It’s been just over 18 months since my miscarriage and I still feel so raw and broken. Not all the time of course and it is much better than the intense feelings that overwhelmed me when it first happened but I am surprised at how this is still affecting me on a daily basis.
I know that recovering from loss and trauma is not something that happens fast, nor is it something that improves steadily – it can be up and down and all around. I just did not expect that at 18 months down the line I would still be so deeply affected by this.
As a recovering alcoholic and addict I am no stranger to therapy and having to work through my difficulties but this experience was in a league of its own.
A week ago I was in the bath with my two children – they invade my bath space whenever I get in, you know how kids do to their mother. They decided to get into a raging argument about what gender their baby sibling must be (and no I am not pregnant or planning a baby). My son said he wants a baby brother and my daughter wants a baby sister. So the fight is on – right there in my bath when it is supposed to be my “quiet time”. Bubbles are flying and tempers are hot.
Suddenly the feelings of loss overwhelm me again. I start crying. Because there should be a one year old in there too with us – there should be a little sibling and I will never know the gender. My kids asked me what was wrong and I smiled and said it’s water on my face. They don’t know about the miscarriage because they are only 7 and 5 years old. We didn’t want to upset them when it happened.
Then yesterday in the car my 7 year old daughter asks me if babies can die before they are born and when I tell her that they can she says that is so so sad. Yes it is and I want to cry.
I am not alone but when it comes to this loss I so often feel alone. It seems everyone else has moved on, for them it is in the past but I remember every single day and I still cry often thinking about it.
When I mention my miscarriage to people that know about it I can see it takes a moment for them to register what I am referring to and remember the ordeal I went through. Yet for me the struggle is still real and it is not forgotten. It is in the present.
I thought my appendix was bursting because I was in pain and I couldn’t think of anything else it could be.
Never could I have imagined I was pregnant and losing my baby. When the doctor at the hospital told me what was happening I was in complete shock. I could not quite absorb the information. I felt like I was outside my body watching the scene unfold.
I was sterilized when my son was born because we had decided that two children was plenty for us.
Both my children were surprises. I was on the pill when I fell pregnant with my daughter and with my son I had the copper IUD (I now know that IUDs can fall out). I chose to get my tubes cut to prevent any more surprises.
I had an ectopic pregnancy which is where the fetus embeds outside of the uterus. It was in my Fallopian tube which had ruptured from the growing baby. I had internal bleeding which was life threatening.
I was told that they need to operate to remove the fetus and tube, and to stop the bleeding. I didn’t want to have the operation. It felt like I would be having an abortion. It felt so wrong and I was helpless.
It is quite interesting how one’s perspective can change so quickly. I drove myself to the hospital praying that it was not my appendix bursting. When I left the hospital a few days later I remember thinking you know what would have been really nice? A burst appendix! What a treat that would have been in comparison.
I love my children. They were surprises and I was not prepared for them, but I would not change anything.
And yes I didn’t want another baby but when I found out I was pregnant everything in me wanted that baby. My mother instincts jumped into action and I wanted to protect it with all my being but there was nothing I could do. I have never felt so helpless in my life.
I can’t explain how it feels to be told in the same sentence that you have been given the gift of life but it is being torn away from you. It is like I cannot properly grieve because it was gone almost before I knew it was there.
If you have been following any of my blogs you will know that I’ve been through some pretty hair-raising things in my life. I’m a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I’ve been raped and I’ve been in abusive relationships. I’ve been through some traumatic moments in my life, but this miscarriage has been hands down the most emotionally painful event of my life.
And it is the closest I have come to relapse in my 11 years of sobriety. After the operation the doctor said he can see that I am an addict in recovery but if I choose to I can still have morphine in my drip (as opposed to the paracetamol that I was getting). My first instinct was so tell him to load me up with great speed. I would be lying through my teeth if I said I was not incredibly tempted.
I’m just thankful that all the work I have done in the last decade helped me to immediately recognize that I had no interest in Morphine for the physical pain, but I would love to drown out my feelings with drugs.
Oblivion would have been sweet but the price I would have to pay would have been too high. I might have just suffered a huge loss but I have so much more to lose. Two beautiful children that I love more than anything – the thought of them pulled me through.
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How have you coped with loss? With miscarriage? A miscarriage is such an emotionally painful experience and the process of healing is not fast or in a straight line. It’s been 18+ months since my ectopic pregnancy and there are still moments of overwhelming pain. The difference now though is that I feel more alone with my grief since everyone else has moved on and it seems like it has been forgotten. Read the latest post on my website to read about my miscarriage and how I am struggling to move on – link in bio. I’ve partnered with @cindylougair for a giveaway to win her book I Chose This – Cindy has lost 3 children and shares her experience and wisdom with others. ___ How To Enter: 1. Like This Image 2. Leave a comment on this post ___ For bonus entries tag your friends and share this post in your stories! @giveawaygoat ___ This giveaway will end on Wednesday 11 September 06h00 GMT+2. Winners will be announced via my IG stories. This is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram. Must be 18 or older to enter. . . . . . . . . . . #miscarriage #ectopicpregnancy #ectopicpregnancysurvivor #ectopicpregnancyawareness #loss #grief #sadness #mentalhealth #healing #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthrecovery #giveaway #womensupportingwomen #griefsupport #recovery #addictionrecovery #stayingsober #stayingsoberthroughloss
The one thing that I feel has helped me the most and helps me to not feel so alone is talking to other women that have had miscarriages. It is when I do this that the feeling of grieving alone is alleviated for a while.
A few nights ago I was chatting to Mandy Lee Miller from Pregnant In Cape Town and we started talking about our miscarriages. She also had an ectopic pregnancy last year. I don’t want to share details of our private conversation but it is so nice to be able to talk to someone that knows that exactly how I am feeling.
Thank you for the chat Mandy, it really helped me and I hope that you feel better for it too!
Another person that I have connected with recently is Cindy Lou. I stumbled across her posts on Instagram a while ago and they really resonated with me. Cindy has lost 3 children and has written a book titled “I Chose This”. I still need to read her book, but I don’t feel I am quite ready for it yet because I can’t make it through reading some of her posts with dry eyes yet.
I find it inspiring that she has not only come through those losses in one piece but is choosing to live her life and to share her experience with others.
To win a signed copy of Cindy’s book enter on my Instagram channel.