I started this article many, many months ago, (and finished it a couple of months ago… only now do I feel ready to have it published). Perhaps, you know what it is like. You get the news, and you are just so excited and just want to shout it out loud!
But, as you are not supposed to say anything until week 12, I thought I’d put it into a blog post to be published at a later date. That way, I felt like I shared the news without giving away this “secret”, after all…
I wrote about how I discovered the news:
“This story started that day I was planning to meet up with a friend for a drink (after our kids had gone to bed). I wanted to check to make sure it was ok for me to actually have a drink, as my husband and I were “trying” for a baby. I had no indications that it wouldn’t be ok, but I got a positive pregnancy test — I couldn’t have a drink!
First, I didn’t believe it. I looked at the instructions again and again, compared the pictures with what I had in my hand, and after about five minutes, I started to believe it. I ran into the bedroom, woke up my husband and showed him. He didn’t really believe it either (sorry, we are not normally that slow!), but there it was. And so, a new phase in our life began.”
And I wrote about how I felt:
“I find it just as strange this time as last time. That when it happens, you get so excited about it, and you just want to shout it out, but then you can’t! (Well, of course you can, but we chose to wait a bit.)
And, you have this great big secret that you are hiding from everybody, and it wasn’t until our first scan that we started to dare to share it.“ (I did of course know which week the scan would be and when I could start to schedule this article. And, of course, my closest friends and family would know our news by the time this article was published.)
But, we never got that far. It went wrong in week 12, and now I am left feeling so silly and feeling quite sorry for myself. We know all the facts. The chances of losing a pregnancy before week 12 is about 25%. (I don’t know if this statistic is local or what, but it is the number we are told here in Norway.)
And yes, that is the reason we didn’t start telling everybody our news earlier, but I honestly did not think it would happen to me… Famous last words, eh?
So, it went wrong, and only a couple of people knew. In one way I am glad I hadn’t spread the word yet, as it meant fewer phone calls to let people know the news. But, at the same time, I now had this need to talk about it.
One friend (the same one mentioned above about the drink) asked me one day how I was feeling, if our holiday had been good, and I just couldn’t bring myself to say the standard “oh yes, it was lovely, thank you”, which is what I had been planning. I guess I figured that if I didn’t talk about it, I could pretend that none of it had happened.
I am not the kind of person who always feels the need to talk about things, or to analyse things in detail. And, although I have told people, I am not expecting them to sit down with me to talk. As I said, I know all the facts, and having more people telling me that it is “nature’s way of dealing with things”, or that “remember you are so lucky to already have a baby”, and “this doesn’t mean things will go wrong next time”, or “it was not my fault” doesn’t make me feel any better.
I do know all those things, I know all the facts, and I am normally quite a realistic person. But right now, I can’t help but feel a loss and a sadness that I can’t really explain.
Have you experienced the high and low of pregnancy loss? Were your feelings similar or different to Asta’s?
This is an original World Moms Blog post by Asta Burrows in Oslo, Norway. Asta can be found on her Facebook Page or on Twitter @AstaBurrows.
Photo credit to Pol Sifter. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.
Asta: I had a similar experience and had similar feelings as you. I’m a realist- and I knew the baby was not developing right and the miscarriage was not my fault. Being in a community of moms, we hear many stories of loss and every loss matters. I got pregnant again a couple of months after the miscarriage, but the loss of that baby- even as early as I lost that baby- is always with me. You are in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing your story.
We lost a baby at 6 weeks last year, the same day that we told our families. It was heartbreaking, and I was hesitant to tell any of my friends. I decided to tell one of my friends who already had a son, and she listened. Later in the conversation she told me that she had just found out she was pregnant! I wanted to be happy for her, but I was so hurt and angry. I told another friend about it, because I needed to vent. I didn’t want to feel anything but happy for my pregnant friend, but I was reminded that it’s OKAY to feel sad and happy at the same time… whatever feelings come up while coping with a loss, I think it’s important to take the time to let yourself feel them and to process them.
I am so sorry, Asta.
I had a miscarriage between my 4th and 5th child. It was emotional yet I think it was a lot less emotional for me than I have seen it be with other friends of mine. I was only about 7 weeks along.
