Friday, November 19, 2010

Life After Miscarriage

Is so weird because most of the world just ignores it. My family ignores it because, in their mind, I was never really pregnant. All the blood tests confused them and they just decided it wasn't true.

Another reaction, and one that was truly terrible, happened when I finally went in for my surgery on my foot. The nurses were asking me why I was still testing positive for pregnancy (I was still at a low HCG level) even though I had my OB/GYN send them a notice saying I had miscarried. So I had to explain it. And then again to another nurse. Then they hooked me up in bed to get my meds and IVs going. And I had to explain it to the anesthesiologist. Then, the nurses decided to lighten the mood by talking about the situation right outside my curtain - where their desk was. They were joking around and asking each other who wanted to take home the positive pregnancy test to freak out their boyfriend or husband. A curtain is not a wall. Often, the curtain was even open. Most of the nurses didn't know who had given the positive test and were openly laughing and joking about it in front of me. It was terrible.

Today at work, a co-worker stopped by my table to congratulate me. I asked the two people who knew (who, if you remember, were almost puked on) to keep it to themselves...which they did not. She asked when I was due and I was sitting at a table full of people. What do you do? I smiled slightly and said "July" because I honestly hope that sometime this summer we may have a baby. And then she left and some of the others left and a co-worker started teasing me about Katie having a sibling and I told him I lost it. Hopefully that will make the rounds as quickly. And of course he was upset that he said anything, so I told him it was ok and that it was fine. I know I shouldn't have to make other people better, but I don't want to be the downer that no one wants to sit with because she told people she was pregnant too soon and now just wants attention.

Other great moments involve buying ovulation predictors and/or pregnancy tests. The cashiers always feel the need to comment on my purchases - "Oh - hoping you have a bun in the oven?" "Wow! I wish I needed an ovulation test - I just look at my husband and get pregnant." "Trying to get pregnant? I'll give you one of mine." Yeah...thanks. That helps a lot.

So, what should we do? Well, this article says it best:

Are you at a loss when it comes to knowing what to say or do to help a woman who has miscarried? Often, we don't know what to say or do and opt for either saying, or doing, nothing. To make matters worse, we make the mistake of dismissing her grief. I'm here to help you by offering a few simple support tips if you find yourself with a friend or loved one who has miscarried.

1. Don't say:
* You're young, you can always have another.
* It was meant to be, or It was God's will.
* At least you have other children.
* Miscarriages are common.
* Ignore it and say nothing at all.
* Why don't you just get over it and move on?
* At least you weren't that far along.
* There must have been something wrong with the baby.
* You can always try again.

2. Do Say: There are six simple words for you to say to a woman who has miscarried, and they accomplish several things.
* They acknowledge her grief and loss.
* They show compassion, sympathy and understanding.
* They make her feel less alone and not crazy for feeling like her world's been ripped out from under her.

Those words are: I AM SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS.

By simply saying you're sorry for her loss, you are comforting a woman who has miscarried. That's what she needs to hear. You're letting her know her pain is real and she has every right to feel, grieve, cry and heal. A miscarriage should be viewed just like the loss of a loved one. A miscarriage IS the loss of a loved one.

Ellen DuBois is the Author of
I Never Held You: A book about miscarriage, healing and recovery.

Again...more than anything, I hope that I can help other people with this. It's a problem we ignore until we know someone who brings it up - and chances are that we know SO MANY people who have had this experience but don't know how to say it or bring it up. I hope they can find peace as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment