While on holiday, at seven weeks pregnant, I started spotting. At nine weeks when I got back home, I went for a scan that to our surprise and horror, showed an empty pregnancy sac that measured 6 weeks, but I knew I was definitely nine weeks, and was told it was probably a blighted ovum (where baby is formed but doesn’t grow properly).
A week later I miscarried at home, and later that day went for a d&c as I was losing too much blood. It was the most heartbreaking, scary experience ever, and the weeks that followed were the most depressing, empty & lonely weeks of my life.
I wish I had been told a few things in the weeks of & after I had my miscarriage:
- That grief is a process – a long, healing one, not something to be ‘gotten over’ quickly.
- That many people I knew, including family, had had a miscarriage, and that I wasn’t alone, even though I felt I was!
- That whatever I was feeling, was okay and normal
- That it would be messy, painful and heartbreaking beyond imagination! 🙁
- That I’d need to talk more about it, with friends/family to ease the loneliness and depression I felt every hour of every day!
- That however long I took to grieve and heal and be just plain depressed and miserable was okay; that it was my time and however long that was, was fine!
- That in three years time I’d be on another planet of happiness – that time does heal and the heartbreak does ease!
- I wish that friends/family had visited/called more; it would have made me feel more validated in everything I was feeling. That said, you can’t change how people respond to a miscarriage (perhaps they felt too awkward to call/visit), so on hindsight I think asking for specifics and making the first contact would have been the best thing to do..
- That some people just DONT know how to respond to you – they say the worst things, come across as insensitive; I wish I’d known to not take what they said to heart (easier said than done)
- Lastly, that being a stay at home mom with a young baby, after a miscarriage, was waay too much time alone to mull over every emotion, every hour of every day. I wish I had known how unhealthy that would be for me mentally; I would have stayed at my mom for a week or two, or had a friend over every second day, etc. just to get myself out of my head! Being alone at home every day was a slippery slide to depression!
If you’ve experienced a miscarriage, or know of a friend who has, I hope it helps to know that you’re not alone, that you’re validated in feeling everything that you’re feeling, and that time does heal. Xx
Recommended read: Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for Grieving Mothers