Belonging to The Unwanted Club of Miscarriage -
by Girlie Garduce Burn
by Team Mama Wins | August 13th, 2018
Everyone wants to belong somehow don’t they? To be part of a group, club or crew where they feel they can connect, engage and share experiences for a sense of self worth, pride and happiness.
But there’s a club that one of out of four women sadly and heartbreakingly falls into. The unwanted club of women who have had miscarriages. For those of us who have endured this difficult and traumatic experience, it puts us in a club that no one wants to be in.
However, in a bizarre way, once someone else shares that they’ve had a miscarriage – there’s a strange form of connection. There’s sadness. But also empathy. Warmth. Support. Understanding and Unity.
Just a statistic
I am one out of four women who has suffered a miscarriage. I am also one of 2% of women who has had two miscarriages in a row. Just a figure to many people who reassured me that I am simply one of those unlucky ones that “this just happens to”. I was also told, “at least you can get pregnant”, “it wasn’t meant to be” or more painfully, “you weren’t that far gone”.
These are just of the few hurtful comments that people said to me in the hope that saying something like this would help or provide comfort. It depended on the day, to be honest. Some days I could take their pity or meaningful words. Other days, I found it too hard to bear.
Most of the time all I wanted was acknowledgement, a hand on my arm or a simple, “I don’t know what to say”, as that in itself, said it all.
For us, we were lucky enough to fall pregnant easily. So it came as a bit of a shock seeing the words ‘pregnant 2-3 weeks’ on the digital pregnancy test so early in the planning for our family.
We were over the moon. As the weeks went by, I let myself daydream about who this little cluster of cells would become. To me, this wasn’t just a little cluster of cells. He/she was our baby. Even my body had the same idea and bombarded me with symptoms that I was growing a human being.
However, at ten weeks, this abruptly ended. I still remember seeing a heavily pregnant doctor at the walk-in clinic to assess my bleeding, the physical pain hours later, and the kind manner of a young doctor in the early pregnancy assessment unit during our grueling hospital visit who said, “It will happen one day”. But it was the overwhelming sadness, puffy tears and emptiness that I remember more clearly.
When we decided to try again soon after – and fell pregnant again straight away, seeing the words ‘pregnant 2-3 weeks’ on the pregnancy test again didn’t have the same impact. I was terrified it would happen again. I didn’t let myself celebrate and we hardly told anyone.
Then the same happened. This time a “blighted ovum”, the Sonographer told us. So there wasn’t an embryo. At ten weeks, our second miscarriage came and went.
Nothing quite prepared me for what happened next. My body cruelly gave me pregnancy symptoms for weeks. Everyone around seemed to just get on with their lives. Everywhere I went there were pregnant women. Or proud new mums with their newborn babies in shiny new prams.
Having to deal with these emotions and being on the end of ‘helpful’ comments, made my grieving process harder.
I questioned whether I could ever have children. I agonised over whether it was something I did to cause the miscarriages. I looked for support but found few people said the right thing. I looked away when I saw a pregnant woman. I took myself off social media and said little about how I really felt to anyone.
But, after some months, I finally reached out to a number of support networks. I joined the Miscarriage Association forum. I saw a fertility expert. I spoke to a counsellor. And I continued to share my feelings with family and friends.
Each in their own way, gave me back some strength, and most importantly, acknowledged that our two little ones were gone too soon.
Now, while we are third time lucky to have our rainbow baby boy, I hold him so tightly and look at him so intently at times knowing that if our two did make it, he wouldn’t be here.
At six weeks, we had an early scan and saw his heart beating with such strength. I knew then that he was here to stay. Every day was an achievement. Even right up to his birth, the fear and anxiety never left. This is now replaced with gratitude and humbleness.
My heart melts and hurts at the same time thinking about what our two little ones sacrificed to give to us. Hope. Love. And the brightest light at the end of our very dark tunnel.
Want to connect with Girlie?
You can reach Girlie via Instagram at: @mumsiehood
Miscarriage Support Helpline
The Miscarriage Association
Helpline: 01924 200 799