How Miscarriage Skewed The Way I Saw My Pregnant Body

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Image via author/ Devan McGuinness

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.

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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.

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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? 

What do you think?

How Miscarriage Skewed The Way I Saw My Pregnant Body

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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11 comments

  1. Profile photo of Shakeila Shakeila says:

    I miscarried very recently. It was a late miscarriage which made things awkward for me. I was already showing when I lost my little miracle. On top of that my husband is away in military training. This has been devastating ad all of the extra comments from friends and family didn’t really help. When I saw this article I could really relate and was glad I am not alone in this. This is my second miscarriage in the past fifteen months.I only have one precious little girl and if She is all I have I am happy with that. Now I still look pregnant and that bothers me… no one expects to miscarry at 15 weeks. Thank you for sharing your story, people like me needed it.

    • Profile photo of Megan KlayEditor Megan Klay says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. 🙁 I too suffered a miscarriage and it’s the worst thing I’ve been through in my adult life. I know the things loved ones say aren’t always helpful, but I tried to keep in mind they were coming from a good place and trying to be supportive (which was sometimes easier said than done). Best wishes to you and your family as you go through this. I’ll be thinking of you!

    • Profile photo of Devan McGuinnessAuthor Devan McGuinness says:

      I am so sorry for your loss, Shakeila. Sending you so much love and understanding. xo

  2. I am 7 weeks pregnant and they told me they can’t heart beat when I went to do the sono should I be concerned? ???

  3. Profile photo of Jennifer Jennifer says:

    I was pregnant with my first and list the baby at 8 weeks. I was so excited already that I had started the nursery and buying baby stuff was in full force!! It was the most horrifying and depressing thing that has ever happened to me. Getting out of bed after that became a chore. I just decided that it wasn’t in the cards.
    Two years passed and I’m 5 months pregnant with our baby boy. I’m scared everyday. I feel anything abnormal and I check for blood. I don’t trust my body. I know they say that it happens and can happen for a number of reasons…but that movie idea of being pregnant will never be my experience. I will always just be waiting to the worst and praying for otherwise. My heart goes out to any women that experiences this kind of loss. The self blame and depression AND self shame that comes is unimaginable. I hope for everyone to get their miracle!!

  4. Profile photo of kelsey kelsey says:

    i feel the same. im depressed. i feel like my body cant do what its meant to do. i have only one miscarriage and no babys . i found out at 10 weeks that my little moate boat died at 6 weeks. when the week before everything i was told was fine 3 months later and i have only one period that was forced by a pill my doctor gave me to start it that was last month. this month 7 days late no period and 4 negative test. my husband is very supportive but he doesn’t understand the way i feel. how not having a period or being pregnant has crushed it for me. i cant see the future the way he can with a baby soon. i just see us not being able to for a long time. i hate to think that way but i cant help it. im scared that i cant give my husband or me the family we both want. i know im young but this has ruined me on being pregnant. i don’t find it as appealing as it use to be. im worried im scared and part of me feels lost. im a women and cant do the thing im suppose to be able to do. provide a family or have a period. all these people telling me that its ok or it will be fine doesn’t understand because non of them has had one they have family’s they can give there husband and them a family and i feel like i cant do it. i cant be a women.

    • Profile photo of Gabriella Gabriella says:

      I completely understand where you are coming from! I was pregnant & lost my son at only 24 weeks , I had him so early they couldn’t do anything for him & he wasn’t breathing . its been almost a year & im scared & im trying but I feel like I cant do it. I feel useless if I cant even do the one thing im made to do which is to have babies. its hard but one day soon we will both get our miracle

  5. Profile photo of kimberly kimberly says:

    I can so agree with you i ve had a few after having 2 heathy boys .When my youngest was about 5 we tried again hoping for a girl .Everything seem great till i had my 1st appointment the doctor went to check the heart beat …she couldnt find it she thought maybe it was the machine then she thought mybe i am not far enough along so she sent me right over for a ultrasound that changed my thoughts about having a baby .The doctors telling me i was 8 weeks and the baby wasnt alive .Then they tried to give me hope saying i could try again in about 8 weeks and we did just that and again i didnt even make it to my appointment i was in the er bleeding out and my hubby couldnt handle it he said its not ment to be honey .I was heart broken .12 years passed and i have a little girl i couldnt relax and i couldnt ever be okay .So you think adding something to the stress already at 4 months i got told my daughter had mulitipe cystic kidney …I was so upset and was thinking how ,why you name it i was thinking it .Again i was told she be fine and when she was born it would be taken out ,so think nothing else bad could happen nope i was wrong ,i got a call saying they think my cousin who was my best friend and like sister might have passed away because no one gets on the phone anymore i ran to my pc and look on facebook there it is my best friend my sister my side kick went to have a surgery to help lose weight she had 4 boys age 7 to 12 .But she had passed away my baby who i tried so hard for has something wrong too .I thought for sure i was going to lose her from all the stress .I have a happy ending in honor of my cousin i gave my little girl her middle name yes she had her right kidney removed at 5 weeks old .Today she a happy loveing 2 year old who reminds me every day miracles happed and she is the heart of the family .So yes it sucked but but in the end i do believe everything happens for reason not sure if i could ever think of any other way i learn to fine the positive things in life .We need that so happy ever after some times its not the pretty pictures we have in our head.Sorry for all ur loses there is nothing anyone can say to make it better nothing but now you and i are not alone is the best part .

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