to chromosome abnormalities and there’s no known way of stopping or one from taking place. There’s a number of procedures in place you can choose from and your doctors and midwife can help you find the best options for you and your family. I chose to allow everything to happen naturally. I personally cannot face anymore time in hospital and would rather stay at home letting my body do what it needs to and I just don’t want to take anymore medication. Other options include a tablet called misoprostol which can speed up the process or a D&C (dilation and curettage) a technique similar to that of taking biopsies that will remove remaining tissue from the womb. All methods are outpatient.
These facts are not to scare you about pregnancy but to reassure those grieving a loss that its more common than you think and that neither of you are at fault. To remind you that you are not alone in any of this, no matter how heart breaking and isolating this feels. It is to remind all who are facing this ordeal to be gentile with themselves. to take as much time as you need to heal, recover and grieve. Take time as a couple, as friends or as a family to work though all these emotions. Have those you love around you when you can, take the space you need when you need it and don’t push yourself. Take painkillers as needed, hot baths or showers when you can face them and rest your body as often as you can. And cry when you want to. Cry as much as you need to and let those feelings work as they have to. Cry together or alone. Whatever helps you work through all of this unfairness. Physically it can take up to a few weeks for things to settle. After 8 weeks you may even start getting periods again. Emotionally it can take as much as you need it to. there is no rules in grieving. take the time you need to process everything and protect yourself with little rules if you need to.
Know that this doesn’t mean you’ll never carry a child. Know that this isn’t the end. Many women go on to having multiple children after miscarriage. Know that if it happens again that there’s tests you can take, things you can do to research this. To rule out any issues and if nothing else to ease your mind in knowing these are random acts you cannot control. And remember this was not you. Nothing you did caused this unfortunate situation. Science works in mysterious ways.
And lastly, know you are strong, loved and brave. You will get through this and you will feel happiness again.
Take care of you,
Love and hugs,