Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day — Dana's Story
"When I had my miscarriage, I remember not being able to actually use the ‘M’ word. I just couldn’t bring myself to say it.
I called my sister straight after the doctor’s appointment, and she could tell immediately that something was wrong. I told her “I was pregnant, but now I’m not.” I never even told my parents, I had my sister relay the news to them instead. I didn’t tell my closest friends until months later. None of this was about shame. I just didn’t know how to say it.
When my GP confirmed that I was experiencing a miscarriage, my immediate response was to hold myself accountable even though I knew this was completely ridiculous. I asked her if there was anything I could have done differently. Had I been exercising too vigorously? Had I let my toddler play too rough with me? I must have done something to bring this about. Of course, she assured me that this was in no way my fault, that this pregnancy wasn’t viable, and that in miscarrying my body was actually doing exactly what it needed to do. That one in four pregnancies – possibly even more – end this way.
But how telling that in 2020, as a confident woman with a loving, progressive support network, I couldn’t bring myself to use the word ‘miscarriage’ and my reflex was to blame myself.
At the time I was very pragmatic about the loss. It wasn’t until I fell pregnant again that I was affected emotionally. It was the what-ifs, the loss of potential. Who would that baby have been? Might we have had a girl? What would they have been good at? Who would they have looked like? We’ll never know and that still stings a bit.
We are blessed now with two wonderful, happy, healthy boys and our family feels complete. I thought I was “over” my miscarriage, insofar as one can be over it. But when a dear friend shared her recent loss with me, I was surprised at how keenly I felt that pain once again. In fact I was more teary this time around.
What’s the moral of this story? Know that miscarriage is not your fault. Know that miscarriage is not shameful, and the subject most certainly should not be taboo. Know that your grief doesn’t have an expiry date. You don’t have to be ok just because a year, or two, or ten has passed. Know that your grief is not comparative. There is no “better” miscarriage, and how far along you were shouldn’t dictate the extent of your sadness.
But most of all, know you’re not alone."