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Updated: Feb 11, 2023

Miscarriages are a very common thing and yet so little of it is really talked about. Before I had my miscarriage, I had no idea what women and families went through. I feel so ignorant and maybe a little naive, I honestly didn't fully connect the two together, that miscarriage is a death of a child. I mean I knew that a baby doesn't make it but the death part really didn't connect until I went through one myself. It's not JUST a miscarriage. I decided to write about my personal experience and hope it helps shine a light on what the process is, what to expect, and what follows.

We made it home from the hospital and I gave my older sister a call. I explained to her that I planned on just taking it easy at home with the girls for the rest of the day. I remember her saying to me, "Are you sure? I really think it would be better if you got someone to watch the girls for you." I figured that I'd be experiencing the continual cramping that I already had been experiencing and that would be it. I explained this to her and carried on with my day. What I didn't realize is that the cramping turned into waves of contraction like pain, which then turned into an active labor type feeling. Whoa, so not prepared and not expecting that!

We had the girls watched by family and headed back to the hospital. I remember them giving me some really strong pain drugs and that the intense labor pains were now manageable but still there. "This is not fair. I don't get a baby out of this. I want to be drugged to not feel the pain. I wish they could just wake me up when this is all over," I thought to myself. An older nurse came and sat with me, she was so kind and shared her own painful story of her miscarriage with me, which brought comfort to me and made me feel not alone. The doctor came in and told me that I had two options, they could do a D & C or I could just wait it out and let my body do things naturally on its own. He explained that there were risks with the procedure and felt that it was better for my body to do what it needed to do. I agreed, and was sent home.

No one tells you that every time you go to the washroom, you are constantly faced with the fact that life is slowly slipping from your body, you're faced with your baby dying every time.

No one tells you about the intense labor pains that hit you hard, no matter how far along you are.

No one tells you that it's so much for your heart and head to connect and handle and it's all so painful to think about, you become numb inside.

My girls were with family and my husband tried to console me, but I didn't want to talk about it or think about it or maybe even believe it. So I did the mature thing and turned the tv on. I needed a distraction. As I lay there watching tv, tears would non-stop roll down my cheeks, in which made me angry at my body. I just didn't want to experience emotion over this right now. I'd deal with it when I was ready but regardless of my plan, my heart had other plans.

The waves of labor pains ebbed and flowed through my body all the way through the night. It was now the middle of the night and I went to use the washroom when my body released my baby into the cold waters of my toilet. I waled. I stared into the toilet weeping and tried to muster up the strength to flush the toilet, but I just couldn't. I lay there hugging the toilet, grieving my baby. I slowly picked myself up off of the floor and walked into our room and woke my husband up. Through broken tears, I was finally able to explain what I needed him to do for me. My husband put his own emotions aside and did what needed to be done.

My family doctor had called me to check in and see how I was doing. I explained to her that I was so worried about telling my oldest daughter about the miscarriage and she reassured me that kids are resilient and she'd be okay. I wanted to believe that but I knew my daughter's heart and how she felt things deep like me. I called my daughter into the living room and sat her down on the couch and explained what had happened. I will never forget her reaction, it was devastating. The deep weight of grief came over her and she fell into my arms and I held her crying body. We both lay there crying together, trying to comfort one another. To this day, she still remembers this moment and gets emotional over it.

Women from my church surrounded me and my family with so much love. People were dropping off flowers, meals, and cards. I grew up admiring many of these women and many of them opened up about their own stories of miscarriage. It felt like this cloak of sisterhood that was wrapped around me. Others knew the pain, the trauma, the loss, the whole thing, they knew it all but how come I didn't know? I felt bad that I was one of those people that was ignorant to the situation and probably gave an empty statement to make them feel better, but not realizing the scope or weight of what they lost.

Over the next while I had people ask me how far along I had been, I told them the rough estimate and then they usually gave me this relaxed " Oh okay, well at least you weren't that far along." To which it felt like those words were a dagger to my heart. I'd always be left feeling kind of shut down and then would try to give a polite smile and either go on my way or try to switch the subject. I had people come up to me that didn't get the memo about the miscarriage and congratulate me, which in turn I'd awkwardly have to say that I wasn't anymore, which then made things REALLY awkward. I'm very petite and pregnancy shows really fast on me and so I'd have people notice the little bump and ask, which I then had to explain. This is where I vowed to myself that if I got pregnant again, I'd hide it as long as I could and wait to share the news with anyone because the replay over and over was too much.

I now look back to that vow I made myself and realized that's where the issue lies. There has been so much insensitivity over this fragile subject that it leaves you feeling like you want to shut up and close up house, board it all up and not talk about the heart wrenching details.

There are no funerals, and life carries on.

No one tells you about the grace that you have to constantly give people.

No one tells you the waves of grief that hit you like a sack of potatoes at the most inconvenient times.

