Okay are you ready to deal with this topic? For some of us reading this, it will just be literature, but for others, this article is going to dredge up memories we have probably tucked away under the file of “Never to be reviewed again”, while for some of us, this may be the file currently opened on your desk and your tears still flow freely as you gaze on it.
Miscarriages! The word no woman wants to ever have to deal with. So when I was pregnant with my first born I had some spotting issues in the first trimester. My husband and I went off to the hospital and the O & G doctor sent me to the lab with a form. When I opened the form to read what the doctor wrote I saw these words “Threatened abortion”. The medical illiterate in me rose up like a tiger and I marched back to the doctor’s office to ask him what he meant by implying that I had maybe tried an abortion. It was only then he explained the medical term for my condition and what he wrote and how it was in no way linked to the conclusions I had drawn. Ignorance no be bliss o!
So fast forward to many years after, had 3 kids with no issues, I wanted to try for another baby and then issues began. I was spotting once again, I was living abroad in Dhaka at the time, and I was an online student for my Master’s degree. So I shrugged it off, prayed and continued with life and my daily routine believing that all the little baby was doing was trying to attach itself to my uterus. Then my husband traveled for 2 weeks on a work thing and I woke up one day to severe stomach cramps, went to the bathroom to ease myself and out plopped something into the bowl. This was not what I dreamed of. I looked into the bloodied bowl and saw something floating that I could not identify.
Now during holidays all the expats would usually travel away for the period. This time we decided to stay put, but my base of friends were away and my building was near empty. So I managed to get dressed with the continuing cramps, went outside and asked the security to get me a rickshaw (the bicycle carriage). I remember I had enough presence of mind to get a garbage nylon to place on the seat so I would not stain the seats of the rickshaw. I got to the hospital and was placed as emergency and so given a bed. The doctor came asked her questions and said you need to do a scan, which I was wheeled away to. Before then, student nurses kept coming to my cubicle and asking me how tall I was because apparently an African 5 feet 10 inches female was more like a celebrity and an oddity on the floor, so everyone wanted to have a look (remember Asian females are not particularly tall). At a point I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep if only to avoid more questions, but I could still hear them whispering behind the partition curtains as they peeped in.
I cried. I questioned God. And then I cried some more. This was one moment I did not want to be alone. However being alone and having no one I could talk to, forced me to talk with the only person left as it were, God. I opened my heart and instead of questioning him, had a conversation with him. I let Him in to my pain and the mess of my fragile heart and confused mind at that time. It did not get better as the scan revealed that there was no more fetal heart beat. The doctor said don’t worry, whatever is left will come out naturally (ha, turned out that stuff stayed inside me for 3 more weeks, another story). I was so angry even though the doctor tried to explain that this was Nature’s way of taking care of things especially when it thought that there was something wrong with the pregnancy. I had a million questions and no answers. Did I not rest enough? Was it my crazy schedule especially for my Masters that stressed me and the pregnancy? What if this or that was responsible?
The point is, when I wanted to have a baby and my body as it were, refused to cooperate, it only made me more determined to have the baby. I would be walking and see a baby and then mentally calculate how old mine would have been, if it lived. I knew I had to give my body some time to heal and then try again. So do not worry if you have this same experience, it does not make you wicked or insane, it just shows you are human. Also please make sure that your doctor does a scan to verify that the complete foetus has left your body to prevent some left over particles triggering an infection in your uterus. They even have medication to help your body through this process should it need any assistance, as I found out much later.
I know of some women who have had multiple miscarriages running into scary numbers. I know that we are all different in the way we approach this subject but the main point I would like to draw out from all this is, Don’t Give Up. Yes it hurts, it is devastating but you will heal, if you give yourself time. Belief in God saw me through my dark patch, someone can also see you through yours. The power of family and your spouse should not be undermined this period. It is also wise to seek medical opinion especially if it is one too many. Get professional medical opinion from an Obstetrics & Gynecology doctor. Time to heal with differ also for each one of us especially for pregnancies that had progressed say even into the 3rd trimester.
If you know someone that has gone through a miscarriage, do not just shrug your shoulders as if nothing happened. Something did happen even though not to you. Be compassionate. Visit. Listen. Be there in the best way possible. Encourage the woman going through this experience as she goes through her blizzard and offer a hand to help pull her out of despair. Miscarriages may seem like common place news for women, but to any woman it happens to, it is a shattered world at that moment and she will need some time to bounce back on her feet.
You will carry your living baby someday. You will rejoice over that child and the joy of holding the living will numb the pain of what might have been. Hang in there sister. You will be fine. Hope this helped you to know that you are not alone.
picture credits: the internet