Miscarriages are so incredibly common. Statistically, 1 in 5-7 pregnancies will end in miscarriage, although many might occur before a woman even knows she’s pregnant. I’ve personally had two. And I’ve midwifed many women through a miscarriage. In fact, I’m pretty sure if we all started talking about our miscarriages just a bit more, we’d be astounded by how common this is, and how many sisters all around us have been through it, or are going through it. But that’s just it…NO ONE talks about it. Which is why it’s important to bring it up, especially during Baby Loss Awareness Week. Tonight I’m going to light a candle as part of the Wave of Light in honour of International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It’s so important that we share these stories. These babies were alive, no matter how briefly. They mattered to us. And our lives will never be the same because of it.
It is hard to talk about. I’ll certainly give you that. I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience, but for myself there has always been some element of lingering guilt attached to it: if only I’d taken better care of myself, or been less stressed out, or hadn’t gotten into that one argument, or had gotten more sleep. As if I had had any control over it in the first place. It’s hard to accept that most miscarriages happen for no good reason at all. Or actually, perhaps they happen for the very best reason possible. If you stop to think about it, a miscarriage is the body’s way (or nature’s way, or God’s way, or the Goddess’s way, or [insert spiritual belief of choice here]’s way) of ensuring that more often than not healthy babies are carried to term and delivered. Think of all of the miraculous, amazing steps which have to go perfectly right in order to form a baby. If even one of those steps goes wrong in those early weeks, the implications for a living child could be devastating. While a miscarriage can be absolutely harrowing, I do believe it’s kinder than the alternative. And those early steps are pretty complex. It’s not surprising that something goes awry from time to time.
But this is cold comfort. And since it’s so rarely talked about, knowing what to do to recover and heal after a miscarriage is very rarely discussed. As a provider I’ve often searched for a resource or a guide to give to clients to help them ground themselves afterwards. And as a woman who’s been through it, I’ve found myself staring off into space afterwards, hands on a suddenly empty belly, wondering to myself: what happens next? I think the answer to that question is so incredibly personal, for each and every woman. But I did find this fantastic post by Maisie Hill which is certainly worth sharing: How to Recover From a Miscarriage. It’s worth a read, even if this has never happened to you, if only to allow you to better support a friend or sister who does have to endure this. And for everyone else who has had to walk this path, what helped you heal afterwards?
If we all start talking about our own experiences just a bit more often, we’ll stop feeling so alone.