Caroline experienced five miscarriages before the birth of her son in 2012. She shares how people's reactions changed during her journey.
With each subsequent miscarriage, I could see people were finding it more difficult to know what to say.
I was very open with all my pregnancies, telling most of my family and friends from the beginning. People’s reactions to my first pregnancy loss were along the lines of “bad luck, at least its early” or “there is always next time.”
However, with each subsequent miscarriage, I could see people were finding it more difficult to know what to say. When I had my first miscarriage I received lots of cards, messages and flowers. With the next one it was mostly texts and from then on, it got a bit awkward as some people found it easier not to say anything rather than say the same old lines again. They just didn’t know how to make me feel better. Someone said that they thought I must be so strong to cope like I was. It was nice to hear that I was giving that impression, even though inside I felt so bad. One of my close friends said that I had to keep positive as one day I would make an amazing mummy, which I actually found really helped me want to keep going.
I wrote a diary whilst I was going through my miscarriages and it really helped me get my feelings across to others as at times it felt like I was going insane. I found it really hard to keep on the “I’m fine” smile just to make everyone else feel better when actually I felt like my heart had been ripped out. I threw myself in to projects to keep myself busy, but it was just me putting invisible plasters over this huge wound which could burst any minute. I thought no one could truly understand how I felt and it was incredibly lonely and isolating.
Now I’m in a very happy place. I look at my son and I can’t believe he’s mine. Having been through my experience I want to help other people. I know that doing this may bring back some emotions and I do sometimes still have down days when something random may trigger some tears.
I had to switch off social media and unfollow some people due to the constant scan and baby photos, which I found a real struggle. I wanted to read about other people’s experiences so I turned to online forums, however it was hard to find people who had been through multiple miscarriages like me.
I now help run the Norfolk Miscarriage Support Group and find a lot of people who come to us haven’t been able to talk to friends and family. They are putting on a brave face but inside they are struggling. At first, I didn’t feel like talking to anyone but found that the more I opened up, the easier it was to get through. It is such a lonely experience and I needed the strength from others.
It is emotionally draining. Some people come to the group and just cry. But it is a positive that they feel secure enough to release all their emotions with us.