One of the topics you’ll hardly hear about at dinner parties or backyard BBQs is a conversation about miscarriages. Although, statistics from Motherly say one in four women will miscarry during their lifetime, 10-25% of recognized pregnancies will end in a miscarriage, and miscarriages are as prevalent as 750,000 -1 million miscarriages per year nationally – it is a topic no one wants to talk about. A recent survey stated people don’t talk about miscarriages because:
- It makes the miscarriage more real
- It is hard to move on and no one would understand how you’re feeling
- There is a sense of guilt
- People feel like it is a taboo topic and there is shame of not being able to get pregnant
- Couples feel like there is something wrong with them. They don’t want to admit something is wrong or admit they’re too weak to handle it.
- They are still in shock since from a young age you always pictured having a child and miscarrying was not an option
- It is too devastating to talk about. It is too devastating personally and too devastating for other people to listen to
Personally, I knew right away I was not going to be part of the statistics. I could not keep quiet. With CNN Health saying there is 22% higher divorce rates among couples who experience a miscarriage and an estimated 30% of couples who lose their faith during a miscarriage – it is an important topic. Of course, it is not easy to talk about your story, but when you talk – you change lives.
My Miscarriage Story – So what is my story? The short version is we had waited for years to become pregnant. For some reason, one morning before going to Chicago for a wedding, I had decided to take a pregnancy test. After waiting the allotted time, the beautiful – “you are pregnant line” flashed across the screen. With more elation then my body could hold, I bolted into my husband’s and my bedroom and woke him up my husband by showing him what appeared on the stick. From this moment on, we were on Cloud 9. We told everyone we could tell. Then the first sign appeared that it wasn’t meant to be. At one of our scheduled doctor appointments, we were told there was not enough amniotic fluid and to go home and rest. I did as I was told, although, it was difficult since I was not suppose to do any heavy lifting including not even taking the laundry out of the washing machine or dryer. When we finally thought we made it over the hump, we went on our planned trip to Walt Disney World where my husband bought an item at each park to give the baby. Again, we were young and excited. When we returned, we had a message from the doctor’s office that they were concerned around the results to the tests we had taken prior to our trip. The doctor told us to come into the office for an ultrasound and a possible amniocentesis. At the appointment, we knew something was immediately wrong as the nurse left the room crying and then the doctor came in and said – “If this baby makes it to term and this is a big “If” – we’re not sure what we’ll have to fix first.” In simple terms, nothing was developing correctly with the baby. The doctor also told us at this point it was dangerous to me as I could start to hemorrhage. For awhile, we were stuck. I had felt the baby kick. After lots of prayers, we went to the hospital knowing we were losing our baby. The comforting part is we did not make the decision since at the hospital we learned she had already passed sometime during the week. We called her Hope as we believed there was hope we’d see her again, hope knowing God had still made us parents when we looked in her eyes, and we still had hope we’d have a child who lived on this Earth. Then miscarriage #2 happened about 9 months later. Again, our first doctor’s appointment was not good. At this appointment, the doctor told us she could not detect a heart beat. The next day we were leaving on vacation, so, she gave us medicine in case we miscarried The medicine would help remove any remaining tissue matter. Well, unfortunately, as she feared we lost our second child on vacation with friends. I was taking a nap when I woke up in a puddle of blood.
Of course, in both stories, I went through all emotions of emptiness, grief, wondering why me, shock, etc. My husband and I also grieved very differently. He was angry at God and life in general. I was sad and numb. It was very surreal it was happening. I will say I did not talk right away, but did find healing in my story, I learned I could never answer the question “why”, but I could find purpose in helping others.
So what happened when I told my story? Below are a few responses:
- “Wow, I never knew someone could feel like me. After my miscarriage, life went on. People were laughing and running down the street when all I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head. Thank you for not making me feel so isolated.”
- “My husband and I at the beginning had problems talking about the miscarriage. We were in different stages of grief. Having someone to talk to who could also provide different perspectives was life changing for me.”
- “Thank you for letting me know I am still a Mom and still a Dad, although, I lost my child. Also, thank you for recognizing the fact that I did have a loss of a child, although, it happened in utero.”
The above statements are proof when we talk about our own life tragedies, we not only go through our own healing, but we heal others and we grow a community who says – “I understand you.” So how do you go about telling your story? Well for me, I:
- Never pushed my story, but found opportunities to tell my story when it was appropriate. During my volunteer work within Oncology at Children’s Hospital Colorado, I never personally had a child who was battling cancer, but I did understand the feeling of loss. In this case, I didn’t tell my story all of the time, but when I did there was an immediate connection.
- When people asked, I never lied. We were so excited when we found out about our first pregnancy that we announced our pregnancy to the world and when it didn’t happen, we were in the position to discuss what happened. Yes, some people had a hard time learning our truth, but also felt being honest about our miscarriage was freeing and took the 100 lb. elephant off the table.
- I told my story when I knew it would help people. Amazingly, when you go through a miscarriage – it seems the doors open and you suddenly learn of all of the people you know who also have gone through a miscarriage.
- When I have been asked my life story in interviews and introductions, I almost always mention both my miscarriages and the adoption of our daughter. I believe both stories have had a big impact on my life and are part of who I am in every sense – my faith, my relationships, what’s important in life, etc.
- Lastly, writing my story is cathartic and healing on its own. The process of actually putting words to paper is a gift to yourself and hopefully others who read your story in blogs, magazines. or news articles.
Sure, telling your story is difficult, but it gets easier every time you tell it. Also, you can determine how detailed you get in your story with who you are talking to. For me, it is hard to talk through the pain, but never difficult to mention my story. From day one, I tried not to solely focus on the bad statistics, but to focus on the statistics that focus on hope such as for most couples who miscarry, they have the same chance of having a successful pregnancy as anyone else if they try again. Also, I allowed myself to have closure through a funeral service, burying special items, and letting go of a balloon every year in remembrance. Having these ceremonies still allows us to interweave our children into our lives, so, they do not seem lost or gone.
Again, I know it’s not easy, but your story may be life-changing for someone. When I attended a book writing conference, four of the five publishers and publicists I spoke to in one day got teary eyed and said my story was their story. They told me it was the hardest time of their lives, so, if a book was written about the topic of miscarriages – the pain could never be erased, but maybe it could be eased. Maybe someone who is struggling with their faith would not give up. Maybe a marriage could be saved.
So, if you are me and I am like you, perhaps you’d like to tell your story. I know our stories may not be exactly the same, but hopefully we will have a heart connection. Hopefully, you’ll know I understand. Hopefully, you can say “Me Too”. If you’re brave enough and want to tell your story, we’d love to hear from you. Like me, you can have the opportunity to help ease the pain of others and share your faith journey. You don’t have to be a statistic, the Watts Bugging You Family is here for you in love, heart connection, and support! God Bless and Namaste!
We know miscarriage stories end in very different ways, so, your story may not be our story, but we’d love to hear your story. If you’re brave enough, want to help ease the pain of others, want to share your faith journey, and don’t want to be a statistic, the Watts Bugging You Family is here for you in love, heart connection, and support! God Bless and Namaste!