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Miscarriages: Common to Have, Uncommon to Talk About

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Miscarriages: Common to Have, Uncommon to Talk About

Since experiencing our miscarriage I have become extremely aware that this is something so common, that so many people experience, but no-one ever talks about. One of the most difficult things is, all you really want is some reassurance that what you’re going through is normal – but there’s no way to normalise it because everybody acts like it should be some sort of “secret” that you should never have shared in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong – our friends and family – the people close to us, have been extremely supportive and understanding – I’m referring here more to the attitudes I’ve noticed from the public in general (somebody actually said to me “you know this is why people don’t share their news until after 12 weeks”). I honestly think that if this was a topic that was spoken about more openly, it would normalise the process, take away the stigma, and help couples feel less isolated.

Because no-one talks about it, half the battle is not really knowing what to expect. I naively thought that in the months following our miscarriage everything would go back to normal. The thing is, everything did go back to normal… for a little while.

Of course, I was quite emotional in the first couple of days after finding out about the miscarriage, and then again for about a day after the curette. I was still able to function fairly normally though. I went back to work both in-between having the curette and two days after the operation (just as a side note – my work was very supportive, saying I didn’t have to if I didn’t want to and that they completely understood if I didn’t want to be there). It was difficult to go and face people, but I definitely felt like I could handle it, and I was grateful for the distraction in any case.

After that first day at work, I started feeling a little more like myself again. I was mentally exhausted, but physically, I felt completely fine. After that, I started going about my usual activities and getting back into my gym classes. I felt pretty much “back to normal”.

At least, I thought I was back to normal… until now. It has been over 3 and a half weeks since the curette and suddenly I’m not feeling like myself again.

It started late last Tuesday night when I was woken with a sharp stabbing pain in the lower left side of my stomach. I sat up in bed and the pain went away quite quickly. I thought it was probably nothing, and went back to sleep. The next day I felt, not so much pain, but a feeling of discomfort in the lower left side of my stomach. That feeling hasn’t gone away since.

It’s not really sore, but it definitely feels uncomfortable when I work out at the gym or sit in certain positions.

I’ve noticed that my body has also started to mimic pregnancy-like symptoms, for example:

  • I am very sensitive to smells:
    • I can frequently smell blood (sorry for the over-share, but there is no blood anywhere that I’m aware of)
    • The other night we were out for dinner and I could smell the urine from the men’s bathroom (which was at least a couple of rooms away)
  • I have been very emotional. I’m not upset about the miscarriage as such, but I sometimes get spontaneously upset about unrelated things. For example:
    • the other day, someone told me that one of their relatives (who I don’t know and have never met) is sick, and I got upset about that.
    • I heard Mathew Pavlich on the radio talking about how his wife is doing after having their baby and teared up (for crying out loud, I’m not even a Dockers fan ;))
    • On Sunday morning I wasn’t sad about anything, in particular, I just couldn’t stop crying on and off for a couple of hours (as in, I would feel completely normal one second and then suddenly very upset for no reason the next)
  • My breasts have become quite “heavy” and a little sore
  • My stomach is swollen a lot of the time

I’m aware that it is possible to feel pregnancy-like symptoms for at least a couple of months after a miscarriage, but I’m actually beginning to worry that something isn’t quite right. I’m pretty much just anxiously counting down the days until I get to see my OB again because I’d really like some reassurance around all of this weirdness.

But until then, I’m curious to know (if you feel comfortable sharing – remember you can write your name as “anonymous” if you wish) – did you have any strange symptoms after a miscarriage?

Alternatively, do you think we could normalise this whole process by being more open and less secretive about it?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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