Miscarriage is hard. Actually, hard is an understatement. The feeling of light exiting as quickly as it had entered feels like there’s no longer need for rainbow or cloud. On July 4th, 2014, I became 1 in 4 women who experienced pregnancy loss.
One of the things that I learned through my experience is that people really don’t know what to say to someone who has endured a miscarriage. After my miscarriage, I was met with the occasional, “I’m so very sorry for your loss” (which is the best thing to say), OR I was met with my least personal favorite, “Well, as least you can always try again,” which for the record, is the WRONG thing to say). Hearing the words, “You can always try again,” felt as if the provider of that disclaimer were announcing that OUR baby and/or experience was comparable to that of a 7/11 lotto ticket… we could just simply try again.
Here are a few things that people should know about miscarriage:
- It’s not your fault. There is nothing that you did or could have done to prevent this from happening. You didn’t exercise too much or not enough. There was nothing that you ate or didn’t eat. IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT.
- Miscarriages are common. So much so, that we need to normalize the conversation around it. In fact, approximately 10 percent of all known pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Because this data is centered around known pregnancies, the percentages are more than likely higher than reported.
- It’s ok to ask for support after pregnancy loss. I encourage asking for support by from family members, a postpartum or full spectrum doula. Having a nucleus of loving support after loss is so very imperative. Allowing folks to curate meal trains, laundry pickup/ drop off, or simply checking in can serve as a beautiful reminder that you are loved + seen.
- Take time. Take space. Similar to pregnancy, you are postpartum after pregnancy loss. Your body and hormones require time to regulate and obtain normalcy. If you can, try not to rush back to everyday life. Treat your body as if it is postpartum, because it is.
- You are not alone. Seek out pregnancy loss support groups. There is power and healing in numbers.
Lastly, pregnancy loss should be honored and recognized. It’s ok to grieve and mourn what was, and now is. It’s ok to walk through grief’s many stages… to feel uncertain… unclear… and to try to wrap your head around what has happened. Your pregnancy was real. What you feel thereafter is also real. Hold and take space for yourself. You are surrounded and held.