By: Krystle Crossman
Having a miscarriage can be a very traumatizing event for a woman. One of the biggest reasons that it is so awful is because many women don’t understand what they are about to go through and it can be a lot to take in all at once. It isn’t a subject that a lot of people feel comfortable talking about because they feel it is too painful for the person who has lost the child. Women who lose a baby need a great support system for what they are about to experience and if they have that, they will be able to make it through.
For most women, seeing the positive result on a pregnancy test is a joyful experience. After your first ultrasound it becomes more real. When you get the due date the future plans begin. Parents start to pick out where the nursery will be, what color scheme they will use if it’s a boy or if it’s a girl, and they pick out lists of names for each gender. Parents will begin to think about future plans such as vacations, birthday, and schools once that due date is given. Most women, especially first-time mothers, do not even think about miscarriages even though 1 in 5 women will experience one at some point in their lives. Then the spotting and cramping begins…
Almost all women know what the signs of a miscarriage are but after that there is not much discussion about what she will go through. At first there is an overwhelming feeling, like it isn’t really happening. The doctors will use medical terms that will terrify you such as “threatened abortion”, which is the medical term for an impending miscarriage. They will tell you that it will take a few days for your body to “expel” the rest of the tissue and that you may need to come back in for a D&C (dilation and curettage) to remove any of the remaining tissue. You are sent home with a prescription for rest. Once you return home and have a moment to process, it hits you. The loss can be overwhelming once you have had time to really process what is going on.
For the next few days the cramping may become extremely intense, almost like labor which makes things that much harder. Your body is ending your pregnancy and you have no say in the matter. The doctors will tell you that you will have some bleeding and clots for the next few days and that this is normal. But it doesn’t feel normal. You will feel like you have done something wrong. The truth is that miscarriages are rarely the fault of the mother and unless you have done something to facilitate the termination of the pregnancy, there is nothing that you could have predicted or done differently. The blame game could take a lot out of you and this is where you will start to need the most support.
Feelings of grief can last for quite a while after losing a baby, no matter how far along you were. Going through the trinkets and clothing that you may have already bought can be the hardest. Find someone to lean on and talk to whenever you feel that you need it. This person will be your greatest ally through the process. Your partner may not be the one that you are able to lean on however because they are hurting just as much as you are.
Finally when the cramping and bleeding has stopped, weeks have gone by and the pain has turned to a dull ache, you will be able to get back to the life you had before you were pregnant. You may even think about trying to become pregnant again but doctors recommending waiting at least two or three months after a miscarriage to make sure that your body and soul have healed. Little by little you will begin to feel normal again.
No one ever tells you about these parts of a miscarriage because they do not want to cause more pain that their friend is already in. Women need to know that they are not alone and that this has happened to many women before them, maybe even someone they know, and that support is all around.