How Miscarriage Skewed The Way I Saw My Pregnant Body
When I thought about what being pregnant would be like, I would always smile. I had never been pregnant before, but I believed that – just like we see in the movies – being pregnant was going to be this amazing, emotional time while my body made this miracle.
When I found myself pregnant for the first time, I expected that to happen—only it didn’t. My pregnancy ended almost as soon as I had found out, and my view on pregnancy was forever changed. Pregnancy was no longer this amazing thing that I could sit back and watch happen while my body did what it was designed to do. All my body actually showed me was that it was designed to let me down. And that’s what it did, time and time again.
I recognize that my experience with miscarriage and pregnancy is not exactly the norm. When I tell people I have four children, that information is typically met with a surprised face because we’re seeing fewer and fewer “larger” families these days. When I tell people I have had 12 miscarriages, the shocked face becomes even more noticeable, and yet, that first miscarriage was the catalyst for how my view on pregnancy was forever skewed. It didn’t matter if it was my first loss or my twelfth—the movie-time view of pregnancy was forever gone.
In its place was a new reality—a reality filled with more anxiety and worry. I was less concerned with having the perfect nursery set up and more concerned with wondering if I was actually going to use that room. I was less focused on the symptoms of pregnancy and how they affected my every day; and instead, I was filled with worry when those symptoms abruptly disappeared.
I lost all trust in my body. I lost trust in the process. I understood more deeply how much a miracle pregnancy is. I knew all the ways it could go wrong. I had anxiety where there should have been excitement. I couldn’t connect with my growing shape, and it was rare to find me rubbing my belly as you see other expectant mothers doing.
As I spoke to more mothers who had been through a miscarriage or other perinatal losses, I understood this to be a relatively normal process. I hate to use the term “normal” here, but it was nice for me to know that I was not alone in these feelings. I found comfort knowing the distance I had in my pregnancy was not necessarily a reflection on how much I would feel when the baby arrived.
Miscarriage changed how I saw pregnancy. It changed how deeply I wanted to be a mother. It skewed my trust in my body and how I approached all the changes that come along with pregnancy.
Did you have experiences that changed your view of pregnancy?