The Aftermath of a Miscarriage

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Ever since I started blogging about fertility, I have received so many requests to write about miscarriage. But my answer has always been the same that I didn’t feel I could emotionally connect with a subject I had never experienced myself. And I was able to convince even myself that this was why I was avoiding the topic. But that answer was far from the truth. I have shied away from writing about it because of how raw the emotions are. You see, even though I haven’€t had what is medically classified a miscarriage, my failed IVF cycle definitely felt like one.

I didn’t embark on that journey as educated about the process as I should have been. I began that cycle thinking pregnancy was guaranteed. When my embryos were transferred, in my mind, I was already pregnant. I had already calculated my due date (July 2011), and had started fantasizing about my triplets, all of whom I had already named. I had even verbally commissioned my friend, who was preparing for her vacation, to buy me some maternity outfits. But then like a bad dream, it all came crashing down. I wasn’t pregnant, as I had thought. I still struggle with the right words to describe how I felt in the weeks and even months that followed. Hollow, broken, shell-shocked, devastated, desperate. I cried till there was nothing left. The ache in my heart was so overpowering, it actually started feeling like a physical pain. It was my waking and sleeping thought the “œloss”€ of my dear triplets.

A few years later, I would walk down that road again. Some years prior, I had formed a strong friendship with a colleague of mine. We were an unlikely pair, as she was several steps lower in the hierarchy, even though we were the same age. Apart from the fact that she had a beautiful heart and was hysterically funny, we had infertility in common, and so became very close friends. She had even been married for longer than I had. Unfortunately, she and her husband were constrained by finances, and could not pursue as many options as possible. They one IVF cycle they were able to save for, failed.

Eventually, she and her husband relocated to America, thanks to his siblings who had filed for them. She was so excited to be leaving, and looked forward to finally getting free medical care. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it wasn’t quite that way in the U.S. Well, she got there, and found out for herself. After 4 years of working and toiling, they were finally able to save for an IVF cycle and it worked! I was over the moon when she told me, and even more so when she told me they were having twins! After 10 years of marriage, they had finally gotten their miracle! She sent me frequent pictures of her growing bump, asked me a lot of pregnancy and twin-related questions, and we just praised God together for this double blessing. But then one day, her BBM profile picture was a black box the typical social media symbol for mourning. As I sent her a desperate message, inquiring if she was alright, my heart was already racing in a desperate panic. “They are gone” was the reply I got. I fell into my chair in a crumpled heap, and couldn’t even manage a response.

I just sat there, holding my phone and weeping. It took me almost a full hour to compose myself to call her. She didn’t answer my call, and sent me a message that she’€d rather chat via BBM. Chatting, she told me how her water had broken, at 19 weeks, and how there was nothing they could do to save them her two boys. When she told me her husband was already making arrangements for their funeral, I knew it was time to get off the phone, as I was seconds away from another tearful episode. I felt broken for her, I felt robbed for her, I felt cheated for her, I felt angry for her! I questioned God why??! Why allow her to finally get this thing she had been praying so long for, and then snatch it away??! If I had felt as broken as I had when I had lost my 2 week old embryos, how would she possibly feel loosing babies she had bonded with for almost 5 months?! After a few weeks, she was able to start responding to her messages, and managed to joke how “Next time, na after I born una go hear oh!”. I laughed along with her, but deep inside, I realized that selfishly I wanted it that way too. I didn’t want to have to go through this trauma again.

There are so many other similar cases that I know of and I realize the feeling of devastation is as deep and desolate in all these cases from the woman who lost her baby at 6 weeks, to the woman forced to endure labour for 3 days, to remove a still-born 33 week old baby. What do you say to each of them, and to the women in between? That “€it’€s normal€?” That €it happens to almost all women€? That €œit will be okay? Whilst these are all very true, at that point in time, I have found that the last things these women want to hear are platitudes. Imagine a bowl of water, which suddenly develops a hole. Telling the owner of the bowl that it happens to almost all bowls, won’€t stop the water from gushing out. If you really want to help the owner, you try to plug the hole first and then you can talk about the other bowls. As basic as this analogy might be, it captures how most of the women I know have gone through this, have felt. In those first few weeks, all she wants to do is mourn what she has lost. And you have to let her. I know it is very difficult, for husbands especially, but this is truly a case of the stronger party having enough strength to support them both. “€Nicole, all she does is cry! From morning to night, all she does is cry!” was a complaint I got from an aggrieved husband. My response to him was he just had to let her. He could comfort and console her, but he just couldn’t try to rush this grieving process. In her own time, she would come around and she did, eventually.

