The topic almost never comes up. Miscarriage is almost always a secret. But even if we don’t discuss it, there’s a few things all women need to know.
By Devorah L.
A couple of months ago, I found out that I miscarried. I can’t say I was shocked. More so, I knew it. I had this feeling for a while. I felt like I was feeling too good. I mentioned it to my husband and he reassured me saying, “Last week you said you were tired. Do you remember when you said the food made you nauseous?” But I knew myself. If I’m usually the sick-on-the-couch, can’t-get-through-the-day type when I’m in my first trimester, and here I’m living life normally, something was wrong.
So what did I learn?
We Don’t Talk About It Enough
It was my first miscarriage and I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t feel like calling anyone but my good friend (who never experienced a miss) and I had no base of knowledge. We’ve spoken about pregnancies, labor, and delivery before and after, but I didn’t recall anyone ever giving me random information about a miscarriage.
Should I do a D&C, or should I not? Is a local D&C better than the one in a hospital (yes it is, if your doctor says you can do one)? Should I wait it out? How long will it take (forever for some people)? I ended up Googling it (don’t do it) and I had lots and lots of information but none really that I trusted and lots that I didn’t agree with at the end of the day.
Now that it’s a few months later I’ve casually mentioned my miscarriage a few times and suddenly everyone is coming out of the woodworks. So many women go through it. For women under the age of 35, 10% of pregnancies miscarry, and over age 35, 20% of pregnancies will end in a miss. I heard stories. One woman told me they had six miscarriages, some that told me they had one. It seems everyone with a large family has had a miscarriage. So why don’t we talk about it? It would have been so much more reassuring during the process to know that I’m not alone and to have some basic knowledge.
Everyone Handles a Miscarriage Differently
For me personally, I have a house of healthy children b’H and this was my first miscarriage. I felt ok. Yes, strange, but I felt like Hashem has giving me so much bracha, that I could handle this with gratefulness. I saw lots of hashgacha pratis. I felt like it was better that it was over early. I didn’t announce my pregnancy yet, and I’m still young enough to have more children. But every single case and person is different. Understandably so, if its a late miscarriage, or you’ve had a few misses in a row, and are very much desperate for a healthy pregnancy, or are getting older, or never had children before… miscarriages take a tremendous emotional toll on you. So realize that every feeling is okay. It’s okay to grieve, and it’s okay to be okay with the miss. Take your time to process it. Also, for those who are incontact with someone who just miscarried, take your cues from them. Don’t ask them questions if they don’t seem to be responding with full answers; give them their space to be quiet or talk. There is no right or wrong way.
Weight Gain and Loss
I learned a valuable lesson in how to compliment people on their weight loss/gain. Although I didn’t announce my pregnancy, I definitely had a little stomach. With the nerves, loss of water, and just general loss of pregnancy, I suddenly looked slimmer and flatter. For the 2-3 weeks following my miscarriage, everyone kept on telling me how skinny I looked. The first person kept asking me, “ How did you do it? How did you lose so much so fast?” In reality, I only dropped about 5-6 pounds (which came right back on a few weeks later, so this was very temporary weight loss). After her asking me three times I finally said, “Oh, I had a miscarriage.” She didn’t expect that. Poor woman. After that story, I decided to accept all the compliments. The next time, I said “Thank you…oh you know, I shut my mouth, a bit of this and a bit of that”…and truly enjoyed the compliments. I figured something good had come out from this ordeal. And then it hit me. We should never ask someone how they lost weight. Just say: You look wonderful. End the convo. Some woman lose weight from nerves, health issues, family issues. There is no reason to make them uncomfortable.
Right, so I said we don’t talk about it enough, yet I didn’t share much medical information. I’m not sure this is the right platform for that, and you should never need to know. But I’m hoping that bringing up this topic might lead to some face-to-face conversations for the woman who might need that empathetic ear with another woman who understands the experience.
What do you think?