I, like many women, have a secret

CW: Miscarriage, pregnancy loss. 

I have a secret. But you already know. But in the regular world, I have a secret.

It’s something that doesn’t upset me as much as it used now I’ve had time to process and accept it, but when I have those days when it weighs on my mind, it weighs.

Not a lot of people in my everyday life know that I had a miscarriage. As many of you will understand, it’s a deeply personal matter and not everyone’s business unless you choose to share it with them. That being said, I firmly believe there needs to be more conversation around miscarriage and all other forms of losing a child.

Especially when it first happened and in the early days of processing it, it felt like I had a cardboard sign hanging from around the back of my neck with string. Saying: ‘I HAD A MISCARRIAGE.’ but only I could see it.

It’s so big an impact in your life you almost forget that other people don’t have a clue. In another way, it’s a comfort, as if you’re saying, ‘This is my pain. Stay away from it until I’m stronger.’ 

I remember seeing a scene from The Handmaid’s Tale TV Series, where Commander Joseph Lawrence (played by Bradley Whitford) is speaking with Emily (played by Alexis Bledel) about her son, whom she has not seen in years.

He describes how losing child, quite clearly insinuating first-hand experience, is like ‘losing a limb.’ I feel this is described perfectly. There is an emptiness there you learn to get used to. You will move forward, but it’s still there in the background.

I wish I could open up to some of people in my life (not including my immediate family and close friends who already know) and while I know they’d understand, I’m still apprehensive.

Like anyone who has gone through this can understand, it’s the fear of judgement. Now to provide some context, I’m in my mid-twenties, in a committed relationship but neither married (not that that matters much in today’s world) or actively trying for a baby.

It’s the first point and the latter that is the sticking point for me. The fear of being tarred with the following: ‘Just another irresponsible young person. You should have been more careful.’ that somehow, because ours wasn’t planned, that we somehow deserved it.

Now, I know I’ve mentioned this before and I know what you’re going to say. Who gives a shit what they think? And you’d be right. I am repeating myself, but those feelings while minimising through acceptance, still come about. Like many of you, I grew up with a lot of the “you young people…” talk around us that’s hard to shake. Trying to minimise any more vilification becomes second nature.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that it just wasn’t meant to be. I know that’s a turn of phrase most hate, including myself, when someone else says it to reassure you. It feels like a personal attack, that you must be so shit a parent before even having the chance that it just ‘wasn’t meant to be’.

I know this isn’t what’s meant, but that is what it feels like. I mean this in the way that there’s nothing that could have been done. There was nothing I, nor my boyfriend or anyone else could do.

But I do still miss them. I miss them especially so on days when it really weighs on my mind, even though I know I wasn’t, and still not, if at all, ready to be a parent. Recently, we went to have breakfast at a farm café. We saw a family, not much older than me and my boyfriend, with young children taking them to see some of the cows and their babies.

The children, one of them a little girl who looked about a year old, really stuck with me (I always had the strong, almost caste-iron feeling that the baby would have been a girl. Don’t ask me how, I just did.) I said to my boyfriend:

“If things had been different, ours would be the same age as her.”

Which is true. If things had been different, I’d have been giving birth last September, and they would have been little over a year old now. He said nothing, with a sad look on his face the same as mine. What could be said? There was nothing that could be said, just like there is nothing that could be done.

Like I said, it’s not a secret to you guys, but for the most part in my everyday life, it is. I can share what I feel about this on wider scale that I’m comfortable with. It’s an outlet. It’s a way where I hope I can do some good to someone else, that through sharing my thoughts and feelings when these moods strike, that they don’t feel as isolated, because it can be incredibly isolating.

For the foreseeable future, unless something happens unexpectedly, I am not ready to be a parent. That’s fine not to be ready or to not wish to have children at all. But that doesn’t mean you don’t miss them when you lose a child. That’s ok too.

F4Thought

 

29 thoughts on “I, like many women, have a secret

    1. Thank you Michael. It certainly is, especially with it being so early on (in hindsight considering symptoms and the pill I was taking, could have been anywhere between 2-8 weeks, was never really sure) it’s dealing with that feeling of almost having ‘no right’ to be as upset as you are (even though that’s bs). Thank you for your reassuring words 💝

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      1. I remember walking in on a friend of mine. He and his wife had been trying to get pregnant for years and they had been ecstatic to finally get there. She was 5 months in when she lost the baby. He had come into work and when he had a quiet moment in our office, he broke down. I came in and he just hugged me while I held him as he cried. Losing a baby is hard for both halves of a couple. Please never feel that you are not supposed to feel bad! As a human who was to be a mother you have to feel upset. It’s natural and right. People who tell you differently need to study empathy and grow up.

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      2. I remember you telling me a few months ago. I can’t imagine what that must have been like for them. No one deserves that. I’m so happy that they did manage to have a healthy baby boy in the end 😊 Thank you so much. You know that there’s no reason to but occasionally that feeling comes back. Absolutely, it stems from the notion that most consider them a ‘clump of cells’ until they’re further developed. While scientifically this is true, that doesn’t matter to you. That’s still your baby, as I’m sure you know and understand being a father yourself 💝 And I agree, it’s different for everyone and people who, even if they react differently or otherwise, are completely unsympathetic and malicious, fuck them. x

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    1. Thank you PS 💝It is a lifetime commitment, as you know being a parent yourself. There’s no feeling completely ready I suppose, even if you’re actively trying to conceive. It’s been really difficult on my boyfriend, he doesn’t talk about it much. I suppose when you’re the father you experience the sense of helplessness from a completely different angle. It’s not something often talked about because of the focus being so much on the mother. They need as much support as well.

