Now, I am the mother of two healthy and gorgeous children. They are messy, extremely creative, and learn something new every day. Tantrums and hyperactivity get on my nerves at times, but I still feel sad at times that the little beans I lost to miscarriage – one at 10 weeks, the other at 13 weeks – are not with us as well, arguing over toys and not wanting to go to bed. Now that my children are getting bigger and are no longer babies, I find myself thinking about my miscarriages more often. What would those children have been like? Would they have looked just like their brother and sister?
Miscarriage is, unfortunately, extremely common. Around 20 percent of all confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage. Despite that, it is not something most women think about when they first get pregnant. I know I didn’t. I faithfully used an ovulation calendar and ovulation predictor kits when we first decided to start trying to conceive. I got pregnant with my first baby on the second cycle, and because I knew my cycle well, I found out immediately.
The second time around, miscarriage was already familiar to me. Once again, I started cramping and bleeding, and I knew another baby would be lost. My coping mechanism was to try and forget about the miscarriage, and to try again. Only I didn’t get pregnant again for a long time. I seriously started to think it was my fault, and now I was somehow being punished, and would never have children. I wondered what I did wrong, but the truth is that miscarriage can happen to anyone. It is weird to think that I could have a 10 year old now, but for some reason I think about it more often now.
Miscarriage is not a nice, sunny topic to discuss, and perhaps that is why it is rarely talked about at all – except on the internet, on discussion boards. A friend, who also had a miscarriage, recently decided to honor her baby, lost to miscarriage at 12 weeks, by giving the teddy bear she bought for her (because she is sure it was a girl) a prominent place in her home. I am not sure I would do something like that myself, but I think it is a beautiful gesture. There is no reason to forget the children who might have been, is there? And there is nothing wrong with honoring them.
Have you had a miscarriage? How did you cope in the immediate aftermath? Do you still think about it years later? If you have done something special to acknowledge the baby’s existence, what is it?