The Big Black M: Miscarriage
I never imagined I would be writing this but I’m doing it so I can remember, so I can move on, so others might be able to move on after their own experiences and so that it’s out there, shared and people might be able to understand even a little bit. I struggled to publish this, thinking people would think I can’t move on and that it’s not a legitimate loss because it was early. I chose to ignore the mean voice inside.
- It’s not quick
- It’s incredibly painful
- It’s not just blood
In the movies, there’s a rush of blood, a clutching of the stomach and we all just ‘know’. In real life there was brown spotting and mild period cramps but Google told me it’s normal. Then there was pink spotting and more intense cramps but Google still told me there are many explanations. Then there was a hospital trip where I waited and waited. There was normal blood pressure, normal temperature, normal feelings. There were scans and heartbeats and no blood on the monitor. There was hope and excitement and happy tears.
Then there was rest before the real cramping began. Clots happened. But it was all still OK. I knew it wasn’t normal but Google (as well as the actual Doctor and a hundred pregnancy forums) told me there was a chance. I convinced myself there was a chance.
I was clutching at a teeny tiny, blueberry-sized straw.
And finally my uterus began to rip in two. My body screamed at me, asking why I couldn’t just keep this little being cradled safely inside. My cervix opened and contractions started. I shivered with the pain. More than shivered. I convulsed. My body wasn’t my own anymore. There was no control.
What I thought could only be a few minutes or hours of pain actually continued for days. My body tired. My spirit deflated. My emotions as raw as my insides.
And still there was more to come. Because now I started to pass actual things, not just blood and clots. I passed sizeable pieces of flesh, I passed a small being who used to live inside me and who’s heartbeat I had heard just days ago. I felt things I never expected to feel leave my body.
I cried, but not like any crying I’d heard from myself before. The pain came out in waves of choking, heavy groans. I couldn’t stand. The experience had literally and metaphorically brought me to my knees. My body breaking at the same time as my heart.
And the worst of it is the tiny, cold voice suggesting that it’s me who did this. That my body wasn’t made to carry another. That I’ve let myself down. And my baby. And worst of all, that I’ve let my favourite person down. That I’ve disabled him from becoming ‘Daddy’.
Mother Nature, in all her wisdom and cruelty continues to dole out the pregnancy hormones which means I was tired and emotional for weeks to come.
But things do become easier. Grief is replaced with numbness. Numbness is replaced with joy and excitement and fear and happiness and sadness and all of the emotions we call life. But for now, at the beginning, ‘life’ has to be intentionally small and cocooned. Treat yourself as gently as you would the child you just let go. Cry and sleep. Eat and rest.
They say “She lost the baby” like it was an easy thing to do.
NB. There is no apparent connection between my PCOS and miscarriage. Take heart that, by changing my lifestyle, I was able to heal my body enough to be able to conceive. But I know that doesn’t make it easier.
I wrote the above throughout my experience of ‘Miscarriage’. It’s been 3 months and I feel ready to share. Although it’s still incredibly hard to re-write these words and I’m currently allowing myself another flood of tears, the really intense waves of emotion have subsided. I have had lows and I have rejoiced in highs. I have picked myself up, dusted myself off and I’m back in the game. If you’re currently in that raw state, you will also be back in the game one day and I hope to have helped in some small way. Below are some links to words that I found cathartic in my own journey. I binged on others’ stories. I think it helped.
Re-reading the words above, I’m reminded of how incredibly brave, strong, sensitive and powerful we are as women. Never forget that.