On the other hand, my sister lost a baby at 36 weeks. Completely and utterly devastating for her and her husband and all of those who love them. I wrote about it then: http://www.newdaynewlesson.com/some-decisions-have-no-right-choice/
She just gave birth again a week ago. (Again I wrote about it. Can you tell writing is my therapy? 🙂 http://www.newdaynewlesson.com/emotions-overlap/ )
As far as your loss-I am so sorry for you. You need the time to mourn the future lost, your feelings and only once you accept and feel all the feelings, can you start to move on. Also remember that even though it was 12 weeks, you are as hormonal as if you had given birth to a baby-remember the mood swings? Give yourself time and permission.
Asta, I know you aren’t writing for sympathy, more for therapy and though I have never experienced a miscarriage, I have experienced a lost pregnancy. I don’t know why it hits us so hard, is it because modern medicine allows us to personify our developing child, know their gender so early and even name them in utero? Or is it a more innate human response to loss of life? Whatever the psychology behind it, it’s tough. I have a good friend who just had a miscarriage (she has two healthy children already) and she is completely crushed about it; so much so that she started seeing a therapist. She feels like it was her fault. Because the tests are inconclusive about why the pregnancy terminated, that it must have been something she did wrong.
When I lived in Japan in the 1990’s I was completely fascinated by a little known ceremony called Mizuko kuyo, a ceremony honoring a unborn fetuses, wherein small stone statues of the deity Jizu (who protects children) are dressed in red and prayed to at a shrine (you can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mizuko_kuy%C5%8D). In a society so private and reserved as the Japanese, Mizuko shrines felt like a culture (of mothers) letting its hair down. I often wonder if there are similar “shrines” in our own cultures; or if, like you have done here, we are left to our bonds of mothers and our therapeutic writings to release our pain…Thanks for sharing.
Oh Asta…I’m so sorry to read this. I know that pregnancy loss is so hard and heartbreaking. As soon as you get that second line you are planning for a different life. Its so sad when it doesn’t go the way you wanted. While you are lucky to have your son, it doesn’t mean you don’t acknowledge this loss and the dashed hope for this new life. All I can say is I’m sorry again and I’m rooting for you in your quest to grow your family!
Asta: I’m sorry to hear the news and I agree that it is something that is hard to talk about. Yet, it does need to be shared and the loss needs to be mourned. Hopefully someday society will know how to better handle this difficult situation. All the best.
Asta – I am so sorry for your loss. I have not miscarried but have had many close to me who have. The loss and all the emotions that come with it are so difficult. Thank you for sharing your story.
I’ve been putting off responding to this post because I wanted to give it the right attention. I’ve been thinking about it every day since it posted. You are so BRAVE for sharing your story with the World Moms Blog community. I’ve been in your shoes, unfortunately too many times. It’s true what they say about how time heals, and I hope you are beginning to feel better.
I hope you have found some comfort in the responses you have received on this post. I know, it’s so difficult, but things do get better. And, I hope that you will keep your eyes on the prize and keep trying.
I’m so glad we’re getting to know each other through writing together, and I’m rooting for you! I’m here if you ever need to chat. 🙂
Asta, I’m so sorry for your loss. You are so courageous for writing this, I am not sure I’d be able to do the same if it was my situation. I hope that in writing this, your heart and mind is healed somewhat.
Know that our thoughts are with you.
I am so sorry Asta. I lost a baby between our two eldest boys and now find it odd to think that our second son would not be here, had that baby survived. I always told people I was pregnant before the 12 week mark – why not have people who know and can support you which ever way the pregnancy goes.
Thank you so much for your comments everybody, and for several reasons I have postponed responding to them… First of all as I was on holiday, then discovered I was pregnant again and had morningsickness all day long (so just couldn’t face sitting in front of a computer), and then it went wrong again and then it took a couple of weeks before I was ready to share. But life goes on… and the more we share this information, the more we find out about other people who have gone through similar, and worse things. Still feel sorry for myself, but at the same time trying to put it into perspective, and to move on slowly and count our blessings!
Thank you for sharing –I ‘m so sorry it happened again. Sending you fantastic baby vibes straight to Norway! I wish you the best. If there’s anything I can do, please ask!! Stay strong. (I know it’s difficult to do.)
Asta ~ I’m SO sorry for you losses. Thinking about you across the miles…