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Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Lonliest Trauma

Miscarriage is different than "regular" grief. I am not down sizing grief in anyway. Simply just saying it is different. When a family member or friend dies or is killed, of course you grieve. But most people see pictures of the person you lost. You have other family members and friends feeling the same emotions you are. You can understand one another.

Miscarriage is very intimate. It happens to a woman. Yes, of course it happens to the partner as well. My husband is amazing. He has been with me every step of the way. He has been devastated by our losses. But he can only go with me so far. He did not carry the babies. So one aspect of miscarriage is that I struggle alone, at least with part of the grief.

You can never understand or respect what a woman is going through during and after miscarriage unless you have experienced it. And even then, everyone experiences it differently. My experiences have lead me to do something about awareness. I have heard so many horrible statements after my miscarriages. Some of you may not think they are that bad, but you are not on the other side. You are not a member of the dark and dreary miscarriage and infertility club. Many will say "It was meant to be" Really? Oh, okay, then I will just stop grieving and get over it. Others have said "You need to move on." You have got to be kidding me!

On Mother's Day, which also fell on my birthday this past year, I told my mother in law that I wanted to spend the day at home with my husband. I was very sad as this was suppose to be my first Mother's Day and I really did not want to spend my Birthday celebrating the fact that I was not a "mother" . I now realize that I am a mother but at that point in time it was not something I saw myself as. My mother in law responded by saying "You should not be sad, kids just disappoint you anyway." Wow. She has no clue.

My mother often said to me " Honey, your baby died for a reason. Something was wrong with it. It is best that it died so that it was not born with defects." She does not get it either. After my second miscarriage, my boss emailed me to see how I was doing. I really believe she was trying to figure out when to fire me. She said that getting back to work would make it better. How does she know? She has never been pregnant, never experienced this. I had missed two days. TWO DAYS for losing my baby! Below is a list of things I have had people say to me, or statements others have told women who I have interviewed for my book. Book? Yes, book. My experiences have angered me so much, that I must do something with that anger. I am writing a book about my experiences with miscarriage and society and the medical fields response to miscarriage. If I can change one persons perception, I have succeeded.

Don’t worry you can still have babies
You will have another one it is not a big deal
It was god’s will
Something was wrong with the baby, you didn’t want a disabled child anyway
It happens to a lot of women
It is so common
Oh well, next time
It was meant to be this way
It was just a chemical pregnancy
You were not that far a long
You can always adopt
You are still young
You have plenty of time
It’s just a period

Okay. Breathe! I know you may need to recover. Or maybe not since you may not have experienced a miscarriage. But all of the above statemens are inappropriate. They each take away meaning of our grief. They each take away from what a woman may be feeling when she is going through such a terrifying loss. Miscarriage is the worst pain. You feel it deep inside you. You feel it in your gut, your heart, your soul. You feel as if you are completely alone because you carried that baby inside of you and now you are empty. It is the worst hurt there ever was.


  1. Wow. Thanks. You have no idea how good it is to hear someone else echo what I am feeling. Again, thank you.

  2. You are welcome! Thanks for reading.