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Moving on After a Miscarriage
Finding out you are no longer having a baby is devastating.
It’s not just the emotions you experience, but it’s the physical symptoms that are difficult to deal with as well.
At first, there were no physical signs for me that anything was wrong.
It’s difficult to accept that you’ve had a miscarriage when you know in your mind there is a problem, but there’s no physical evidence to indicate that it’s true.
I knew the fetus had stopped developing, the Doctor had been clear about that. But it seemed my body hadn’t gotten the message.
I still had a small belly, my boobs still hurt a lot, and a couple of mornings after finding out about the miscarriage, I was craving coco pops (I don’t even like coco pops).
I remember saying to Sam that I felt like my body was mocking me – like some kind of cruel joke.
I also didn’t want to see or talk to anyone.
It’s difficult to not get upset when people ask you how you’re doing, or ask questions about what happened. At the same time, it is nice to be comforted and know that people care.
I wanted to be distracted for a while, just to be able to think about anything other than the baby I wasn’t going to have.
I ended up sitting at home on the couch, just cleaning out my email inbox. A nice, boring task that I had been needing to do for about 6 months (I had about 1500 unread emails, definitely a job that was going to keep me busy for a while!).
The day after that I was a lot less emotional.
I woke up early and decided to hit the gym. While I was eating breakfast I remembered that people at the gym didn’t know about the miscarriage yet. I wasn’t sure I could deal with someone asking how the pregnancy was going.
Sam was still in bed so I went back in there, explained the problem, and suggested we go for a walk together instead. Sam agreed, so we both got ready, only to realise it was pouring with rain outside.
Sam asked me if I was sure I wanted to go for a walk.
I said that I really needed to get out of the house and this was all I wanted to do. I was certain the rain would die down eventually. So we stood under the carport in our rain jackets just waiting it out… eventually, the rain slowed to a drizzle and I convinced Sam we could just head towards “that little patch of blue sky” that you could barely make out between all the dark, angry looking clouds.
I’m pretty sure he was willing to do just about anything to make sure I didn’t get upset again, so he went along with my suggestion. A few minutes into the walk it started raining a little harder. Sam turned to me, slightly bemused and said “what do we do if someone stops to ask us if we need a lift?” luckily, no-one did.
I’m not sure how one would explain how their crazy wife actually wanted to go walking in the rain – lol!
Then came the day I had to go into the hospital for the curette.
It was unfortunate that Sam had a work trip planned so he couldn’t be there (he wanted to cancel but I told him not to. I had both my mum and his mum with me so I had plenty of support).
I personally didn’t find the experience all that bad.
The hardest bit for me was when the nurses started asking questions like:
“Was this a natural conception?”
“Have you had any previous successful pregnancies?”
“Would this have been your first baby?”.
Having to repeat to every staff member I saw what procedure I was having (standard protocol for safety reasons: state your name, date of birth and what you are there for) was difficult for me, and the bit that was really hard to take… the question on the admission form asking “are you pregnant?” (seriously!?).
I was pretty emotional for that part of the admission, but after that I was ok.
The nurses and doctors were so kind and caring and went out of their way to make sure I was comfortable.
The procedure was over very quickly (probably about 30 mins – I was under general anesthetic so it was just like going to sleep) and then I felt fine in recovery. I was able to go home about an hour after the operation. I felt fine when I got home but decided to chill out on the couch with a heat pack for the rest of the day anyway.
Every day since then has gotten a little bit easier to bear.
Sam has tried to think of ways to describe what the feeling of losing your baby is like. His suggestion was that it was like planning the trip of a lifetime and then finding out you can’t go on it.
I suggested that it was nothing like that – unless perhaps the entire place didn’t exist anymore and there was never any chance you could ever go there.
I relate the experience more to being similar to losing someone you were really close to. Except it’s also nothing like that either because you never met them. You just planned the rest of your life around them, so you’re sad about all the things you imagined happening, not happening anymore.
But there is no point dwelling on what could have been.
In the meantime, I’m capitalising on the opportunity to enjoy good wine, soft cheese and a little bit of traveling while we’ve got the chance.
We are looking forward to going on a few holidays (I had opted not to go on a trip to India due to the impending baby but will definitely be squeezing that in now!) and we have a few other trips planned for the rest of the year too.
Lastly, on a positive note, the sun did come out during that walk I was talking about – take a look at the beautiful view we saw over the river.
Lastly, on a positive note, the sun did come out during that walk I was talking about – take a look at the beautiful view we saw over the river. The sun always comes out after the rain, and seeing this image keeps me feeling positive for the future.
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