No two miscarriages are the same. I should know. I’ve had 7 of them and every one was different.
Six early miscarriages...
· Some happened naturally. But the pain, the blood loss, the cramping, the durations – all different.
· One happened silently – a missed miscarriage. I needed surgery.
· In some of the pregnancies we’d had early scans, we saw the heartbeat, but we still miscarried.
· In some of the pregnancies I felt so pregnant, I had all the symptoms. In others I felt nothing.
· Some happened in the safety of my own home, others in hospital, at work, in Debenhams, alone in a hotel room.
· After some I returned to work the next day, feeling physically ok and wanting to keep my mind busy.
· After others, I was a mess and needed time off from work, time away from everyone because I needed to be with my pain.
I got pregnant for the 7th time, but something was different. For the very first time we passed the 12 week stage. But just as we did, without warning while on holiday my Dad passed away. My world stopped.
But I had to keep going. I was more pregnant than I’d ever been and I had to keep going for my baby. It felt like an absolute miracle when we reached the next milestone of the 20 week scan. This was the point at which I finally allowed myself to believe that this pregnancy might just go the distance. I allowed myself to feel excitement.
No sooner had I allowed in that joy, than it all changed again. I went into early labour. After 2 days in on-off labour, I finally delivered my perfect daughter Jiya. She was born sleeping at almost 22 weeks.
This too, technically classed as a miscarriage, albeit a late miscarriage.
All my experiences of miscarriage were different. And they taught me something. They taught me that people may be joined through a similar experience, but their journeys are completely unique to them.
When I now hear of someone else going through a miscarriage, though a part of me may think I understand what they are going through, a greater part of me tells me I don’t. I am reminded never to assume.
Instead I choose to put my story to one side for a moment and just see the woman before me. To hear her story, to see it through her eyes and to ask what she may need. She may do things differently to how I did them. She may make different decisions to those I made. Her road to healing may feel alien to me. But that’s ok. I honour her. I honour her decisions. I honour her choices. I honour what she needs.
The journey she walks is uniquely hers. Just as the journey I walk is uniquely mine. And I honour both.
Everybody just wants to be heard. Validate them. “I see you. I hear you. And what you say matters to me.” Oprah Winfrey
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