Miscarriage – silence is painful… how to help…

Two weeks ago today I lost my first baby. At almost 9 weeks I suffered a miscarriage and my world fragmented. I found that writing about what happen was therapeutic and I’m hoping that writing can help again…

I feel like no one cares… no one remembers… or wants to remember… that we lost our baby and in the process a dream was shattered.

I was one of the “lucky” ones… my miscarriage was straightforward and complete. By the time I got a scan the baby had already come out (can I say born?). My bleeding and cramping only lasted for a week and was manageable with paracetamol.

But…

I still had to put our tiny tiny baby in a box in the fridge to take into the hospital. I saw those little legs and tiny nose, the umbilical cord severed… my connection to my baby torn away from me.

I still dreamt about giving birth and holding our baby in my arms.

In all honesty I don’t know how to deal with the emotions running through me. Despair and raw sobbing grief of the first week have now been replaced with something else… something more nebulous…

In the first week people sent flowers, drove 100 miles to come and give me a hug, listened to me pour out my sorrows, sent cards of condolence, and strangers typed beautiful words of reassurance on my blog and twitter. We had told close family and we had all those awkward conversations to go through of explaining our loss. This wouldn’t be something I would change though… the people close to us needed to know what was going on in our lives… whether good or bad. So again I’m “lucky” to have lots of supportive people around me.

But… now what?

Now I feel that there is an empty void… no one is talking about it anymore… its old news.

Except me… everyday something or many somethings happen to remind me of my loss. Pregnancy tests where I’m looking for a negative… uncertainty over when my period will return (so many dashes to the loo for false alarms)… daily OPK testing to try to figure out where I am in my cycle… flowers and condolence cards on the sideboard… NHS maternity exemption card on the doormat… wool I bought to crochet a blanket for new baby… the list is endless…

And so… my brain feels like mush… thoughts slip away… words are hard to use… Never mind my world being fragmented… I’m fragmented… torn into pieces that don’t know which way to turn.

I can’t decide when to go on a very much needed holiday because I don’t want to be on my  period on a swimming holiday. It’s not just the when to go… I don’t have a clue where to go… what I would like to see and do…

I can’t decide whether I want to have flowers around the house… yes, they are a nice bright thing… yes, they are showing that someone cares… but they are starting to wilt and die… and our baby died.

I can’t decide whether to try again… whether I could cope with another miscarriage. At the end of the first week I was desperate to try again… checking for that negative pregnancy test so that we could start having sex again. It seemed like the right thing to do to just “get back on the horse”… we’d already decided we wanted a child… that hadn’t changed.. had it… except now I have more doubts and anxiety about whether I could be a good mum… able to cope with all it entails.

I can’t decide what direction to take my work portfolio in… I don’t feel in any way motivated… I don’t know whether to pursue “baby friendly” avenues or throw myself into the international expeditions from one of my jobs… I don’t feel needed or worthwhile… I’m hating the isolation of working at home… alone… in the silence…

Silence… That is what is killing me. No one is talking about it… why?

Last night in an awkward attempt to understand what is going on in other people’s heads… I tried to ask Hubby whether he would rather just forget and if I was making it harder for him by trying to remember. Such as giving our baby a name… drawing Baby Allie’s name in the sand on the beach… visiting the garden of remembrance where Baby Allie is resting with other lost children…

It didn’t go so well because he thought I was attacking him for “not caring”… eventually I got enough words across to convey that I just wanted to know how he wanted to grieve. He said that he does think about what happened and has the “flashbacks” and things do remind him. He is a bit more pragmatic and has rationalised the realities of miscarriage being common and natural when a baby cannot survive. He does care and it does affect him, but that its not always while we are together and that he doesn’t tell me about it. Which got me right back to where I was to start with… I’m thinking no one cares… because no one is telling me about what they are feeling and thinking.

There are so many different ways of coping with miscarriage… silence is not one of them. 

