Talking About Miscarriages
Roberta Thomson

It is amazing for me to read of your experiences; I share most of them, and agree that there should be more “modern” talk about miscarriages, and more. I use quotes because I grew up hearing of the possibilities. My mother was very open about her 8 miscarriages, before and amid the perfect births of 4 healthy children. (So, yes, it can happen.)

I am not sure of your age, as you didn’t mention it but did say you learned that miscarrying was not unusual for women of your age. My first pregnancy was similar to yours in that we decided to try, and managed to get pregnant right away. In fact, we went on a “romantic” holiday to Mexico for the trying event. I have never been sure if the food poisoning or the prescription I took to stop the nausea, etc., of the food poisoning were to blame — either way, those were not good situations for a zygote, barely started. 12 weeks later I started to miscarry, and spent mother’s day crying and trying to stay relaxed the way my doctor instructed me.

We didn’t give up, just decided that it must be so normal, and so many others have kids after a miscarriage, etc. I did speak up to a co-worker when I heard she had suffered one early in her very new marriage. It is now 27 or so years later, and she recently told me how much difference that made to her. Obviously, we are still friends. I was so glad that I had followed my instincts, and said something to help her over the pain.

I won’t bother you with as much detail for the rest. I carried pregnancy #2 full term, had a fairly uneventful 9 months with only a mild amount of morning (or afternoon, or anytime it wanted) sickness. But that also doesn’t prove there will be happiness; our daughter died just before birth. We found out after I didn’t feel her move for 24 hours, and called the doctor as they say to. It turns out that when she dropped into the birth canal, right on time for her due-date, her too-short cord was not only around her neck, but in a knot. Nothing could have avoided the outcome. I was in the hospital for 4 1/2 days, first having the delivery induced, then because they wanted to make sure I was mentally able to go home. I ultimately sought help, and saw someone for about 8 months, when one day my husband said “You’re back.” And I was.

I ended up having 4 more miscarriages, the last one at 43 years old. We had already given up, got a dog (a great thing!), bought a house, bought a vacation home, and decided we were ok when that last pregnancy happened. It also ended at 12 weeks.

I would not change a thing I did, the trying, and then the decision not to try any longer. I am thankful I never had to make the decision you had to make, but like you, I am sure we would have thought it the best thing to do. Like you, I don’t enjoy hearing the debates regarding “choice,” especially when people don’t understand what that can mean. I support choice, because I support life, and life should be the best possible for everyone.

I don’t believe in fate, but in the end I have been very glad for the events. I lost my husband to cancer 6 years after the last miscarriage. I was very glad I would not be raising a child, who would have turned 12 a few months later, by myself. Thank you for speaking up! I hope it helps others, and is cathartic for you.

I really don’t believe in fate, I just believe in putting one foot in front of the other, to keep on keeping on.

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