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Hope After Miscarriage
I know how you are feeling because I was there too.
If you are reading this article the chances are you are either showing some symptoms of miscarriage or have suffered from one. I know exactly how you feel because I had four miscarriages. The excitement of being pregnant, telling my husband and family, the dream of holding my own baby in my arms after so many years of holding my niece and nephews was increasing daily. Now we were starting our own family and I was so excited and happy. Even the horrible morning sickness, the so very tender breasts and the endless shivery feeling didn’t take from my excitement and contentment. I fully trusted my body, it had never let me down before and it never crossed my mind that this would happen to me ... not just once but FOUR times.
So to the woman who has miscarried and the woman who is presenting with some or all of the symptoms listed below I write this article for you.
Let me begin though by giving some details about miscarriage or as it is medically referred to as Spontaneous Abortion.
What exactly is Spontaneous Abortion or Miscarriage?
Many women have a negative feeling about that name “Spontaneous Abortion” so for this article I will refer to the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy as a miscarriage. Anywhere between 10% to 25% of all registered pregnancies end in miscarriage, that does not take into account the number of miscarriages around the time a period is due. These women are having miscarriages without realising they were even pregnant.
Most miscarriages occur before the thirteenth week of pregnancy, the excitement of having a baby may well have been built up and family and friends told the wonderful news. So when a miscarriage happens the loss can be felt very deeply by family and friends. Of course, a woman feels the physical loss of a pregnancy when she miscarries but even more importantly is the emotional impact of this loss.
The most important advice I have for you is look for Support
First of all you are not alone. I am writing this article because as I already said I suffered four miscarriages and though I subsequently went on to have four healthy babies, at the time I felt very vulnerable, sad and more than a little lost. Let me advise you to talk to someone, don’t keep your thoughts and feeling bottled up if your partner or family do not understand your loss. Go out there a find a miscarriage support group to share this time with you. There are plenty around not only in towns and cities where you can physically go to meetings but via the internet, if you need to choose that option. I mention support first before going into the physical symptoms of miscarriage because I feel that in my own situation if I had had emotional support during those very sad times I would have coped better. That is not to say I wouldn’t have felt as sad but I would have had someone to talk with to express my feelings about my loss rather than putting on a brave face and smiling for the world.
There are various reasons why a woman miscarries but in many cases these are unknown. If the miscarriage occurs during the first trimester, as is the usual case, the cause may be that something is not right with the baby’s chromosomes. This could be the result of a faulty egg or sperm cell. Other causes may be hormonal problems, perhaps the egg implantation into the uterine lining has not occurred properly, and sometimes maternal trauma may cause a miscarriage. So the reasons are varied and often inexplicable. But you haven’t done anything wrong! I myself had no conclusive reasons given to me as to why I had four miscarriages. That in itself can often lead to frustration and worry.
However, be aware that sex, moderate exercise or just living life as you normally do will not affect a pregnancy. In other words, unless you are drinking heavily, taking drugs or doing some extreme sports you are not putting your baby at risk by just living!
What are the first signs of miscarriage?
· The most common first sign of a threatened miscarriage is bleeding with or even without abdominal pains. These pains are like period pains.
· Abdominal pains without bleeding, in particular in the second half of pregnancy. These can be very painful.
· Any signs of white –pink discharge.
· Tissue with clot discharged from the vagina.
· Any sign of water coming from the vagina in the second half of pregnancy
· Decreased signs of pregnancy
· Severe backache
If you should be experiencing any of those symptoms you really should consult your medical advisor immediately though at the same time these can also occur in a healthy pregnancy.
Bleeding may occur as spotting for the first few hours or even days. This may be followed by a moderate amount of bleeding. In other cases the bleeding may be heavy from the very beginning and cramp like pains may also be experienced.
Now just before utter panic sets in not all bleeding or cramp like pains result in miscarriage. Sometimes things just settle down again after some time, hours or maybe a few days. The best advice I can offer is to have that medical check, you will receive the best advice from your medical advisor. S/he may check your cervix to see if you are dilated, if so a miscarriage is very likely.
Many women may begin to show signs of miscarriage which escalate very quickly. If you should experience sudden bleeding, painful cramps and on going to the toilet expel a “clot” you really need to see your doctor immediately. Either you go to your clinic or go to your hospital. Once in hospital you will be examined, an ultra sound may be carried out. If anything remains in your womb a dilation and curettage (D&C) will most likely be carried out.
The experts don’t always get it right!
Many women experience one miscarriage, nothing can sooth the sadness at this loss but for many many women this is a once off event. In time you will go on to have a healthy baby and although if you have recently experienced this loss or if you are worried about showing symptoms of miscarriage right now this seems like little consolation.
If you read medical evidence about miscarriages you will find that the statistics show that if a woman has two or three miscarriages the chances of her carrying a baby full term is minimal. Well, let me offer hope to you out there. I had four miscarriages. I became pregnant again even after I listened to this advice and we had decided to stop trying for a family. My doctor cautioned me about the high chance of miscarriage recurring. He advised complete bed rest, little physical exercise and no sex! My husband and I did not heed his advice. Not because we risked this pregnancy but because in spite of all the tests there was apparently nothing wrong with me. I could trust my body and I did. When I did become pregant again for the fifth time I spoke to my baby every day encouraging him to grow. I discovered I was expecting a boy when I had an ultra scan and the word peanut was mentioned!
My now sixteen year old nearly six foot tall son is the result of that fifth pregnancy. I went on to have three beautiful girls so learn to trust your body again.
The loss you are now experiencing will fade in time. Give your body some time to recover, I was advised a month for every week pregnant. Remember your thoughts create your reality, thinking positive thoughts naturally results in you bearing the fruit of those thoughts.
As an alternative to the psychological, medical, and social services approach to miscarriage click this link to be taken to a compassionate and sensitive book from Amazon Books.
I am in private practice as a clinical hypnotherapist with my husband in the Isle of Man. Though I treat a wide variety of conditions I specialise in helping women during pregnancy and preparing them for pain free labour and childbirth.