June 21, 2021

Worthy of Grief: the Mental & Emotional toll of Miscarriage.

 

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My miscarriage was a long time ago.

I’ve unpacked that grief, but I can still feel the rawness of my pain and its discomfort on those around me.

We are faced with grief for all different reasons. It’s a nonlinear process and affects us all differently—but greatly. There is no time frame, and we cannot go around it: we must go through it. Our grief is real and deserves to be validated.

When we miscarry, we lose the child growing inside of us and all the love attached. The future we envision. The hopes we dream of.

Is that not worthy of grief?

People wanted to be helpful. They wanted to make me feel better. They wanted to make me forget. In their haste to propel me out of my grief, they dismissed my pain. They distracted themselves from sitting in my despair, and that resulted in me feeling like my emotions were not important and I should “get over it.”

Comments like, “there must have been something wrong with it,” “it wasn’t really a baby yet,” “you can try again soon,” and “it was God’s will” were so dismissive and cruel. I know that wasn’t how they were intended, but that was how they were received.

I have friends who have suffered several miscarriages, and they are excruciatingly heartbreaking. Our pain is real, and our grief is natural. You have to allow us to feel. To go through the shock. The denial. The anger. The bartering and the acceptance—however this is presented to us.

Right after some spotting, when my doctor took my hand and said, “I’m so sorry, but your baby died,” in that moment, my world crashed down around me. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t hear. I couldn’t breathe. I then had to walk around for the next 48 hours with my dead baby inside of me until I could have have it removed.

I came home and got into the shower. I sank to the floor of that shower, and with the water running over me, I sobbed. I sobbed until the water turned cold. I sobbed until I felt physically sick. I sobbed for myself. I sobbed for my husband. But, most of all, I sobbed for my baby—a baby I would never meet. A baby I would never hold, and a baby who would never know of my enormous love.

Is that not worthy of grief?

I miscarried my first child, and what nobody tells you is how hard and anxiety-riddled your next pregnancy will be. Nobody tells you that the next nine months are a roller-coaster of excitement and terrifying fear. Nobody tells you how every twinge, every pain, and every visit to the bathroom will set off panic. Nobody tells you that with every doctor’s visit, you will hold your breath until you hear the most beautiful sound in the world: your baby’s heartbeat.

Please don’t dismiss our grief. Don’t make those sweeping, unhelpful comments. Don’t invalidate our pain. Hold space for us. Put our despair above your discomfort and allow us to grieve our loss.

My baby had a heartbeat; I heard it. My baby had grown inside me for 11 weeks. My baby had a promise for a future filled with love and beauty.

My baby died before they took their first breath.

Is that not worthy of grief?

~

 

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