Pregnancy loss is not often talked about in mainstream media. We are shown the perfect world of the perfect pregnant woman but rarely are we shown the abject side of the maternal.
It as an experience that is very difficult to understand unless you have experienced it first hand and not an experience that I would wish on anyone.
Whilst I would never presume to know how another woman felt during such a painful time, I can offer my own experience to not only open up the subject of pregnancy loss but also to show women that their feelings are not irrational, that they are not alone and also to give the partners, also experiencing pregnancy loss, an insight in to how their wife or girlfriend may be feeling.
Having already had a child by c – section I discovered that my second pregnancy had attached itself to my c – section scar and therefore had to be removed surgically. Two months after surgery I discovered that I was pregnant again. Seven weeks into the pregnancy I miscarried.
Losing a child that never was…..
My first feeling was one of utter devastation. The child that I had imagined being born, the brother or sister for my son was gone. When I became pregnant I started to imagine the child that this tiny organism would become, dreaming of the life we would have as a family of four. The child’s hair, skin tone, name….. that child died. It wasn’t a fertilised egg in the beginning of life, it was my future son or daughter.
My grief however felt unjustified, as I knew it wasn’t a fully formed human being. I was grieving the child that never was. I felt that I wasn’t entitled to feel such pain, but it did not take the pain away.
With my ectopic pregnancy I did not feel guilty. It was a chance event that was statistically possible. With my second pregnancy, I was so happy that it wasn’t ectopic that I was almost led in to a sense of false security and when I miscarried I went over all of the things that may have caused it. My consultant of course said that it was just chance. I was older and when you become a certain age, these things happen.
This did not stop me from feeling like there was something that I could have done and also that I had let my husband down, twice.
Resenting my body….
For me it was very literal, something had died inside my body and I resented the form that had rejected my child. I have never been very ‘at one’ with my body and as a dancer it was the first point of criticism. This experience had deepened the negative relationship and created a new reason to loathe my outer shell.
This happened to me not you…..
My husband was and still is very supportive but he doesn’t show his emotions much. I knew that he had also lost a baby but to be honest I didn’t give him any support, it was all about me. Of course it shouldn’t have all been about me but at the time I felt that it was happening to my body and it was my misery. I would ask if he was ok but he would not give much apart from confirmation that he was coping. Rightly or wrongly the attention was very much residing in my corner.
Resenting other women….
A few days after I miscarried a friend messaged me to tell me that she was pregnant. She did not know of my miscarriage and was not being insensitive but it really upset me. I resented the fact that other women were happily pregnant and I was not.
There was one occasion where I was sat on the tube and a heavily pregnant woman was sat diagonally across from me. I had to put my hand to the side of my face as my eyes welled up, I didn’t want to have to look at her at all, even from the corner of my eye.
It wasn’t their fault but I was angry that some people seemed to have it so easy.
It has been 10 months since my ectopic pregnancy and 7 months since my miscarriage. I have not moved on fully. I still get depressed about it. I think I am ‘over it’ but something will remind me of it and I will be in tears. I have a very beautiful child already which I am now even more grateful for but it does not erase the pain of two pregnancy losses.
It may be that I never fully recover, only time will tell…
What I am saying to you…..
I am sharing my experience. Sometimes my thoughts and feelings were not kind to myself or to other people but I put them before you in the hope that other women who have suffered realise that their feelings are normal and that others who may not have suffered a pregnancy loss can gain a better understanding of the feelings that may arise and the reasons for them.
Ectopic Pregnancy Trust.
0207 733 2653
01924 200 799
The Lullaby Trust (formerly FSID the Foundation for the Study of Infant Death)
Bereavement Helpline: 0808 802 6868
Helpline: 0800 0147 800