I’m terrible for internalising blame, conducting internal monologues and rerunning scenes to examine everything I could have done better. I’ve fallen down the dark rabbit hole before and I have to try super hard to get things out of my head. I have to work to talk out loud and show that vulnerable, insecure and uncertain side… the opposite side of the organised, logical and dependable personality I prefer to be.

So if I’ve managed to talk about something… I need to feel that I’ve been listened to and most importantly… taken seriously and believed. I naturally do a lot of listening to those close to me… sometimes I need that favour returned. I also need you to tell me what you are thinking and feeling…

So what do you do?

The most common response I get when telling people that I had a miscarriage was silence… awkward… people don’t know what to say… then they give you a hug… and that’s the start…

You may not know what a miscarriage is… it could be a shock to know we were trying… you might not know if you can touch me… you might be afraid to hurt my feelings by saying the wrong thing… you could worry that you’ll start me crying when I look “ok” at the moment. This is all normal.

We didn’t know anything about miscarriage until we were experiencing it first hand.

So be honest. Show that you care in any way that you can. Everyone is different.

Here are a few ideas that might help:-

  • Be open and ready to listen… “Would you like to talk about it… don’t worry, you can tell me anything… even the squishy embarrassing bits if you need to”
  • Bring supplies… “Is there anything you need me to get from the shops… you might need some sanitary towels, soft wet wipes, more tissues, tea, bread, chocolate…”
  • Avoid trite reasoning, allow this to evolve naturally… “It’s not your fault, is there anything you need help to find out or ask a doctor about?”
  • Pick up some of the difficult jobs… “Would you like me to delete your pregnancy apps and remove the auto emails?”, “Do you want me to make some of the phone calls?”.
  • Bring an edge of normality, don’t stop inviting people… “Come out for a walk, drink at the pub, watch the latest film, dinner….”
  • But equally respect the need for personal space… “I’d like to come and give you a hug but I don’t want to intrude, is this ok?” “Let me know when it is time for me to go, I won’t be at all offended”.
  • Tell me how you feel and how its affecting you… “I saw a newborn in a pram today and it made me realise you’ve got an empty space in your life, I nearly burst into tears!”, “I’m sorry if this is too soon to ask… could we sow some seeds to remember the baby?” “We’ve been through this too and we still feel that loss!”
  • Be aware that dates and events may bring things up again… “It’s ok to be emotional at any time; are there any dates that you might need a bit of extra support?”
  • Accept that faux pas happen… “I’m sorry that I said something that upset you… can I do anything to help / please can you help me to understand”
  • Keep talking regularly… “I can’t imagine how you are feeling… do you need to chat today?” “You can tell me over and over, as many times as you need”

If all else fails… Hugs! They make the world go around and can speak directly to our souls. Don’t fear the tears… they were ready to fall anyway.

Rhyming with Wine
🌟So honoured to have been chosen as the featured blogger on the #dreamteam linky. 🌟
My Petit Canard
🌟Also thrilled to have been featured on the #marvmondays linky. 🌟Glad this post is helping others 😊
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35 Comments Add yours

  1. My ex and I went through multiple miscarriages, the first one being pretty late term, and it took a long time before either of us was anything close to “over it.” we split up after a year of fertility treatments and for many years I wondered if I had missed my chance at fatherhood. I’m so sorry for your loss. Everything about this post rings so true #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      Sorry to hear about your losses. Glad my ideas are useful. Looks like you got to be a daddy in the end 🌈❀️

      Like

  2. mumandstuff says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss and the pain that you are going through. I can not imagine how you are feeling, but I hope that writing this, the process of exploring those feelings & thoughts so beautifully, is helping you. You have certainly helped me to understand, you’ve shown me how to help & care for friends who have had similar experiences. Thank you. We’re here reading & listening. Xx #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad they’ve been helpful to you. x o x o x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lucy At Home says:

