Some events seem unimaginable - until you're forced to go through them.
That's how I felt when I went through my miscarriage. Everything went dark for me - and I didn't know how I was going to get through it. But by the grace of God, I did - and I learned a few things in dealing with its aftereffects.
Not everyone is going to get it.
Some people will come around you to support you as best they can after your miscarriage. After sharing the news about ours, there were some who sent us cards, took us out for breakfast so we could just talk openly, and counseled us through our grief. I felt seen on Mother's Day when several couples in our church gave me a hug and a card and made me feel included.
But for everyone who gets it, there will be many others who don't. One of the first things most people are quick to say after you've gone through a miscarriage is "you can always try again." It's sort of like saying "everything happens for a reason" at a funeral. These statements disregard your grief and the life that was lost, even though the people saying them have good intentions. Try to have grace and patience (even if you may want to scream).
On the other hand, some won't say anything at all, because they don't know what to say. I remember feeling like I was suffering silently because my miscarriage was too awkward for anyone to talk about. I felt alone, but I knew that miscarriage was something that, until recently, was a taboo subject. Not everyone will know how to express their sympathy for you - but that doesn't necessarily mean you've been forgotten.
It can take a long time for your cycle to normalize again.
After my miscarriage, it took weeks for my HCG levels to fall. I had to continue going in for blood tests every week for my doctor to monitor things, but the process moved very slowly for me. This is different for everyone - but for me, it was a painful weekly reminder of what had happened.
My cycle finally came back months after my miscarriage, but even then, it was longer and more irregular than normal. If this is your experience, remember that your body just needs time to regulate and try to be patient. Some may go on to ovulate again right away, but you may not. Your body has just been through a rollercoaster of hormone changes, and it needs time to stabilize.
Miscarriage = Trauma
You may find yourself fearing the idea of a new pregnancy because of a previous miscarriage. The idea of going through that horrible experience again can be overwhelming and may spur anxiety. Miscarriage is a traumatic event, and for many, the thought of it hurts even years later. Not only is miscarriage death, but it is a death that occurs inside a mother's body. It's both physically and emotionally painful, and it's impossible to forget that kind of trauma.
I can't stress this enough: seek counseling. You've got a lot of emotions to unpack, and you need to be able to talk through them with someone who is trained to help you. There is no shame in counseling - only healing.
You will go through a moving spectrum of emotions - even months later.
Initially, you'll go through the stages of grief when you suffer a miscarriage. Like any death, it can leave you emotionally raw at first, but these feelings will soften as time goes on. Eventually, you'll be able to accept that it happened, it happened to you, and that you need to pick up the pieces and make something from them.
But even if you do get counseling, that doesn't mean you'll be "fixed." Even months later, I still experience feelings of bitterness, anger, doubt, hopelessness, and sadness, even though I've already come to an acceptance with what happened. It's human nature to feel jealousy when it seems like pregnancy comes easy to others, but not to you. It's normal to still wonder why you had to be a part of the statistic.
In this life, we're given many painful experiences that can feel isolating, frustrating, and hopeless; but take heart that no matter your past, present, or future, you are not alone. It's okay to be upset - just know that you can face this, and in doing so you will inspire other women who will inevitable walk the same dark road.
Emily Adams says
I completely agree with what you shared here about getting counseling. I didn’t get formal counseling after my miscarriage about 4 months ago but did talk in-depth with several friends who had also gone through this, and I think it’s so important not to go through the grieving process alone.
Rachel De Boer says
Yes, absolutely. Thanks for sharing that, Emily.
When it happened to us, I had no family in the area to talk to about it, so we went straight to our pastor. He was such a tremendous help to us and knew just how to comfort our grief.