There’s a club that many moms don’t like to talk about. It’s the miscarriage club. The sad and realistic statistic is that 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. You have either had one (or multiple) or you know someone who has. So why don’t we talk about it? It’s sad, depressing, and to be frank, our husbands and friends have no idea how we feel or what to say.
I’m part of the club. I lost my first baby when I was 19 weeks pregnant. It was a horrific day and the details I remember so clearly. I was getting ready to host a housewarming party. I was at the stove making a pot of chili when I felt a warm liquid run down my leg. It was my first pregnancy, so I had no idea my water had just broke. I was rushed to the hospital only to be told that there was no way to save the baby. They induced labor, and I delivered a baby boy who was far too immature to survive. I held him, memorizing his face, ears, tiny hands, and feet. My husband held him too. It was so agonizing. I remember going home and friends would call and email and I couldn’t respond. I let my husband become my secretary. I couldn’t get dressed or put on makeup for weeks. I was incredibly depressed and literally cried every day, sometimes multiple times. My husband was so great. He let me be sad and pathetic. He was patient although he had no idea what I was going through mentally.
My circumstance is certainly more rare than most, but it doesn’t change the fact that if you lost your baby at 19 weeks or 9, it’s awful. From the moment you saw the positive on the pregnancy test you started planning. The nursery, things you would need to buy, maybe even needing to get a bigger car or house. Then when you found out that the baby’s heartbeat was no longer there, or you felt a gush of blood and cramping those dreams of what could have been were ripped away just like that. And friends try so hard to say the right thing but they never do. They say things like, “God has a reason and a plan,” or “At least you already have a healthy baby at home,” or “You can try again.” I’ve heard it all and I’ve learned that the best thing you can say to a woman who has just experienced a miscarriage is nothing. Just listen. Listen to how they are feeling and sympathize with what they are going through. Be supportive by just letting them talk.
There are support groups if you feel that’s right for you. Contact your hospital and they can give you the meeting times and location. I personally felt it too hard to do that, so I found a few online forums where other moms talked about their loss. It helped me realize that although my experience was awful, another mother out there may have just gone through something worse. We all feel the loss of our babies. We remember the day we lost them each calendar year. I know as part of the healing process it helped me to talk about it. So I encourage you to open up about your experience, you may just find that another mom is right there with you and understands how you feel. And it makes it just a little easier to deal with when you know you are not alone.