Just recently two of my friends have suffered the misfortune of miscarriage. One friend is a multiple miscarriage survivor and the other is battling through the unfamiliar territory of her first (and hopefully last) miscarriage. Its been an enlightening experience for me, watching from the sidelines, doing my best to offer both moral and emotional support. But its also been an odd experience, like dejavu, watching the emotions evolve as they both work through their grieving processes individually and yet the emotions are pretty much the same.
Its also stirred up some of my own feelings about my own losses over the past 7 years. Losses I thought I’d dealt with and moved on from, but I guess we never really get over these losses, they do become easier to cope with over the course of time, but they never really leave us completely. I try not to dwell on them because the sadness and sense of loss would be overwhelming and yet what I’ve lost would be impossible to describe.
I suppose what makes the grieving process of a miscarriage, especially a first trimester miscarriage, so unique is that its not something that the majority of the population can relate to, as a generally fertile society the feelings surrounding miscarriage seem to be largely misunderstood. People seem to think its something you recover from and you recover from quickly. Until I went for therapy about 2 years ago, I used to make excuses for the emotions I felt about my pregnancy losses. It was only when the therapist told me that I did not need to excuse my feelings of sadness and loss that it actually begun to sank in, that it was a big deal, that it was terribly sad and that it was a massive loss.
Some people would argue that you can’t really call it a loss because how can you loose something you never truly had. Well for me, and I sure I speak for most miscarriage survivors, my sense of loss comes from the could have beens. From the dreams and aspirations I had for that child from the second I became aware of their existance.
That sense of loss, although not overwhelming anymore is always there. I wonder if it will ever go away, I wonder if the only thing that can take it away is a living, breathing baby of my own? I haven’t gotten to “the other side” yet, but hope to very soon, perhaps then I’ll know the answer.
But for now, I want to tell my friends and anyone else reading this who’s battling through the pain and emotions of a miscarriage, don’t let anyone make you feel that your feelings aren’t justified!