Thoughts on Miscarriage
The house is quiet as you lay on your bed to go to sleep. Just a few days (or weeks) ago you found out the happy news that you were expecting. Immediately you wonder what the baby will look like, and you can't wait for your stomach to round out and blossom. Perhaps you are tired, maybe nauseous, and probably nervous and excited in a way you haven't felt since you were 8. Your hands seem to naturally gravitate to the middle of your body, where you just know a little heart is beating and a tiny person is living, growing inside. It redefines love and totally revamps how we worry as women.
Early pregnancy can be wearisome for a lot of reasons. Here you are pregnant, but it doesn't feel that earth shatteringly different. Compound that with the fact that doctors, friends, family members, and other people just don't seem to get the way you feel. You would think an OB/GYN would want you to rush into their office and be checked every day; after all, this is pregnancy we are talking about. But they don't; quite simply because most do not consider pregnancy confirmed until around the 12 week mark. Hmmm. Old wives tales warn us about spreading the news too quickly. The certainty of it is that in spite of doctors and fables, the pregnancy is absolutely real, and it is your right and honor to bask in the glory of it all you want.
Even worse, almost as soon as you tell people your good news, they will rehash some tragic story of miscarriage. It is hard to understand why people do this, but they do. Everything you read online or in magazines begins to throw out warnings about first trimester miscarriage and the symptoms and signs. Worry sets in, which is natural, of course. Dread, fear, and the ultimate betrayal of body and soul! That is what a miscarriage is. Will it happen to me: could it….the thoughts can easily turn to panic.
Dealing with a miscarriage is something that many people do long before it happens. The thought sits in the back of a pregnant woman's mind, and they wish frantically they would reach that coveted and surreal moment of the twelve week mark. This is when, according to the world, the pregnancy is real. For the mom to be, the pregnancy is real the moment they find out. The life is born, the love begins, and the feelings of maternal nurturing seem to shift from inside our soul to their rightful place in the forefront of life. It is only natural to worry about having a miscarriage. When you love and want something as badly as a child, the gut wrenching thought of it disappearing is heart breaking.
Being frank, all women know that the risk of miscarriage exists, especially in the first trimester. But the worry you feel should be fleeting at best. No matter how complacent a doctor seems to be about the way you feel, if worry is taking over your life, you should force them to take steps to make it easier for you. Sometimes hearing the heart beat can make a woman feel better, and purchasing or renting a fetal monitor may be just the thing to get you through this period of uncertainty. Chances are that no matter what you do, you will still worry some. Although you may be trying to get your hands on every tid-bit of pregnancy related news you can, it is often best to avoid reading the statistics and facts about miscarriage and concentrate more on all the happy and celebrated sides of pregnancy.
If you are one of the millions of unfortunate women who does experience a miscarriage, you will need to nurture yourself. Give yourself time to heal, not just physically, but emotionally. Do something that feels right to you to commemorate the life. It was a life, regardless of how other people feel. Plant a tree in memory, write the baby a letter, or prepare a burial. It doesn't matter how you deal with it – so long as you do. Try your very best to ignore all the ignorant and insensitive things that people will say to you. The truth is that they don't understand, and there is no way possible that they could. Forgive them before they speak. You and the father of the baby are suffering a loss, and in due time, through whichever means feel sufficient, you will heal. This healing does not mean that you ever will or should forget; for the loss of a baby in utero is quite distinctly- the loss of a dream. But you will go on.
Dealing with a miscarriage can be confusing and can ultimately feel like a failure. Knowing that there are thousands of others who went through the same thing is hardly comforting. The truth is that most miscarriages are due to the result of a genetic imperfection in the fetus. The bulk of the major genetic splits occur around the 10 week mark, and this is often the time when first trimester miscarriage occurs. There is little, if anything, that you could have done to stop or avoid it, no matter what. Unfortunately, the medical community and others offer little comfort, and it is unequivocally up to you to mother yourself for a while.
Having suffered through a couple miscarriages myself, I can say for sure that there is still a place in my heart for each of those children I lost. With them, I despairingly lost a dream and vision for my future as well. Months and years have passed, yet I still can feel the pangs of my burgeoning belly and those two babies that did not make it. Every once in a while, a tear will roll from my eye in memory. Although my life turned out differently than I expected at that time, it still turned out to be wonderful, full of laughter and children. Four of them to be exact! In my mothering heart I have six. Time definitely heals all wounds and dealing with a miscarriage is one of those abrasions that will take time to feel better. But it will!