Sunday, 26 August 2012

Miscarriages; let's talk about it

This is one of those topics considered sacred and usually swept under the carpet.

Its common among primate mothers. I went though this experience thrice during my pregnancy of Princess.

It was no joke, worse still, nobody prepared me for such horrid experience. Most primate mothers suffer from this and and try not to talk about it, while other are still yet to get over it as conception after that has becoming an herculean task.

I was lucky I had able hands to help me through it but the paisnthree times of the experience but luckyingly I came out with my child and an experience that am sure will help other ladies.

I want to share this write up with us ( its a long post, please bear with me) and maybe it could help someone out there too. Happy reading.

Miscarriage, why hide and make it a stigma? Today’s guest post has been bravely provided by freelance Medical writer and Broadcaster, Laura-Jane Busby.

Although glaring close and raw for her to write, Laura has sensitively and wonderfully provided insight into how it feels for a woman to experience miscarriage.  We hope it comforts and supports many of you who have also expereinced this painful loss as well as educates and informs those who have not had to deal with the issue personally.

This time last year I was in early pregnancy.

It would be in a matter of weeks I would learn that our baby had died.

The thud of the news, the muffled sound of the sonographers’ glide over my tummy, the utterance of a final calling  …words that will haunt me forever.  How were we to know that miscarriages were so common? That they could go undetected, that little ones could exist, lie dormant, when they had passed away. A missed miscarriage no less. There was much we had to learn, my husband and I. Much of which isn’t spoken about or socially accepted and understood. An odd enigma of sorts.

If we crunch the numbers, it is a surprising reality that a miscarriage and its tremendous sense of loss affects a 1/4 of all women who become pregnant. Indeed some figures would suggest that every fourth woman you see in the street or at the supermarket, will have experienced one, and depending on age or area this figure could be higher. But the phenomenon doesn’t end there, it bends much further and wider than one might imagine.

For 15% of all fertilised eggs degenerate before they are able to implant. Of those embryo’s that do implant, at least 30% are unable to progress into a recognisable pregnancy (expelled in the normal rhythm of a menstrual cycle). Collectively these figures show that 60%, nearly 2/3rds, of all conceptions are lost. Astoundingly most women will experience at least 2 miscarriages in their lifetime unbeknownst to them.

Medicine is stark if not eye opening for all of us who have experienced a miscarriage. And yet little publicity or tenure is given to this familiar occurrence. Bookshop shelves are bare, literature scantily found, & few public forums exist on the subject. Perhaps it is the inherent shame, the terrible blame that accompanies miscarriage, which stifles the ability to communicate openly.

Perhaps the media nullifies any need for press due to ignorance in how it affects those concerned. It is a symbiotic slicing and dicing of what we think occurs and what actually does. People’s perceptions can often be wrong, and so the unbelievable silence around the physical and emotional angst which accompanies a loss of this kind continues to go unheard.

The cause and the canker that is “fault” petulantly played with us from day one. That desperate human need to understand, against the tide of lacking publications and talking workshops. It was an isolating path of search and find, littered with self-blame, and a sense of grueling ineptness. A route well traveled by most after a fetal loss. Our solace was found in the miscarriage association’s experiential support, and friends who had been there before.

It was amazing how many came out of the woodwork to coalesce that they too had suffered not just 1 but 2,3,4 &5 miscarriages before going to full-term and producing a wonderful bundle of mini-them’s.

There is an anathema in society, a presumption made by the naïve that something is awfully wrong. It is those pitiful stares, those limp wet looks that cloud my memories and strengthen my preserve to educate. For miscarriages are a natural part of creations process. They do not mean you are faulty or any less effeminate. For some there is a cause and effect, but this refers to a minority. For the vast majority miscarriage presents itself simply as a chromosomal abnormality, which is incompatible to life.

The mortal reality that nature is not perfect, and the odd realisation that we all possess some good and some bad eggs, that men produce super and not so super sperm. Though I’m sure most chaps would contest thisJ It is an unhealthy fusion, which leads to an unviable chromosomal mismatch, and subsequent fetal loss, not “you!” For me the sting of the personal was removed upon learning this, one can only hope this might be the same for you…

Following our second miscarriage the dormant wasp of failure struck harshly at my built up, reader-led walls. Those positive energies were rain stormed with doubt. Vulnerable, I was again open to all. The lurking shame resurfaced, and an inadequacy hung like an over matured crumbling cheese in my passageways. A cauldron of ‘broken’ was stirring in my inner goddesses sanctum. That precious place for femininity and creation. Despite the logic the commonality and its numerous battles, the head could do nothing but whir and spin.

In essence I felt powerless and deeply hurt, betrayed by all that I trusted in my environment, betrayed by my body.

Like a wave you learn to ride it, you learn to re-gather your courage and ken your knowledge. Using resources and friends close to hand who can soothe the fretful brow.  Sadly the process has taken longer this time for me, and despite all the science I still battle with a cruel feeling of not performing well, of being sub-standard, below par. It’s a scout I dare say will not be shifted easily.

Sometimes in my darkest moments I find if I look more widely at how intricate the bodies mechanics are, how so many possibilities can offer themselves, I begin to understand. For everything contributes to our here and now, and what occurs next is all about timing, placement and matter. Life is always uncertain until it has happened. This is a part of nature’s magic and its pain.

Only out of great vulnerability did my husband and I discover what mettle we had. We found a bottom drawer of emotions that we didn’t know existed.

Miscarriage happens to so many, and yet it is only when it occurs that you realise how important children are to you. Ironically the fairytale we held as children slides into the reality gear. The rose tinted spectacles come off, and life becomes so much more valuable than before.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Every mother nightmare.
Yes, it is always swept under the carpet so as not to be seen as a weakling! You can't carry a baby in your womb, shows something is wrong with you! BLAH!
Stress is the major cause of miscarriages. Women are up and doing, so it takes the Grace of GOD to complete the full term, what about the pain?..jeez!
With good medical hands, a woman can over come it.
No! i didn't experience any during my 4 pregnancies, but have a relation who did twice. Emotionally, it was draining. With the superstitious life we live in 9ja, there is always a 'witch' that caused it, hence no trusting of anybody!
Physical, emotionally and spiritually, it is draining!