5 Lessons I Learned from Miscarriage
Losing a child is heartbreaking, and mums often feel ashamed and alone over it. Truth is, it’s happened to a lot more women than you think. Here, they share the lessons they’ve learned.
Experiencing a miscarriage is difficult and often overwhelming. In the midst of processing your grief and understanding what life will be like afterward, asking yourself “what my miscarriage taught me” probably won’t be at the forefront of your mind.
These brave mothers agreed to share their stories and hard-earned lessons on “what my miscarriage taught me”.
What my miscarriage taught me: 5 lessons
Lesson #1: Allow yourself time to be sad
Maria* lost who was supposed to be her second born around 3 months into the pregnancy. She had an eldest child then who was 3 years old, and she felt that as a mom, it was up to her to stay strong and keep going, even if she felt such an overwhelming sadness when she lost the baby.
“I didn’t want to drop the ball as a mom, so when I lost the baby, I pushed the feelings aside and convinced myself that he or she wasn’t really mine to begin with, so I shouldn’t be sad about it. But I noticed that I would always be sad, especially when I see mums with two children, or even just a baby. I realised that it was my heart showing me that I needed time to grieve, to be sad about my loss. Just because I had only lost the child for a short period of time, it didn’t mean the loss was any less. I felt awful, and I had to honour my feelings.”
Abi* also realised this. “It’s okay to grieve, and it’s okay to grieve in public,” she shares. “During my first two losses, I kept silent. Because who wants to share bad news with their friends, right? But I’ve realised that by opening up, we let go of our hurts and we allow others to help us get through the sadness.”
Lesson #2: There’s no guilt or shame in losing a baby
Unfortunately, sometimes a miscarriage really just happens. No matter the precautions you took when you were with child, even if you did everything right and followed the doctor’s orders, it was just not in the grand scheme of things for it to happen to you.
Lesson #3: Discern on what to say
Baby announcements on social media or gender reveal parties may be all the rage now, but mums who have suffered miscarriages have learned not to share the news until they’re comfortable with the loss, as with the case for Mary Grace. The now mother of two lost who was supposed to be their first child around 6 to 8 weeks into the pregnancy. She shares, “Upon having a positive pregnancy test, we told family and friends, and it was just so hard to revert the news.”
Abi* has learned a good response when it comes to answering prying questions. “There were many times people would come up to me and ask me why we still didn’t have kid, and I would simply smile and say it was not yet time. Now looking back, I would tell them about my miscarriages, to create awareness that it’s rude to ask these questions because women’s wombs go through different journeys.”
Monica adds that it may be hard to not take the questions personally, but it’s what needs to be done in order to move on. She says, “Looking back now, I would brief women to expect careless comments that might make you feel that people insinuate that you did something to have resulted in a terminated pregnancy. People tend to ask what happened or even ask you to look back and think on what you did that may have caused it. Don’t waste energy taking this personally because people who ask such questions ultimately come from a place of not knowing. Because they have not experienced it, they are naturally curious or sincerely wanting to talk to you without being very mindful of how it can come across. So, remind yourself that nothing you would have done could have reversed a pregnancy that naturally terminated itself.”
Lesson #4: Find the strength to have closure
For Mary Grace, the hardest part of having a miscarriage was the difference of opinion between her doctor and her family. She says, “The worst part of this whole thing was that it was never confirmed by the doctors. Although in our heart, we had a baby. We lost a baby. Don’t let other people let you think otherwise. Validate what is in your heart. I think one of the most important factors of healing is to have some sort of closure in your heart.”
Monica adds, “I don’t think you ever really get over it. You learn to accept and live with the loss, but it was being able to feel supported and given the space to grieve and talk about it that really helped. I still call that angel ‘Little Bean’”.
Lesson #5: You will be a new, stronger person
There are not enough words to describe fully how each mom grieves and manages to deal with a miscarriage, but know that there is always hope, and the grief makes you stronger, better, and opens you up to more love than you can imagine. Kat* who lost her second child, says, “You will never be the same, but I promise the days will be better. If you feel like giving up on life, fight it. Look around and see the people who love you. Love them back. Love yourself. Incidents like this should make you stronger. Feel good knowing that you now have an angel guiding you every day.”
It’s difficult processing a miscarriage. These mothers show their experiences and how to handle grief. Take time to reflect on these lessons and “what my miscarriage taught me” so you can come out a stronger person afterward.
Republished with permission from TheAsianParent Singapore