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Why I Think We Should Normalize Talking About Miscarriage and Child Loss

Editor's Note

If you’ve experienced domestic violence or emotional abuse, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline online by selecting “chat now” or calling 1-800-799-7233.

If you struggle with self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, visit this resource.

In my short 22 years of life I have experienced a lot. I was adopted at a young age and was given a privileged life with a loving family that traveled with us and gave us experiences. I struggled with mental health and abuse issues, as well as self-harm and insecurities. However, the most traumatizing thing I faced out of all of those things listed above is child loss because of a miscarriage.

Never in my life have I actively tried to have a baby. I am not ready to be a parent in any way, but that doesn’t mean that “accidents” don’t happen and we end up in a situation that we didn’t expect. When I was 20 and I found out I was pregnant I was in shock. I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to for advice. I remember going to the urgent care to get the blood test done and walking out shaking in fear. I didn’t want it to be a positive test.

The next day I was at work when they called and told me the news. I went home early that day so I could soak in the news and take the necessary and precautionary steps to get started with the process. I know I’m making it sound so technical when it doesn’t need to be but I honestly don’t know how else to phrase it.

My baby’s father was my ex-boyfriend who was not thrilled at all to hear the news, so going to him for help didn’t feel like an option. Especially when all he did was beg for an abortion. I felt alone because none of my friends understood how I felt, and I didn’t think I could go to my family just because of how frowned upon having kids young was in my household. Plus I had no idea what I was doing! The father of my child wanted out of the situation right away and that made me panic. Him begging for an abortion just made me confused about what I wanted. After a while I decided that I was going to keep our child and he just went along with it because he kind of had to.

Let me back track for a quick second here before we get in too deep. The day I found out I was pregnant I left work early and went home as I said above. I also called my doctor because the lady who gave me the news advised me to after she asked me some questions. They asked me if I was feeling any pain, which in fact I was, so I was told to go to my nearest clinic, get blood work done, and then wait for the results. After the blood work came back they suggested I go in for an early ultrasound and kind of deemed me as “high-risk.”

I went to the early ultrasound, dragging my ex-boyfriend along with me. I forgot to mention that we were broken up at this point. I found out I was pregnant a few weeks after we split. It was awkward when we were there together and kind of sat in silence the whole time. The ultrasound tech left to consult the doctor and we waited for her to come back for what seemed like hours. While we were waiting for her he just kept telling me how he didn’t want to do this with me.

She came back into the room and told us some news I didn’t really want to hear. She said she couldn’t hear a heartbeat, however we shouldn’t worry yet because the baby was so small. She said come back in a week and get another ultrasound so we can make sure everything is OK. So we left and carried on.

Fast forward a week and a few days. I went to the next ultrasound by myself and just filled my ex-boyfriend in on how it went. This time the ultrasound tech didn’t say much and she just sent me on my way. A few days passed and I thought that everything was fine, but turns out it wasn’t.

The nurse who called told me there was no heartbeat and my baby was dead. At that moment I felt the whole world crash down on me. Something I was looking forward to was taken away and I had no idea what to do. There was minimal guidance except for the nurse saying my doctor wanted to see me right away. My Nanna took me because I was so sad and she wanted to be there for me. I just remember the feeling of sorrow and confusion rushing over me. I still haven’t fully recovered from losing my child. I think about it every day! The hardest thing is knowing that I might have some type of fertility issue since my birth mother had endometriosis and eventually had a full hysterectomy.

I don’t think I am ever going to be able to get over it. When I lost my child I slipped into a deep and dark depression that even my ex-boyfriend was worried about. At the same time though, him and I were going through our own issues and that’s when I started experiencing  a lot of abuse from him. There was no support system when losing my child because I didn’t tell many people. I was literally alone through the whole process. Alone and scared.

I don’t think people really talk about being scared. I was so scared with every option to take care of this miscarriage. My doctor wanted surgery, I wanted to take the pills that flush everything out, but instead I just did it naturally and traumatized myself. It’s an experience that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.

So that’s my story. A story I actually haven’t shared with many people in my life, but now I’m putting it out there for the world to read. I think it’s important to talk about these subjects. These types of subjects shouldn’t be stigmatized because it is a natural and actually pretty normal occurrence. Research shows that 1 in 4 women lose a child to miscarriage and many other things. I am 1 in 4 and I am not ashamed to admit it. I want women to know they are not alone. My miscarriage really messed me up for awhile and took a lot of life out of me and I’m sure many women out there can attest to that.

Hiding my experience with child loss made me even more depressed. I told myself I failed as a mother and that everything was all my fault. I bottled up my feelings and acted like everything was OK when it wasn’t.  It still isn’t OK. Nothing is OK. I just live my life day by day and let the loss affect me however it may please. We all heal differently and I had to wallow and feel bad for myself to help me move forward. If I would have opened up to someone sooner, maybe the healing process wouldn’t have been so long and I wouldn’t have gone through all the pain. That is just a “what if” and there is no way of truly knowing.

Opening up about my issues with child loss to my friends and some family has helped me more than I know. It has helped me understand a lot about my mental health and my body. I now understand where my depression stems from and that it is very situational. I do also look back on my experience with miscarriage and think of it as somewhat a blessing. My baby’s father was not emotionally available and ended up being very abusive towards me. When I think about the “could have been,” I think about the fact that he would be neglectful and potentially abusive towards my child and I.

I have gotten to the point in my life where I have accepted what’s happened and have decided to move forward, but not forget about what happened and how it affected me. As I said before, I still think about it often and I let the memories affect me however they may please. But I am no longer in constant pain from remembrance! I have grown from my experience and no longer carry the weight of sorrow on my shoulders.

I know for some women this isn’t the case. The reason why I typed out this story and decided to share it with the world is to let women know they are not alone. It took me two years to finally share and come to terms with things. Time heals all wounds and even though this wound may not ever get fully healed, it will get better.

 

 

 

A version of this story originally appeared on midwestdepressed.com.

Photo credit: fizkes/Getty Images

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