...I still think about the "could have" scenarios from time to time.
Hi there, Wanted to share my story and how I think this is an immensely encouraging project and like what many of these women have said, talking about this and making people aware will help us feel more connected and less isolated.
Before my miscarriage, I didn't know how common it was and how the percentage of a miscarriage was as high as 25%. I thought there was something wrong with me or my body for not being able to stay pregnant whilst I saw so many women around me get and stayed pregnant till they delivered. I truly believe in the power of a support network and for people to accept this as a non-taboo topic and offer their support in whatever ways possible. My miscarriage was in July 2014. I was due to move overseas for a work assignment and I wasn't planning for a baby, wasn't in a steady relationship and my partner and I definitely did not have a long term plan in mind, much less a baby. For a month or two, I had pregnancy symptoms, which in hindsight was very obvious but I had missed. The nausea at night, the bloating, how my tummy looked rounder than usual, a weird thought that I was pregnant and somewhat "talking" or "communicating" with whatever was inside of me, telling "it" we will be okay. But somehow I thought it was not or could not be true. One afternoon at work, I suffered massive stomach cramps, wincing and finding all ways to hear compress or take painkillers to alleviate this. At midnight, I ended up at the A&E with x rays and tests only pointing to a potential UTI or kidney infection.
The day I realised I was pregnant and already suffering from a miscarriage was when I was out at dinner and upon going to the toilet, saw I was bleeding a lot and specifically had a large lump bled out. I thought ah my long-awaited period is here but what could that be. A nagging feeling told me it could be it- and some google images helped me confirm. But I still wasn't believing it and went to a gynaecologist the next day to check. She did an ultrasound scan, confined I wasn't pregnant since the pee test came back negative; I saw my womb, saw a weird 2 centimeter sac empty in the middle of my womb which looked too fleshy in the doctor's words. She said not to worry, it could be an anomaly. We did a blood test and I was half convinced I was not pregnant. She called me the same afternoon, explaining yes I was suffering from a miscarriage and how 1 on 4 women do experience that, and I would need to either come in for a procedure or let the tissues all bleed out on its own. That's when I broke down crying, feeling helpless and angry at myself for not trusting my instincts and protecting my baby. Even talking about it to my partner was not an easy task. We fought. He tried to console me. He tried to tell me I wasn't ready to be a mother yet and all I could think of and want was to have my baby back. He was in the camp that a foetus is not a baby, I wasn't having a baby yet. And it all didn't help me nor comfort me. My best friends just had babies and could barely empathize with me, after all, there's only so much sobbing and lamenting they could listen to. I'd never felt more alone than this and seeing every pregnant woman walk by made me feel both angry, resentful that this had to happen to me and really upset for at least a couple of months.
I started reading up on causes of miscarriages, on blogs and forums to listen to what other women experienced and what their stories were and yes, it did comfort me; but they often ended in happy endings. They eventually got their babies. And it hurt even more because till now, I don't know if I will get a chance to have a baby of my own. I was single, angry at the world, sad, dark and anything people said about babies, marriage could set me off in a nasty way. I snapped at everyone, I destroyed holidays with friends by snapping and being a totally unpleasant and unreasonable person and eventually I moved overseas for my work assignment. I thought a silver lining would be that I was alone, I could escape the pain, my partner and my friends. I didn't want to care for anyone anymore. I just wanted my baby back. I used to think about how it would be, a lot. I imagined I would have a little girl, her name would be Anya. I would imagine she is kept safe in the clouds and would be returned to me when some higher power deems me fit and the time suitable to have her back. I would unwittingly walk into children clothes shops, wanting to buy baby girl dresses, wanting to clutch on to whatever could have been.
I stopped talking about it too, at least in front of other people- I was told well, other people go through worse tragedies, be grateful; oh, you're still young, you will have kids someday; or how it was a real tragedy for me and people were being understanding but I could not wallow in this for long and let my work suffer. I wish I didn't tell anyone then if these comments I heard could not comfort me. I felt like people were uneasy and did not know what to say. They dismissed it so quickly that I felt indignant and angry. How is my losing my baby not anywhere as important as someone else giving birth to one? A year on, I thought of how I would have become a mom, how my baby would be three months old by now if she were born; thought about how my life changed in an instant. One moment I could have been a mom, the next, I was lying alone in an empty apartment in a foreign land finding my sense of belonging and making sense of my purpose in life.
I want to share that there is a silver lining to all of this. There is a reason to why such things happen to the best of women, and it will make sense in hindsight but the journey to get there will be dark, painful and on some days, unbearable. It has been a year of working on myself- I have had the time to work on what I want to pursue as a career, what I hated about my angry, sad, vindictive self and what I wanted to become. Truth be told and sometimes I am ashamed to admit it, my partner was right that I was not ready to be a mother yet, no matter how much I thought I would be great at it, or ease into that role. I felt and still feel relief to not have a child right now while I pursue my dreams of traveling, setting up my own business and working on myself. I still think about the "could have" scenarios from time to time. I silently talk to or journal what I would love to share with my lost baby- a new city I was in, the Joy of plane rides, new experiences I wish I could share with her. I still go to baby clothes shops, tempted to buy beautiful little dresses and place them in a time capsule for when You might come back to me. I still tear up thinking about how much pain this caused. I still don't know if I will ever have the luck to be a mother some day, or where or what my lost baby would be, but I do know it and she felt real in all those moments I had her. I hope and wish for the best to women going through the same pain and I want you to know that, even though you may not want to hear this, know that it will pass, and you will be stronger than ever.