Early pregnancy loss, or miscarriage, is an emotional and often traumatic time. In addition to experiencing enormous grief over the loss of your baby, there are physical impacts of a miscarriage — and often relationship impacts, too.

While nothing can erase the loss, there are steps you can take, both short- and long-term, to help you move toward healing and recovery.

It’s important to understand, before you ever conceive, just how common miscarriage actually is. An estimated one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Really understanding that can make an enormous difference. And not everyone experiences the same level of grief. Some women will actively grieve a loss for months, while others cope with miscarriage easily. There’s no one-size-fits-all model.

Let yourself experience grief as it comes to you naturally, says Katy Huie Harrison, PhD.

“Many of us try to repress our emotions because we don’t want to feel them – they bring up too much, they’re too hard, they keep us from our jobs, our partners, our living children, our lives. But if you do not allow yourself to feel your grief, it will come up later in far more dangerous ways. So allow yourself the time to feel it. And if it genuinely isn’t there, or is very short-lived, that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with you. Miscarriage grief affects everyone differently.”

These are short excerpts from women who experienced miscarriage.

“After our second miscarriage I met my now adopted son. A year later we miscarried again, and I met my daughter, also now adopted. I then started an NPO called Little Brinks (NPO 176-343). We then experienced another traumatic miscarriage and we fostered twins whom we also adopted. After that came our surprise foster baby, number five, whom we again adopted. We then fostered a teen who is now home with us forever. Following that came our exclamation mark baby number seven, who too is adopted. We are beyond blessed, plus we have foster kids who come and go to their forever homes. Our lives were blessed with multiple children.” Katherine Brink

 

“Before my son was born, I had a full molar pregnancy. Whilst processing the shock and pain, I had to endure blood tests twice a month to ensure that my pregnancy hormone levels were coming down within the required 90-day period. Fortunately, they did, and I dodged chemo which was the treatment regime at the time.

Between my two healthy pregnancies, I had a missed miscarriage (my body did not abort the pregnancy). At my 11 to 12 weeks check-up, we saw a perfectly formed baby, whose heart had just stopped beating a week before. I needed a course of antibiotics to ward off septicaemia.

The second loss was, by far the most emotional and I cried more tears than I thought a body could produce. I now have two healthy, happy, crazy, unique children who have enriched my life in a way that I didn’t know was possible. They are two parts of my heart that live outside of my body, and I am honoured that they call me mommy.” Joann West

 

“After three years of fertility treatment I finally fell pregnant, only to lose our baby at 12 weeks. The next day I had to walk out of my hospital room into the labour ward to go meet my new nephew. It was the worst feeling in the world, yet so happy for others.

Four weeks later I was pregnant with my now 15-year-old daughter. My second loss is the most painful I have ever experienced, physically and emotionally…. my ectopic pregnancy. I woke up in the worst pain ever. I went to the doctor, and he confirmed that I was pregnant. I got so excited, but I could see the pain in his eyes as he told me that I needed to go and see my gynaecologist as he expected an ectopic pregnancy. I was rushed to theatre.

To this day I mourn those two little ones, but I feel blessed with the three I can hold in my arms and love.” Maritza Farham

 

We weren’t trying for a baby. I had been off the three-month injection for about a year at this point and was planning on switching to the pill. A week before my period was due, I was having cramps but thought it was my period, as it was due that week. I had a sudden craving for coffee which was out of the ordinary as I don’t drink coffee. Being pregnant never crossed my mind.

On the Thursday I went for supper with a friend, and we had some drinks, but I ignored the cramping. Friday I was tender and sore but again thought that it was my period that was due. In the middle of the night that Friday, I started having sharp pains on my right side. It felt as if someone was stabbing me, and my back felt like it was ripping apart. My first thought was that it was my appendix. I managed to medicate myself with some pain medication and fell asleep.

I woke up on Saturday morning at 7am, dizzy and nauseous. I threw up a few times and then blacked out a few times. My mom and husband called the ambulance, and we went to the hospital. The doctor did an ultrasound and discovered that I was a few weeks pregnant. The baby was in my right tube which had burst, and I had been bleeding internally for almost a week at this stage. I could’ve died if I had left it another day or two. I had emergency surgery and my right tube and ovary were removed.

I don’t know what caused the ectopic pregnancy, but the look on my husband’s face when the doctor told us that we lost the baby broke my heart. To this day I am petrified of falling pregnant again, especially as I only have one tube and ovary, however, I will leave it up to God. We will never forget our angel baby and I’ll never forget the pain. The scar will remind me forever.” Casey-Lee Jeftha

 

A molar pregnancy — also known as hydatidiform mole — is a rare complication of pregnancy characterized by the abnormal growth of trophoblasts, the cells that normally develop into the placenta. There are two types of molar pregnancy, complete molar pregnancy and partial molar pregnancy. In a complete molar pregnancy, the placental tissue is abnormal and swollen and appears to form fluid-filled cysts. There’s also no formation of foetal tissue. In a partial molar pregnancy, there may be normal placental tissue along with abnormally forming placental tissue. There may also be formation of a foetus, but the foetus is not able to survive, and is usually miscarried early in the pregnancy.

This article was published in partnership with Media Xpose.

2 + 12 =

2 Comments

  1. Casey Jeftha

    Great article xx

    Reply
    • Kyla van Heerden

      Thank you

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WhatsApp chat