Pregnancy and you blog

Miscarriage brings silent anguish

By Mary M. Murry, R.N., C.N.M. March 12, 2008

Almost 25 percent of all pregnancies are lost to miscarriage, for many reasons. I'm not going to go through them here. What I want to talk about is what happens to those 25 out of 100 women who lose their baby.

When we discover that we are pregnant, we don't think of zygotes, embryos or fetuses. We think of babies. We think of sons and daughters. We start planning the minute we know we're pregnant. So when a woman miscarries she loses a baby. It doesn't matter if she is 7 weeks or 15 weeks.

The feeling of loss is real and it is painful. Some women feel guilty. If they hadn't done this or that the baby wouldn't have died. Maybe they weren't real excited when they first found out, but became accustomed and more positive. She can feel that it is punishment for her initial negative feeling. We need to let go of that guilt.

Whether or not the pregnancy is going to make it is determined in many ways the minute the sperm and egg unite. There is little a woman can do to cause a miscarriage. It happens because it was meant to. That doesn't make the pain any less.

People will often say things that are hurtful without meaning to. "Thank goodness you weren't further along." "You're young, you can have another." Things to that effect. Then there are the people who won't talk to you about it because they don't know what to say. You know women who are due when you would be due. You see baby clothes you would have bought. Your due date comes and you cry through the whole day, in private, in silence.

It is only after you have a miscarriage that you find out how many other women have suffered a miscarriage. We just don't talk about it with anyone. This is when the silence can end. These women know your sorrow, your loss. Talk to women who know your sorrow and loss, and share your feelings. You can do it here, or on other sites just for women who have lost babies. You will find a community of women who understand.

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Mar. 12, 2008