October is quickly winding down. The leaves are finally changing here in NC, cooler temps have arrived, and Halloween is just around the corner! October brings with it so many beautiful changes, but for those of us who have lost a baby, October can also bring up some buried emotions.
October is SIDs, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
With miscarriage being such a pivotal part of who I have become, as well as the catalyst for this blog, I couldn’t let the month slip past without weighing in on the matter.
It’s been just over a year since my last positive pregnancy test. Just under a year since my last miscarriage.
Looking back at my story through the rearview mirror can be painful, but it’s given me the privilege of a perspective I never thought I’d have.
The things I’ve learned from my experience with recurrent miscarriage have opened my eyes and shaped me into an entirely different person.
In effort to connect with the many of you out there who have shared similar experiences and to shed light on an issue that is still misunderstood by so many, I thought I would share just a handful of things I’ve come to learn throughout my journey.
The Grief is Real
It is not a momentary lapse of sadness that eventually disappears. It is not hormones gone haywire. It is real, genuine grief that manifests in exactly the same way as loosing any other loved one. There are stages and waves. Some days you are fine and then out of the blue it will hit you like a ton of bricks. Like any other grief, it gets easier to cope with over time, but it never completely goes away.
You Feel Stuck
Living with unexplained Recurrent Miscarriage feels an awful lot like walking along a teeter totter, at least for me. Sometime I find myself right in the middle – pretty content with how things are and no real desire to change them. Much of the time however, I find myself flailing from one extreme to the other – one moment wanting nothing more than to have another baby, the next wanting to run and hide at the thought of ever getting pregnant again. It can be really confusing to experience such differing emotions at the exact same time, especially when the make-up of your family is hanging in the balance.
Some People Just Don’t Understand
Thankfully miscarriage is becoming a much more widely discussed issue, but it is one of those things that is hard to grasp the gravity of without having experienced it yourself. Most people in your life will be sympathetic even if they don’t quite know what to say, but it can be REALLY, REALLY hard when someone close to you to doesn’t show up for you in the way you hoped, at the time you need them most. It can be hard not to harbor what is simply a misunderstanding as feelings of abandonment. It can be hard to be understanding of their lack of understanding.
No Answers Breeds More Questions
Throughout the past year, my husband and I have undergone extensive testing in hopes of understanding why we are struggling with Secondary Infertility and what we might be able to do about it. Unfortunately, as often is the case, our testing resulted in zero answers and only more questions. While we were relieved to find that we are both in good health, we’ve been left with a lot of wondering. Why is this happening to us? Will the size of our family be something we get to decide? Is the possibility of another miscarriage something I am willing endure? This only scratches the surface of the thoughts constantly running through my head.
Miscarriage is Extremely Common
Yes, a quick google search will tell you that the miscarriage rate is a staggering 1 in 4, but one in four still feel incredibly isolating when you are suffering in silence. Through my first three miscarriages, I chose to keep quiet, telling only a handful of close friends and family members each time. It wasn’t until my most recent experience that I finally worked up the courage to open up and share my story publicly. It was one of the scariest things I’d ever done, but immediately a weight was lifted from my shoulders. What started as a quiet blog post turned into conversations among friends. Eventually I found it popping up in casual conversation at nail salons and grocery stores. Suddenly I realized women all around me had this same burden weighing on their shoulders. Finally, I did not have to carry it alone!
If you too are 1 in 4, I send you big hugs this month and every month. I hope reading this made you feel a little bit less alone and a little bit more understood. If you are fortunate not have personal experience with miscarriage, I am thankful that is your story and hope that you may be able to bless someone else around you who may be struggling with the little bit of insight you may have gained here today.
Thank you all for reading!
Until next time,