What I wish I’d never needed to know about miscarriage

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miscarriage

 

While I definitely think things happen a certain way for a reason, there are definitely some things I wish I’d known about miscarriage after our first loss. And I wish perhaps it hadn’t taken me three losses to learn them.

 

I guess I just want to write these down here for those of you who have recently experienced a loss of your own. This is what I wish I’d known and done after our first loss before rolling the dice again.

 

I wish I’d started to take more care of my own body after our first loss.

 

I have no idea whether this would have made a difference to the outcome but it certainly would have made a difference to how I felt. Instead, I bundled up my grief and kept marching forward towards trying to have another baby.

 

So not only was I depleted from pregnancy and breastfeeding for a year with Rory, I was also run down from the massive amount of energy it takes to lose and grieve for a baby. My anxiety was wired higher than ever, and while I’ve always eaten reasonably well, I’m pretty sure I just didn’t care all that much at that point.

 

I wish I’d asked for some basic testing after the first loss.

 

I literally didn’t do any investigation after the first, or even the second loss. Looking back I’m not really sure why? Perhaps I was in a somewhat state of denial that it would happen again, and yet it did, again and again.

 

Of course, I’d been to doctors in between these losses, but no one ever said, ‘let’s run some tests’ and I wish now I’d known what to ask and of whom to get myself back earlier. It wasn’t until I started asking some questions that I learnt that they actually don’t start sending you for these tests until you’ve have three miscarriages – meanwhile your body (mind and emotions) have become more depleted with each one. Yet another lesson in being your own advocate for your own health, I guess – don’t assume the medical system will do this for you.

 

I wish I’d given myself time to grieve.

 

I know you think that trying again will help you feel better after this loss.  I also know you know that while it won’t entirely fix the pain you’re in, there is probably some part of you that feels that having another baby will definitely help to make this loss not feel like your whole world. And hey, it might. Or it might mean that you go into another pregnancy incredibly stressed and anxious.

 

Take the time you need. It can be a definite amount of time, or just until you feel ready. Write yourself a happy list. See a counsellor to work through your feelings. Do all the things you can’t do when you’re pregnant (even though you might feel a touch sad while doing it.) Remind yourself that this life you have is good too. 

 

I wish I’d taken the time to get my body strong again.

Even if being nutritionally depleted beforehand wasn’t an issue for you, most women will find that they are after a miscarriage. The combination of losing blood, stress and grief often means we don’t eat well (if at all) for a period of time, or we comfort eat. So while I think going easy on yourself in the first weeks or months is important, if and when you’re ready to try again should mean you refocus on getting yourself strong and healthy first.

 

I thoroughly recommend seeing a naturopath or nutritionist who can test to see what you’re lacking in and make sure you are eating and supplementing the right things.

 

I wish I’d educated myself more about my body’s cycle.

There is SO much power in knowing your body’s own cycle well, whether or not it’s for fertility. The length of your cycle, your moods, your temperature and your skin can tell you so much about your overall health and fertility.

 

Nutrition (or lack of it) and stress will throw your hormones out of whack and tracking your cycle can give you a really clear picture of how you’re doing. All you need is a thermometer to do it, and if you do end up needing further testing it can be a helpful reference to have.

 

 

I wish I’d been able to bring myself down from the stress.

 

I can’t even begin to tell you how anxious I was throughout all of last year and early this year. The people I’ve admitted this to often tell me ‘Really!? But you’re so calm!’ 

 

Yes, I am. Normally. And I still was over that time…on the outside. On the inside I was a mess of anxiety that affected everything – my relationship, how I was with my boys, my work. Everything. 

 

Please don’t be like me. Find some support to come down from the stress before you try again. This could be working with someone (counsellor, healer, acupuncture, etc) or just including practices in your day that help.

 

The things that have helped me the most have been daily restorative (reaaaaaaalllly gentle) yoga, meditation, a gratitude journal, a ‘write all my thoughts out so they don’t have to live in my head journal’, solo walks in nature, reading fiction, reaching out to friends who’ve been there when the anxiety gets bigger than me, not getting sucked into the social media spiral, and working through my happy list.

 

So that’s what I wish I’d known before we had a miscarriage, if you have anything you’d add please let me know in the comments.  So many of us have been through it but there are few places we’re aloud to talk openly about it. Let this be one of them. x

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