In the space of one week, I felt incredible excitement and profound disappointment. The week we moved to a new house was also the week we found out that I had miscarried our second child. It was early. We had not seen our baby on ultrasound just yet, but of course that did not make this miscarriage any easier.
Before, whenever I found out people miscarried I always had a thought like, "Oh, that won't happen to me." But now it had happened to me too. It is awful. It is scary. It will give you all the feelings you would rather not experience all at the same time. But don't loose hope; there are others who share your suffering.
We had been wanting a sibling for our only child for a while now. We had been trying for six months or so. After we finally found out that we succeeded, we discovered a little under two weeks later that the pregnancy wasn't viable. While there was somewhat of an explanation of why my body did not keep this baby, there are still underlying questions roaming my mind, such as:
- Why did my body fail to produce the pregnancy hormone?
- Is there something wrong with me?
- What caused this?
These are valid feelings! However, I did not know what to do with them. The next few weeks were awful; whenever I saw a pregnant woman, I thought about how I had just lost my baby. When I had to go back to the same building for a (different) medical test that had nothing to do with babies and/or pregnancies, my anxiety ramped up and the bad news the doctor had given us was the only thing I could think about walking into that building.
Who do I tell? I didn't know when it was appropriate to share and/or not to share. It is an individual choice on whether or not to share about a miscarriage, but in most situations, I felt as if it was appropriate to share my feelings with other women. I found out that all the women I told about my miscarriage were very understanding, and many shared a similar story of themselves or another close family member or friend having miscarried or dealt with infertility also.
What helped me was talking to other women who had experienced a similar situation. And beyond that, I sought out the help of a bereavement doula. They are trained to deal with miscarriages and infant loss. My doctor actually recommended the "Guiding Star" organization who helps women navigate these losses and also fertility and other women/pregnancy related concerns. The doula I met with talked me through my situation, what my options were, and recommended several resources. It was extremely helpful. I also went through some EMDR trauma treatment of the doctor bringing us the bad news, so I can be ready to move on and attempt another pregnancy. I wrote about my experience and I processed everything before even thinking about another baby.
Where I go now is still a question. When are we ready for another baby? There is a lot of fear. Will we miscarry another baby? Do we have to figure out some answers to our previous loss first, before we try for another child? Will I ever give my only child a sibling? It is hard to move on from a loss. It is hard to figure out where to go, what to do, and feelings of hopelessness are common. Just know you are not alone. Many women have dealt with this grief and loss.
Do not suffer miscarriage or loss in silence. There is help out there. There are others who have gone through a similar experience, and there are trained professionals who will advocate for your rights.