I have been repeatedly asked how long the pain will last and if it will ever go away. My response is always the same it varies from person to person. I know someone who, after a few rough days, washed her face one morning and was ready to take on the world and started trying again, right away. And I know another woman whom it took over a year after her miscarriage, to return to see her Ob/Gyn. There’s no textbook timing, no set rule. And it can’€t be forced either. A friend of mine was quickly pumped and prodded out of her grief by her very religious sisters, who convinced her that she was upsetting God by wallowing in her grief. I was surprised to see her acting overly chipper, bubbly and enthusiastic, just about a week after her miscarriage. She was all gong ho about trying again, and I was impressed that she had been able to overcome her grief in such a short period. But unfortunately, it was the story of a house built on sand, quickly washed away by the rain. When the following cycle failed to result in a pregnancy, she completely broke down, and started reliving the pain of her miscarriage all over again, the pain she had been forced to box away prematurely, without being able to come to terms with it, and find closure with it in her own time.

That is truly the only way to be able to move forward to find closure. Once you are able to reach a place of acceptance, of trust, and indeed closure, you can honestly tell yourself it is time to move on. This is when you will truly be ready and happy to hear that it is normal it does happen to other women and it will be okay.

Baby dust to all!

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31 COMMENTS

  1. I think the hardest part for me was passing the tissue I would recommend to my worst friend to have an evacuation easier and sure. After the trauma of wiping blood off the floor (sorry tmi) I ended up having the evacuation the doctor felt I dnt need cos the sac dnt come through. So I would have had the evacuation instead of the drugs to induce miscarriage and be done in 2 weeks instead I had 6 weeks of miscarriage in total. I though I was fine but found myself sobbing in the bath some days, it was a dark period but it really does get better. However whenever Edd date comes I say a prayer for my baby that never was. That date is never the same again yet it seems it’s only us mothers that mourn cos from my mini research the men don’t even remember the date and as my husband says it you aren’t sure the baby would have been born on that day?

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    • My dear Bos (@bosa)…I am so sorry for what you went through. It is really heartbreaking losing a child, and you almost never forget. My older brother would have been 41 this year (Mom lost him at 28 weeks), and I know she still remembers him….even I who never met him, think about him always.

      I’m really sorry that your miscarriage dragged on for 6 weeks. How traumatic was that!!! So sorry hun. By God’s grace, your forever babies are on their way :hugs: :cloud9:

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  2. Nicole u ar really talking my heart, up till now i remember the day that i started bleeding endlessly and i felt like sobbing when i least realise that i have nothing to do to stop the termination of my 6weeks pregnancy,the thought of weather it’s a boy or a girl still lingers in my heart.

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  3. Miscarriage is wat i dnt wsh 4 my worst enemies. It is more painful that normal delivery. I had a long and painful miscarriage from Aug 19 to sept 30 @ a time my husband and I cudnt afford 10k 4 evacuation. Hmmm! Only God rescued my life.

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  4. It’s rly a nightmare… Cnt 4gt Nov 17 dat I had 2 gv birth 2 my 26 weeks old dead baby boy…I wasn’t evn allowed 2 mourn cos my mum nd hubby won’t evn let me cry..I’ve learnt 2 av faith in God sha nd praying 4 my rainbow… I still cnt 4gt d pain of bn in labour for more dan 6 hours nd eventually nt holding d baby..

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  5. Miscarriage is what i don’t wish my enemy…had mine @ 20weeks baby girl on Aug 24 while I was counting 24weeks baby had already gone. Hubby travelled was booked for induction of Labour and MVA, went through all this alone.I cried so much but it won’t replace my loss.I really wish to forget but it keeps haunting me.keep encouraging women cheers.

