by guest blogger, Deanna Cogdon Miller
For most of us, going to the bathroom is second nature. You realize you have to go, you go, you wash your hands and you walk out the door. For women, however, there's a time in life when that very natural event changes. Every time you realize you have to go you say a little prayer. Every time you actually go you check the paper. When you're done and you wash your hands you let out a sigh of relief. Welcome to the first few secretive weeks of pregnancy.
As a general rule, we don't discuss miscarriages in today's society even though they occur in one of every five pregnancies. The sinking feeling that you get when you notice something is ‘off' is, as a general rule, something to be kept to yourself. It's amazing how something so small as one tiny spot of blood can start your heart beating fast, send your emotions into an uproar and cause a flurry of activity in an attempt to figure out what's going on. As your whole world feels like it's crashing in on you, you're expected to keep it quiet, stay composed in public and complete your day as if nothing is going on.
But something is going on. Something huge is going on. Whether you are five weeks along or 16 weeks along, once you see those two little lines pop up on a test, you consider yourself a parent. You begin projecting to what life will be like nine months from now, you surf every pregnancy-related website possible, you suddenly start to notice pregnant women everywhere and you start taking note of names you like as you hear them. When that wonderful feeling is disrupted, the emotions that go along with it can be all-consuming. It's a grieving process, it's personal and for the most part, you go through it in silence.
As you work through the emotional and physical pain that go along with miscarriage, the worry soon follows. "Will this happen to me again?", "Will I ever be able to have a baby?" Then our minds wander to what we may have done to cause such an outcome. "I missed two days of folic acid", "I had three drinks before I knew I was pregnant", or "I ate soft cheese". As your emotional brain is in overdrive, your rational brain is in the background somewhere reminding you that this didn't happen because you skipped a day of folic and then enjoyed a Greek salad with feta afterwards.
My record is 50 per cent. Three miscarriages. Three miracles. I was inspired to write this because there is strength in numbers. Women who have miscarried are everywhere and just because it's the norm to stay silent, it doesn't mean that you need to lock your feelings up and throw them away. Be sad. Cry. Get angry. And most importantly, talk if you need to. Twenty per cent of us are members of this club that we did not choose to join and there's no two ways about it…membership sucks.
Deanna lives in Dartmouth with her husband and three children. When she's not reading stories, dancing to ABBA or burping a baby, she works in communications for Bell Aliant.