Am I okay? The million dollar question everyone asks you after you have experienced a loss. The one you don’t know how to properly answer and the one you dread. Because the honest answer isn’t the one most people want to hear.
Up until a week ago, I thought I was doing alright and my grieving was starting to slow. Until one of the few people we told about this pregnancy and one we forgot to tell about our loss ( announcing a loss is much harder), texted me asking how my pregnancy was going? And it hit me, like a ton of bricks….. GRIEF…it came back for me. It knew I wasn’t finished and I had to face it; face that my grief wasn’t over. After all it was only a little over a month ago I was pregnant. Instantly I was reminded, I was supposed to be 15 weeks along , know the gender and be planning all those fun pregnancy things my husband and I had been dreaming of. But instead I was reminded that my pregnancy ended *again*, mine and my husband’s growing embryo ( a loved baby with a heartbeat) died, and that it’s okay that I am not okay yet.
Does grief really ever end? Or do we start to heal and life goes on? Do we pretend it ends because we feel obligated to? Or is it because we tell ourselves miscarriages happen to a lot of people and the doctors say it’s common…..I wasn’t super far along so I should be ok? Or I shouldn’t be this sad, I’ve gone through this before ? Or how can I be so sad over someone I never met? Or someone else has it worse than me? Or they moved on after so fast… why am I still not okay? Or let’s just try again? All things I’ve told myself. All things a lot of people dealing with miscarriage tell themselves.
My husband and I have been battling infertility and loss some time now. We usually keep our family and friends out of it all. Mostly, because it protects our hearts and theirs. We have faced loss and it’s ugly rath and it’s hard to bring others along *down* with you. But this time we did because it was the holidays, everyone was in town, our baby had a strong heartbeat, and we were finally beating the odds… or so we thought. Why not do something normal and tell our family/ close friends? I think with infertility it steals so much joy and ‘normal moments’ you dream of getting some of that back. But when we found out our baby no longer had a heartbeat… three days before Christmas it was hard to face the thought of telling the ones we told that our precious growing baby wasn’t alive anymore. I think this adds a whole other element to grieving. I had so many emotions…. guilt, shame,heartbreak…. here we are again another loss, broken hearts and now we have to face our family and friends.
But I think that’s the thing about a grief/loss. It’s okay to feel all those things, so we can sort through it and make it to each stage of grief. And maybe we don’t go through each stage perfectly and we get stuck and have to spend a little more time in one. It’s okay… if this journey has taught me anything is that grief/loss isn’t linear and it’s okay to not be okay.
My advice after miscarriage ( I am not perfect, I’m still trying to learn to navigate this) :
1. Be gentle with yourself: you just went through something that’s really hard no matter how far along you are. Get out of the house. Call a friend. It’s not your fault. Don’t hide. Take that extra time for self care.
2. Love on your spouse extra: they are going through it too. They just aren’t talking about it as much because they are taking care of you. Even when they don’t show it, it’s hard for them too. They just grieve differently.
3. You are going to be changed: you just lost your future child… a part of you and your husband… it’s alright if you need a break and rethink things before trying again. Especially after multiple losses. It takes a toll; it’s healthy to just focus on healing.
4. Talk about it: sharing your story and being vulnerable is hard. But try and talk about it to someone. It is so helpful to hear other people’s journeys and have someone to talk to. All those things your feeling they felt too! Most likely more than a few people in your everyday life have gone through miscarriage too. 1 in 4 couples face miscarriage. That is me…that is someone you know.
5. To heck with what people think: this is one of the hardest ones. Everyone has their opinions and thoughts on pregnancy and miscarriage. You have to do what’s right for you and your spouse. If you lossed your pregnancy at 4 weeks or 12 weeks or whenever, it was still your pregnancy and it’s okay to be sad. No one has a right to take that. Once I heard a great thought: If someone went to a funeral for a child and said to the parents ‘ it wasn’t meant to be’, ‘ just try again’, or so on to miscarriage/loss parents… or for a funeral of a spouse lost and said ‘ oh you’ll have another some day’ it wouldn’t be acceptable. So why is it okay to say that to someone about their unborn baby? It’s not.
6. People are trying to help: usually. They may not say the right things, but most of the time it’s with a kindness from their heart. Some have a lack of experience in what your going through and they don’t realize their words with good intention can still hurt. It’s okay to let people know that. Kind words can help. But sometimes the thing we need the most is someone to just listen.
7. Find hope, miracles do happen: I try and remind myself this everyday. My hope has been stolen many times a little more with each loss, but I’m trying every day to get back my hope! Believe in miracles.
If you liked this blog… please let me know! Subscribe. And remember if you ever need someone to talk to I’m here!
Let me know some other blog posts you would like to see!
Thanks for reading!