That’s the number of confirmed first trimester miscarriages I had. There were more, but apparently they didn’t count because a pee stick told me I was pregnant and not a blood test.
It was the darkest, loneliest, saddest time of my life. And what made it harder is how misunderstood I felt in the midst of my emotions. Almost everyone close to me played down what had happened which left me feeling like I was being melodramatic and ridiculous.
The thing is, a miscarriage is so much more than just “a heavy bleed” It’s the loss of hopes and dreams you had for the child. It’s the loss of who that child could have/should have/would have been. It’s an achingly painful loss that can’t be fully understood unless you’ve been through something similar.
What made it harder to deal with were the flip comments I got from well meaning friends. I know they never meant to be cruel but a lot of what was said to me, which was meant to comfort me, almost always landed up hurting me even more or making me so angry and causing me to withdraw even further from the people I was closest to.
Here are a few of the pearls I’ve received:
- At least you know you can fall pregnant.
- Rather now than later
- You’ll fall pregnant again in no time
- There was probably something wrong with “IT” (referring to the baby I had lost)
- At least you lost “it” early on
- Don’t cry, it’s not the end of the world
None of those comments comforted me in any way, shape or form, they hurt me more. They caused me to feel even more alienated and isolated from everyone around me. They caused me to feel like even more of a failure as a woman and a would be mother.
Recently, I came across a video by Stylist Magazine, where they interviewed 7 women who spoke about their miscarriages and their experiences of how others supported them through it all and what they needed and wanted most in terms of comfort from those around them.
Here is the video:
Sometimes, the most powerful thing you can say, in ANY situation in life is:
“I’m so sorry this happened to you, what can I do to help?”
Did you know that one in four South African women will experience at least one miscarriage? That means that chances are high that you know someone who has gone through this, so I hope this video and post will help you say the right thing and be the friend your friend needs during her time of grieving.