As with many medical diagnoses, there is speculation about the causes and impacts of miscarriage. I remember feeling more confused than ever after doing research in my early pregnancy, especially after my miscarried occurred. When you’re desperately searching for answers, there’s nothing worse than reaching a dead end or finding false information. So let’s break it down…here’s the truth about miscarriage – both statistics and truth from my own experience.
Other words for a miscarriage are pregnancy loss and spontaneous abortion (I must admit I despised seeing that on my medical paperwork!) The truth is that there is no dictionary definition or thesaurus that can truly explain what a miscarriage truly means and how it feels. Also if you look at the synonyms, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Some assume the fault of the mother which is simply not true in most cases (or helpful I must add).
This will come as no surprise…the majority of miscarriages occur within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, which is why a lot of women wait to announce anything until after the first 12 weeks and typically an ultrasound. I told my family, but waited to announce it to everyone else because it seemed like the ‘normal’ thing to do. Here’s the hard thing though…when nobody knows you’re pregnant and then you have a miscarriage. As someone who has gone through this (very few people knew), I would rather have told more friends so they could be there for me no matter the outcome. It was difficult to explain the pregnancy and the loss at the same time. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have a support system there when you need them.
We all want answers. We all want to understand why this happened to us. The truth is there are a variety of reasons that miscarriage happens (chromosome abnormality is the most common) and most cases cannot be explained.
Why me? It has taken me 2 years to finally accept this: I will never know why it happened to me, but it did.
There are wonderful doctors out there, but they don’t have all the answers. Science can’t explain everything. It’s a difficult reality to accept, but I have to live my life without having answers to my questions. I believe that someday God will explain it all to me. If you feel stuck about why this happened, know that I’ve been there and I completely understand your heartbreak. I wish nobody else had to endure this.
Things that do NOT cause a miscarriage: exercise, work (unless you’re exposed to toxic chemicals), everyday stress or mood changes. Most of these are old wives tales and have no factual evidence to back them up. Now back to the truth about miscarriage…
Let’s make this TRUTH for all the loss moms out there…A loss is a loss. It doesn’t matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, your baby passed away. Grief doesn’t discriminate. There is definitely a stigma surrounding miscarriages, especially in the first trimester (which is most of them)…that you shouldn’t grieve an early loss and be so attached to your growing child. While most people I encountered were loving and helpful, there were still insensitive responses that meant well, but made me cringe a little inside. Everyone manages grief differently and through this experience, I’ve learned how important it is not to judge others for how they grieve and heal from trauma. Instead let’s show them empathy and love. Now here’s the rainbow after the storm…
Many women who suffer one or multiple miscarriages have healthy children in the future. It’s very normal to be fearful after having a miscarriage and wonder whether you will be able to have a child. I’ve been there!! As painful as the grieving process is, it’s likely you will be able to have healthy children in the future. According to the American Pregnancy Association, “A woman who has had a previous miscarriage has a 25% chance of having another (only a slightly elevated risk than for someone who has not had a previous miscarriage.” So there is always a risk but it’s still considerably low. There is a much greater chance that everything will be fine.
My advice is that if you’re newly pregnant, focus more on taking the best care of yourself – getting plenty of rest, water, exercise and good nutrition – and less researching about pregnancy early on. There is too much information out there (some of it false and fear inducing) and besides your doctor’s recommendations, you don’t need to waste time online.
If you’ve had a miscarriage, I’m SO very sorry for your loss and I know exactly what you’re going through. Give yourself permission to grieve and heal at your own pace. If you ever need to talk to someone who’s been through it, send me a message or an email. I promise to pay it forward and help you in any way that I can.
Interested in hearing more of my story? I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to have my personal story of grief published in Dayspring’s Sweet Tea for the Soul: Comforting, Real-Life Stories for Grieving Hearts.
References for this blog post are linked below.