There isn’t really a fancy or funny title I can put here, and I only want you to be reading this if you want to, and know what it’s going to be about so anything cryptic would have been unfair. It’s not a nice topic, but it is an important one. I was intending to add it to our Bumps and Babies theme, but that was such a joyus theme it felt wrong to add in there, but as we are now focused on the broader topic of Family Life, I feel miscarriage sits more comfortably here, and it is without doubt a family issue.
I have my own story, some of you will know it better than others, but I wanted this post to be wider than my own personal experiences and so have invited the lovely Rosalind Bubb to give us a more measured support for miscarriage. Here are her thoughts:
How to ease the pain of a miscarriage
That’s why I support others who’ve had miscarriages, and also those who are “childless not by choice”. I know how hard it can be. And I also know that there are ways to make it less painful, which are not commonly known about – but unless someone shows you what they are, you just have to struggle through it all the best you can.
When we’ve had a miscarriage it can be extremely upsetting and painful. It can feel as if our heart’s been broken. And sometimes it can be hard to talk about, and we don’t always realise how common it is, or get the emotional support which we really need.
There are 3 things which I think it can be helpful to know about, when we’re trying to recover emotionally after a miscarriage.
1. There’s been research carried out by Drexel University in the United States, into the emotional impact of having a miscarriage. They’ve discovered that most women do not even begin to feel back to “normal” again for a minimum of four months (and it can be quite a lot longer than that.)
I think many people expect that we “should” be over a miscarriage much sooner than this – and if you’re not, there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s very common.
2. The same research showed that the intensity of grief which many women experience when we lose a baby can be as strong as if we’d lost someone close to us who’d been walking around in our lives. Again, I think if you haven’t experienced this you might not believe it, but if you have, then you probably completely understand.
3. In addition to these two facts about the length of time it takes to recover, and the depth of grief which you’ve experienced, there’s a third important element which affects how quickly and completely we can recover emotionally after a miscarriage – and that’s to do with just how unpleasant (or even traumatic) the experience was for us.
It’s very common to see and feel some really horrible things, when we lose a baby. And sometimes these memories can haunt us, and make it even harder to put these events behind us. Even if we try to push them to the back of our mind, they don’t always stay there, and they can flood us with grief and pain when we’re least expecting it.
Fortunately, there are tools which we can use to ease all of this pain, grief and trauma – but most people don’t know that they exist.
Although I’ve had twelve miscarriages, I can truthfully say that it actually feels now as if I’ve had none – and I know that that’s a very extraordinary thing to say, but it’s true. They no longer cause me any pain or regret, and I actually no longer wish that it had turned out differently – and this is why I support others.
I use two very powerful and gentle self-help techniques, to help you to change the way you feel. One of them is EFT “tapping” (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and the other is TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique.) These two tools are very simple and effective, and you can use them on yourself, any time you want to ease the pain and to feel better than you do now.
If you would like support to feel better after a miscarriage (no matter how long ago it happened) I can help you in two different ways. I do individual sessions with people, wherever they are in the world, using Skype and Facetime. And I also have an online Miscarriage Support Program, which allows you to feel better at any time of day or night, from the comfort of your own home.
Please go to my website www.miscarriage-support.com and I invite you to download my free Guide, “9 Ways to mend your broken heart after a miscarriage”.
And if you have any questions, or would like an informal chat about how I can help you to feel happier and more peaceful after a miscarriage, please feel very free to be in touch. I would be delighted to support you.
Thank you very much for reading this, and I’m sending you love and warmest wishes,
~ Rosalind xx
Statistics tell us that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage – sadly the odds were higher in our experience, and I have needed help and support from wonderful friends, family and I made use of the excellent Miscarriage Association in the UK. It is something that so many people experience, and yet something that most of us still don’t feel at ease to discuss – and I have no idea how men deal with the issues (that’s a whole different post…). It is desperately sad, and while I’m happy to discuss it or answer any questions I still don’t really feel like writing about. I will always be ‘one short’ and I’m welling up right now just thinking about it…
I guess I do need to join Rosalind’s group!
I had been keeping a pregnancy diary as part of this blog, in conjunction with a great new magazine. Sadly the Editor of that magazine has some health problems which have meant a hiatus in production. However, if I don’t keep up with the articles, I suspect I will forget many of the unique experiences, so think I will continue The Pregnancy Files… watch this space!