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  1. Thank you for sharing Violet. It doesn’t matter how far along you are, a miscarriage is a miscarriage. We lost ours at 5-6 weeks. He/she would be 11 years old now. Nothing prepares you for the loss and I still think about it to this day. I wish you well and happiness whichever route you choose.

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  2. That feeling of walking around with a billboard proclaiming your ‘sins’ is awful with it’s complexities of self-judgement and guilt, especially those moral standards created by others early in our lives.
    Miscarriage must leave a big hole and you’re right that it’s nobody else’s business than yours and your partner’s. So, thank you for sharing in the way you do in your blog.
    melody 🌹🌹

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    1. Thank you melody. It’s a way where I can share in a way that I’m comfortable with. Not so much proclaiming a sin of sorts (even though the image very much looks like that) but something that is so obvious and at the forefront of your life at the time, but everyone else not knowing, if that makes any sense. The moral standards created by others doesn’t help, but I suppose there are a small amount compared to most who are very understanding and sympathetic, either through first hand experience or otherwise. It’s almost been two years and that feeling takes a lot of rationalising. X

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  3. Life can just be so difficult – and so much reflective thought, emotion and loss come through strongly in this post. What I do think is that if and when you decide to become a parent u are going to be “tops” at it. And that will be partly down to your past experiences. HUGS xx.

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    1. Thank you so much May ((((hugs)))) That’s one of the kindest things someone has said to me. If that’s ever the case, I certainly hope I would be able to do a good job. Especially so considering I barely know a thing about raising kids! 😂 But like anything, I suppose it’s very much learn on the job 😊

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing this with us for F4T Violet. Baby loss, of any kind, is a subject matter very close to my heart due to my own journey. One thing I know is that the grief of this kind doesn’t care whether it was planned, or whether in reality you were ready or even wanting to be a parent, the grief and the turmoil exists regardless of those things in many cases. When I had my termination, which was for medical reasons at 15 weeks into my pregnancy, my friend was also trying to get pregnant. She succeeded a month or so after my loss and I remember being so thankful that the chances of her going through anything remotely similar were slim, surely two friends wouldn’t both have losses so close together. At her 12 week scan, she discovered she’d had a missed miscarriage, so her baby has stopped growing at 9 weeks. Out experiences were very different but our grief was identical. I’ve never had a miscarriage, thank the Lord for small mercies I guess, but I do understand so many of the feelings in your post. This is such an important topic for us to be talking about and I am so grateful to you for writing this x

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    1. Thank you Floss 💝 I remember reading your post about losing your baby a while back and it broke my heart to read it. I can’t imagine what that must have been like for you and sending lots of hugs 💝 I’m glad that some of it resonated with you I’m bringing you some comfort, but obviously not glad that you had to experience that. I’m so sorry for your friend as well, that must have been heartbreaking for her and her partner. I’m thankful you are grateful for the post, your post resonated very much with me as well. It is something that needs more conversation but as we both know, it’s not easy opening up xxx

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  5. I’ve never had a miscarriage and I can’t begin to understand how difficult it must be to have had one, and to deal with it afterwards, and even more so, to not be able to talk about it openly because of the fear of judgment. Hugs to you.

    Rebel xox

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    1. Thank you Marie 💝 I could talk more openly but I choose not to, because of that fear. Also, they were my boyfriend’s baby just as much as mine so I do so for his privacy as well. As awful as this is going to sound, my fear of judgement is not from men or people my own age, but from older women. Because that’s where I’ve heard that kind of talk either out and about or through acquaintances (thankfully not family, they’ve been fantastic) where it’s the ‘irresponsible young woman’ judgement and ‘back in my day’ talk with a very distorted sense of morality that’s not open to discussion. I don’t meant that as ageist at all, or to generalise. Most aren’t like that at all and I can’t stand it when people generalise people who are of older generations. I just have found that more common in that demographic in my experience, so I don’t wish to risk it. Xc

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  6. You young people…..ONLY KIDDING.
    You reminded me that NOvember was the month where a girlfriend told me she had an abortion. Never even consulted the decision with me.

    Losing a child, even one we have never met has to affect a person, more so for the mother to be. This introspection process you have experienced should be a good thing, even if it painful. Sometimes we need to get the tears/pain out. From your tone and words, it sounds like you are dealing with it well. A child will come when you are ready. You really should enjoy the pre-motherly life while you can. Life isn’tthe same once a little blessing arrives.

    I hope you haven’t beaten yourself up at any time over this.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I know it wasn’t easy. Hopefully, it will help you to heal. Sending the biggest hugs from the islands. xo

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    1. Oh my God Drew I am so sorry 💝 That must have been so difficult to process. It’s one thing if the father is a threat or other similar circumstances but in a healthy relationship it’s only fair to consult the father as well. It’s his baby too. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.
      Absolutely, it’s been a lot of introspection and processing and it still will be. I’m not planning on having any anytime soon, if it all depending on whatever’s decided when the time comes. Unless something unexpected happens in which case, we’ll cross that bridge when/if we get to it.
      Truth be told I have, especially so in the beginning you question yourself a lot with ‘if I hadn’t done this/that’ etc. But now it’s acceptance. There’s nothing that could be done.
      Writing and sharing does help with when those off days come, not as much as before. And if it helps someone else I’m willing to go a little out of my comfort zone for that.
      Thank you Drew, and sending lots of big hugs back to you from a very grey and rainy UK 😂😘

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