Amy shares her experience of miscarriage, returning to work, and how the grief still catches her off guard 5 years later.
I was lucky that my work were very supportive, and I took 6 weeks sick leave... When I eventually returned to work, I started to suffer from anxiety attacks, and it was agreed that I would come back on a phased return over 4 weeks. This helped me to acclimatise to being back in work and having to see people face to face.
I sadly lost my first baby when I was 10 weeks pregnant in 2017. I can still feel the tug at my heart every time I think about finding out my baby had died. My miscarriage was a traumatic and slow process. It took me 6 weeks to recover physically, and mentally, much longer.
For the first 6 weeks after my miscarriage, I was in a very dark, depressed place. I found it hard to leave the house and suffered with social anxiety. I did not want to look after myself as I was punishing myself – for something that I have since come to accept was not my fault.
I was lucky that my work were very supportive, and I took 6 weeks sick leave. I was very much working my way through the stages of grief- I was in denial, I was blaming myself, and I was very angry.
When I eventually returned to work, I started to suffer from anxiety attacks, and it was agreed that I would come back on a phased return over 4 weeks. This helped me to acclimatise to being back in work and having to see people face to face.
To help me to process my emotions and to connect with other people going through the same awful experience, I started to blog and started an anonymous Instagram account. These outlets really helped me to work through my grief, and by articulating how I was feeling, I started to process what had happened.
I was lucky enough to fall pregnant again in January 2019. Again, I suffered with anxiety throughout my pregnancy. I continued to blog, and to be open and honest about my feelings.
Days started to pass where I wasn’t all consumed with the pain and the loss. I started to be able to enjoy life again, and to look forward to the future – a prospect that had seemed unlikely just months before.
As certain milestones approached, such as my miscarried baby’s due date, the grief would come back in full force. I remember sitting on a train on my way to a meeting on my due date. I was pregnant again with my (now 4 year old) son, and sat crying for my lost baby, whilst feeling guilty that I was still in mourning whilst being pregnant again.
Now, almost 5 years since that loss, the grief still catches me off guard sometimes. If I hear of somebody who has suffered a miscarriage or any form of baby loss, I am instantly transported back to that ultrasound room where I was told ‘I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat’. I still think of my baby on their due date every year, and every year on 29th November, the day of my miscarriage, my husband and I light a candle and I allow myself to grieve openly.
As time has gone on, the agonising pain that I went through has gone. My life has continued, and I now have two beautiful boys. My lost baby continues to live in my heart, and I will always be sad for the loss of the life I made, but never got to meet.
I am grateful for the connections I made through blogging and Instagram. I have made some lifelong friends through this journey, people who I now have a shared history with and a mutual understanding of each other’s grief. I made a dear friend with a wonderful lady experiencing loss at the same time as me. She lives 150 miles away, yet we have been lucky enough to meet once, and for our children to meet each other.
As I reflect on my miscarriage, I am filled with various emotions. I am still heartbroken. I am still angry that my first baby was taken away from me, and that my future pregnancies were all tainted with fear. I am grateful that I have gone on to bring home and love two healthy boys. I am saddened that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in loss. I am thankful for the friends I have made, and for the friends I already had who stuck by and supported me.
If you are reading this and currently going through the trauma of miscarriage – I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that you are truly not alone, the help and support is there for you. Can I also please ask that you are kind to yourself. This is not your fault. Treat yourself with the kindness and compassion you would treat any friend who had experienced the loss of a loved one.