- 4 years ago
- Wedding: April 2018
On Tues 17/5, I started miscarrying. I was 7weeks and 1 day.
I knew that miscarriage was fairly common, and not long after I found out I was pregnant, I did research into the warning signs, the causes etc. When I started bleeding just a few weeks later, I did more research. I feel like the resources I came across on the internet didn’t really prepare me or adequately describe my experience, so I hope sharing my story might help someone else who goes through this.
What I didn’t know about miscarriage until I had one:
-It is really common. I am not going to share the actual statistics since I have read several different numbers, but they are all pretty high.
-Lots more women in my life have had them than I realised. We were very excited about this pregnancy and told many people early on, so had to untell as many people. I had many women who are close to me confide that they too had gone through one or multiple miscarriages, including my best friend and my Future Mother-In-Law.
-It’s okay to tell people you are pregnant before 12 weeks, and it’s okay to tell people you miscarried. While I was pregnant, I read many resources, and was coached by several friends that it is the prudent thing to keep it quiet prior to 12 weeks. My Fiance and I didn’t listen and told about 10 close friends between us, and his whole immediate family at between 4-6 weeks. When the miscarriage was confirmed, I dreaded having to tell these people about it. I am so glad we didn’t keep our pregnancy quiet as these people who are so close to us were and are such pillars of support to us. They confided their own stories in me, called us to see how we were going, offered help if we needed anything etc. I also told my boss what had happened when I had to call in sick. I dreaded going back into work the next day and facing him, but he had told his boss who took me out to lunch and told me to have as much time off as I needed. I was greated with a coffee and a silent hug from my boss in the morning, which gave me the strength to get through the day. Miscarriage is not a shameful secret. You should tell as few or as many people as feels right to you. I personally am so glad I told my boss and he subtly spread the word through our small office as it allowed me to ease back into my work day so soon, feeling loved and respected by my colleagues, and not needing to hide my winces from the pain, or my heat pack I’d brought in to help with the intense cramps. When we fall pregnant again, I will tell the same people as soon as I know. If it ends in miscarriage again I will have their love and support again. If we get a sticky baby, I can spend the first twelve weeks excited and sharing the experience with my favourite people. Win win!
-If you are in the early stages of pregnancy and start bleeding and cramping painfully, you are most likely miscarrying. When I was in the emergency room I had my Future Mother-In-Law and best friend telling me stories of 5+ people who had experienced my symptoms with healthy pregnancies. The doctor in the emergency room called it only a ‘threatened miscarriage’ to my face, and an ‘inevitable miscarriage’ on my paperwork. I feel this false optimism did more harm than good. Even though I knew what I was feeling, these stories and lies helped me think there was a chance it was all a mistake. I know and trust my body, and by the end of the night I was ignoring those stories and confident I was miscarrying. I feel like my emergency U/S would have been a lot more heartbreaking if I had kept my false sense of hope. I confirmed with the doctor the next day that despite the rare success stories, these two symptoms together are rarely not a bad sign.
– Everyone who goes through an early stage miscarriage will react differently. The people who confided their stories in me, also told me their reactions. Some people took a week off work to sit in their room and cry. Some people shrugged it off and were back at work the next day. Most were somewhere in between. For me, the easiest way to describe the emotions was that I felt very similar to the day that I missed out on my dream job. I didn’t grieve so much as fill my head with ‘what ifs’. I cried a lot for the first two days, then not at all. There is no right or wrong way to process.
– People will expect you to react the way they imagine they would. I’ve had several friends suprised that I was not grieving more for my ‘angel baby’. I had one dear guy friend eloquently offer his sympathies for me losing my ‘bundle of multiplying cells’. Don’t take any of it personally, as it is such an under discussed topic, people have different perspectives and reactions, and most of them truly mean well and are hoping they are saying the best possible thing.
-The nitty gritty and Too Much Information dot point. Miscarriage is not a couple of day thing. I had my U/S on the second day of bleeding, and was told there was no baby, and quite a bit of hemorrhaging. I had a doc appointment that afternoon and they asked if I wanted a D&C, which is an operation where they clean out the uterus lining. I asked if I could do it naturally and my doctor agreed. I have still been consistently cramping, both like a period cramp, and then an awful stabbing pain near my tailbone. Heat packs and hot water bottles have been my best friend. I am bleeding like a period, but with what I can only describe as giving birth to large clots and tissue. The doctor told me to expect this for a number of weeks. I have to have two follow up U/S’s and blood works. I am sorry if this is obvious to others, but I had NO IDEA that there was such a process to MC, I thought I would pretty much get a regular period and be done with it.
-Don’t blame yourself. A strong embryo can survive many things. I was hugely stressed on the weekend, drank a small coffee each day, drank alcohol before I know I was pregnant and kept accidentally whacking myself in the stomach with my work desk. If my embryo had of been tougher/in the right place/grown the placenta correctly or whatever the heck didn’t work for it, it would have survived all this accidental abuse, and more.
Sorry if this just seems like a random out of place vent, but as it is so common, I figured there is no harm talking or discussing experiences. Please feel free to contribute your knowledge and wisdom if you feel comfortable to do so. Now I have gone through this, I have no idea why it is such a taboo, and think women should talk about miscarriage more since it affects so many of us.