Let's Talk Miscarriage

by 21stcenturymummy on November 4, 2010

My heart goes out to Lily Allen following her miscarriage. I don’t think there will be anything anyone can say/do to make her feel any better right now, especially as she was so far on her pregnancy. It’s made me think of my situation. I had one miscarriage before my daughter (now 2 and a half) was born and three since. They were all before 12 weeks, so I can’t begin to imagine how hard it must be to lose the baby your carrying at 6 months.

Everyone deals with miscarriage differently, but it can be a traumatic experience.

According to stats, more than 1 in 4 pregnancies result in miscarriage, however there are some suggestions that it is more. It’s a roller coaster ride mentally and physically, no matter how early on in the pregnancy it happens and how many you have. One minute you can be sailing along, pregnant and happy, the next your world is turned upside down. Anything and everything from hormone overload, pain and exhaustion to fear and grief, can make you feel distraught. Plus it can take a long time for your body to get back to normal and you may have to have surgery (D&C) if it doesn’t happen naturally.

Often you go through the stages of grieving as you would when someone dies. You can blame yourself or your partner, feel guilty, angry and experience every horrible emotion there is. It can affect every area of your life, including your family and your relationships. You can end up taking things out on your partner and often they don’t know how to deal with it. It can be hard to pick yourself up and move on, and it can lead to depression.

The more you talk about miscarriage, the more you find out how many others have been through it and that you’re not alone. Yet, it remains a ‘taboo’ or at the very least, an uncomfortable subject. I actually find it very easy to talk about my miscarriages. Perhaps this is because, for the last 2 years, it’s unfortunately been a big part of my life, so it’s become an every day topic of conversation. And why shouldn’t we talk about it?

Why is it so “hush, hush”? I can see it makes some people squirm and I now find it quite funny. A prime example of this is when I mentioned to a friend of my husband’s that I’d had a miscarriage. I actually told him because my husband didn’t tell anyone (it’s a guy thing), so I thought if one of his friends knew, he might talk to them. This friend me a funny look and then said ‘I didn’t need to know that’! Needless to say I was expecting him to be a bit more sympathetic than that. He’s a nice guy and I assume he reacted like that because he genuinely didn’t know what to say (and I think he was drunk at the time).

From experience, I honestly don’t think people realise how hard it can be. You can’t honestly relate to it unless you have experienced one yourself, which is why I think it’s difficult for people to be sympathetic. I got sent some flowers and gifts to cheer me up after my first miscarriage, but by the last one, I got the feeling that most people were thinking I was okay because I would be used to it. Funnily enough, the last time for me was the hardest.

The best thing people can do when you have a miscarriage is to be supportive and sympathetic, to listen, and let the person know that you are there for them if they need you. I hope Lily Allen’s husband, family and friends do just that. And if anyone knows anyone going through something like this, just make sure you do the same.

Counselling can be a great help and there’s a very good online community groups on many of the pregnancy and baby sites. For example, there’s an excellent recurrent miscarriage group on Babycentre.co.uk. There’s also the Miscarriage Association.

{ 8 comments }

Lizzyo22 November 4, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Thank you for your post. I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriages. I understand it must be heartbreaking to have gone through this so many times, each time bringing its own bag of very individual emotions.
Like you, I can’t understand why it all seems so taboo. I miscarried at 12 weeks before I had my son. I was running a business at the time and I felt I had to tell my clients and contacts. I didn’t want to hear ‘Ooo…are you feeling better now?’ thinking I’d been off sick. It bought me a bit of time. People backed off on the professional side and gave me a bit of personal space. After 5 months my partner and I went to Relate as our relationship had become a bumpy ride. It was the best thing we ever did and we would both do it again in a heartbeat if things ever got that tough again. I’m sure that if anyone is reading your post and going through this gut-wrenching time themselves, they will find it very useful to take your well thought-out advice and find a place they’re comfortable to talk.

Lizzyo22 November 4, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Thank you for your post. I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriages. I understand it must be heartbreaking to have gone through this so many times, each time bringing its own bag of very individual emotions.
Like you, I can’t understand why it all seems so taboo. I miscarried at 12 weeks before I had my son. I was running a business at the time and I felt I had to tell my clients and contacts. I didn’t want to hear ‘Ooo…are you feeling better now?’ thinking I’d been off sick. It bought me a bit of time. People backed off on the professional side and gave me a bit of personal space. After 5 months my partner and I went to Relate as our relationship had become a bumpy ride. It was the best thing we ever did and we would both do it again in a heartbeat if things ever got that tough again. I’m sure that if anyone is reading your post and going through this gut-wrenching time themselves, they will find it very useful to take your well thought-out advice and find a place they’re comfortable to talk.

marketingtomilk November 4, 2010 at 8:52 pm

My sister’s a midwife and she admitted recently that she before she had children she never really understand the pain of losing a child before 12 weeks. They are as real then as they are at 6 months.

M2Mx

marketingtomilk November 4, 2010 at 8:52 pm

My sister’s a midwife and she admitted recently that she before she had children she never really understand the pain of losing a child before 12 weeks. They are as real then as they are at 6 months.

M2Mx

slcurwin November 5, 2010 at 2:54 am

I’m glad you can talk about this. “I actually find it very easy to talk about my miscarriages. Perhaps this is because, for the last 2 years, it’s been a big part of my life, so it’s become an every day topic of conversation.” This is me. I often think that people are wondering why I’m still talking about it, but I am trying to raise awareness, kill the taboo, and if everyone else can talk about that they are thinking, why cant we talk about this too?
I never talked about my first (and it was horrible) but after my second (which was so much worse) I started opening up to people and and the difference was incredible. It takes being brave at first, but the result is really worth it.

slcurwin November 5, 2010 at 2:54 am

I’m glad you can talk about this. “I actually find it very easy to talk about my miscarriages. Perhaps this is because, for the last 2 years, it’s been a big part of my life, so it’s become an every day topic of conversation.” This is me. I often think that people are wondering why I’m still talking about it, but I am trying to raise awareness, kill the taboo, and if everyone else can talk about that they are thinking, why cant we talk about this too?
I never talked about my first (and it was horrible) but after my second (which was so much worse) I started opening up to people and and the difference was incredible. It takes being brave at first, but the result is really worth it.

Naomi Richards November 5, 2010 at 10:41 am

My best friend had her babies at 25 and 26 weeks. When you think that both survived is incredible. It is immensely say that Lily lost her baby and all those who have done so in the past at such a late stage. I don’t know how you get over it. The more you talk about miscarriage the more you realise it is such a common thing but somehow we never mention it to others that we have been there.

Naomi Richards November 5, 2010 at 10:41 am

My best friend had her babies at 25 and 26 weeks. When you think that both survived is incredible. It is immensely say that Lily lost her baby and all those who have done so in the past at such a late stage. I don’t know how you get over it. The more you talk about miscarriage the more you realise it is such a common thing but somehow we never mention it to others that we have been there.

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