Sunday, July 02, 2006

Miscarriage by Sandy Robertson

A second guest article:

How could this happen? Why me? Am I being punished for something I've done? What a cruel universe we live in...

Many women struggling with infertility and miscarriage are so elated to finally become pregnant only to have all of their hopes, dreams, and plans for the future end in miscarriage. You ask yourself, was it something I did? Did I exercise too much? Did I eat or take something I shouldn’t have? And for many women, things get even worse when this happens over and over again.

I had six miscarriages before finally carrying my last pregnancy to term. I went through every emotion in the book: anger, rage, frustration, jealously, envy, depression, apathy, helplessness, hopelessness, and many more. All of these emotions are normal and my best advice is to feel every one of them. I screamed, shouted and got these emotions out of my system. The more you hold it inside, the more toxic these emotions become.

Now that I have the benefit of hindsight I can share my insights:

Give yourself time to grieve. I had a memorial service for each pregnancy I lost. This was done alone, in private, but it helped to acknowledge that I lost a baby. It wasn’t just an embryo or a cluster of cells. This was my child. I know, for me, there initally was a feeling like I had to start trying to get pregnant again immediately (especially since I was in my 40's), but I came to the realization that since I had to wait before trying to conceive again anyway (it's usually recommended to wait 2-3 months), I needed to use that time to acknowledge my pain, feel it, and move on. It really is a relief to just get mad, to not be strong, and to fall apart - even if for just a short time.

Don't think you'll never get pregnant again or carry a pregnancy to term. Miscarriage is a common occurance. I’m always surprised at the number of women I've met who have had at least one miscarriage. Most go on to have one or more children.

Recurrent miscarriage can be overcome. Even though the doctors labeled me a "habitual aborter" (the medical term for recurrent miscarriage - which I find quite offensive), I was able to regain control of my body and have a perfectly normal pregnancy without medical intervention – even after six miscarriages. This proved to me that I am in control of life. I can create my own reality. Even under the worst of circumstances, I had to pick myself up and know that when the time is right, things will fall into place.

Once you've moved through the pain and disappointment, dare to dream again. Don't fall into the trap of saying "I'm not getting my hopes up again, only to be disappointed." If you were a baby ready to make it's way here, what environment you would choose? You need to be an open vessel again, open your arms and tell your future son or daughter they are welcome here with you whenever they decide to come.

About the Author:
Sandy Robertson is the author of "You Can Get Pregnant Over 40, Naturally". She is a stay-at-home mom who writes and teaches part-time at a local community college. She has run a support group for her local infertility organization and continues to speak to women and couples struggling with infertility and miscarriage.

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