This is one of those posts I’ve had in the back of my mind for, quite literally, years now but October is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month so it feels right to publish this now. I haven’t really spoken much about what we went through because I’m not a total oversharer despite having a blog! That said, if you know me personally I am more than open about it. Miscarriage is a strange one, it happens for most very early on, before the 12 weeks when you’ve had a chance to tell anyone about it. And then if it happens it is so utterly shocking. I couldn’t even say the actual word, miscarriage, until long after Lucy was born. So it’s hard to just bring it up, hard to talk about it with friends when you need to. I think sometimes people feel then that it’s a taboo subject, like it shouldn’t be talked about but for me personally it wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk about it, I just couldn’t.
Miscarriage happens in so many different ways, to so many different women and so many different stages. The good thing is though for many it has no bearing on the viability of future pregnancies. If you experience miscarriage it can cast a large shadow of doubt and stress over you going forward in future pregnancies. It can cause huge worry during those first few months of pregnancy after you’ve experienced miscarriage and perhaps throughout the whole pregnancy until you hold that tiny baby in your hands, sure that they are in the world for you to protect in ways within your control.
I’m not sure that anything I can say here will ease your worry, but here are some very small and simple things you can do to maybe put yourself in a position where you are surrounded with support should anything go wrong. I know I followed these tips and they did help,
- Tell close friends you’re pregnant, even really early on, so that should something happen you have already opened the lines of communication. I think this is probably the most important tip, if you haven’t told anyone trying to get your mouth around the words is so tough especially in those early weeks when you need the support the most but you just can’t bring yourself to look for it. If someone you trust knows then you don’t have to say anything, they will know.
- Save your sanity and book an early scan (you will probably have to go private though!) – never before 8 weeks though, you could have your dates wrong and nothing might show up on a scan if you are only 6 or 7 weeks along, so you could create unnecessary worry by going in too early.
- Don’t join any Facebook groups or boards, lots of us join Rollercoaster which has groups dedicated to Mums to be due in every month, ordinarily I think these groups are brilliant but I wouldn’t join now until after my 12 week scan – so heartbreaking having to leave them.
- Listen to your body – know the signs, they can be both reassuring or a warning signal. I knew the first time round that something was wrong when I wasn’t tired by 9 weeks, and I was right, all was not as it should have been. So don’t assume that it’s your body ‘getting used to pregnancy’ listen to your gut.
- Don’t buy any maternity clothes until you really need them, its really awful having to deal with them if you don’t need them and I certainly couldn’t look at them the next time I was pregnant because it just brought back too many memories. Miscarriage is awful and it unfortunately happens so many of us but for most there is hope. It’s Mother Nature at work. We all deal with it in different ways so there is no advice I can give on that. Just be kind to yourself and take the time to take it all in. And know that, should you choose to, that it is (usually) possible to have a very healthy baby after having experience miscarriage, your rainbow baby.