Chloe shares her experience of miscarriage.
Chloe shares her story, including the support that most helped her and her husband, with the hope of encouraging others who may have experienced a miscarriage.
When we got married, I was horrified that everyone began to immediately ask my husband and me when we would have children. Lots of our friends had big families with lots of children and we found that our social life became all about babies – to the point that it really turned me off having children. Shaun and I wanted to settle into married life and enjoy that new season before thinking about starting a family.
A few years later, we decided we were ready and excited to become parents and started trying for a baby. A number of months passed of thinking a period was late and then it would arrive with great disappointment. After several months, we were delighted to find we were pregnant. Around ten weeks into the pregnancy, something didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel pregnant any more and all the symptoms that I’d had seemed to have stopped. We went for our 12 week scan and were told that there was just an empty sack where the baby would have been, something that’s called a ‘missed miscarriage’. I was told to go home and to wait for the natural miscarriage that would happen in time. The idea of waiting was too frightening – I just wanted it to be over so I opted for the surgical option. I was initially given a procedure date for two to three weeks’ time but was so worried about waiting so long. I belong to a church, so I told my friends there that I wanted the procedure to be done ASAP and asked them to pray. The next morning I received a phone call offering me an appointment for the next day.
I had to wait on the ward all day. Some of the people sat with me were evidently pregnant which was distressing. When I came around after the procedure, I actually felt really physically well. The consultant told me that all the signs would point to trying again to get pregnant and not to be put off.
The months that followed were a very sad time. I felt very emotional and was fixated on what would have been, thinking, ‘By now this would have happened… I would look this way… the baby would have developed x,y and z’. We found ourselves around lots of children and child-focused activities before we were truly ready to be and going to church was hard too as there were so many babies around and events that I didn’t feel able to face. I spent a lot of time waiting for what would have been our baby’s due date and wishing that time away. We also had close friends who told us that we should just ’get on and try again’ which was not at all helpful.
Despite this, there were a few kind things that people said or did during this time. I remember a takeaway being dropped off when neither Shaun nor I were in the right frame of mind to cook. This was one of the most helpful things that anyone could have done for us at the time. People think that they should give you space and stay away when you’ve experienced a miscarriage but a simple gesture of dropping something off can go a really long way. My manager at work was also incredibly kind to me. He encouraged me to have time off even though I didn’t particularly want it and wanted to keep busy. It was something he encouraged, not simply put up with. We had a small but close group of friends that Shaun and I trusted and could be completely ourselves around. Not having to pretend to be OK when we weren’t was invaluable, as was contacting another woman who’d also experienced miscarriage. This was a very lonely time in my life and being able to talk to someone who truly understood made an enormous difference to me.
Shaun and I are so grateful that following our miscarriage we were able to go on to have two children a few years later. We know that this isn’t the case for all couples who have a miscarriage. This type of loss is more common than we think. It is isolating and scary to go through on your own. It’s so important to acknowledge someone’s loss so that the lines of communication are open for when that person feels ready.
All names have been changed to protect the couple’s privacy.
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