    I am so, so, sorry that you have had to experience this. Baby Allie was (and is) clearly very loved. I have no experience of miscarriage but your suggestions about ways to help people sound really good and I’m going to save your post so that I can hopefully help others who may need it. I know it’s easy to say, but try not to worry about how you “should” be feeling, or how far along the grieving process you should be by now. I lost someone very close to me at Christmas this year and I beat myself up so badly trying to assess how I “should” be feeling and how I “should” be coping or responding to the situation. Everyone is different and has different time scales. Miscarriage is truly devastating, and I feel so sad just reading about your experience, never mind having to live through it. I hope that your family and friends are able to rally around you and give you the support that you need, and that they’re able to listen to you when you tell them what you need from them. Sending much love, Lucy x #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      Thank you Lucy, especially for using Allie’s name, this helps more than you can know. I’m glad that my suggestions are helpful. I often fret about how long I have to “get better” because I worry about being a burden. Which all adds to the anxiety! Should is such a bad word. Sorry about your loss at Xmas. Any time is a bad time but holiday associations are the worst. Easter will never be the same for me. Telling people what you need is important and I’m glad I’ve been able to reflect on my needs enough to pull coherent thoughts together. Hugs for you too x o x o x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just wish I could climb down my phone and give you a hug. I’ve never met you and yet I’ve cried tears for you both and baby Allie. I haven’t experienced a miscarriage and I’m so sorry if I said anything wrong at the time. It is difficult to know what to say but the feelings are all there for you. Your loss is devastating and it breaks my heart to think about what you’ve been through, but I absolutely applaud you for sharing your story and this supportive and practical information to help us all know how to help that little bit better. xx #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      I can feel my virtual hug. Thank you 😊 We and Baby Allie appreciate all of you kind thoughts. You were a great source of comfort at that very raw stage and please rest assured that you didn’t do anything wrong. πŸ’ Your kindness towards a complete stranger has been so wonderful and I appreciate the wonderful support of all the mystery folks over the internet. I’m learning to dance in the rain and hope that the sun will shine again. If my words can help anyone else this a a great bonus because writing and responding to these comments is such therapy and helps the healing process. πŸŒΌπŸŒ»πŸŒΉπŸŒΈπŸŒ»πŸŒΊπŸŒ·πŸŒΌπŸŒΉπŸŒΈπŸŒΊπŸŒ¨πŸŒ§πŸ’¦πŸŒ§πŸŒŠπŸ’¦πŸŒ¨πŸŒ©πŸŒŠπŸ’¦πŸŒ§πŸŒ¦πŸŒ₯β›…οΈπŸŒ€β˜€οΈπŸŒˆ

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost 3 babies in a row before we had our youngest child. I’m so glad we have her but the pain of those loses has never really left me. People were very kind but I did receive a few thoughtless comments that hurt me to the core. People often don’t know how to react and can minimise the effect it has had on you because they can’t deal with it. Deal with it in whichever way helps you but you sometimes have to give other people a gentle nudge for them to know what it is you need. I wish you all the very best for whatever you decide to do in the future x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      Aw hunny. You know that pain too. I have to admit that a gentle nudge is better than leaving it and stewing over it. Glad to hear that you got a rainbow. Fingers crossed for me. X o x o x

      Like

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how hard it is absolutely I know there are no words to really help.
    I really like your tips for other people on how to help though, I for one struggle with knowing what to do or say, so this is really useful. #blogstravaganza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      Glad to be of help. If words fail… hugs πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through this, I can’t image how difficult it must be. I think this post is amazing though and that it will help others who may find themselves in this situation. Keep strong. Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mamagrace says:

    A vulnerable an honest piece. I talk about my miscarriage. During the time and after, it took a long time for the bleeding to settle I was hurt by some peoples reactions. I don’t think you can ever get over losing a child and I always wonder what that little being would be like. it is less raw though. I’m working on a poem about it, perhaps my most personal piece. Let’s talk and write about it. #MarvMondays

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      I’m looking forward to hearing your poem. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for sharing such a poignant, honest post and some tips for others. I am so sorry for your loss and hope in time things get easier. #marvmondays x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      Thanks Fran. We went to say goodbye on Saturday and this helped. Knowing they are in such a beautiful place is priceless.

