Miscarriage And The 12-Week Rule: Carrying Grief Alone


I knew you were there before the strip turned blue. Periods, even a few weeks before I bought that exam, I seemed you. I acknowledged the twinge in my abdomen, the butterflies, the soreness in my breasts, and the ever so slight nausea that greeted me in the morning. A physical feeling that I cant describe in terms except to say that I merely seemed off came upon me, and I knew you were there, and I loved you. You were loved.

You didnt stay very long, but it doesnt take long to become part of a family. And for the short time you were with us, you built us a family of four. You built us so, so happy.

I am sorry you didnt get to stay longer. I am sorry my body betrayed you. I am sorry that you did not get to grow. I grieve for the future that I had planned for you in that short amount of time. But I am so glad that I knew you, even for the briefest of days. And I will never forget you, little one , not ever.

Miscarriage is not the more popular topic of dialogue. Im still struggling to understand why, given that around 1 in 4 pregnancies terminate in miscarriage.That is not an unsubstantial number.

Perhaps it is due to the general misinformation and delusions about miscarriage. Perhaps it is too uncomfortable knowing we have absolutely no medical intervention that can avoid or treat a miscarriage. Or perhaps people merely dont know what to say.

We know the protocol when person or persons succumbs. There is a funeral service; the life of the deceased is talked about and celebrated. Condolences are offered as well as banquets brought to the home of the survivors; support is offered in any way that is helpful. Death, while sad, are members of life, and is recognized as such.

Miscarriage is death before life.

Often days, it is death that one person seems or even knows about, and carries alone. That would be thanks to the 12 -week rule our culture embraces. That is, girls are advised and encouraged to keep their pregnancy trade secrets for the first 12 weeks until theyve arrived at the safe zone( the chance of aborting plummets after the 12 th week ).

This is problematic for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it is sometimes impossible to hide teenage pregnancies, even in the early weeks. Crippling nausea, debilitating fatigue and a myriad of other physical symptoms may show. I worked in a small office during my first pregnancy, I told my bosses around week sixbecause nausea had me operating to the bathroom every half hour. I was perpetually exhausted and relied heavily on my spouse and parents for help. And lets not forget the emotional circus pregnant women are now the sun of. Waves of torrential hormonal changes are rocking a womans body, and every aspect of their physiological ego is being affected.

Secondly, if that pregnancy is lost, women still need support.Imagine what happens when teenage pregnancies that no one knew aboutbut still has altered her in so many wayssuddenly aims? Imagine having to carry the burden of that sorrow all on your own while the rest of the world exists in blissful ignorance of the loss you suffered.

After my miscarriage, I seemed many things: sadness, anger, isolation and even some depression brought on by a significant downswing of hormones.I was luck that those very closest to me knew, and I had their support.But the rest of the world merely kept becoming. And I had to keep becoming with it.

And so I took my daughter to her regularly scheduled playdates and built small talk with other moms and sang the silly hymns. I was a silent spectator in my own body, as it purged any evidence of this life from me.

I also seemed something I did not expect: foolish. I seemed foolish for being sad. I seemed I did not have the right to grieve, because, as people would point out to me, It was really early.

And again, there is the problem with the 12 -week rule. Because we are encouraged not to disclose our pregnancy until the1 2th week, there is an unjust assumption that we cant really be excited about our pregnancy until then.

Let me make one thing clearly articulated: You are allowed to feel nonetheless you crave or need to feel when you find out you have a human life growing inside of you , no matter when you find out.

And while terms like viable and sustainable are hurled at you in regards to the progression of your pregnancy, there is no line graph where the love you feel for life inside you increases with the number of weeks it gestates. Pregnant is pregnant. Loss is loss.

Miscarriage isnt merely a loss we feel emotionally. It happens to our bodies, inside of us. We experience it physically. To expect a predetermined degree of sorrow from a woman who has lost a pregnancy is ludicrou and presumptuous.

So, as national societies, lets do better. Lets be more honest, open and empathetic( this remains true for all aspects of our humanity ).

Needing to talk to someone, anyone, I turned to an online community. Upon sharing my tale, I was overwhelmed by the love and support that was offered. Most of all, I was shocked at the number of women who had similar stories. If this online community is but a sample of all the women you know, imagine how many of them have lost a pregnancy, and how many are aching to talk about it.

If you are unsure of what to say to someone who has lost a pregnancy, its actually really simple. Just tell them that it is okay to feel whatever they are seem. It is okay to grieve, and that you are there for them. Dr. Jessica Zucker, a psychologist who specializes in womens health, made a line of pregnancy loss cards. My favorite reads as follows 😛 TAGEND

Grief knows no timeline. Take all the time you need .

If you want to rest, do. If you want to scream, do. If you want to distract yourself, do. If you want to cry, stuff your face, hibernate, go on an adventure, call me morning midday and night, do .

Be gentle with yourself .

While I have physically and emotionally mended from my miscarriage, I will ever recollect the life that could have been. I will never forget his due date nor the future I had imagined.

Hopefully, Ill get to scheme a new future with a new life. Well keep trying and living. And if theres one thing I have learned, it is just how precious my lifeand the lives of those I love are, and to never take them for granted.

I hope you heal too.

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