29/06/2015

Miscarriage Grief & How I Cope

Dealing with miscarriage is so difficult, everyone will have different methods of coping and will find their own ways to get through it day to day. I however want to talk about me. My experiences...How grief affected me, how I coped at the time, and how I am feeling today years later. Hopefully, I will help or bring comfort to others who have been or are going through the heart breaking experience of miscarriage.

Miscarriage No.1 (Pippie)
The first miscarriage taught me that babies don't come easy for some. I found out I was pregnant just before my period was due. I was 5+ weeks pregnant when I awoke feeling empty and in my own words that morning 'not pregnant'. Later that day at work, I began bleeding and everything I dreamt of was torn away from me. After seeing my mum loose her baby boy when I was in high school I was aware of miscarriage and baby loss but you always hope it doesn't happen to you. Once it happened I knew if I wanted a baby I was going to have to fight for it. I admit after the loss I was so angry that I hated myself and everything around me. It was grief and when grief first hits you it's very overwhelming to say the least. I didn't know how to deal with my emotions. I let myself grieve to my hearts content I sobbed on Reese's shoulder for days and even had emotional break downs for the weeks and months to follow. I found just letting my emotions come out as and when they pleased worked best for me. Holding back always made things worse as I became more worked up and angry.

After a while the grief started to melt away letting my normal self start to surface again, the anger started to disappear and I started finding myself wanting to be happy again, wanting to laugh and smile even. I joined a miscarriage forum in hopes for it to help me start accepting the emotional roller coaster I had now been destined. I joined a community online because I felt that these women on this miscarriage section were open to talk to me about loosing a baby. They understood completely how I felt because everyone had experienced it once, twice or fifteen times at most then. At the time family and friends didn't really know what to say, although they tried. Most couldn't possibly have understood what I needed to hear. When they spoke about it, it normally resulted in them upsetting or offending me. A girl I got chatting to named Jenna also experienced a loss and through this we gave eachother a friend. We'd send messages just listening to eachothers worries and giving encouragement to keep our spirits up while we carried on TTC and dealing with life around us.

Miscarriage No.2 (Peach)
The second loss was completely different. I thought after hearing countless comments of 'the next time will be fine' that it was finally my time to have my baby. I saw my belly growing and felt every single second of morning sickness and spent so much time puking. I never thought that something may have been wrong. I had no reasons at all to think that. It seemed to be your ideal pregnancy. I'd been filled with hope from friends and family, watching my growing belly and generally enjoying the first 12/13 weeks of pregnancy. Until the day before my 12 week scan. I was 13 weeks pregnant. I began to bleed after a stressful day at work. My mum stayed with me that night still giving me hope that it was all fine. She knew of ladies that bled all through pregnancy so still I was clinging onto the hope I was being given. The scan came and it was discovered my baby had passed away, it was measuring 7+ weeks at this point and was showing signs of decomposing, my baby had been shrinking while I was sure they were growing inside me. Emotionally I collapsed, shut down and I cried so hard that I crumbled into the wall in the hospital corridor on the way out. You go into the waiting room to expect to walk out with a beautiful scan photo not an empty hand and heart. We didn't get that magical moment instead we were forced into the hands of grief again.

I wasn't so much angry this time. I was sad, I was hurting so much my heart ached. I had to wait a week before I had the op to remove the baby through a DNC procedure. I found it highly traumatic, for example I came round shouting out for my baby back, crying and in pain. A lady caring for me hugged me and you know what? She gave me something I really needed at that moment. A cuddle, it didn't matter that I didn't know her and she probably deals with women like me all day long. She'll never know how much that hug meant to me. It was enough to calm me down to sleep again, to escape that awful empty fresh out of surgery nightmare.

