Monday, May 30, 2016
To Any Mom going through a Miscarriage
On the medical side of things:
*I am not a doctor, but have gone through multiple miscarriages. Please do not take this post as expert medical advice, but as advice from a friend who has gone through this before.*
If you have just found out about your miscarriage, you are likely trying to decide what course to take. No course is wrong. Whether you need closure and elect the D+C, or you want to let your body pass the baby naturally, or you choose the pill that starts the process; none of those choices is wrong. I have done all three for different reasons, but please do what feels right for you.
After you have miscarried, you need to make a follow up appointment! At that appointment, make sure your doctor performs an ultrasound to ensure everything has passed. This may seem like a hassle, but PLEASE do this. An extra 20 minutes at the doctor's office is so much better than finding out weeks later that your body hasn't finished the process, and having to go through it all over again.
It could take weeks for your HCG levels to go back to normal. Your doctor should test you at your follow up appointment, and if it is still positive, ask your doctor what the plan is. I personally took a home pregnancy test every two weeks to check. If it has been 6 weeks and you are still getting positive tests, call your doctor.
Unfortunately, doctors see miscarriages all the time. While some of them are wonderfully supportive, other doctors can be cold and clinical about it. If you have questions, ask them. Write down the things you need to remember.
On the personal side of things:
You will likely go through the stages of grief. It may happen quickly, or it could take months. I was shocked when I realized I was going through the anger stage months after my miscarriage. Your husband or partner might not understand why it is taking so long...men grieve differently than women! You may have to remind him that you will be hormonal, and that you will be grieving, so you need patience, hugs and understanding.
You are allowed to grieve this baby no matter how far along you were. You are allowed to grieve each of the hopes and dreams you already had for that baby. That baby was a part of you, and changed your body in many ways in the short time you carried it. You are allowed to grieve in your own way, whether it's privately, or by reaching out to and talking to friends about your miscarriage.
Your friends and family will want to help if you tell them about your loss. They might not know how though. Be specific in your needs, whether it is meals, or help watching your older children, or picking up groceries for you. They might not know what to say, and sometimes it will be shocking how insensitive they can be. If they've never been through a miscarriage, they cannot understand.
There will be a lot of blood if you pass the baby naturally (or with pills such as misoprostol). The process could take hours. Make sure you have drinks on hand that you enjoy so you can stay hydrated. You may bleed heavily for a while after so make sure you have absorbent pads on hand. You will probably cramp a lot, and hard! This process can take a lot out of you. Give yourself time to rest and heal. Go into survival mode if you have to with pizza for dinner and letting your kids watch TV a lot.
There may be days where you cry frequently, and there may be days where you don't cry at all.
I can promise you this though: it will get better. One day you will be able to talk about your miscarriage without bursting into tears. One day you will feel like singing along to the radio again. Soon, the despair will not overwhelm the happiness, and the sun will shine again. Until then, know you are not alone, and my heart aches for you.
If you have gone through a miscarriage, what would you tell other women going through it now? Is there anything you wish someone had told you?