Postpartum After Miscarriage

birth loss, baby, miscarriage, A couple of months ago, a picture of the “real side of postpartum” went viral. It was a picture taken by a dad, of the backside of his wife wearing postpartum mesh underwear. Yes, that is a very real side of postpartum fourth trimester life. But that is also a very real side of life after a loss. I’m certainly not the first person to go through this, and not the first to speak about it. And many would consider this to be a huge and inappropriate over share, but this is a side that’s never seen, rarely talked about, and is very raw and very difficult.

My throat is sore from the breathing tube. I lost a lot more blood than expected during the D&C and required medical intervention to stop it. Everything is still woozy, two days later, and Percocet is barely touching the physical pain. The doctor’s initials indicating the area of operation are still marked on my belly in permanent marker, a persistent reminder of everything that just happened. I can’t keep my eyes open because I’m so tired but can’t close my eyes because all I see is the ultrasound screen. Dark. Still. Quiet. Should we have looked again? Looked harder? Checked just one more time? No. Should I have tried…? No. Could we have done…? No. What if I hadn’t…? No. There’s nothing that could have, should have, or would have been done to keep this from happening. It’s no one and nothing’s fault. Just science and nature, preservation and survival. What our incredible bodies are designed to do.

The rational side of me knows this was never a healthy pregnancy, and this is for the best- better now than later. But the emotional side of me is trying to discern why? What was and is the point? Why did we have to read this chapter? Why go through all of this? 11 weeks pregnant, six weeks of pure hell, constant and relentless nausea, throwing up, blacking out, 14 pounds lost (10% of my body weight), multiple blown veins, four days in the hospital, who knows how many liters of fluids given, countless milligrams of meds consumed, long appointments every fourth day and so many hours of life and opportunities with my family, missed, because I couldn’t be there with or for them.

Now for seemingly no reason at all. No reward, no payoff, no sweet squishy baby on the other side. Instead just bruises, blood, an empty uterus and these damned mesh underwear. There’s no “right” way to process a loss. It’s complicated and messy. Selfishly, I feel a small sense of relief; there will be freedom from the sickness that has consumed and ravaged my body. And that’s okay. It’s okay to acknowledge me and my complete self. But that doesn’t minimize the reality of the emotional shock and the loss of what was supposed to be. I have no closure. I won’t have closure. It’s over without warning. 11 weeks in, almost in the “clear,” and it’s done.

Each new day will bring healing and clarity, I know this. I know that there is a reason for all of this that will become evident with time. But I also know it’s okay to feel and process, be real, grieve and not have those answers right now.

Submitted by Joanna B.

7 Comments

  • Kelly

    Hugs. Big teary, sobbing hugs. My third loss, this time at 11w3d, was July 4 2016. Three months later, it seems like a dream. Almost. I remember the nausea, my three-year-old bringing me a washcloth. And then having to tell her just a few weeks later that the baby died. The postpartum was bad this time–I actually smelled like sour milk for a week after. And now…I should have had my anatomy scan last week. We would be celebrating. But we’re not.

  • Mel m

    Wow. I swear I could have written this, after a loss at 12 weeks, being “in the clear” i felt everything you are feeling from the grief and sadness pulsing through my body the physical pain was nothing compared to the emotional pain, then the relief of not feeling sick anymore. I think most of all I was also frustrated at the fact we lasted that long my body went through hell only for it to end so suddenly with no reward at the end. Thank you for sharing. So sorry for your loss mama.

  • Brittney

    My heart goes out to you. At the beginning of August we found out after twelve weeks, our baby had passed away. In the midst of devastation, we also had a wonderful blessing… My midwife was okay waiting for my body to go through the natural process of passing our sweet babe. So almost a month later I went into labor, naturally, and delivered our babe in the comfort of our home. I know for me, that helped tremendously in the healing process. And that is my prayer for every woman who has to endure this kind of loss. May it be your decision on how your sweet babe is taken from you. May you know there are other options than what you doctor may say. Because I know for me, owning my birth, even to a baby that had already passed away, empowered me & gave me such strength to get through what had happened. You are in my prayers mama & you are not alone.

  • Beth

    Your words are so clearly heard, momma, and you don’t grieve alone. I just had a D&C yesterday, so I feel like this was kind of written for me. Miscarried at 8 weeks and it took two rounds of meds before my midwife realized my body wasn’t going to let my baby go so she had me do the D&C. A full month of bleeding and heartache. The bleeding may have stopped but the heartache won’t.
    Thank you for your words, I pray so hard that in time this all becomes clear.

  • Alex

    Wow, thank you for sharing this. I just went through my first miscarriage and had no idea what to expect. I’m feeling so many different emotions and it’s nice to be reminded I’m not alone.

  • Kathrn

    I’ve never experienced this, but I can only how much this hurts, and not just physically. I am so, so sorry for anyone that has had to go through this, I am sorry for all the well-meaning but thoughtless remarks people have said. Huge hugs. <3

  • Allison

    Thank you all for sharing…I remember being pregnant with my first and hearing about women who had miscarriages and thinking “that will never happen to me”. Well I really had no idea what the next 5 years of my life were going to be like. We have been devastated now by four miscarriages…8 weeks, 15 weeks, 7 weeks and 18 weeks. It’s like a nightmare. It consumes my thoughts everyday. How? Why? What? My heart aches everyday for my sweet babies that :would have been”. My life is full of due dates come and gone, of “it’s a year since….”. It’s the absolute devastation of burying not one but two “babies”. But in my journey I have learned there are so many women who are suffering in silence and I try everyday to share my story…to be a voice…to help in some small way…thank you all for sharing your story…for having a voice!

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