I sadly handed a close friend her membership card to the Miscarriage and Loss Club recently, one that I joined myself in 2011 after I lost my first pregnancy at seven weeks.
At the time I felt really alone and I didn’t really know anyone who had been through a similar experience. The whole thing felt so unfair, and over the next nine months while I tried desperately to fall pregnant again my mental health really took a hit.
I was constantly in tears, angry at the world and so so so jealous of everyone else who seemed to be having a smooth ride to starting a family.
In the end my husband made me go and see my GP, who referred me to a counsellor. That really helped me get my head around what had happened and why I felt so out of control. I fell pregnant again a couple of weeks before my original baby’s due date.
Two years on, and with a small toddler to distract me, I must admit the painful memories have faded but my friend’s loss brought it all back and I wrote out something for her – some things I wish people had told me after my miscarriage and a few things that people did say which really helped.
Grief is non linear. It’s ok and normal to feel fine one day and bad the next.
Be kind to yourself and allow yourself all the time that you need to get your emotional stability back.
Yes, the statistics are one in four, other people have been through the same thing or much worse, but this is you, and you have every right to the emotions that you are feeling.
Some people will surprise you with their support and understanding and others who you expect a lot from will do a crappy job of being there for you. There are a few things that people will say, like “it was for the best”, that just don’t help at all, but they do mean well.
After a while you will think people have forgotten or don’t care but it’s more likely they just don’t know what to say so they’re saying nothing.
You are not alone and there is so much support out there. Don’t wait too long to talk to someone if things are getting on top of you. There are lots of online forums for grief and loss, filled with people who understand what you’re going through. Also, your doctor can refer you to a proper counsellor to talk things through.
You will be reminded of what’s happened constantly because you will see pregnant people everywhere you go, all over the TV and in magazines. It’s ok to feel mad at them and totally jealous. But also, remember that you don’t know what their journey has been, or what the future holds for them.
If it’s too much to be around someone who is pregnant be brave and calmly explain what’s going on with you.
Don’t expect to fall pregnant again in a month. Your inner control freak won’t like this, but you have to let your body do its thing.
Your baby, when it comes, will be worth the wait.
I’d love to hear any other words of support that helped you, or that you wish you’d been given when struggling with a bump in your road to motherhood.