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?

15 COMMENTS

  1. The first paragraph of this article can scare women unnecessarily. Not having morning sickness does not equate miscarriage. Even if you had it in previous pregnancies. BCP, you should really amend this. Don’t spread myths!!

    It also makes me sad when people are relieved to miscarry. If you have a big family and you’re not ready for another, you don’t have to have one! Miscarriage is not the only solution!

    • Honestly though a lot of times that is the case. I had no symptoms also and miscarried at 8 weeks. I dont think people should be scared but its def something to speak to a dr about.

    • I think you read this article the wrong way. It doesn’t say anything about being relieved. I plan on having many more children y”h. I love to have double the amount of children I currently have and I live for having a large family. I was waiting for this pregnancy. But I am grateful for the positives in this nisyon Hashem has given me. I was able to find the good in this story. I’m also aware that I’m lucky that it was early, I didn’t have to break the news to others and I’m still able to have more children.

    • I sort of disagree with your last paragraph. I find it a bit sensitive. In my case, I was carrying twins and when I found out it was “multiples” I was nervous wreck. This was my 3rd/4th pregnancy. Anywhere from – how am I going to nurse to whose going to help me – all these thoughts just made me scared and nervous. Don’t get me wrong, my pregnancy was planned but having twins caught me offguard since it was a natural pregnancy. Anyhow, at 11 weeks I found out only one was growing beautifully and the other was smaller than usual. Knowing I miscarried one of the two made me feel calm since all my worries lessened. I’m not going to say I was relieved, but I was able to accept that everything happens for a reason and quite possibly the baby wasn’t healthy enough to continue growing. I absolutely love my Baby B more than anything in this world and I’m so grateful she’s healthy and beautiful!

  2. So i recently had a miscarriage and the opppsite happened to me. I didnt loose weight so quickly and i still looked pregnant and someone in shul asked me if i was. I really wish i had the guts to say i actually just had a miss but i stopped myself

  3. This is a very important article that can facilitate conversations about miscarriages. Thank you BCP , many woman can be helped emotionally and physically through sharing information.

  4. We don’t talk about it enough, and it is a difficult thing to talk about.

    I’ve had my own misses while still waiting for the blessings that come with becoming a mother.

    Even my doctors were not able to really tell me what to expect during the losses.

    It would be wonderful to start the conversations in as neutral a place as possible. So we can share stories and help each other!

    BezH” that no one ever needs to know any thing about this subject!

    Chodesh tov!!!!!!

  5. She obviously didn’t choose to have a miscarriage!! She’s just not being overly emotional about it because of her circumstances…
    I had a miscarriage after my first child and it was very very difficult! All my friends either just had or were going on child #2 and I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant. I knew it wasn’t a good pregnancy from the start since I was staining nonstop however it was still a huge blow when the doctor told me I would miscarry (it took a few weeks). After that, the doctor told me the cells were very abnormal and I would have to wait another 6 months before trying to conceive again. It was devastating! And what made it worse was that I couldn’t tell anyone because that’s “not what we do”…it was so comforting when I did decide to tell a close friend who I knew was also going through fertility issues. It was so hurtful when friends or acquaintances would stare at my belly (which did get bigger in the first 2 months I was pregnant) or even ask “so when are you giving ***** a sibling???” I don’t understand why asking someone questions like that is acceptable yet discussing the hardships of miscarriage is not. I learned from an anonymous teleconference 5 months after my miscarriage that new research shows I didn’t necessarily have to wait 6 months to conceive. I was so upset and wish I would’ve known this information earlier instead of just listening solely to what my doctor said. However, I couldn’t ask family or friends for their experiences since the subject is so taboo! I agree wholeheartedly that we should be more open to discuss this very common phenomenon!

  6. ATIME has a phenomenal support system in place and a plethora of information for pregnancy loss. When I had a late miscarriage, I was told by a friend to call them for questions and concerns. It really helped to alleviate some of the great burden faced.

  7. I miscarried before my first and needed to wait a year before getting pregnant again. I was NOT devastated. I just did what needed to be done and decided to rather focus on building relation with my new husband till it will be bashert to have a baby.