Heavens to betsy things are moving quickly now. You should have had your dating scan, and now looking forward to the detailed scan – this one is to have a really good look at the all the limbs, organs and other bits and bobs that can now be seen by the professionals, don’t be too concerned if you find it much harder to make sense of the images, as long as they seem happy with baby’s progress you should be too. If all is well this will be your last scan, so enjoy the moment and bore everyone to tears with the grainy pictures afterwards.
Hopefully this is the phase of pregnancy that is most ‘fun’. In theory there are no major symptoms, you aren’t big enough yet to be experiencing anything too difficult and should be over the nausea… You may even consider having lots of sex while you still have the energy, embracing the increased blood flow to that neck of the woods. Equally of course, you may buck this ‘average’ trend and feel like eating chocolate and wonder why anyone ever gets out of their pajamas – there are no rules with pregnancy, even if you’ve done it before no two are quite the same. Go with the flow and be prepared to have a range of emotions throughout the day. This is also the time that lots of women start to feel baby moving, it’s not always obvious at first what’s going on, and often just seems like wind… However, it’s a truly special thing that the two (or more) of you have for a while before anyone else can feel it too.
If possible the buzz word from now on is to eats lots of lovely nutritious foods, that baby is growing at an amazing rate and you need to feed them and yourself with lots of veggies, fruits and ice cream (:)) Remember there is a list of foods you should avoid while pregnant[polldaddy poll=9196998], and the jury is out over how much alcohol is safe, so go with none for now. There are also lots of over the counter medicines that aren’t a good idea, so always check with the pharmacist before you take anything to be on the safe side.
For some people there is still nothing to report at this stage, others will be throwing up day and night and feeling rubbish. Even if you have been pregnant before, each experience will be different so you can’t assume you know what’s coming. Most of us in the UK will need to book an appointment with a Midwife via our GP – they usually don’t want to see you until around Week 10 as in these early stages 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage.
This is a horrid subject to discuss, but it’s worth reflecting on just for a moment. Some women will have a miscarriage at a very early stage and not even know, it may just feel like a very heavy period. It may happen before you have even told friends and family (or just after :(). This is why who and when to tell your news needs to be thought through… We have always waited until after the first scan – around Week 12 to share our news ‘publicly’ this was after a sad experience our first time round. However, it’s likely you will want the kindness and support of your closest people whether things go well or not, so you may want to tell a few choice individuals. We have experienced this more than once, in January we miscarried twins at 11 weeks which we are still learning to come to terms with. There are lots of great professional support systems out there if you ever need them a good one in the UK is The Miscarriage Association. People will often talk about ‘losing’ a baby, which I really dislike as it makes me sound careless – I didn’t loose them, it wasn’t a choice.
If you have experienced a previous miscarriage you may be able to get an early ‘reassurance’ scan via your local EPAC (Early Pregnancy Assessment Centre), this will probably be in your local hospital.
On a more positive note, this is such an exciting time. So much is happening to the tiny life inside you, not much of which you will know about! There are lots of apps and websites around that you can sign up to for a weekly digest of what’s going on, they are likely to offer you vegetable and fruit sizes as a comparison to baby’s rapid growth and some photos of what baby looks like – in the very early stages it won’t look much like a baby so these can be a bit unnerving.
The most common experience at this stage is incredible tiredness, if you are able to just sleep when you can, if you care for others this is hard, but make sure you eat well, drink lots of water and rest as much as possible. If you are in the loo every few minutes, or throwing up they are all positive signs – really it will all be worth it in the end xx
I got a bit tired of reading about what the Duke and Duchess of C will call Baby 2 – as if it’s a difficult thing? Surely for a girl there is only Peppa or Mildred, and for another boy it’s a choice between Zippy and Gilbert – depending how ‘high brow’ they want to go…
And then I remembered the incredible responsibility I felt when choosing names for our wonderful average babies, not least in finding something that Mr A and I agreed on, and then from that list checking all the possible shortenings; initials making bully fodder and rhyming nightmares… it seemed to take forever. Then you worry about being too fashionable or too odd, will they spend the rest of their days having to spell their name to everyone, does the name suit them their whole lives long, does it give them any flexibility as they become their own person… what a terrible burden to name someone.
And then, when another little bundle arrives you have to find a name that ‘goes’ with your first attempt (you could go ‘Duggar’ and just choose a letter of the alphabet?), with all the original complexities you add in how they sound together, how long it will take to write birthday cards etc. if you go for more than two then you need to start thinking by week 10! We didn’t find out the gender of our littles either – so had to plan for either/or, doubling the stress.
I’m rather liking the hippy system of letting a baby ‘choose’ their own name…