This seems like a heavy topic to start off my posts leading up to my baby’s first birthday, but it is an important part of the journey to where our family is now.
One day in March of 2013, I took the GRE to apply for my master’s program. I also had a miscarriage that day. It was a long, hard, and confusing day. To be honest, it is a pretty unclear day in my memory. I got an average score needed to be accepted into my program, but what I remember more clearly was that it was raining and I had to drive across town to the lab that was open to get my blood drawn. I was sad because after almost a year of hoping for a second baby, it now seemed even farther away.
As the weeks went by, I had several thoughts continue to run through my mind:
I was only 6 weeks pregnant, it shouldn’t really bother me.
I already have one baby, it shouldn’t affect me as much.
I can try again later.
It’s fine because I’m about to start a graduate program.
I had all of these thoughts so many times. Normal, valid thoughts of how I should or shouldn’t feel, whether they were right or not. I coped with it by not really thinking about it. I started my graduate program a few months later. I also found out I was pregnant a few months later. After that, I told myself that now that I was pregnant, I really didn’t need to think about it anymore. And I didn’t, that much.
But the truth is, I still do. I think about how because of that experience, I did not take my next two pregnancies for granted. I think about how I can be there for others who have that experience. I think about how it’s okay to think about it. It’s okay to be affected by it. It’s okay. That pregnancy loss, even though it was “so early” and I had two healthy babies after, is still a part of my motherhood journey.
I have often thought about how the people closest to me helped me and what I can do to help others when I find them in the same situation. Here are a few of my thoughts:
Take Care of Yourself.
- Allow yourself to think about it. Think, write, talk. Whatever it is that helps you to process it.
- Take time. Don’t rush yourself in “getting over it”.
- Do something. Go to lunch with friends, take a day to yourself, sleep in. Do something that will lift your spirits.
- Find support. Seek out those who can offer you the support you need. Whether you think you are doing fine or not, having a support system there never hurts.
Take Care of Others.
- Offer a meal. A good meal can do wonders for the heart and soul.
- Lend a listening ear. Knowing that someone is there to listen provides some relief.
- Carry the load. Offer specific suggestions. While well-intentioned, the phrase “Let me know what I can do to help” is often unsuccessful, because often people won’t let you know.
- Be a friend. Miscarriage can be lonely and isolating. The presence of a friend is always welcome.
A few years have passed since my experience, but it is one I still think about at certain times. I think about it because it is a part of me and a part of how I got to where I am today. Though I have three babies here with me, I still think of the one. And that’s okay.