3 Ways I Healed after Miscarriage

 Photo by  Sydney Sims  on  Unsplash

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

I had no idea I lost the baby. When I got on the phone with my midwife to ask her what was happening, she said these words that would haunt me forever, “the truth is your body just wasn’t ready to let go of the baby yet. Your body didn’t want to give up
— Me.

I am a worry wart. I know the chances of anything bad happening before I walk into any situation. I knew that there was a huge chance this pregnancy could be ectopic because of my endometriosis. I worried for about 5 weeks before I got confirmation that the baby was indeed in my uterus (where it's supposed to be if you don't know) and had a good little heartbeat. And I knew that because I was 8 weeks along and we saw a heartbeat, it would mean the baby had a very good chance of surviving. Like miscarriage rates went down to 20% good. 

I had back aches, I was nauseous and weak, all things my midwife assured me were totally normal.  Then I went in for my 12-week scan and found out that the baby had stopped growing at around the 6.5-week mark and no longer had a heartbeat. I had a missed miscarriage or spontaneous abortion as some people call it, which meant I had no cramping, no bleeding, nothing.

With missed miscarriages, in particular, 30% of women are plagued with depression following the loss. And I'm one of those people. 

A study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, 1997) concluded that major depressive disorders are more common in women who suffer a miscarriage than in those who have not been pregnant. Furthermore, they suggest that women who suffer miscarriages should be monitored in the first weeks after reproductive loss, particularly those who are childless or who have history of major depressive disorder.
— Karen Kleiman MSW, LCSW - "Pregnancy Loss and Depression"

 

I hid in my room under the covers. Literally.

For a week and a half, I only left my house to take on one meeting with a client that I really love, and to hop in and out of the hospital. I ate takeout Popeyes Chicken (and I'm a vegan), I binge-watched The Office, and I cried a lot. I cried myself to sleep and I cried myself awake. 

 

I fled the country.

2 days before I found out I lost the baby, we had announced our pregnancy through our social media channels, so everyone on the planet knew I was expecting. So through the first few days of my grief, I was still getting messages from friends congratulating me. I actually still get messages (2 months later) congratulating me on my pregnancy.

I was desperate to get out of Toronto, but because I had a missed miscarriage and still had retained products of conception, I had to wait for the doctor's okay. My "hiding in my room under the covers" phase wouldn't have lasted as long if I didn't have to wait for that godforsaken okay. When I finally heard the words "you still have retained products but just get medical insurance and you're okay to leave for a week".

So we did. We left to Costa Rica for a week and cried into the ocean instead of into the snowbanks. 

 

I got help (I'm still very bad at this)

 At first, I didn't really talk to anyone about it. I sort of just floated through my days with blurry vision from crying. I was tired of speaking to medical professionals who said things to me like 'imagine if you were 8 months along?' or 'it happens to everyone'. I was tired of saying 'I just had a miscarriage' every time I had to get an ultrasound or a checkup.

I just wanted it to be over. It took me 2 months to get to the point of actively believing I need a therapist to talk to, and a friend of mine sent me to 'Better Help' and it's $45/week* FOR UNLIMITED THERAPY. I also switched my therapist 3 times (they automatically assign you to therapists that match this quick questionnaire that you fill out, I'm sure they're all great but I'm a very delicate mess right now) because I really wanted someone with experience dealing with miscarriage. So they sent me an email basically saying 'we know you're having a hard time, so here's a list of our counsellors for you to pick from and we'll personally assign them to you'. 

For the first time, I felt like somebody was listening to me. And I'm not super far into my therapy yet, but just taking that first step felt really good.