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10 April 2018

3 women describe what it’s actually like to have a miscarriage

"I had to spend the weekend pregnant, but not..."

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Miscarriage can be caused by so many things and has happened to many expectant mothers. Three women with very different experiences show that pregnancy loss can be accompanied by a range of emotions – all valid, all normal…

“Becoming a mom wasn’t a priority”

For six years, I was in a relationship with a man who didn’t want kids; his ambivalence rubbed off on me. I spent so much time thinking about the negatives – a baby would wreck my body, I’d never sleep again – that even after we broke up, becoming a mom wasn’t a priority.

Read more: Can you really get pregnant while on your period?

A few years later, I met, then married, my husband. He really wanted kids, so we tried. When the test showed I was pregnant, I didn’t feel negative or positive; it just happened so fast. Then, five days later, at work, I started to bleed – bright-red blood that wouldn’t stop. I broke down sobbing.

I felt like I’d lost a child. I didn’t know how much I wanted children. How much I wanted that baby. Now we have a two-year-old son, but I still wear an angel necklace to commemorate the baby I lost.

– Dana Norris, 36

“It just wasn’t meant to be”

As a psychotherapist who counsels people through trauma, including miscarriage, I knew how common it was. When I miscarried at nine weeks, I was sad, of course, but, in my mind, it wasn’t even a foetus yet – it was a developing foetus. I bled for a few days and had a bit of cramping, but I didn’t need to take off work.

Read more: 7 reasons your period might be late – other than pregnancy

Two weeks later, while I was driving, I felt this crushing wave of emotion out of nowhere. I pulled over and called my husband and we talked about it. Cried together. I felt better immediately; I just needed to process it. After that, I was able to move on pretty quickly. I knew I’d be able to get pregnant again – we’d conceived easily a few years earlier with my son; it just wasn’t meant to be that time.

– Michelle Maidenberg, 45

“I had to spend the weekend pregnant, but not”

Three years ago, my husband and I were elated when we got pregnant the first month of trying. We saw the heartbeat, told friends and family and even bought a house to raise our family in. Then, at a routine 17-week check-up, the ultrasound technician went silent. My baby wasn’t moving. There was no heartbeat. It was Friday and they scheduled a D&C for Monday. I had to spend the weekend pregnant, but not.

Read more: 5 things you need to know about sex after pregnancy

The D&C itself was awful. My doctor told me that most women are able to go home the same day, but there were complications – I lost a lot of blood during the procedure and I needed a transfusion and a stay in the hospital.

A day or two later, after I went home, my milk came in. My breasts tripled in size overnight and I got stretch marks. That’s when it really hit me, emotionally. My body thought I’d had a baby, but I hadn’t… Now, it’s really strange to have a post-pregnancy body, even though I haven’t had a child. We haven’t decided whether or not we’ll try again.

– Brittany Meiling, 28

Image credit: iStock

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za


 
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