Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Numbness and Disbelief of Miscarriage

Sands blogger Rachel Brown shares her story of her Miscarriage.

It was intense, how it happened. I had no signs of a loss and went in for an ultrasound at 14 weeks into my pregnancy. I started getting cramping on the way there. I dismissed it as nerves, stretching pains, bubs moving or anything but what it was. Only weeks earlier, at 8 weeks into the pregnancy, we had a joyful scan with a wriggly baby with a strong heartbeat.

The next scan was the most surreal thing I had ever experienced. It felt like I was watching myself. I can’t think of that room without feeling fear and sorrow.

We could both tell straight away. I’ve talked about it to my husband about it since and our minds went through a similar process. As soon as the Ob/gyn zoomed in we desperately searched for a heartbeat… then movement… then watched as he measured our baby and it came up with under 10 weeks development. We both showed no outward emotion. Just numbness, disbelief, and shock.

Then he said the words that crushed our hopes…“This pregnancy is not progressing. There is no heartbeat. I am sorry”. He left us alone. Even though I knew it… the spoken words made it real… I made noises I never want to make again. I wailed. I clutched at my belly… I remember saying “I can’t do this! I can’t do this!” I cleaned the gel off my little belly bump and got of the bed. I sat with my husband and cried with him. Without realising, I was apologising. I blamed myself.

I felt empty, numb, and cheated beyond belief.

We were sent to my normal GP with a medical report that said “This is a failed pregnancy” and had pictures of my precious baby. “Failed”? There’s no failure to it.

So much of pregnancy loss is clinical. It’s managed in such an emotionless way and can leave you feeling isolated and even more upset - at a time where you are already struggling.
After research I decided to wait to miscarry naturally with the support of medical professionals. I went through many intense emotions in that time as I grieved.

I went through a birthing process a couple of weeks later at home. Holding my tiny baby in the sac and seeing his tiny umbilical cord, eyes, little arms, and legs helped me to process the loss. Birthing the placenta was the more difficult aspect physically as it was condensed and the size of a lemon.

During and after my miscarriage, I dealt with my fair share of well-meaning but ultimately hurtful ‘advice’ and opinions. What I learned, ultimately, is that most people don’t like to feel uncomfortable. And pregnancy loss makes them feel uncomfortable. So they want – subconsciously, or otherwise – for you to ‘move on’ so that they don’t have to deal with it.

People don’t know what to say. So they sometimes say things that are less than helpful. I surrounded myself with people who knew I just needed someone to listen. They knew that their being there and caring was enough.

My subsequent pregnancies were anxiety-ridden and I struggled with depression (primarily unrelated to my loss). I have since gone on to have two healthy children. My loss was a learning curve and part of my motherhood journey. It was painful but without it I wouldn’t be the mother that I am today. For those lessons and how blessed I am now, I am so grateful.

For Support call: 1300 0 SANDS

More about Rachel Brown
Hi, I’m Rachel and I am an Australian wife and mum of two. I love tea, reading, writing and finding creative ways to play and learn with kids. I’m an over sharer (‘sharent’), a Pinterest addict and am an avid blog reader. I am passionate about learning and sharing inspiration with like-minded mamas. Prior to motherhood I was a nanny and dabbled in study. I’m a miscarriage survivor and&nbsp. I have generalised anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder and although it is ongoing, I am doing better thanks to therapy and medication. I’m always willing to talk to others who are struggling. Motherhood is the most difficult and rewarding thing I have ever done.

1 comment:

  1. Rachel, you're right -- miscarriages make people feel uncomfortable so they look for ways to avoid conversation around it. However, the right conversations can help women in their grieving and recovery process. Educating people to talk openly about miscarriages instead of treating it as a taboo topic means that many women will get the support they need from family and friends.

    Thank you for sharing your story.