Monday, October 13, 2008

A burden after miscarriage

My husband and I received the wonderful news 4 weeks ago that we were expecting our first child. I was overjoyed! We had been trying for children for over three years, and after one early miscarriage which put a huge amount of pressure on our relationship and a short separation to clear our heads, we finally got pregnant. I didn't feel right from the start. I refused to believe this was actually happening and wouldn't get excited over it, despite my friends' and families' obvious happiness for us both. I had been down this route before, and it broke my heart when it was all taken away from me. We were scheduled for our first scan two weeks ago, and I think at this point I was starting to come round to the idea and it was becoming more real to me. When the ultrasound nurse said the words, "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat," my world collapsed again. We visited the hospital the following day, and decided on the natural way to handle the miscarriage, and we returned home to wait for nature to take its course. I'm currently off work, waiting for everything to get back to normal. I feel so alone. My husband is trying to help me, but I'm so moody. I just can't help myself. Anything he says, I end up screaming and crying at him. These awful mood swings have become part of daily life at the moment. I don't know what to do or who to talk to. I look in the mirror and just hate everything I see there. I've gained some weight over the last few months and feel disgusting. I don't understand these feelings or know how to deal with them. All I want to do is stay inside away from people, because when I've been out to the shops I feel like people are staring at me and laughing. My self-esteem is at an all time low and I don't seem to be able to say or do anything right. I've read all the information the hospital gave me about miscarriage and I know how common it is but it's so painful and I really don't know what to do. I'm so unhappy and sick of being a burden on people.

My sympathies. Miscarriage isn't just physically painful, it also triggers hormonal upsets which can distort thinking and make the emotional turmoil so much worse. While information can help you understand the process, nobody who hasn't had a miscarriage can really understand what it's like. And you're an individual, not just a statistic. Your pain is real to you because you're the one going through it.

That key word is through. You have to go through it to get to the haven of the other side. Recovering physically and emotionally from miscarriage is a process that takes time. For you to recover, it also needs for you to give yourself permission to let go of grief and self-loathing and move on to acceptance.In the meantime, here are some thoughts which I hope will help you along your journey to recovery. You'll know best what, if any, of it applies to you.Most women who have miscarriages experience a crushing sense of failure. They can feel like they're not proper women, and can only be proper women if they have healthy children. It's understandable, but it's a thought distortion. Having flu doesn't mean you're not a proper woman, does it? No more does having a miscarriage. That's a very hard thought to get your head round but it's true.
Right now you're probably experiencing two things: anger at me for saying this, and anger at yourself for having had the miscarriages. I'm sorry if you found what I said confrontational. People hang onto anger and self-blame out of an unconscious desire to punish themselves so they don't do it again. It's an unconscious wish to believe that if only we did something different we could get a different outcome, somehow protect our baby better and magically either make it come back or have a straightforward pregnancy and birth next time. But it's like punishing yourself for catching flu-germs.

The anger towards yourself comes out as guilt and self-recrimination. That's why you've found it hard to look at yourself in the mirror, and why you've been experiencing low self-esteem. It can also be that because we don't know what to do with this uncomfortable anger, and because we're annoyed with people who haven't suffered as we have, that we spill the anger out on them, often for their well-meaning but uncomprehending efforts to help. Does this make sense to you?

I'm not just talking theoretically. I too have had miscarriage and I do know what it's like. And I know recovery is possible because I have made a recovery. That doesn't make me better than you, or mean that my suffering wasn't as great. It simply means i've completed the journey you're only just starting out on. I'm not being smug. I do genuinely feel for you in your pain and wish you healing.

Letting go of guilt, anger and grief doesn't mean you don't care. It doesn't mean you're heartless or inadequate. You are not defined by motherhood. You're a woman and a wife with people who love you and like you. You're lovable and likable. You're a colleague, a worker with skills and experience. You're a friend who's been there for others and who's entitled to the support of your friends. You are a proper woman. And this moment doesn't define you either. OK, so you've put on a bit of weight. That could be partly hormonal, partly comfort-eating and maybe partly to punish yourself. Do you despise others who are going through a chubby phase? I hope not! When you're ready, you'll do something about it.
I'm glad you wrote in. I hope you'll find some comfort and that you will complete your journey to healing, I wish you all the best. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Good luck.


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Bendz said...


Wish you this new year gives you health and wealth.

Insurance Agent

Arcadia said...

"I want to live in an extraordinary way, contrary to my grain selfish, contrary to the culture we live in, gave more than I want to give, walking even the second mile of the place, trying to be like Jesus".(Calm My Anxious Heart, by Linda Dillow)

and for you: "I want to live in an extraordinary way, contrary to my miscarriage,...,trying to be like Jesus"

Don't be upset, that God was not right with you! But he knows His ways!(Be shure of that!You'll know!)

Here is an article from my blog that could help you and other people:
here it is

Please take it, put it on you're blog, follow my blog,....make what do you want, but please read it, it will help you!

Lots of blessings
By Arcadia