Throughout my experience of baby loss I have always strived to be honest. I have tried to share the physical and emotional affects my miscarriage has had on me; both in order to help prepare others who are experiencing what I did, and to let people who have experienced loss know that if they felt the way I do then they aren’t alone. I am very aware that this topic affects people differently, very aware that both physically and mentally miscarriage and baby loss affect people in so many different ways. All I can do is share my own experiences and my thoughts.
Being honest can be challenging, and I think I have skipped over some things because they are a little bit harder to say. I’ve tried to tell you the things that “they” don’t tell you, but truthfully there are some things that even I haven’t mentioned about my experience of baby loss.
This weekend would’ve been my due date, something I still have marked in my calendar as ’40 weeks’. I know that some people think I should be over it by now, I know that because they’ve said it to my face. But what happened has changed so many things for me, I don’t think getting “over it” is something that will ever happen.
It feels dishonest to post on Instagram and pretend we are a happy and healing family. To not tell you the whole truth about what this loss has done to me, and to us. To not mention the tension and the rows, the turmoil and the grief.
They don’t tell you how grief will affect you, or how it can drive the biggest wedge between two people who once loved each other so much. They don’t tell you how it will leave you questioning how people who supposedly care about you could treat you the way they do, how callous and awful some people will be. They don’t tell you how it can leave you crying into your pillow, weeks and months after the pain first began. How you can become someone you hardly recognise, how your relationship becomes something you never ever believed it would become.
They don’t tell you what it feels like, going from a happy and loving relationship, to one filled with resentment, tension and strain. They don’t tell you how difficult it will be as the actions of others begin to tear you both apart. To be unable to communicate, to understand or to empathise with each other without each conversation dissolving into another argument.
What it’s like to be someone desperate for their happy girlfriend back, or someone desperate for some understanding and some unconditional love.
The last few months have been rocky, they’ve been full of the cliched ups and downs. Each high has felt incredible, and each low has brought us straight back down to earth. My cycle and my hormones are still all over the place, making my moods worse and my emotions even more overwhelming.
There have been lots and lots of good times, beautiful memories of the simplest things. We’ve learnt to appreciate each other more, to appreciate each moment. But everything isn’t always as it seems. Sometimes I still feel that darkness and despair creeping in, and once it has I feel completely numb, like I can’t feel anything at all, and I forget again how being happy actually feels.
Grief is a process, a long and winding journey with no final destination in sight. It is, as someone so eloquently said on Instagram, love with no where to be released. It’s not something that ever really goes away but just something that life continues in spite of. It’s like a heavy burden and we just get used to carrying its weight. I feel like I have lost more than a baby, more than a pregnancy ended for me. I lost trust in the universe, in my own body, I lost confidence that it will all turn out okay. I lost faith in myself and a lot of people around me, and I lost all the innocence and ignorance that someone who’s only ever experienced a healthy pregnancy would usually face. Although time moves on and we adjust to what has happened, none of those things are ever coming back to me, and that is a really hard thing to accept.
One day things will be easier. Hopefully.
I couldn’t have put it better myself! People just don’t seem to understand that miscarriage is so much more than the loss of a precious baby, not that that in itself isn’t absolutely devastating!
I think often the first miscarriage is the worst because, like you say, you’ve lost that innocence. I’m really struggling this time though because we’re not trying again. It was an unplanned pregnancy and we were done. My husband is right now going to drop off the sample to check his vasectomy worked. I’d be 40 weeks next month, and it’s really preying on my mind. How different would life be if it hadn’t happened? I’m hoping once I’m past 40 weeks I’ll be ok, but we’ll see.
But don’t you dare feel bad or guilty about your feelings. Or how it’s affecting others. They love you and they should be understanding. Ignore those who tell you to get over it, and keep talking to those who will listen.