What to Remember After an Early Term Miscarriage

 

holding-hands-918990_1920

 

I had my first miscarriage at 5 weeks. If I didn’t know I was pregnant, I wouldn’t have ever known I was pregnant. It’s a weird thing to realize. I remember the cramps and the bleeding and how closely it resembled a regular monthly period. I remember going to the hospital and the ultrasound tech looking at that tiny glowing screen searching for a baby. I remember the way she told me there was no baby. It wasn’t in a heartfelt apologetic way, it was as if she was questioning me. Almost as if she didn’t believe that I had ever been pregnant. I remember laying on the examination table when the doctor looked up at me and said, “Yep, it looks like a miscarriage. I recommend a no school day tomorrow.”

I had my second miscarriage at 11 weeks. I wasn’t showing, but we had told a few people and I felt officially pregnant. I remember the cramps that were so intense I couldn’t move. I remember the bleeding and how it flowed out so heavily we began to worry that I was hemorrhaging. I remember going to the doctor and not needing an ultrasound for the doctor to know I was having a miscarriage. I remember laying on the table and having what was left from my pregnancy removed from me. I remember a nurse who was kind and sympathetic.

A year after I had my first child, I met a mother who had experienced a still birth. I remember not being able to comprehend her loss. I remember being so thankful for my early term miscarriages because I didn’t think I could be as strong as her. I remember feeling silly for being annoyed at the nurse and doctor who seemed to not care about my 5 week miscarriage. I remember feeling extremely thankful for the nurse and doctor who showed me that they valued my baby that I lost at 11 weeks.

A few months later a friend told me that she miscarried at 5 weeks. I wanted to be like the second nurse who was comforting and sincere. But instead I was the first. I sort of brushed it off and told her it would be okay and a lot of women have miscarriages. I told her that I had two before my daughter and she turned out perfectly healthy. I remember the look on her face. I remember the way she looked down at the ground and forced herself to smile. I remember the way she quickly changed the subject. I remember being angry at myself for not saying the right things. And then, I remembered what I forgot.

I forgot how that first miscarriage makes you feel. How you feel so blessed to have carried a baby and betrayed at the same time. I forgot how some people treat early term miscarriages. Almost as if, they weren’t real miscarriages because it wasn’t yet a “real” baby. I forgot how all you really want is to feel like it’s okay to be sad and not like you’re over-reacting. I forgot about the first pregnancy test after your first miscarriage and how excited and lucky you feel, yet a little terrified. I forgot about the first pregnancy test after your second miscarriage and how your first thought is, “I wonder if I’ll lose this one too.” I forgot to show compassion because I forgot that every miscarriage hurts, no matter how far along you were.

About 80% of miscarriages end in the first 12 weeks. 12 weeks isn’t a long time and it’s understandable why some people don’t consider early miscarriages a big deal. However, there’s a tribe of us who have been through it. There’s a tribe of us who know what that feels like. A tribe of women, who at the very least can remember to say what very few do, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

Share with your friends...Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Leave a Reply