Its the anniversary of my first miscarriage, the month of miscarriage awareness and I’ve been wondering if I am ready to share this journey with the world…but what better time could there be? I’m not writing this for sympathy, I’m writing this because posts like this helped me through the pain and emotional stress. Warning it may be a little graphic at times, and a little off topic from the usual fitness posts. To me health is all encompassing and mental health plays a large role in women’s health.
So here goes, the story of my last year...
I remember it like it was yesterday, I was out for meal with two friends just before Canadian Thanksgiving 2016 when I first discovered I was having a miscarriage. Although at that moment in time I wasn't exactly sure what was happening. My first pregnancy in 2014 was easy with only a little nausea and I didn't have any spotting, so when I went to the bathroom and saw blood I was so scared. I remember sitting there thinking SHIT what am I suppose to do? “Ok Lucy, don't freak out, spotting is normal right?” Well yes, spotting is common…but it didn’t stay as spotting for very long. The next day I had a play date planned for Eden so I went along as normal, still very unsure about what was happening. Was everything going to be ok or is this it, the dreaded miscarriage? I was only 5 weeks along (I say only but it is still a pregnancy and I still felt the loss). We had been ‘trying’ to get pregnant for a few months so I was early to find out I was pregnant. I had known for a week before it happened.
I'd signed up to all the pregnancy apps, almost bought an ‘I’m going to be a big sister’ shirt for my daughter…I’d announced to my husband in a really cute way and signed up to have a midwife. All my ducks were in a row…I was ready to be pregnant and have another baby. Unfortunately that wasn't the path I was due to take. I didn't really know how I was suppose to feel. I felt devastated, angry, guilty but most of all lost.
Luckily my husband could spend a few days at home because I couldn’t drag myself out for bed. The cramps and the bleeding were like the worst period I had ever had. I physically couldn't get out of bed and I couldn't stop crying, so I locked myself away in the bedroom for a few days. Mourning the loss of my baby to be…looking for answers and searching for a reason why. I felt guilty for feeling this way, thinking ‘but you’re only 5 weeks along’. It didn't matter though, I was still pregnant, I still had the hormonal changes effecting my body, I still had the flutters of excitement that we were going to have another baby. Its ok to feel the loss, its ok to grieve and feel pain. It is all part of the healing process, I still feel sad now and I’m sure I will for a while.
It was Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and all I remember thinking was ‘I have nothing to be thankful for’. I felt miserable for my self and detached from the rest of the world carrying on as normal…how dare they! But as the days and the weeks went on I felt clarity, I felt thankful, I appreciated what I have SO much more. I have a loving husband and an amazing daughter who both mean the world to me. It sounds cliche but experiencing loss really makes you sit back and evaluate what you have and what makes you happy.
At Christmas I was ready to try again, it took another month to get pregnant again but in late January I found out I was pregnant! It was a terrible month, I was back in England as my dad was incredibly sick. While I was there I took a test and found out I was pregnant again. I didn't know how to feel, I was scared and excited all at the same time. A couple of days later my dad passed away. I thought this is a sign…this baby is him, it is the silver lining, his legacy. Knowing I was pregnant again kept me strong during a turbulent time. I went through the whole process again of signing up with a midwife and downloading all the apps only this time I was doing it with caution. I didn't want the same thing to happen again. I got to five weeks and I took a huge sigh of relief. At 6 weeks I was ready to get excited…I told my family in England as we all needed so good news to cling on to.
Then on the day of my dads funeral it happened again…the spotting began. I was 6.5 weeks. I couldn't focus on what was happening, how could I? It was my dads funeral…there was no space in my heart to grieve for another pregnancy loss…that space was reserved for my dad!! I had to push it to the back of my mind. I was still hoping that it was only spotting, but it wasn’t. I came back to Canada where there was space to grieve. It was a little different this time round as a had been through it before. Physically the miscarriage felt the same, mentally I was a little bit stronger, I didn't ask why, I just let nature take its course. What sticks out in my mind…and helped me through was my daughter and her honesty. I understand that nature has its ways, we don't have control but it still hurts. Instead I took charge of my health and sought out ways to get me in the best possible health both mentally and physically. Now I wait patiently for my rainbow baby to make an appearance one day. If it doesn't come, then I’m sure that will be OK.
If you’ve survived a miscarriage yourself, you know how it feels seeing pregnancy announcements and hearing of others sharing their joy of pregnancy. Its ok to feel sad about their news, every time you are reminded of the loss you suffered. It is human nature to protect itself from hurt. But what makes the pain a little easier is to share your story, even if it is just writing it down in a journal. Whatever feels comfortable for you!! What helped me the most is talking about it, crying about it, feeling all the feelings of grief.…get angry…its OK!! You never know, the person you turn to may have gone through the same thing. It shouldn't be a secret that you have had a miscarriage, it is ok to get support from your friends and family. Let them help you, let them be there for you.