At the start of last week i discovered that pregnancy #4 was pretty much a non-starter and doomed to failure. Thankfully (yes i am actually thankful for this small mercy) my period came pretty quickly and although it wasn’t a pleasant experience it only lasted a few days and I’m now, at least physically, pretty much back to normal.
Unfortunately, my mind and soul are not so quickly healed. I have absolutely no idea what to do with myself. I find myself googling topics like “how to tell your boss you can’t cope” and “when will I feel normal again”. I feel like I should be doing something to try to fix myself but I have no idea what to do so I’m basically going through the motions of each day, going to work, and hoping that soon I’ll feel less lost and out of control and in the meantime I’m hoping I won’t totally screw up my career or relationships. Last week I had a little bit of a melt down at work when I felt like my boss was attacking me for an option I had on a mutual project and I ended up crying. In justification I was in full on hormone drop mode (I hate that I have to go through the ‘baby blues’ just to get my hCG back to normal levels) and within 20 mins of being in the office two co-workers had announced their pregnancies with much cooing and excitement in the office! I wish that I could just tell everyone in the office so they wouldn’t think I was the strange girl who cries in the toilets and won’t look at pregnancy scan pictures.
In trying to get through last week without breaking down on everyone I know, I’ve been reading stories of others who’ve been through similar recurrently losses. An article in the Independent from 2009 really resonated so I wanted to share some excerpts. It’s written by Kate Evans and is titled “Miscarriage: The Loneliest Grief of all”. I’m writing on my phone so I can’t add a link but the article is definitely worth reading.
On wanting to believe each new pregnancy will work: It surprises me how surprised I am. This is the sixth baby we will have lost; you would think that I would be used to it by now. But maybe it’s not surprising that I had to believe in this baby, as though by investing in it some hope, and some love, I could will it into being.
On the depression felt after a miscarriage: I have never known depression like the cloud that descends every time I lose a baby. I can compare it with the death of a close friend and I can honestly say that it’s worse. When a friend of mine died suddenly, we viewed the body, we buried him and we were able to say goodbye. I had the company of others who were as grief-stricken as I was. With a miscarriage, I’m left battling through the layers of euphemism to even recognise that I have been bereaved. What is this that has happened? “Pregnancy loss”? The word “baby” was never mentioned by the staff in the Early Pregnancy Advisory Unit. When the scan revealed that my baby was no longer viable, I was referred for an operation with the horrendous name of “Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception”. My child, described as clinical waste.
On the loneliness of suffering miscarriage: When a friend dies, you can seek solace in the company of other mourners. Miscarriage, by contrast is an entirely private grief. “How are you?” a friend will ask, in a conversational tone, and I wonder, do they really want to know the blackness of my mood?
On how difficult recurrent miscarriage can be (Having just suffered my 4th miscarriage I found this bit particularly powerful): Every time it happens, I find it harder to struggle through, and yet I fear that, for my friends, this drama has become repetitive and boring. With each miscarriage I need help more, yet I feel I can ask for it less.