Miscarriage: My Reactions to Your Reactions

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Seeing as how this has been my first (but hopefully last) miscarriage I haven’t had a huge problem telling people that it’s happened. I get teary eyed and shaky, but I told so many people that Hubby and I were going to start trying to have babies right after we were married, that there are a lot of people asking “Are you pregnant yet?”

Telling people I’ve had a miscarriage definitely shuts them up.

For a second.

Then I get the customary, “Oh, I’m so sorry!” Maybe a hug. Then more than likely I’m told that they know someone who had a miscarriage and they went on to have “beautiful and healthy children.”

Thanks for giving me something to hope for. I’d say look forward to, but I know there’s a chance of this happening again. And my defense mechanism in life is to usually expect something bad to happen when I want it to turn out good. I think that’s why I haven’t been a basket case since finding out my baby died.

On Miscarriage: One Mother's Reactions to the Platitudes She Received after the loss of her pregnancy. via www.muddybootsanddiamonds.com

I’ve been trying to figure out what I want people to tell me. I only know three people who have actually been through what I’m going through right now. I told two of them and they both told me nothing anyone ever tells you will make you feel better (…and they went on to have beautiful, healthy children).

I think they’re right. And maybe it’s my hormones trying to sort themselves out, but one person can say something that makes me feel a little better one minute but someone else could say the same thing a little while later and it makes me mad.

I’m tired of hearing about these people that they know that had a miscarriage and went on to have “beautiful and healthy children.” I’m glad that these people did. Truly I am. This is the most heart breaking, not to mention frustrating, thing I’ve ever had to go through. I’m glad they were able to achieve what I can only dream of right now. But I’m also finding that a bunch of these people also had 2-3 (sometimes more) miscarriages before they finally had children. With my next pregnancy, I have just as much of a chance of miscarrying again as I did with the last baby. And I did. So even though it’s good to know that 99% of these people that the people I know know have gone on to have kids, it doesn’t comfort me knowing that I could very well go through this awful thing again.

I hung out with a couple of friends towards the end of the week of my D&C. Talk about an elephant in the room. Maybe the elephant was in my personal room. I expected a of these friends to ask me point blank how I was feeling. After all, I had surgery five days earlier. I cried the whole way home after that visit. How could they not even ask how I was feeling from that?? I felt like our whole visit was spent talking about everything BUT the biggest thing to happen to any of us since telling them I was pregnant. Mr Boots pointed out that maybe they just weren’t sure if they should even bring up the topic. My mom had told me earlier in the week that my dad had questions, but was unsure of how to ask them, or if he should ask at all. After some emailing back and forth with these friends last week I think that is what it was. They didn’t know if I wanted to talk about it. They didn’t want to pry.
But I do want to talk about my miscarriage. It’s hard, but I do.

When I got back to work the week after the D&C one of my co-workers asked how I was. After I confirmed that she knew what happened the week before, she told me she was sorry. Then she immediately went on to say the worst thing anyone has said to me yet: “Yeah, my husband had a bad week last week too.” Excuse me?! Was your husband pregnant? Did he have to have his cervix dilated and the fetus scraped away from his uterus? Did you fall in love with your baby only to have it taken away from you four weeks later? If I didn’t have to see this person every day at work I would have chewed her out. I’d rather have heard “I know someone who had a miscarriage. She went on to have beautiful, healthy children.”

Over the last three weeks I’ve been trying to figure out what people have said that hasn’t brought me to tears or wanted to rip their own heart out so that maybe they could feel some of what I’m feeling right now. I think I have found that there are three things that help me the best and don’t make me so furious:

1) Being asked “How are you doing?” Not the sing-songy, “How are you?” people are in the habit of asking when they see you. But being asked in a way that makes me realize they really want to know. It makes me so happy. I don’t feel like I have to pretend. I can tell them I’m frustrated or sad. Or, if I’m really okay, I can tell them that day has been better than others.

2) The person is willing to listen. And doesn’t interject that I’m overthinking about what happened to this pregnancy, or future ones. Just because the person you know went on to have other “beautiful and healthy” children after she had a miscarriage doesn’t mean I’ll get to be so lucky. And lets not forget that until I give birth I’m not going to stop being scared of losing any baby I am carrying. It’s a normal reaction and I don’t appreciate being told I should dismiss my feelings.

3) A hug. And not just the superficial kind of hug. I mean a good one. One that lets me know that person truly knows I could use one, because damn, having had a miscarriage sucks.

And damn. This does suck.

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