Sally shares her experience of multiple miscarriages, and the comfort that she found on social media.
People have said that me talking about what happened has inspired them to share their own experience.
I have experienced early miscarriage, missed miscarriage and chemical ones. The first time I knew I needed support so I was very open and told people. With my second miscarriage, I found out the baby had died around seven or eight weeks after attending what should be my 12 week scan. My best friend came with me. The drive home was in total silence, until my friend said: ‘at least you know you can get pregnant.’ I stopped the car. I was so upset, I said I have just been given this horrible news and you are trying to give me a silver lining. I told her there is nothing you can do to make it better. She was very receptive and asked me what I needed.
The other comment I would hear is that ‘it will happen, you can try again.’ That didn’t make me feel better, I wanted that one. On the flip side, I had great support from my partner, family and close friends. You don’t need people to come out with a reason why it happened or some big philosophical statement, just a hug. Tell me you’re sorry.
Even people close to you find it hard to understand. My friend was pregnant at the time and due the same time I would have been. She has now had the baby couple of weeks ago. I said to another friend that I didn’t know when I would be able to come and visit and was told that ‘I need to suck it up because it is not all about you.’ That was so hard to hear, it made me feel an inch tall. As happy as I was for her, my feelings are valid and not wrong. In reality none of my close friends have experienced this sort of loss and they can only truly understand by putting themselves in your shoes. I said until you have gone through an appointment that ends with the words ‘the baby has died’ you can never know truly how it feels.
My mum is very supportive but she won’t bring up the topic for fear of upsetting me. One day I told her that bringing it up isn’t upsetting me. It is not like I forget, I want what happened to be acknowledged.
During my Googling, I stumbled across the hashtag for something called ‘Capture Your Grief’. I put it on my Facebook page along with posts about the daily topics, and had a few people message me, saying that I had given people an insight into how I have dealt with it. People have said that me talking about what happened has inspired them to share their own experience.
I received great care at the Women’s Hospital. However, afterwards I was left to my own devices and I do believe that women and couples in general need more information about services to help them cope once they leave hospital. I had to find help all on my own in already difficult circumstances. It was suggested to me that I have a touch of PTSD and potentially post-natal depression, just without the baby. I sought grief counselling and am part of a bereavement group at the Women’s Hospital now.
Social media can provide a good source of comfort. I am a member of a closed group full of people who attend the hospital group. On a day when I can’t sleep I will write a post and within 10 minutes someone will have replied, even if it is 1am in the morning. We may be strangers but we have been brought together by a shared experience. Of course, friends are there for you but they don’t understand. The people on social media do understand, they validate my feelings and show me what I am feeling is normal. We are all part of a club no one wants membership to. But, we provide each other with a safe space. No one will judge.
I am in a far better place than I was. I suffered for a while and felt like such a failure, really let down by my own body.