Ask any to-be mama what the scariest part of pregnancy is and you’ll often hear them mutter miscarriage. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), miscarriage is the most common form of pregnancy loss. And yet, it is not talked about enough.
Unfortunately, the taboo that surrounds speaking about miscarriage continues even today. Instead of speaking out about the feelings that come with such a loss, many women hide their pain or don’t talk about their miscarriages, instead relying on the hope that the feelings of sadness and/or depression will pass over time.
But, as advocates of all mamas and mamas-to-be, we are here today to start breaking down the taboo walls that surround miscarriage. We reached out to some of our friends to get their real stories on miscarriage -- how they found out, the way in which they dealt with it, and their advice for anyone else going through the same situation.
We’re chatting with our friends Cynthia, Tawny, and Hanna to learn more about their stories in hopes that their experiences will encourage you to speak out about yours.
Cynthia: Over 9 weeks.
Tawny: We knew something was wrong at our 8 weeks appointment when the baby was only measuring 6 weeks. Its little heart stopped beating at 9 ½ weeks and I miscarried naturally at 11 weeks.
Hanna: Approximately 8 weeks.
Cynthia: No, not at all. We were at the OB/GYN for an ultrasound and we were hoping to see a heartbeat. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one.
Tawny: I had a lack of symptoms. There was some slight nausea and bloating at 6 weeks, but all of this gradually stopped as the pregnancy continued. A lack of symptoms isn’t necessarily an issue, however, a decrease/full stop of symptoms can indicate a problem.
Hanna: I dealt with heavy vaginal bleeding.
Cynthia: I tried to handle the feelings by myself without disrupting my husband with all of my thoughts. Eventually, I spoke about what I went through with my husband and my parents and that allowed me the space to process my feelings.
Tawny: Lots and lots of prayers. I didn’t join a group or seek professional help, however, I do believe I was depressed without knowing it for about 6 months. It wasn’t until probably 10 months post-miscarriage that I even realized how much of a depression I had been in. I do believe that finding a support system is extremely beneficial even if you think you don’t/won’t need it.
Hanna: I did not cope well. I felt ashamed; as if I had made a mistake and it was my fault. I felt heartbreak over the baby in my mind that I’d already grown to love. I didn’t want to talk to anyone because I didn’t want to hear what they had to say. I didn’t want them to judge me for having a miscarriage or to judge me for reacting the way I was. I became engrossed in my work completely in an attempt to distract myself. It took me 6 months to get back to ‘normal’ and in honesty, I only really felt better when I got pregnant again with my first son.
Cynthia: I chose to let my body naturally lose the baby, however, when it still hadn’t happened after a week, I took medication to help the process move along. It felt like a mini-labor without any help that comes from the painkillers that your body produces naturally during an actual birth.
Tawny: I was far enough along, but I chose to miscarry naturally.
Hanna: It was early enough that I didn’t need a D&C.
Cynthia: Talk about your experience with those you are close to. Additionally, be sure to do what you feel is right for your body. Don’t let anyone pressure you into feeling a certain way or handling your miscarriage how they want you to.
Tawny: Seek out help. Talk when you need to, cry when you want to, and don’t be ashamed to grieve. Also, your husband will probably grieve different than you. It can be difficult to deal with this disparity as you may think he is the only one who understands the exact feelings you are having with this loss, but often, you may not be in the same state of grief. Be patient towards your partner and also ask them to extend the same courtesy so that you both can begin to heal.
Hanna: My advice is to talk about it. This is the regret that I have because I know that if I talked to others about what I was going through, it would have helped. Don’t internalize all of your feelings. Instead, realize how extremely common miscarriage is and how other women who suffer through this often feel the same way as you do. It is okay to feel heartbreak, but over time, it will pass.
Ladies, thank you so much for speaking out and spreading the awareness on the commonness of miscarriage. We know that your stories will help another woman going through this feel some semblance of comfort!
If you’ve suffered a miscarriage or are currently going through the process, please know that you are not alone and that we are here if you need someone to talk with!
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