What is the right way to deal with a loss? How long do you need to feel an attachment in order to justify grieving for that which is no longer there? Since starting a blog, I’ve addressed personal issues for others to read, but I’ve been struggling with the notion of discussing this particular event, as I know it will likely invite inevitable questions and sympathy from those who will read it. I also don’t want to offend those whose first knowledge of the event will come from this post. Throughout my life, I’ve felt like I’ve constantly been judged, so I suppose I’m embarrassed and frightened that my life choices will, once again, be judged by others. Despite all this, I feel it’s an important topic to raise awareness of, and I’m glad I knew someone who had shared this experience with me before I found myself in exactly the same situation…
My wedding was the last weekend in January, but two weeks beforehand I suffered a miscarriage.
There, I’ve said it…
This isn’t the first time I’ve miscarried – way back when I was fifteen, I miscarried just before my 12 week scan. People were quick to tell me it was for the best and nature was giving me a second chance at a normal childhood, but it was very hurtful to listen to at the time. That was over ten years ago, I dealt with my issues and moved on. I suppose I am grateful for that experience in a way though, because it’s helping me deal with my current feelings about another loss.
The two events are not the same – when I was 15, I was much further along, but this miscarriage happened after only a week of knowing I was pregnant – at approximately 5 weeks. Does that make it any less of a loss? I tried to tell myself it did… after all, it’s not like I’d had the chance to get attached and make plans, I was still trying to organise my wedding!
Doctors call it a ‘chemical pregnancy’, a pregnancy that has only been detected through urine or blood analysis alone, and has ended before visual detection with a scan can occur. A friend had described this to me, and I’d also read a bit online… but everything I read made me feel like my whole experience was being dismissed as nothing and I’d just been silly for not waiting longer before peeing on a stick!
Feeling miserable and alone, I made an appointment with the doctor, fully expecting to be fobbed off as a time wasting idiot – I already have two amazing kids at home, it’s not like I need another one…
My doctor was wonderful! I told him I thought I’d suffered a chemical pregnancy and he immediately offered words of comfort and sympathy. He told me he preferred not to use the term and that I’d suffered an early miscarriage instead. As much as I couldn’t exactly be happy at that moment in time, it gave justification to the grief I was enduring - it didn’t feel like I’d made the whole thing up in my head anymore!
Through all this, Paul was my rock… it was easy for me to forget that he was suffering too! Having not experienced anything like this before, he was trying to be strong for me, but he was also grieving. I know he’d gotten himself super excited, and had even picked up a super cute baby outfit in the last dribbles of the January sales, so he was completely down in the dumps, especially as I wanted to keep the whole thing as quiet as possible.
All I can say is I’m sorry Paul, I didn’t intend to make it all about me…
I’m also sorry if this is the first any of you are hearing about this… We wanted to keep everyone in high spirits, especially in the run up to the wedding. Knowing that everyone was happy for us, instead of sad, helped us forget our own sadness and gave us fantastic memories with which to begin married life!
We didn’t forget about our wee tiny ‘almost bean’ though, Paul’s choice of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Small Bump’ towards the end of our wedding reception was as a mark of respect and allowed us a little private moment of remembrance in the chaos that surrounded us.
I hope this experience doesn’t happen to anyone else, but it is sadly an all too common occurrence for many of us out there. Don’t be disheartened – I’ve had successful pregnancies since my first miscarriage, and I’m sure I will be successful again!
We are now both looking forward to our future and married life – hopefully we will blessed with another addition to our family when the time is right!