Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Surviving Christmas after a miscarriage

Merry Christmas dear readers. I hope you are celebrating with your loved ones and taking great joy from seeing your little cherubs revel in all the wonderfulness today brings!

Alas, I am not feeling one skerrick of Christmas joy. In fact, I’ve woken up feeling depleted, devoid and depressed and it’s only 9am! I wish I could be more happy and joyful as today is also my husband’s birthday. Sadly, I just don’t have it in me today.
It’s no doubt a combination of things. I was secretly dreading today as I felt it would ram my loss home to me and it has. Not to mention today is also 11 weeks since my operation and I would have been reaching 20 weeks, the half-way mark, at the end of this week. Plus I had a meltdown last night and cried myself to sleep. And lastly, I was hoping Santa would bring me a positive pregnancy test today but my Christmas miracle didn’t happen.

So let’s deconstruct all of this. Christmas is a time of family and friends and it’s a big deal at our house. My Dad makes a ridiculous amount of food, my Mum and brother have the same fight every year about him drinking beer at 10am and there’s always plum pudding. There are presents, crackers and laughs and it’s a magical place for a child to be. I was so looking forward to introducing Peanut to this crazy tradition as I have such fond memories of it as a child. So I feel the emptiness inside me even more today knowing Peanut will never get to experience it.

The operation was 11 weeks today. I gave up counting several weeks ago but I knew what today would be as I would have been a few days away from 20 weeks. To be honest, I don’t know why the figure stays in my head. Maybe I’m subconsciously checking on my progress and assessing if I am where I “should” be. As if there is any such thing as where I “should” be! Who’s to qualify that?

My meltdown – well that was a culmination of a few things. As we went to bed last night, I told my husband I was going to do a pregnancy test. He said “But your Mum told you to relax.” I said to him “I’m sick of everyone telling me to relax. For once, I’d like someone to say it’s ok that you feel like this or if not, just don’t say anything at all. I’m sick of trying to feel better by thinking of all the people who have it worse. Right now, I’ve got it pretty bad and I just want to sit in that.”

He got upset and told me everyone tells me these things because they care about me and want me to feel better. He said that while he doesn’t tell me it’s ok to feel like I do, everytime he cuddles me when I cry that’s what he is saying to me. I told him that no one can possibly know how I feel until they’ve walked in my shoes. Again, he got upset saying he experienced the miscarriage too. I reminded him that he told me he didn’t think the miscarriage was as bad as his divorce because that was the first emotional hell he had been through. He didn’t remember saying that but I told him the difference between us is this is the first emotional hell I’ve ever been through so he has a little more experience at dealing with these types of things.

I then got upset because he was upset and the sobbing and gasping continued. I felt so alone in that moment. I couldn’t express myself the right way. I couldn’t share my pain the right way. I couldn’t acknowledge his pain the right way. I couldn’t recognise the immense support I had been given from others the right way. I realised I could no longer express my true feelings to people without them taking it personally and getting upset by it.

That made me mad. I know people mean well when they tell me what I “should” do, how I “should” feel, how I “should” grieve but it doesn’t help me. I know they say these things because they want me to feel better and want to give me ways to feel better and I appreciate the fact they care. But what I want is just to say how I feel without someone making it about them. Without someone judging me and my emotions. Without someone telling me to feel different. I realised it was time to go back to the counsellor. If I had to pay someone to just listen and not judge, then that’s what I would do.

And finally, the pregnancy test. I spent yesterday with bad cramps and just assumed my period was coming. I thought the cramps had to be linked to the spotting a few days ago in some way so thought I would do another test. To be honest, I think I was just hoping and praying for some good news. I was disappointed there wasn’t any and accepted the fact I needed to just sit and wait. On the bright side, it made me glad I didn’t drink the bottle of champagne I had bought for New Year’s Eve – now I’ll get to enjoy it then!

Trust me, I am keenly aware of the fact I really don’t have it that badly. I know my friend who had the stillborn baby will be hurting today. I know all the families in America who lost their children in the recent school massacre will be hurting today. I know all the other women who have experienced miscarriages this year, and in the past, will be hurting today. But thinking they have experienced greater loss than me doesn’t make me hurt less, it just makes me sad there are so many people in the world who will to it tough today. In the end, we have all experienced a loss. No one’s is more or less than someone else’s - it’s their own pain to experience. So I encourage you to send a message out to your loved ones who might be doing it tough today. They are the ones who most need it. 

Honestly, I wish I could just sit in a corner and hide away today but I’ll slap on a smile, collect my grandmother, and go to my parent’s house for Christmas lunch. Today, all over the world, people will push their emotions down, pretend everything is ok and go through the motions for the sake of others. We’ll then come home and collapse under the strain of the day. By the time we go to bed, we’ll be thankful the day is over and we survived. However, as hard as it will be, there will be a tiny voice inside ourselves saying “Don’t worry, next Christmas will be better.” And we’ll have our fingers crossed it will be!

Image by ponsuan
Courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net


  1. Christmas was a hard day for me too. We all know we aren't really alone but, I agree, it doesn't make us feel any better. It makes me sad that anyone else ever had to experience anything close to what I did. We all experience things differently but they don't hurt any more or less. Here's to 2013!

  2. Yes, I think there are days like this that just bring it all home to us. Esepcially moments that are all about the children as we have dreams of sharing Xmas and birthdays with our babies! It's so sad when we know we won't get to have those days so now, I'm just better prepared for those to be down days!

  3. Christmas was hard last year because I had two losses. This year it was Thanksgiving because we had another loss in July 2013. Fingers Crossed for a better new year.

  4. Hi, thanks for your comment. I'm so sorry to hear about your losses. It's hard at anytime of year but especially around Chirstmas. I hadn't thought too much about Cristmas this year but with today 1 Dec I am aware it would have been my baby's 1 st Christmas. So I feel a little sad about that but mosty hopeful that the baby I'm carrying will celebrate with us next year! All the best for a happy and positive 2014 for you!

  5. I am in a very similar situation. Had a terrible experience with the loss of a baby in mid-august that stretched for more than a month as they tried repeatedly to induce me to miscarry (to avoid "intrusive" surgery). Was hoping for a positive test this morning after trying this month but no luck. I relate so much to what you said, I get that others have it far worse in the world but I am just so terribly sad and it helps to know that someone out there understands....



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