On the 15th July 2019 I heard the term “missed miscarriage” for the first time. Over the next few weeks, a plethora of other unwelcome terminology was added to my vocabulary, and my husband and I embarked on a journey that we never expected to be on.
Our hopes, our excitement, our plans, and for a short time our lives, fell apart, and in their place came grief, despair and fear.
My miscarriage took 6 weeks to be physically over, and in this time it was as though someone had pressed a “pause” button on my life, and all I could do was watch what was happening around me, feeling utterly out of control and terrified.
I frequently felt at the mercy of some quite frightening emotions, and in my loneliness was unable to identify these as grief. Grief for what we had lost. Grief for the plans I had so intriqitely laid out for my life. Grief for the passing of time, when each day felt like an eternity, but embracing life at that moment was impossible.
I had unending support from some incredibly valuable people in my life, however as time went on it felt as though everyone but me had forgotten, and moved on, and I felt an expectation to do the same. Except I didn’t want to. I came to realise that the thing that made me feel better was the thing which I felt made other people uncomfortable: talking.
There have been some people who I have felt able to talk to without any judgement or need to try to fix things, and these people have taught me more about empathy than I thought possible.
But in general, miscarriage is still a taboo topic. Even now, in the 21st century, when society is moving forward in so many ways, and previously taboo topics are being opened up and talked about, miscarriage is still socially unacceptable.
Despite the fact miscarriage is a natural part of many people’s journey to having a family, it has taken me until the age of 29 to have any meaningful insight into it, to have any understanding about what it involves physically, let alone emotionally.
But why is this? If miscarriage is so common, why are we not talking about it? Why are we causing women and their partners to feel isolated and lonely, and like they have to deal with their grief alone and behind closed doors? Is it the sadness that makes us uncomfortabe? Or the fact that it involves death, and blood, and (shock horror!!) lady parts? If this is the case then how come we’re all happy to sit and watch Game of Thrones over dinner?
I don’t know the answer. But I do know that reading other women’s experiences of miscarriage truly helped me through what was the most devastating time in my life, and now that I feel able to talk about it, I don’t want to let this journey just pass me by. In my very small way, through these posts, I hope to add to the growing dialogue on this devastating subject.
Sending love and understanding to anyone on this journey. You are not alone.