The statistics are 1 in 4. 1 in 4 of us will suffer a miscarriage or lose our beautiful babies when they are supposedly out of the danger zone after those first 13 weeks.
To me, the statistics seem harsh. I don’t want to be seen as a statistic, I’m not a statistic. I am a woman who has experienced miscarriage. I am a woman who had hopes and dreams for a baby that never eventuated. I am a woman who is part of a club that no one wishes to become a member of.
Luke and I decided to start a family soon after we got married. I had it in my head that it would take up to half a year, if not longer, to fall pregnant, but as luck would have it, I fell pregnant within the first month of trying. To be honest, I don’t even think I was ready to become a Mum, I mean, are we ever ready?
So, when I fell pregnant straight away, I was pretty shocked, but at the same time so very excited, we immediately started planning for our future with this new baby, we told our families and went to the Doctor so I could get some blood tests. I even made contact with a doula super early in my pregnancy because I knew I wanted that holistic support.
I got into the continuity of care midwifery program at an amazing hospital, I saw my naturopath, I literally did everything I could to begin to set me up for an empowered pregnancy. Then at 7 weeks I started to get some severe cramping, I knew something wasn’t right. 7 weeks seems like nothing, but truly, it is a lifetime when you are pregnant. 7 weeks of planning, dreaming, loving and nurturing, only to be taken away from me as I began to bleed.
Luke drove me to the hospital, I wasn’t dressed properly for the month of June, I wasn’t thinking straight. It was winter and I was freezing, wearing only a dress and sandals. As we approached the triage nurse, we explained what was happening and she sent us for another blood test to test my HSG levels. About an hour later I was approached, in a crowded waiting room full of people with broken legs and vomit bags, and told that my levels had dropped and I was having a miscarriage. We tried to stay strong and not break down in this crowded and cold hospital room, in hindsight it would have been so much better if we had been taken to a private room. To say we were heartbroken was an understatement. The miscarriage was painful, but the emotional loss was so much harder to deal with.
From the moment you find out you are pregnant you get excited, you have so many hopes and dreams for this small human and for yourself as a Mum and your family. I don’t believe that we shouldn’t get excited or shouldn’t tell people until after 13 weeks. Those first 13 weeks is when you need the most support because generally you are feeling so horrible and exhausted. Of course, I respect every woman’s choice to announce or not to announce their pregnancy, but for me, the 13 week “rule” doesn’t seem fair.
I remember not really having anywhere to turn to get advice because I didn’t know organisations like SANDS or the Pink Elephant Support group existed and I was sent on my way from the hospital with really no information about what to expect. I remember people saying things like, “well it is probably better if the baby wasn’t going to be healthy”, “at least it was early” and “oh, it’s so common”… It’s not their fault of course, we try to make people feel better by saying the right thing, but sometimes the best thing to do is acknowledge the loss and hold space for the grief.
It really was a long grieving process and I wasn’t in a hurry to get pregnant again anytime soon. It was at least 7 months before we started trying again and then, luckily, I fell pregnant straight away with our beautiful Sofia. The crazy thing was that I found out I was pregnant just before that the baby we had lost would have been due. February, 2019.
I find that when you have had one miscarriage you kind of live in fear for at least those first 13 weeks, I almost felt like I couldn’t 100 % enjoy my pregnancy because I was so scared I would lose my baby again, which is why I decided to tell a lot of people before those 13 weeks. I knew that if I were to lose my baby again, I really would need a lot of support. I remember getting really crampy again around weeks 6-9 and being terrified, but luckily nothing came of it and my HCG levels continued to rise.
From the moment you conceive you are a Mum, you aren’t a number, you aren’t a statistic, you are a mother with a beating heart who loves her baby and always will. I still think about my loss from time to time and wonder what could have been. But I know that Sofia was meant to come in to our lives when she did and I know for sure she is meant to be here.
If you are a Mum who has suffered from a miscarriage or loss of a baby then my heart goes out to you. Know you aren’t alone and there is so much support out there. It needs to be talked about more, it isn’t something to be ashamed of and we need to hear more stories of women’s journeys and experiences of pregnancy loss so that one day there will be no stigma, and we won’t feel like we need to hide our pregnancy for the first 13 weeks.
Motherhood after miscarriage has made me appreciate Sofia so much more. I am so grateful every day, even on the hard days, to have her in my life and I know that our first baby will always hold a special place in our hearts.
If you are reading this Blog and feel you need some extra support to navigate this challenging time in your life please reach out to :