    In my family it is accepted to tell close family members such news so i did not feel alone. I spoke a lot to my mother and sisters tho i did not tell my friends till i became pregnant again.

    After speaking to friends i was so glad i did not talk to friends while going thru this procedure. My friend also went thru a miscarriage but took it much harder than me. She described feeling like losing an actual living baby. I am glad i did not talk to her since i took it much more positive and probably would get negative vibes. Also after speaking to friends everyone had different medical opinions which would only confuse me. Was glad i only dealt with my doctor, rav and mother at that time.

  8. I am older now and my children are married but I won’t forget the time when I had an “undocumented” miscarriage. I was away for the summer so I never had the chance to see the doctor for my first visit so when I started staining and called my doctor he told me that I was most probably miscarrying. Until it was over I didn’t realize how miserable I had felt (common at the beginning of a pregnancy) until then. When a good friend asked what was up as I must have looked somewhat upset I shared the facts. Then she asked me if it was a planned pregnancy (which was really none of her business and not something to ask anyone!) And how I was doing. I personally didn’t take it too hard as it was very early and didn’t have a chance to get too attached yet and BH had other healthy children. Everyone is entitled to feel and take things their own way. But I really believe that it’s not anyone’s business or place to ask anyone any kind of personal questions such as “are you pregnant” or anything similar. Think how you would feel if you were just overweight and someone asked you if you were pregnant or was bothering you asking how you lost weight if the reason was because you were not well chas v’shalom…. People have to be more mindful of other people’s feelings and mind their own business! If the person wants you to know her details she will volunteer them on her own when she’s ready to. Trust me but I’ve unfortunately learned the hard way when I asked a question or made a comment and got an answer that made me want to pull up the floor to crawl underneath. Everyone takes every question differently and reacts differently so it’s best to just keep your comments/questions to yourself and give people their privacy.

  9. I just wanted to relate that when my daughter suffered a miscarriage after having several healthy children BH, when discussing it with her Rav he mentioned that he was surprised that she hasn’t had one before.
    Having a miscarriage early on is a common thing as most doctor’s will tell you. It usually means it was an unhealthy fetus.
    That still doesn’t mean that it’s an easy thing to go through. Everyone deals with it in their own way and is entitled to mourn or be upset in their own way….

  10. Thank you BCP for bringing this up! Looking forward to More posts like this one!
    I too had a miscarriage after having several healthy children.
    I too wasn’t shocked since I kept saying how I was feeling too good, and that’s not how I usually feel during pregnancy.
    My miss was right before I started my second trimester, and though I wasn’t shocked it was still a huge blow.
    I was in tremendous pain. Physical first (full blown contractions for a couple days till we realized that it wasn’t going to pass naturally, and then it ended with a DNC)
    Then the emotional pain came.
    I waited a couple years before deciding for various reasons that I was ready to get pregnant (approved by my rav) and when I finally felt ready, and got pregnant and then had a miss- it was like my dreams were shattered! It was so painful.
    I chose to share it with friends and family.
    I’m a very open person and I was really out of it for a good 10 days, so I knew my absence would be noticed. And, in general I feel better when I share my pain.
    I know that everyone has a different way of handling their pain.
    For some it’s easier, some take it harder. But I learned one thing:
    Misses are so common. And before I had a miss I never looked at it as a major loss, more like something that happens to many people.
    And now I see its true, it happens to many people! But it’s hard! And sad! And they deserve to be treated and taken care of while they grieve their loss.
    May we all have healthy good pregnancys that bring us to healthy baby’s and beautiful family’s.

  11. The one thing I have learned after speaking with hundreds of women who have experienced a pregnancy loss – stillbirth or miscarriage – is that there is no one way. Some women feel an overwhelming sense of sadness and grief even when they have a house full of children at home and some women feel a sense of relief when they don’t have any.

    What I can tell you is that however you feel, its normal. Intense pain, deep sadness, grief that doesn’t go away, anger, betrayal, guilt – they are all part of the process. And yes, as one other commentor mentioned, ATIME has a division devoted to pregnancy loss support support. That’s because the one thing we have learned is that no one should ever feel alone through this journey.

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