      Like

  10. Fridgesays says:

    #marvmonday I think it is different for men, hormonally and for physical attachment reason, i also think its utter shite and although I’ve never experienced it, we never came home with our daughter from hospital, so i understand neonatal death too well and i learnt some things – the cards and flowers are for others, nothing you will do will make you feel better, time isn’t a healer – you just learn to deal with it better and anniversaries suck….but ultimately we chose to ‘try not to try’ again and our little boy is extra loved for the loss we have. sending love and hugs x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      Oh my goodness I imagine this is 100 times worse. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m lucky that hubby is being brilliant. Love and hugs coming your way. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fridgesays says:

        Haha no situation is worse, she was one of the best things that ever happened and bonded our family x keep the hugs Hun – you may need them in the future

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RawMum says:

        There are always plenty of hugs to go around. Glad you have a little boy and that you family came together. Me and hubby feel closer and more sure now too. X o x o x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Fridgesays says:

        Yeah, we have a huge gap between the two as I needed to find me again and we needed to be young free and have holidays. Haha

        Liked by 1 person

  11. What a painful time for you. This was interesting to read from the perspective of someone who hasn’t been through it – in terms of doing and saying the right thing. Brave of you to share, Nicky #PoCoLo

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m sorry, I couldn’t read this post until the end. I only got a couple of paragraphs in and I’m crying. I’m so sorry for your loss, big hugs xxx #Blogstravaganza

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      I’m so sorry that I made you cry 😒 if you can bear it… try scrolling up from the bottom… lots of little things that I found helpful. Hugs πŸ€— X o x o x

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Amber says:

    Beautifully written. I am so very sorry for the devastation of your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      Thank you Amber. I hope it was useful for you too.

      Like

  14. I was shocked how much I desire to talk about mine. I never wanted biological children. I was pissed when I first learned I was pregnant, but I threw away my cigarettes immediately, and I went to the drugstore at 2 am to buy prenatal vitamins. It took me a few weeks to accept my future, but when I did I was … excited. I am told at least I know I want a baby now, but I don’t. I don’t want a baby, I want *that* baby. I was so diligent to avoid pregnancy that I was certain it was meant to be. On April 19th, at 12 weeks, I realized I was wrong. And all I want to do is talk about it… I had no idea how long, how intense, how soul-sucking a miscarriage can be. The grief and loss section on the ‘What to Expect’ website got me through so many of the questions I could not ask, and blog entries like yours are giving me the “conversation” I feel deprived of, so, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      It’s an odd one isn’t it. As soon as we know and accept it then our baby is in our hearts, minds and lives. To have it taken away is such a wrench. I’m glad my post has helped you. I find writing about it really helps. My inbox is always there if you need. Good luck for the future and whatever it may bring. X o x o x

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh Beehave! says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. We have had 3 losses this year too, and have found talking about it really helps. Will be thinking of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      Sorry to hear that. Fingers crossed for the future and keeping talking to help the healing. X o x o x

      Like

  16. Kymberlee509 says:

    I have a very similar story and continue to have very similar feelings even 6 months after my miscarriage. Like it is ‘old news’ and everyone has forgotten. Thank you for sharing and I’m sending lots of love xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RawMum says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that. Have you found any “positive” ways to remember. I have found that people are more willing to talk and think about your little lost one if there is something tangible. I have added Allie to my birthdays wall calendar and have charms on my bracelet. I am also having counselling where I can talk through how I feel and how others reactions hurt/help. I wish you all the best in remembering and hope that your quest isn’t over 🌈 x o x o x

      Like

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