Sunday, November 27, 2016

Miscarriage


        Miscarriage is a word you don't hear very often. It has a cold, frightening sound to it, kind of like the creepy melody in classic horror movies...


       It's not something people talk about. I would go as far as calling it taboo. The first pregnancy I had, terminated in a miscarriage. A missed miscarriage. Meaning, as we were happily announcing our entire family over Christmas time about the most wonderful news that a baby will come into our lives, our baby's heart stopped beating.

     I started the new year with the worst possible news. It was the biggest shock of my life. I was stunned. I knew a sadness so deep that it shook me to the core.  Until then, I thought miscarriages only happen in 3rd world countries with no access to clean water and medical support or to junkie moms who can't kick the heroin habit... Nobody ever talked to me about the possibility of a miscarriage and how often it occurs in our world. How often it had already happened to women I know... But nobody ever talks about it...

     I understand the privacy it involves, I have now met the feelings that come with it... It's easy to not talk about it. But it's wrong. It's wrong that with all the preparations I made and the knowledge I tried to gather as we were preparing for this next step in our lives, the topic of miscarriages came by only slightly... I brushed it aside. It could never happen to me.... But it did! And I knew nothing about it!

     And since I so excitedly announced our pregnancy to everyone, I was now faced with the most horrifying feeling of having to tell people congratulating us, that it's no longer necessary. And then a miraculous thing happened... So many of my friends and women I know reached out to me and opened my eyes as to how often it can happen and how many of them have been through the same exact experience. I suddenly felt less alone, less inadequate. As weird and selfish as it may sound, the thought that it had happened to others made me feel good again. I started taking it easy. After reading more about it, I realized that it was actually no big deal at all. My world had not ended. It was only a small bump in the road.

     So for anyone out there who, like me is maybe gearing up to take the next step and prepares to have a baby, know this: The statistics are pretty clear... 15-25% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. That's a pretty big number... The most common cause is chromosomal abnormality, which means something is not right with the baby's chromosomes and prevents it from developing any further. Other causes can be maternal illnesses or hormonal issues, then come lifestyle causes (smoking, drug use, etc.), maternal age, trauma, etc.

     A lot of miscarriages occur very early on, around the time the woman is supposed to have her period, so you may not even know you were pregnant. And then you have the tricky kind of miscarriage, like the one I did, called a missed miscarriage, when the embryonic death occurs but there is no expulsion from the uterus. That's the official explanation.

     There are 0 symptoms of anything being wrong, so you go about your business, picking nursery themes and baby onesies, then go to your next check up, excited to show grandma a heartbeat and a jumpy little critter on the ultrasound, but there's nothing there. No movement, no reaction, no heartbeat. The technician says the dr. will be with you shortly and the blood runs cold in your veins, cos you just know what that means.

     I was lucky to have a pretty strong psychic. A lot of loving support and soon after it happened, a little bit more knowledge.  Even though the experience will be with me forever, I moved on quite quickly. I didn't dwell on it. A couple of weeks later, in the middle of the night after a couple of hours of mild contractions the tissue went out and that was it. Three months later I was pregnant again, a lot more cautious and slightly less excited, ended up with the most amazing little human this universe could have given me... Perfect in every sense!

     Fast forward about 2 years when we have forgotten all about that miscarriage and we have an almost 2 year old to keep our minds busy, we decide it's time for baby no.2. Perfect time frame we think... and we 'plan' accordingly. I find out I am pregnant and I am instantly reminded of that first experience I had.... We didn't get too excited. Almost couldn't believe it is happening. We were careful. This time we were prepared for what could go wrong. And it's good that we were. Because it did. Miscarriage no.2.  Unfortunately, this time around, after an almost 5 weeks wait, the embryo didn't go out naturally and I needed a D&C procedure done. I dreaded the thought , but it was necessary. The entire thing was much quicker and pain-less than I thought it would be. And just like that it was over.

     I only wrote my short miscarriage story because I think that no matter how private and lonely of an experience it may be, it is worth talking about it. Because I too have friends that are starting to consider growing their family and they will hopefully be more prepared then I was just in case they will face this sort of situation. And just in case that happens, I would want them to know it happened to me too.

     I am grateful for being healthy, for having a strong mind and a beautiful family to look after. Now it's time to focus on getting fit and healthy(er). Holiday's are coming and we can't wait to be with family and friends again!

     Hoping to have good news on the baby-making front soon enough!

P.s. For whomever read this till the end, If you may have felt uncomfortable hearing the word miscarriage, by now you should be pretty ok with it!  :)

   


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