On getting home I was numb, and it stayed that way for a long time. Sad but emotionally numb. We waited for me to heal physically and we refused to give up TTC. It made me SO determined and dedicated to the idea that I WAS going to be a mum and nothing was going to stop me. It was time to get that fight back. Although in the back of my head I thought 'why are you bothering, it's not going to happen, you won't carry a child and will continue having miscarriages'. I couldn't go on with that attitude, it was destroying me and the relationships around me. This miscarriage taught me I had to be strong. I resented alot of people for giving me hope throughout my pregnancy and for it to finish like it did. I was furious. Looking back at it now, I would do the same for anyone else in my position. If you don't have hope at such an awful time like miscarriage then you really do have nothing to go on. I may have felt emptiness like nothing else in this world, I may have had my babies taken away from me beyond my control. BUT I had hope that was given to me by the people who loved me. That kept me going even when I didn't realise it.

A Rainbow Baby (Penelope)
My next pregnancy we had our beautiful baby girl Penelope. A healthy little rainbow baby who was perfect from the moment she was born. She has grown to become the most amazing daughter and I will cherish her always. I could never describe in words how much I love my little Penny-pops. We were at a crossroads for a while after Penelope. We didn't know what we wanted in terms of future children and when the time for another would be. We knew it was likely we might miscarry again, and it felt wrong to go through that when Penelope would be so young. I didn't want my grief to affect her, and ruin such precious time with her. Also I worried for my fertility, I'd tell myself that it'll just get riskier as I get older. If I had that much trouble getting my first baby god knows what it'll be like in 5/7 years time! We decided that we would wait regardless of the outcome. Just days later I found out I was infact pregnant, crazy how things work out isn't it? Penny was just 6 months old.

Miscarriage No.3 (Pickle)
A complete surprise. I felt both terrified and happy seeing those lines appear on the test. I didn't feel ready but knew how lucky I was to be pregnant. I'd just got my head around our news feeling excited that this baby was coming. They would be close in age with Penelope and would grow together with an incredible bond. It was meant to be. I started to bleed and went on to miscarry at around 6-7 weeks pregnant. I saw some unimaginable things that day.

I was devastated with this miscarriage being honest, because although before even being pregnant I was under the impression that it was likely I might miscarry again in the future. Once I found out I was pregnant though I thought that I'd had my fair share of heart ache. Having Penelope was the gold at the end of the rainbow, my silver lining through it all. After everything I went through I was finally blessed with this perfect baby. I thought grief had truly finished with me. It felt amazing to be giving Penny a brother or sister, I was so proud. My family was going to grow. To start bleeding on a evening when I was alone was the biggest shock of all. I felt angry that I had let my guard down, believing it would be okay. I sobbed, so hard. But I couldn't let this grief consume me.

I refused to let Penelope see me sad. I didn't want her to pick up on me being different. I certainly didn't want this loss to affect her. It was so hard at times because I loved that baby, unexpected or not. My heart was attached. With the help of Penelope I coped. If ever I was sad, I would stare at her face, I'd think about her and I would tell myself that I have everything I'll ever need in her, anything more would be a blessing. It always put a smile on my face and made me feel better. If anything she made me feel greatful. Instead of resenting people for giving me hope this time, I resented people for saying things like 'it wasn't the right time', 'enjoy your time with Penny'. It may have not been what we had planned, and it may not have been ideal timing. But when things happen in life, you deal with it. You adjust and you live. Whether it be dealing with a miscarriage, or juggling two kids with a small age gap. If I'd have had that baby I would have loved it beyond words. Just like Penelope. I wouldn't of had Penelope to enjoy I would have had two children to treasure. Two children to stare lovingly at. Two children giving me grey hairs, but I would have loved and enjoyed every waking moment. If that baby was to have made it would have been hard work, but hard work always pays off. If miscarriage has taught me anything it's to appreciate every single millisecond of your baby/children because you never know what is going to happen.

Today 
I am 26 weeks pregnant with a much wanted and longed for baby girl. We experienced no losses from when we were trying to conceive her. Infact, we struggled to get pregnant this time. This story is long enough already without that being chucked in (maybe another day) that I just wanted to end by saying I am incredibly lucky. So lucky that I have been able to get pregnant 5 times now. I have one daughter here on this earth at 3 years old and one I will be due to meet perhaps at the end of this year or beginning of next. I have 3 little angels in heaven who I didn't meet but do very much have in my heart still and always will.

Grief does not take over your life forever, hope carry's you through it. You always have hope.

 
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