- Sponsor a cherry tree in memory of Bubble.
- Choose a colour to paint the kitchen.
- Go for a walk somewhere that isn’t flooded.
- Take my old books and clothes to the charity shop.
Start my Christmas shopping. Book train tickets to visit my sister. Nominate my favourite mental health blogs for the TWIM awards.
- Spend a day somewhere that’s meaningful to me, like Durham Cathedral or Alnwick Garden.
Cook a new recipe. Look for Christian resources on radical acceptance.
I’d like to say a big thank-you to everyone who responded to my last blog post, everyone who has supported OH and I during this miscarriage in whatever way, and everyone who is thinking of us or praying for us in private. I really do appreciate this and for me it makes the difference between an intolerable situation, and a difficult one that I can get through.
When I wrote my last post, I was upset about a Facebook status that had only received one reply. I was feeling quite raw about this at the time and I may not have expressed myself clearly, so I want to say that it wasn’t meant to be accusatory. If you didn’t see the status or didn’t feel able to reply for whatever reason, please don’t feel that you have done something wrong. My pain had more to do with the general effects of grieving, and my frustration at the way miscarriage is often not acknowledged in our society, than with any feeling that specific people had let me down.
Many people have said that it is difficult to find the right words, that nothing they could say seems adequate for the situation. I want you to know that there are no ‘right’ words, but that anything along the lines of “I’m sorry for your loss” will be appreciated. There is probably no magical insight that can make it all better, but just hearing or being shown – it doesn’t have to be verbal – that people care helps me to get through this.
If you are thinking of or praying for us in private, but haven’t felt able to communicate this, I do still really appreciate your thoughts and prayers. It would be even better if you could reach out to me or OH in some way, but I do understand that some people are just not comfortable with that.
Again, thank you all so much, and I hope I haven’t seemed too ungrateful or unappreciative in my grief. x
Just over a week ago, I had my last beta hCG. It came back as 2, which is considered a negative result and means all the pregnancy tissue has gone from my body. It’s over.
The months that this pregnancy took to resolve have been like a nightmare in every sense: horrible, but surreal. I have been living in bewilderment, from one blood test to the next, not knowing what would happen. It seems that it has taken a completely negative pregnancy test for the full force of what has happened to hit me. Of course I knew that I was pregnant, that we were losing the baby, that it was a potentially life-threatening situation (? ectopic pregnancy), that it was a horrendously drawn-out process, but… I guess I was dealing with one detail at a time, and now that there are no more in-the-moment issues to tackle, I’m forced to look at the big picture and it’s too much. It’s overwhelming and devastating.
On a practical and physical level, things aren’t too bad. The doctors are working on the assumption that this was a ‘normal’ miscarriage of a uterine pregnancy, which shouldn’t affect our chances of conceiving again. However, because they can’t be certain that it wasn’t ectopic, they’ve recommended I have an HSG (‘tube test’) before our next cycle of treatment. This will show any blockages in my Fallopian tubes that could have caused an ectopic pregnancy, but even if there is a problem, I’m in the best possible place for appropriate fertility treatments such as IVF. As I have to wait for the hospital referral, then have the test done immediately after a period, then wait for another period before resuming treatment, it means we can’t try to conceive again until at least the New Year, but that’s not my biggest concern right now.
My biggest concern is my mental health. I am really struggling to cope with everything emotionally and my Christian faith, which would normally be a comfort to me, is severely shaken. I’m not sure whether I’m clinically depressed, or if this is just all part of bereavement. But it does feel as though I’m going through a big bereavement that is not acknowledged by our society. There is no funeral, no sympathy cards, no flowers. Instead, there’s just me failing to show up at a conference in Venice for “personal reasons”. I have to go to my father-in-law’s 60th birthday party tomorrow and I don’t know how I’m going to explain the fact that I’m not in Venice – I don’t expect many people to understand. I don’t know how I’m going to cope with everyone congratulating OH’s cousin, who just announced her pregnancy and is due the week after I would have been. Apparently it’s not the done thing to piss on her parade by telling everyone about my miscarriage. But I feel I desperately need my loss to be acknowledged.
Miscarriages are so common – why do we all feel we have to suffer in silence? Part of me wants to say ‘fuck it’ and be open and outspoken, and I feel this may help other women too, but part of me doesn’t think I could cope if I get a negative response. On Thursday, I posted about my pregnancy loss on Facebook. I have been posting all of these blog entries to a select group of friends – and you’ve all been very lovely and I really appreciate it 🙂 – but Thursday’s post was the first that all my Facebook contacts could see. I thought I might get replies along the line of, “I’m sorry to hear that,” and maybe the odd person sharing that they’d been through similar. Instead, the only person to acknowledge my post in any way was my mother. To add insult to injury, a number of my friends chose to click ‘like’ on an inconsequential status about chai lattè instead. I wish to God I had never posted about that lattè, because at least then I could kid myself that my friends simply hadn’t been online.
I’m used to the stigma and silence surrounding mental health problems. I never thought I would get it with miscarriage too.