Image courtesy of Babytidings.com
Having a miscarriage is SHIT. It hurts, mentally AND physically. It takes time to grieve, to recover, to get to the point when you are strong enough to want to try again. Then, when you do get pregnant it’s impossible not to be paranoid it might happen again. It’s hard to get excited, to relax and enjoy being pregnant when each day you wake up fearing the worst.
Despite miscarriage wrongly being seen as a taboo subject, I have no qualms talking about my experiences and have often blogged about what I’ve been through. I have actually had 4 miscarriages, 3 of them since my daughter was born (she is 3). Trying for a second has been a long, expensive and often heart-breaking journey. I had test after test at St Mary’s Hospital (the UK’s leading miscarriage clinic) in London, where I was eventually diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder and Asherman’s Syndrome. Both these conditions are thankfully treatable. I was put on aspirin and daily heparin injections for the blood clotting and had surgery to treat Asherman’s.
I’ve made it to 36 weeks (woo hoo! woo hoo! woo hoo!), but it’s been one long roller coaster. With each miscarriage, I felt the chances of me ever having another child faded more and more. Fear and worry ate me up as I kept on expecting the worst, and I didn’t expect to get past the first scan, let alone the first 12 weeks. A scan at 5 1/2 weeks gave us a glimmer of hope, we saw a heart beat. Often my symptoms would disappear for a day or two (which I know now is completely normal) and again I’d convince myself it was bad news. Somehow, I made it to 12 weeks and past the major danger zone.
I wish I could say the next few months were plain sailing, but the paranoia has carried on not helped by the traumatic time I had when my daughter was born. I haven’t coped very well at all and haven’t enjoyed it either. I’ve shed bucket loads of tears, gained more wrinkles and I’m sure there must be a whole load of grey hairs hiding amongst my blonde highlights. But I’m nearly there and I’m still sane (just).
So how do you cope with pregnancy after miscarriage?
I don’t have the answers when it comes to stopping the stress or worry, but my advice is to get regular scans if it makes you feel better, join online support groups and try not to let worrying get on top of you. If you do worry, don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s normal and understandable.
I joined a couple of support forums, full of women of all ages who are going through their own traumatic journeys – it makes you realise you are not alone. There are women that are desperate for a baby but have had 7, 8 or more miscarriages and are still not giving up hope. There are also many inspiring success stories too.
Here are links to the groups.
Other sources of information on miscarriage:
The UK Asherman’s Support Group, which I am a member of, is trying to raise awareness of Asherman’s Syndrome, a condition that can occur if you have surgery following a miscarriage, or if you have retained placenta at birth. This condition often goes undiagnosed but can result in infertility. However, if diagnosed early enough, it can usually be treated with surgery.
For more information: