October is Miscarriage Awareness month. Miscarriages are more common than many realize, but never really discussed. A miscarriage is a big deal. If you have suffered a miscarriage or miscarriages, we are truly sorry for your loss. We want you to know that you are not alone, even though it may not feel that way. 1 in 4 women experience a miscarriage in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Those numbers are staggering, it is unfortunately so common, yet women report feeling so isolated and alone. We want to help you find the miscarriage support you need.
The Worst Day
The dreaded words, “There is no heartbeat; I’m so sorry”. You can not believe what is happening, it is like a bad dream. You have lost your baby. The doctor tells you what kind of miscarriage it was, not that it makes it any easier. It does not change the fact that you have lost your baby, the one you were so in love with, although had never met. You may have even heard its little heart beating. There are no words for having a miscarriage, it is just such a awful experience to have to go through.
The Days and Weeks To Follow
The Lack of Miscarriage Support
You are sent home. Depending on your circumstances, you may still be bleeding, have a pill to take, have scheduled a procedure, or all of the above. It all feels so alien and strange. Cue more blood work and going back into the same office, seeing all the other cute pregnant women excited with their lovely baby bumps. You play the HCG game when all you want to do is go home and crawl into bed and hide from the world. You want to put it behind you, try to move on and think maybe you can try conceiving again. The next day you go to work or are at home with your other child, possibly still miscarrying or are post procedure, but you show up to whatever your day is. Your partner is shattered too and is having a hard time dealing with the shock.
There is no referral for miscarriage support from the doctors office; no ‘heads up’ for what is to come in the upcoming weeks and months – after the physical there is so much more. Weeks later you will still be very hormonal and the heaviness in your heart will still be there. Life has moved on but you are finding it hard to.
You’re overwhelmed with emotions. You feel like someone ran you over with a truck: heavy, devastated, angry, sad, in shock, and numb. The list can go on and on, but you keep it all inside. The simple fact is that miscarriages are not openly talked about; and that is a problem. There is no bereavement day from work or your life. It is business as usual. If you had another family member that passed away or a pet, you would share that with others. Most likely you’d have a few days off, receiving support in many ways: someone coming over with a warm meal, nice texts, phone calls, and perhaps support via messages on social media. But yet, you just lost your baby, and told no one. The sad part is that many many other women have babies in heaven and have been through this silent, heart wrenching grief. Yet there is no miscarriage support platform.
You Are Not Alone
Remember 1 in 4 women experience a miscarriage; let that sink in. That means that if you were to sit 12 women at a table at least 3 would have experienced losing a baby. You probably know someone who has experienced the loss of a baby. It is something that is so private and personal; however there should be more discussion about it so women know that they are not alone.
You feel so isolated, worthless, you may feel disconnected from your partner, your confidence is shaken, and the list goes on. It needs to be talked about, women need to know they are not alone and all of your feelings are valid and normal. Hope is not lost even though it may not feel close to that way. It is ok and important to grieve your beautiful baby. It is ok to honor their life in any way that feels right for you. It’s also ok not to.
A miscarriage is hard and raw and something that you cannot run from, busy yourself, work or exercise away. Reach out to people you trust and can talk to. Be kind to yourself. Please don’t feel ashamed. This is not your fault. Your partner still loves you and is hurting too, they deal differently. It’s ok to wear your heart on your sleeve and grieve. It’s ok to talk about it and the baby that you lost. Your body is not the enemy. You did nothing wrong. You are deserving. This does not define your worth. You are allowed to and should take time; it does not make you weak. Know that you are not alone. It will get better with time; I promise. You deserve good things and happiness; you will be ok. Below are some things that may help.
Miscarriage Support Groups
- Ask about seeing a social worker through your hospital or clinic. If there is not one on site or you do not feel like speaking with one, they can circle back with you and provide you with local and outside support resources.
- Speak to other women that have had similar experiences. As wonderful as our partners are, there are some things that they just cannot understand. Grief is individual to each person. Lean on the women in your life.
- Here are a few resources:
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital Parent Support Group (Boston): For those who have lost infants as a result of miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death. For information, call Susan Bermon 617-732-5419
- The Tears Foundation, Massachusetts Chapter
- The Compassionate Friends: A national bereavement organization to support families following the death of a child. For information, call 877-969-0010.
- Facebook: Miscarriage Support Group
- Instagram: The Worst Girl Gang Ever
- Award Winning Podcast: “Miscarriage, infertility and baby loss podcast with Bex Gunn and Laura Buckingham. Honest conversations about unspoken experiences.”
- If you are having suicidal thoughts or tendencies -please speak to your partner, family member, friend, or enlist the help of a licensed professional. Know there is someone to talk to 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255
About The Author
Olivia Wojcik, RN has a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from SNHU, summa cum laude. She is a Certified Lactation Consultant through ALLP and Reiki level II practitioner. Olivia is trained as a Sleep Coach and Newborn Care Expert with BBN&N. In addition she is the mother to a beautiful two year old girl.