1 in 4 women experience pregnancy or infant loss. 25% of women in the world go through this horrendous grief. And most women are actually surprised by the intensity of their emotions after.
Because so many do experience it, is why it’s brushed off as just being ‘common’, that breaks my heart. So many women going through the same thing, yet feeling so alone and ashamed to talk to anyone for being judged and being told ‘it wasn’t meant to be’.
One of the worst things you can say to a woman grieving the loss of a baby is ‘it wasn’t meant to be’ how insensitive can you be? That was a human, a life that somebody made and had growing inside them.
The other obtuse words you will have thrown at you from so called friends and family will be ‘everything happens for a reason’ – yes maybe Julie! But right now that’s not what I need to hear because that doesn’t ease the pain, hurt and grieving that I’m experiencing at this moment in time and it just makes me angry questioning what the hell that reason is and WHY?!
Then there will be – ‘time eases pain’ right now I don’t feel like I’ve got time, right now I’m feeling like time has stopped in a bubble full of numbness and anger. Right now I don’t feel like I’m ever going to get through the next few minutes, never I don’t days and weeks.
Another idiotic comment will be ‘at least you know you can get pregnant’ – are you freaking kidding me?! Right now I’m feeling inacapable of doing what should come naturally to a woman, I don’t feel like I’m able to carry a baby, I’m questioning what is wrong with me and why this has happened. I’m wondering if I will ever be able to carry a baby again, never mind to full term!
Then there’s my all time favourite.. ‘at least you wasn’t too far in to your pregnancy’ – so because my baby wasn’t inside me 6 months, only 3, that means I shouldn’t be able to grieve. Or it doesn’t warrant how I’m fleeing because I haven’t carried that baby as long as others. From seeing that positive test you become a mother, your imagination runs wild and you picture your whole future in front of you. Everybody grieves in different ways, but no one should ever be made to feel that their loss matters less because of at what stage they experience it.
Miscarriage is not ‘just a miscarriage’
It’s the loss of a baby.
The loss of dreams for your child. From the minute you see them two lines appear, you’ve already created a human, dreamt what they will look like, who he or she will be.
It’s the guilt, the guilt of thinking you did something wrong throughout your pregnancy and blaming yourself. It’s the anger wishing you could have changed something.
It’s the physical pain, not as intense as contractions but the pain is awful. The not knowing what’s happening makes it even more difficult to get through.
It’s a hormonal rollercoaster, it’s like postpartum depression without the baby, it’s grieving for someone you’ve never met.It’s hard on your relationship, the anger, grief and emotions all take it’s toll. When people try an toss miscarriage to one side as if you should pull yourself together and move on from it, it infuriates me. It doesn’t work like that, grieving takes time and not a day goes by still that I don’t think of what could have been. That little angel baby will always be my favourite ‘What If?’
The mental distress after is worse than I ever imagined. It can cause depression, anxiety, OCD, (obsessive compulsive disorder), PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and even suicidal thoughts. Did you know if you experience pregnancy/infant loss you are 4 times more likely to experience depression, and 7 times more likely to have PTSD. They are staggering figures!
Your values, your beliefs about life and religion can be challenged. You start to feel like your not capable of doing something which should come naturally, you feel inferior as a woman. You can experience flashbacks to the time of when you lost the baby, whether it be the miscarriage with the bleeding, or having to delivery your still born. For me the image will always stick in my head of knowing when I passed the fetus. You can struggle with weight loss or weight gain. You may suddenly find yourself struggling to breath and your heart feeling like it’s beating out of your chest, that can be panic attacks. You may feel like your life is going on a downward spiral to the point where you want to stay home alone with no human interaction, you want to sleep more and not get out of bed, you may suddenly realise it’s days since you showered or left the house. These can be early signs of depression.
Please please please don’t suffer in silence. Speak to family or friends. Use online support groups to talk to others going through the same thing. LIMIT SOCIAL MEDIA – this is so important. The world has gone crazy with everyone’s life seeming picture perfect online, the majority is false, your seeing their highlight reel and not behind the scenes. So when your feeling at an all time low, the last thing you need to see it’s others ‘perfect lives’. Nutrition is so important, you need to look after yourself and fuel your body with the good stuff. The more junk food you put in to it, the worse your going to end up feeling. You may not feel like it but sleep should be your priority, you need to sleep to have a clearer mind and be able to function. Find coping techniques that work for you such as breathing techniques to help you through anxiety and help you sleep.