Miscarriage. This word does not describe the pain that comes from losing a baby. It simplifies it. It dumbs down the experience. If we talk about miscarriage, it is often brushed off and many are told to "just get over it."
What happens during a miscarriage?
Did you know that there are multiple ways that women have discovered that they have lost their baby? Have you heard of the term "Missed Miscarriage"? This is when a woman goes to get an ultrasound or listen to her baby's heartbeat, only to discover that there is no heartbeat and her baby had stopped growing. After this, the woman is given options. Some women can pass the baby naturally. Some have to take a pill to help encourage the baby to pass. Some women have to undergo a surgical procedure. Some women don't even know that they have lost their baby until they start bleeding everywhere. The only place to go is the toilet and some end up fishing their baby out of the toilet water. This baby that they wanted so bad can't just be flushed down the toilet. So, bleeding and in pain, she will check multiple clots and eventually find her baby. Maybe she will find it after the first clot that passes or maybe she will have to keep searching, after multiple trips to the bathroom.
Some women have an Ectopic Pregnancy. This is where the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. If left untreated, it can damage organs and threaten the life of the mother. Many times, the mother has to undergo surgery to fix this.
Having a miscarriage is giving birth. The baby may not be very big but your body goes through the same thing as if you were having a full term birth. You may have a bit of spotting or it may just start with contractions. In my experience, I had two days of spotting, which happened with my other two kids, so I wasn't ready for what came next. In the middle of the night, I awoke to terrible pain in my abdomen. Absolutely painful. Only to realize later that they were contractions and I was about to give birth. I was also bleeding. I'm not talking about a small trickle. I'm talking about amounts of blood that I was sure I was going to end up in the ER. Nothing helped with the pain or bleeding. I just had to wait for it to slow down. Personally, that relief didn't even begin to come for about eight hours.
How does one not blame themselves for losing a baby? After all, our bodies failed us. What if we used the wrong body wash? Ate something that we didn't know could hurt the baby? What if we did absolutely nothing wrong, but we still can't help but blame ourselves? This is all too common among those that have had to endure such a painful thing. Let us grieve. Let us cry. Give us your shoulder to cry on. Bring us dinner. Bring us flowers. Show us that you are thinking about us.
Be kind. Reach out to your friends who have lost babies and check on them. Don't tell us to "get over it" or that "it's time to move on." We lost a child. We deserve to grieve and we will never forget about our loss.
More than anything, don't forget about our baby. While everyone moves on, we grieve and we often grieve in silence. Please, ask us about our baby so that we know that there is at least one other person that remembers with us.
Photo Credit: Christie Berube