Three things you aren’t supposed to talk about at the dinner table: Church, politics, and miscarriages. Wait, what … miscarriages? You’re not crazy, I said miscarriages. Even more taboo – miscarriage recovery.
The conversation topic of miscarriage seems to be right up there with politics – it’s a topic that almost never is brought up, and when it is it’s in hushed tones. Miscarriages aren’t necessarily a controversial topic, they’re a sensitive one. 1 in 4 pregnancies today end in miscarriage. To put it in perspective, think of your 3 closest girlfriends. 1 of the 4 of you are likely to have a miscarriage – if someone hasn’t already.
So if miscarriages are so common today, why does the room fall silent when we bring them up? I’m writing to you today to do my part in starting the conversation. Miscarriages are tough, emotionally and physically draining, disheartening and stressful. My husband and I miscarried our first child in the Summer of 2015, and the rest of that year was the roughest of my life. I would have loved to have found a post like this one during that time, so I’m writing to you in hopes of helping YOU. Whether you’ve gone through one yourself, or you’re trying to help a friend, let’s talk about it.
You Probably Already Know Someone that Has Had a Miscarriage
Since miscarriage rates are so high today, I would almost guarantee that someone you know has gone through a miscarriage – you just don’t know it. My husband and I chose not to “go public” with our miscarriage, and just shared the news with our close family and friends. We hadn’t publicly shared the pregnancy, so it wasn’t too difficult. Once we shared the news, it’s like people started coming out of the wood works. So many sweet ladies texted, sent messages and offered a listening ear – because they had gone through the same thing. They shared their experiences with us so graciously, letting us see a deep part of their heart that few other people had seen. My husband and I were absolutely dumbfounded with the number of friends that had experienced loss, and had we not gone through it ourselves we probably would have never known. My advice to you, is just to simply listen to those who have gone through this before you. Whether or not you take anything from their kind words, you are likely helping them heal too. If you do find healing in sharing experiences with another women, then that is absolutely wonderful! Find your “people” and hold them close. However if you don’t find comfort in them, that’s ok too.
Everyone Heals Differently
I’m not talking about the physical healing – we will get there in a second. I’m talking emotional healing. Losing a child you never saw takes a toll on your emotional well being. But just like every other human emotion, every person is going to handle this situation differently. Some people may curl up and not leave the house for several days. For others, they may get right back up and jump right back into daily life to distract themselves. I’m not here to tell you how to heal and how not to. I will just say to do whatever you feel is right. And if something feels right one day, but not the next – that’s ok too. There will be people with the best of intentions, trying to help you and tell you how to feel better. That is what we do when our friends experience hardships, isn’t it? We offer kind words, meals and prayers, and a shoulder to lean on. Accept everything your friends have to offer, and let them know you appreciate them.
You’re Not Done With the Doctor Just Yet
Ah yes, now for the physical healing. So if you’re like me, you hate going to the doctor already. Well let me tell you, you’re about to hate it a little more. After that initial visit to confirm your miscarriage – you have to keep going back to get your blood drawn – and that’s if everything happens naturally. Some women have to have an outpatient procedure to ensure their body fully heals and recovers from the miscarriage. Thankfully I did not have to have a procedure, but I was still miserable. Now of course, your recovery time is going to vary based on your body, and how far along the in the pregnancy you were – but the follow up process sucks just the same.
Doctors like to see your HCG levels return to a normal pre-pregnancy level, which means you have to tote your miserable self to the doctor once a week until you get the doctor’s ok. I myself wasn’t terribly far along, but it took 9 weeks for my HCG levels to return to normal. 9 weeks of a painful reminder of loss. As if getting blood work done isn’t miserable enough, the simple fact of why you’re in the doctor’s office is enough to take a toll on a girl. If I were you, I would try and take a friend or spouse with you to each appointment. You won’t feel as lonely in the waiting room, and they can help you take your mind off things. Personally, I think it’s much easier for that emotional healing to begin after this is over.
You May See a Side of Your Significant Other that You’ve Never Seen Before
Now yes, I realize everyone is different and grieves differently. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse with this. But everyone’s relationships function differently, and they handle stress in their own ways. However at least some sort of grieving happens – even if it’s completely hidden. Women are typically very up front with their emotions, while the men take the backseat and grieve internally.
And this is why Husband’s deserve an Olympic medal in this situation. They provide emotional support all while dealing with their own emotions. I’m not saying that women are not supportive to their spouse in tough situations. I’m not saying women are such an emotional mess that they can’t function without their partner. I’m just saying that in any sort of emotional distress, women often turn to their spouses for guidance and support.
For my husband and I, our miscarriage was the first emotionally draining experience our marriage had been exposed to – and I saw a side of him I had never seen before. The idea of fatherhood already had him on cloud nine and it was quickly ripped out from under him. He was vulnerable, hurting, and dealing with loss like I had never seen before. Thankfully we were both there for each other, and understood each others needs during that season. There were many nights we fell asleep sharing our hearts, in a vulnerable way like never before. But that is the beauty of marriage – for better or for worse.
If You Get Pregnant Again, it May Be Scary
Just kidding – it WILL be scary. I would be lying if I said pregnancy after loss is all sunshine and rainbows. Pregnancy alone is such a roller coaster of feelings and emotions. But pregnancy after loss? You haven’t even tapped into your emotional range until you’ve been through that.
On one side, you are absolutely elated about being pregnant again. On the other side, your mind immediately sends you back to those thoughts and fears of miscarriage. You will look forward to every single doctor’s appointment, simply because it will give you reassurance that everything is ok. I would like to tell you that the feeling goes away as your pregnancy progresses – but again, that would be a lie. It really won’t go away until you’re in the labor and delivery room and that baby is placed in your arms. All I can say is try and find peace. It’s so hard, but don’t live in fear of what may happen. Enjoy every single day that sweet little life grows inside you.
All in all, miscarriage is something that I wish my husband and I had never gone through. So many women in the world have gone through it without having the support of a loving spouse and family like we did. Some women experience multiple miscarriages, each one bringing new scars and emotions. I’m just hear to tell you that you are not alone, it’s ok to grieve, and if you have a relationship with our Lord and Savior – you WILL have the pleasure of meeting your sweet angel one day! If you or a loved one has been through a miscarriage, feel free to share your story below.