From the moment you get pregnant, that baby becomes part of the family. It's constantly on your mind, and every decision you make up until the point they are born, you are constantly thinking about what's best for them. I had known I was pregnant the day after conception ( you can read about that in the previous post) and so this baby felt woven deep into my story for a long time. I'd dream up who they would be, would it be a girl or maybe this time, a boy? What would their personality be? Who will they look most alike? Then the planning would come, the switching around of rooms and new vehicle to hold the whole family comfortably. The dreams of seeing three little ones growing up together and building their bond. It was all gone.

The phone rang and it was the car insurance company calling, doing their weekly check in to see how my progress was going from recovering from the rear end. Right from the start I couldn't figure out why they constantly asked questions about my pregnancy, each and every phone call. Now they were calling again and so I again was talking about the pregnancy, but this time I had to explain it to the stranger on the other line, that I had miscarried. The following week I had gotten another phone call but it was someone else from the "team" that was overseeing my recovery file, and yet again they asked questions about my pregnancy to which I would explain the whole thing over. It was maddening, all I wanted was to get better and to just get on with my life but now this dark cloud of grief hung over me and these weekly " check ins" always made me feel like crap in the end. I'd call my husband at work after they would call in tears. I'd be rambling on about how they said this and that and then they'd switch on me and talk really fast and hammer into me with their words, it caused so much anxiety every time. My husband always would know what I needed and would tell me that none of this was my fault and I've got nothing to hide, and to just continue to be honest. I decided an e-mail would take place and I would politely but firmly explain my miscarriage and tell them to please put a note on my file so that I wouldn't have to explain it again to another "team" member.

My little one would be turning 5 this year on June 10. That date is always so bittersweet. The first few years after the miscarriage, June 10 would come around and I'd feel the heaviness, grief and ache in my heart. I don't think that feeling will ever go away, the ache to not know who they would have been. That longing to hold and kiss them.

No one talks about how you should introduce your family after a miscarriage. Do you include the one you've lost but then the awkward explanation would go into it?

No one tells you about the jealous feelings of longing to be the one introducing a new little one, and it not being you. You want to honor your little one and let them know that they aren't forgotten, that they are very much apart of the family but how are people going to know if I have to talk about it? The awkwardness of this conversation feels too much, so you just don't.

At this point, I had emailed my doula and let her know that I no longer needed her services. My doula is a woman that I've grown up with and have grown to love and admire. She recommended a book to me at the time, but there was so much going on with the accident stuff that I just didn't have the brain space to read. My retail therapy shop, the one that I talked about in the first post, yes it arrived the same week I had my miscarriage. It really felt so cruel, like salt added to a wound. I couldn't muster up the strength to even try any of the clothes on, I didn't even bother taking them out of their individually wrapped bags and just chucked the whole box into my messy closet. I really wanted to just move forward with my life but grief had other plans. I went to church and ended up in the nursery with my, not yet 2 year old, when a friend of mine talked to me about her personal experience with miscarriage. She told me that after she went through her experience, a woman in our church had her hold her baby to allow the grief to flow and healing to come. She took her baby and placed him in my arms, it hurt my heart. My numb spirit was really wrestling with letting it all go, tears rolled down my cheeks as I held this little one, grieving the death of my own. Someone opened up the door in the middle of this and I remember awkwardly giving the baby back, and tried brushing myself off.

People said a lot of empty statements and they didn't add comfort but more hurt. "Everything happens for a reason," "Your baby maybe had a lot of developmental problems, think of it as a blessing," "You can always have another one" these and so many other statements I had heard over and over from different people trying to give comfort. I'm going to tell you right now, these sayings don't bring comfort AT ALL. Please stop saying these to people, especially those in very difficult and delicate times in their lives. If you've never been through one or know how to approach the situation, all you need to do is sit with them in their grief. You don't need to try and lighten the mood, make them happy, bring something spiritual into it.....just be. Your presence of just sitting with your friend and even being honest and letting them know that you have no idea what to say or what to do to help but that you want to be there, is enough. Please don't ask them to give you a running list of how you could help, if you feel the desire in your heart to help, just do it, otherwise it's overwhelming for the person going through the hard stuff to come up with ideas or they feel embarrassed to tell you what they need. Throughout this time I also really struggled hard with the guilt from not wanting to be pregnant in the beginning and I know it's silly now looking back but I even thought maybe God didn't get the memo that I was now excited and wanted this baby, or maybe because I wasn't grateful in the beginning that He decided to take it away.

I continued on with my massage appointments. As time went on, I noticed that my massage therapist had a little bump but she never said anything and so I never asked. One day it finally came out and I know that she was trying to protect my feelings and not say anything for awhile, but I couldn't help but feel jealous of her. I wanted that to be me. I struggled for a bit with seeing pregnant women and seeing moms with their babies. I'm not saying anyone should feel guilty for having kids when others have experienced loss but just a little insight of what the process is of emotions that you are faced with when you lose your baby.

Miscarriage is awful and hard. I just wish that there was more conversation about it because if I had known what I know now, I would've approached the situation a lot different with others before me.

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1 Comment

Jun 06, 2020

Thank you for sharing Keana, you write so beautifully that I can feel the emotion and I wept for you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss, but thank you for helping us understand what you were and are going through. I love you so very much! 💕

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