We Need to Talk About Miscarriages

***BEFORE YOU READ: I want to be really clear that this article is written from the perspective of a mom that did not undergo IVF treatment but did need hormones to help conceive, had 1 child prior to a miscarriage at 10 weeks, and had a successful pregnancy following. If you are one of the many women who have been trying unsuccessfully to give birth to a child, this article will not reflect your experience and may be really triggering. I have nothing but love and respect for all women, and would hate to contribute to any hurt. My purpose in writing this is to provide a perspective on miscarriage that I never had a chance to hear before my pregnancy journey.***

I am the mom who will tell you about the insanely horrible pregnancy I had with my first, the thoughts of “Oh God, what have I done??” soon after she was born, and belabor you with details about post birth that you may not really want to hear if you haven’t been there or done that yet.

I will also tell you that between my first and second child, I had a miscarriage. I’ll also tell you that while the D&C procedure that I opted for wasn’t anything close to pleasant, I was not devastated by the experience.

Photo by Asdrubal luna on Unsplash

According to the article “Making Sense of Miscarriage”, by Krissi Danielsson and reviewed by Meredith Shur, MD.,one in three pregnancies that are confirmed to have implanted end in miscarriage. I had heard something about the statistic well before I started trying to conceive, and I figured it could happen to anyone. I actually half expected to have a miscarriage at some point because of it. Little did I know that I would become a real life statistical representation: 3 pregnancies, 1 miscarriage.

I wasn’t devastated, but I was sad. They found the heartbeat at my first exam. At my 10-week checkup they tried to find the heartbeat, and from the moment the nurse excused herself, I knew. This one was not going to be.

Over the next several days, I had to hear the final news from my doctor after a confirming ultrasound, make a decision about whether or not to let the pregnancy end “naturally” with my body having a natural miscarriage at some undetermined point in the next several weeks, or schedule a procedure called a D&C (dilation (or dilatation) and curettage). There was no medication available at that time, or at least it was not offered to me, which is now a third option to stimulate a miscarriage versus waiting for the body to decide. I opted for the D&C because the thought of waiting made me incredibly anxious.

The procedure was scheduled within a week and, after a few days of taking it easy, I was back to work. No longer pregnant. Just me, myself, and I again.

Why wasn’t I devastated?

If I’m being honest, it didn’t feel like the loss of a child. It felt more like the loss of a potential child. It occurred to me that something wasn’t biologically right for this particular soul to grow into a fully birthed person. Whether it was a genetic mutation, a hormonal imbalance, an unstable environment in myself, something just wasn’t right.

And that was OK.

I sincerely believe that miscarriages are part of the cycle of life. It’s not the part we want acknowledge, and never one we want to experience, but it’s there none the less. And given the statistics, it’s a reality that a lot of us will face. So why don’t we talk about it as a normal part of a pregnancy journey?

I think that’s why I DO talk about it. To anyone who asks about my children, my pregnancies, anything related to my mom journey.

I had this very conversation with my neighbor 8 years ago. This was the message I received last week:

I wanted to reach out and share something with you…
You may not have known it, but a few months ago you helped me through a really tough time!
Several years ago when you were pregnant with your son, you told me that you had had a previous miscarriage. You said a lot of things about your experience with it that were new info to me at the time, and I really valued your openness about it. Well, in March of this year, I had a miscarriage, and it was my first pregnancy. It was very sad and painful, but our conversation came back to me many times because you normalized it for me in a way that all my education and training hadn’t. I wanted you to know that it offered me so much comfort and helped me to get through it with my optimism intact.

This is why I talk about it.

I know there are MANY different paths to children. All I can share is my journey, my singular perspective. It will not reflect everyone’s experience, and I don’t pretend that it ever could. I just hope that every woman out there knows that if they experience a miscarriage, they are not alone. We are all in this together.

About Blurb My Enthusiasm
40-something-yrs-old and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. My resume reads like a food court menu: educator, dog walker, product manager, executive director, managing editor - and that's just the notable titles. I entertain all offers and consider myself up for the job until someone tells me I'm not. I've never been fired. What I lack in direction, I make up for in enthusiasm.

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