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    • Awww Nkechinyere, so so sorry about your loss. May God grant you peace. It’s not possible to forget but it gets better. Hope your husband is back now, so you have someone to lean on in this early stage. *Hugs* dearie

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  6. I am the woman who couldn’t go back to the doctor for over a year. Took that long to get over it. When I started bleeding, I was in the middle of a nightmare that I couldn’t believe was happening. I just laid prone for days and wishing the blood would stop. The pregnancy test I was taking daily to hold on to hope kept getting lighter until it faded to negative. I just could not stop crying and I still cry now when I think about it. I was a mess. Thank God for His love that brought me back from the brink.

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  7. Having a miscarriage is the absolute worstest(excuse my usage, but I can’t think of any other word right now) experience of my life. And I ve had to go through it twice in one year. My heart really bleeds for any woman who has ever list a child at any stage,be in during pregnancy,still birth, in infancy,adulthood etc. Its a loss you don’t ever get over. Someone who had a stillbirth,while trying to console me told me I m lucky I lost my baby at 20 weeks,at least I never got to hold or breastfeed him only to loose him. I just looked at her in awe. I had to go and bring out all the baby clothes,shoes,shawl ,blankets I had already bought for my baby to show her so she would know that that baby was no less real to me. What’s more,I had to be induced and delivered that baby like any other baby at months. His face is forever etched on my mind cos I got to see him and touch him. I only pray that no woman has to ever go through a miscarriage in her life time. And if u ve ever been through one (or two like I have) ,just know that God will not give you a burden you cannot bear. I never thought u could go through a second miscarriage,but I did and survived to encourage other women around d me who are going through it. I ve just started TTC in the last two months and hope that I will get to carry my own baby in my arms soon.

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    • Naomi, I got emotional reading your post. I never really understood the emotion until my close friend lost her son at 17 weeks. It is incredibly traumatic and painful but we thank God for the grace to pull through. I pray for you hun. I pray that you will carry your next babies in your arms, alive and well. It is well with you hun :hug:

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  8. Thanks @ Nicole and oluwakemi. This blog has been a lifesaver for me,right from the days of Bella naija. Its good to know there are other women who have gone through the TTC journey and came out victorious at the end. Plus,I can really talk about my pain without looking weak . thanks for all you do us. God bless you all.

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  9. I never knew I will pray a prayer for my worst enemy, but I never wish anyone the pain of ever going through a miscarriage at whatever week of pregnancy or have a still born. I just had a miscarriage last 2 weeks. My baby was 8weeks after having had to wait Two ttcing. The pain I felt, the shame at having to tell people that I had list the baby.. The pain and pls I still feel when I see women with their baby bumps. It is horrible but am throwing my while energy into trying to get pregnant again and I wish everyone praying and trying beautiful baby dust

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    • I’m so so sorry to read this, Oluchi. My heart goes out to you. My dear, please take all the time you need to heal. God will surely heal your broken heart and bless you with your rainbow baby! If you ever need to talk, we’re here for you :hug:

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  10. Myomectomy & miscarriage is something I don’t wish for my worst enemy… Gosh ! It’s so painful… I miscarried at 6 weeks & bled from 19 January till 23 January before evacuation & am still recovering from the myomectomy I had two weeks ago i keep asking God why ?? But in all things I give thanks cos I could have died after losing blood during the surgery but I survived & was on my feet the following day even tho I was in pain … Am not giving up till I deliver my twins baby dust to all

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  11. I really wish I could get over this pain quickly. I wrote a blog post about my miscarriage just last week. Everybody expects me to be just fine because “I am still young”. what does that even mean?
    My husband tries but truly he doesn’t understand. My sisters have both lost babies but they both had other children to help console them. I just feel empty and cheated. I hurts so bad. I cried all the way to work this morning because I took another pregnancy test this morning and it was negative. I do not even know who to vent to or what to do. I’m scared and sad. I truly don’t want to be preached to…… I can even quote the scriptures to myself if I had to but it’s not working……

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    • Sending loads of hugs your way Ladyromford. She who wears the shoes is the only one, who feels the pinch. Please feel free to grieve your loss, but know that these people also care about you and want to see you happy again. They are just not connecting with you well. They don’t understand but you can make them how you’re feeling, your husband especially. If he hasn’t read your post, share it with him. It can be a conversation starter.
      Take care dear.

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