#misCOURAGE: The Worst Week of my Life

Firstly I want to make it clear that I’m not writing this for sympathy but because I’m still in need of talking / thinking this through and the reality is that this is quite a lonely issue when it really shouldn’t be. So, I’m gladly joining Tommy’s #MisCOURAGE campaign.

In August I got the best news ever: a little + in the window of a Clear Blue pee stick. It was something I’d been waiting to see for 10 months and worried that I may never see when it looked like there may be a problem with my ovulation.

However on 11th September a scan saw my pregnancy was only 4 weeks along when it should have been around 10.

Words cannot explain the emotions that follow such an emotionless phrase: “it’s a non-viable pregnancy”

Holding back my tears caused me physical pain. Once at home I had to go through the trauma of calling another hospital, one with an early pregnancy unit, to discuss my options.

My surgical miscarriage was scheduled for the 16th September (sadly the day before my birthday) and the nurses were so kind. However with only a handful of people who knew I felt so alone.

And to be honest, I still do.

Miscarriage, whether natural or medically induced, seems like our version of Voldemort. Everyone’s scared to say its name out loud. Maybe we’re scared of breaking down? Or making people uncomfortable? Or inviting it into our or our friends’ lives? Who knows, but it leaves those who go through it in pain and without many people to talk to.

I’m lucky to have my husband, who was exactly what I needed when I was in hospital. But I’m scared to talk to him now. I know it’s irrational, but I do feel guilty. Not because I did anything wrong but because it was my body that didn’t do what it was supposed to. And, worse still, I’m terrified that it may happen again or that the problems they were looking into before the pregnancy (and never found an answer to) will turn out to be something real, something serious, something that means it’s unlikely that I’ll have a healthy pregnancy.

I don’t wish to sound melodramatic, and maybe that’s another reason I’m finding it easier to talk to anonymous internet people. The problem is, as well, that I ‘stiff upper lipped’ it when I went back to work so now feel that I can’t break down and let out what’s inside when one of the few who knows asks if I’m OK.

In these past months I’ve found that the pain remains and sneaks up on me. I’ve shed a few tears while I’ve been driving to or from work and I’ve found myself withdrawing from life recently. This past fortnight  I’ve forced myself to go out and although I enjoy myself once I’m with my friends the desire to curl up under my duvet and sleep is very strong. This has also had an impact on my job; once I returned from my week off I had a lot to catch up on, but I didn’t feel the same enthusiasm and passion as I normally did. I struggled to stay focussed during my frees and have found it hard to motivate myself to work once I arrived home. All this has kept me with my head barely above water these past few months. Luckily, once I started drafting this blog post last week I started to feel a bit better and I felt some of my passion return and with it my motivation; I still have an enormous pile of marking to catch up with, but I’m not hiding from it any more. I don’t want to hide from it any more.

And I don’t want to hide from what happened. I want to confront it head on:

I had a miscarriage and I still feel pangs of guilt & sadness about what my body took away from me and my husband.
I am worried that it will happen again.
But I will not live in fear of it happening again.

I will have a family, I just don’t know when yet and that’s OK.

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5 thoughts on “#misCOURAGE: The Worst Week of my Life

  1. Dear Numpty Teacher,

    Firstly, I am so very sorry for your loss. Secondly, I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your story.

    I had a miscarriage two weeks ago today, at 6 weeks pregnant. Although I can’t honestly say I feel ashamed or guilty, I experienced a kind of sadness and devastation that I have never experienced in my life before. I also experience a fear of speaking about it – I fear that people will think I’m seeking attention. I fear that they will think ‘Why is she telling me that’. I fear that I will pass on some of the devastating sadness that I feel. Like you however, I really feel the need to share this with others. I can’t just pretend this hadn’t happened, and as openness and honesty are two values I hold close to my heart, hiding this from my friends and colleagues is simply going to increase my own distress about losing our child.

    Talking about what has happened is helping me to gradually come to terms with it. I have found such solace from the stories you and others have shared, from the Mariposa trust, and from Tommy’s miscourage campaign.

    I want to thank you, and the others who have bravely shared their stories, inspirational quotes and give their time to help others who are going through the awful experience and aftermath of miscarriage. It has really helped me, and continues to help me on a daily basis. It has given me the strength I needed to be open about this, and it’s helping me.

    Sending lots of love, warmth and healing vibes your way,

    Dizzy Psychologist xxx

    • Thank you. And I’m so sorry you’re going through your own loss as well. It’s hellish, isn’t it?
      I completely understand your fear of speaking about it. With my friends that haven’t been through it, I fear the same things as you and I don’t want to bring back this pain to the ones who have experienced it.
      Please do find the strength to talk to people, it has really helped me these past few days. And blogging to the anonymous internet people has helped me find the strength to talk to my friends. There has been pain and tears, but I feel like this is the beginning of feeling better. But there is no rush, I waited 2 months until I’ve felt strong enough just to say miscarriage out loud.
      Find love and support everywhere you can and for the time being know that you have mine. xx

  2. This may seem weird as I’m a bloke and it is often thought we know nothing about these sort of things. I just wanted to say though that my youngest had an ectopic pregnancy after several miscarriages a few years back which not only near killed her but resulted in her having half her ovaries etc removed at the age of 26. This lessened her chances by 50% straight away of ever having a child. Miraculously a year later she was pregnant! Our grandson is now 8 and the bonniest, most intelligent and handsomest boy in Scotland albeit I’m a biased old bugger. I guess what I’m trying to say it that you should not give up hope that things will work out. They may take a while to do so but things will be just so. Your husband’s support is obviously deep and caring. You’ll need to lean on each other – don’t take the guilt or anxiety on yourself alone.

    • It doesn’t sound weird and it’s such a misconception that blokes know nothing about miscarriages. The men involved go through loss and pain and feelings of helplessness as well. The male / female divide on the issue is another reason why it’s so important that the silence around miscarriage is broken down.
      I am really sorry to hear about what happened to your daughter; that must have been a scary and upsetting time for your family. But you are all very lucky to have such a bonny grandson in your life.
      I’ve got hope back now and am looking forward to when it’s my time to have a family.

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