Meet Beth*, a good friend of mine who could tell many a torrid story about a long haired, Mitsubishi Colt driving, uni student, unmotivated by study but highly motivated about having a good time. I’ve known Beth for over 15 years and while catching up with her recently mentioned by ‘Daddy Blogging’ alter ego. It was at the end of our catch up that Beth offered to write something post for my Mums on Dads guest posting series.
Miscarriage is a topic that many of you have been affected by and Beth captures the thoughts, emotions, and difficulties associated with a topic that is not spoken about openly enough.
Beth doesn’t blog (yet), feel free to nag her in the comments to start.
You know something’s strange when my husband wants to hear me talk more…
“What could it be about?” I hear you asking. “Beer? Boobs? Football?” No, it’s about the strangely taboo topic of miscarriage.
As he says, “She’s down… I know it, she knows it – but why don’t any women talk about it?”. My hubby has three friends, whose wives have all had miscarriages…. yet I had to find out how common miscarriage is through the guys talking about it – not the women. Apparently somewhere between 1 in 5 and 1 in 3 early stage pregnancies end in miscarriage… which just makes it even crazier that women aren’t talking about it.
Yep, it’s been my gorgeous hubby who has helped me understand how many women go through this. My gorgeous hubby (who never talks about what he’s thinking or feeling), is the one who is amazed – even shocked – that women never talk about this stuff.
You see, I had the shock of my life about 10 years ago when two lines appeared on a pregnancy test – not weak lines, bright strong lines. I was 26 and was around 5 weeks pregnant, in just the first couple of months of trying … and we were both stunned. We quickly got used to the idea and were really quite excited.
Then after a couple of weeks, in the week of Christmas in 2003, the bleeding started – nothing to worry about at first, but after a few days I realised something was very very wrong, especially when the emotions kicked in.
I remember being stuck on my couch for a week, crying hysterically on the phone to the doctor, crying hysterically on the phone to my mum, shouting and crying hysterically at my husband (because he clearly couldn’t understand), but mainly just crying hysterically to myself (probably because everyone else was bored of me crying at them). Occasionally I stopped crying long enough to punch some cushions or some walls. But then I’d start crying again.
I couldn’t even think about trying for children again for another three years. So much for all that brilliant (and considerate) advice you hear… “Just start trying again straight away, you’ll be fine”.
When I could face the idea of pregnancy again, we started trying again. We were very excited to learn I was pregnant and nine months later, after a great pregnancy, gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl – my little angel. She is now almost six years old and we were ready to try again for another baby.
We were thrilled (ok, shocked) to find out I was pregnant after just a couple of months. I was understandably worried about miscarriage (although this time I knew I was clearly capable of having a perfect baby) so wanted to have an early ‘viability’ scan – such a sensitive name for the scan.
All good news – the scan dated my pregnancy about 7 weeks and we were all thrilled to see a healthy 140bpm heartbeat. My daughter was particularly excited to see the strong heartbeat of her little brother or sister. Everything looked great, so we didn’t mind telling a few close family and friends.
Everything changed three weeks ago when some light bleeding started… My (male) doctor gave me so much comfort telling me there is nothing I could have done that would have caused a problem – definitely not my fault… (phew!) Also, after a few internet searches, I learned that 25%-35% of early pregnancies experience bleeding, with about half being completely fine.
But I wasn’t fine. I miscarried again at 10 weeks – my second ‘maybe baby’.
Although the emotions weren’t so bad this time around, again it was my husband reminding me how many women go through this and that I would be fine… And that women should talk about this more. Why is it that men can talk about this, but women find it so hard?
So, as I shed my last tear (for now) for my two ‘maybe babies’, I send out the call now for women to be more open about talking about something so common and so devastating as miscarriage…
Why are we leaving each other to muddle through it alone, each of us thinking we’re going (if not gone) crazy?? No-one really knows what to say to someone going through it, but does anyone have any ideas? Why are people so scared to talk to each other about it? Do any of you know people who have gone through something similar? If so, I urge you to talk about it – even if only to let people know they are not alone.