Health and Science News for Parents
Aug
2

Miscarriage & Stillbirth Testimonies

written by Tara Haelle

IMG_6970Following the announcement of Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook that he and his wife Priscilla Chan were expecting a daughter after three miscarriages, I wrote a post at Forbes about how common and yet stigmatized the experience of losing a pregnancy is. I encouraged women to share their experiences, which I included in that post. However, some were too long to include there in full, and I continued to receive more after the post.

Therefore, I will continue collecting them on this page for others to visit when they are feeling alone and find it helpful to remember that, in fact, they are not alone. I will also update this page with a list of links for support. If you wish to contribute a story, please send your story with your name, age and city (or however much of that you feel comfortable sharing) and (if desired) a photo (you, your children, an ultrasound, you and your partner, a birth photo – whatever you feel is appropriate) to tara at redwineandapplesauce dot com.

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Janice Walker, age 63, shared via her daughter Whitney Bryant, who is the 3-year-old (and only) child referred to: “I had my first miscarriage at 26, and although I was only 6 weeks along, I was very sad and disappointed, but no one else seemed to care so I kept my feelings to myself.  After all, as everyone said, ‘Its just a miscarriage.’ There is no such thing as ‘Just a miscarriage!’

I was 27 when I had my second miscarriage, and I was devastated. I was almost 5 months along, was in maternity clothes and was suffering from morning and evening sickness. A few weeks before I miscarried, I had been for a walk with my 3-year-old daughter, and when I got home, I discovered that I was bleeding heavily. In a panic, I screamed at my husband to get off the phone because I was bleeding and I had to call the doctor. My doctor very calmly told me that I was alright and not to worry. Well I did worry, a lot, but I kept it to myself. The day I miscarried, I was at work. When I went to the bathroom, there was blood and what looked like tissue. After I got to the hospital, I was put in a room for a few hours where I stayed all alone. I was later taken to the operating room and was told the doctor was going to try to save the baby. When I woke up, I was given the bad news. I was told the baby was a little girl, which I already knew. I also knew that there were a lot of problems with my baby. No discussion, no nothing. When I woke up next, I was in a dark room all alone. Nobody was there to comfort me. When I called my husband to come pick me up, nothing was mentioned. After I got home, nothing was said. That night I took a Percodan for pain and hallucinated all night about my baby. It didn’t seem to be a concern to anyone, and although my mother had come into town when she heard the news, she didn’t stay with me. Once again, I was all alone with no one to talk to — just me and my 3-year-old daughter. After all, it was ‘just a miscarriage.’

I never talked to anyone about how depressed I was and how alone I felt.  I slept a lot and was physically and emotionally drained.  I called my doctor a couple of times to tell him how bad I was feeling, and his response the last time I called was, ‘What’s wrong now, Janice?’  No one ever asked how I felt or if I was doing okay. That was it for me. If my doctor, husband and mother didn’t care, what was I supposed to do?  I cried a lot for a long time, but I didn’t discuss my feelings with anyone ever again. To this day, when I let myself think about the baby girl I lost, I still cry, just like I’m doing now while typing.  I’m nearly 64 years old, and the  hurt and loss have never gone away. It wasn’t just a miscarriage, it was my little girl, whose name was going to be Robin, and who would be 36 years old now.”

 

Sarah Gartenburg, Ontario, Canada: Despite the fact that it’s been four years since I miscarried my first child (a child who would be starting kindergarten this fall), that I have a beautiful 2-year-old daughter and that am 36 weeks pregnant with another, I still cried myself to sleep last night just thinking about my first baby. I think I was one of the lucky ones in that I had many women in my network who had had a miscarriage including my manager (a wonderful woman who miscarried multiple times and was never able to carry a pregnancy to term), but I still received unhelpful comments like ‘at least you know you can get pregnant.’

 

Rebecca Lynn, Cocoa, Florida: Her story can be found here.

 

 

 



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