WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A MOTHER WHO EXPERIENCES LOSS ON HER MOTHERHOOD JOURNEY?
We were very lucky that we already had our son Max in 2016 before we experienced our first miscarriage. That pregnancy was perfect and we had a perfectly healthy baby boy. I think our journey would look quite different if we didn't have him and then experienced our losses. He has been the best healer for our family. Both times after coming home from the hospital he has us laughing and playing on the ground with him. We have no choice but to keep trekking and take care of the family we do have. The best advice I could give is to talk to your family and friends about what is going on. My husband has been the best support. He may not understand all the crazy emotions I am going through, but is continuously there for us day after day. Friend support has been so wonderful as well. They have showered us with love and unexpectedly with the most thoughtful gifts, food and flowers. A weight was lifted, when we told them about our miscarriage. We didn't have to hide the emotions we were going through. I joined a few support groups and reached out to other women with similar experiences. Knowing you are not alone is so important. Learning that the miscarriage rate is almost 1 in 4 was startling.
Miscarriage is a taboo topic, yet it happens to so many women, maybe we would feel less ashamed and at fault if we had a tribe of others who are educated on miscarriages or have gone through similar circumstances. Be an advocate for yourself and your family. After two unexplained miscarriages, I had to protect my physical health and well-being. Because both miscarriages were missed, we needed medical intervention, I chose my intervention, made sure to book follow up appointments and I asked for genetic testing. Even though we might not get any answers, I know I have done everything possible on my side.
HOW DID YOU COPE WITH THIS LOSS?
Honestly, the first few weeks I cried a lot. I found myself looking at pictures of newborns and pregnant mothers and feeling terrible heartache. I searched endlessly for stories like mine that had a happy ending. I let myself grieve. As women, as soon as we find out we are pregnant we start making plans. Our two babies were going to be the younger siblings of Max, they were going to be less than two years apart, and they were so loved already. I needed to take the time to mourn them, they were very much a part of our life. I loved and took care of them for 12 weeks each, and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life.
HOW HAVE YOU EXPRESSED THE LOSS TO OTHERS IN YOUR LIFE?
I actually posted about our two losses on Facebook. After our immediate family and close friends knew, I decided to share. I had only one friend that I knew of who had a miscarriage. So at the time, I was feeling very alone and confused. After we experienced our miscarriage and the doctors told us about how common it was, I wanted to reach out and educate. I had over 30 women message me about their own stories of loss, and here I thought I only knew 1! Some who had been trying to conceive for years, some who had miscarriages like we did and some who experienced a loss after their baby was born. It was heartbreaking to hear their stories, we are a part of a club nobody wants to join. Max was 13 months and then 17 months when we experienced our miscarriages, so he is too young to understand at this point. But our plan is to add our ultrasound pictures into the back of his baby book, and maybe the conversation about his siblings will happen when he is older.