Wednesday, 10 April 2013

10 words to sum up miscarriage and infertility

I had my check up with the homeopath yesterday and told her of my new found bacteria levels. She’s put me on some homeopathic remedies to try to rectify it naturally but gave me the happy news that it’s highly likely this bacteria has been preventing me from falling pregnant. And when I say happy, I could not be more sarcastic if I tried. Basically, what that means is the last 3 months of clomid, remedies and blood tests have all been for nothing. A total waste of time and money all because my body is once again failing me in reaching my dream.

To say I’m frustrated is an understatement. It makes me think of this great blog post my friend sent me – 10 words that describe infertility. What’s impressive about this post is it was written by a man and I love how he encapsulates what both men and women feel in the process. But, I note that frustration is not part of his list, so here are my 10 Words to describe miscarriage and infertility. 

1.  Frustration – Sometimes, you feel like you are smacking your head against a wall. When you’re told you need to do the same thing every month, and the outcome doesn’t change, frustration doesn’t begin to explain it. When your doctor finally lets you try something else, and it doesn’t work, frustration doesn’t begin to explain it.

It’s ok to be frustrated and yell, scream and kick it out of you. However, eventually  you need to make peace with where you are so you can move on.

2.  Inadequate – When you see people falling pregnant around you, and keeping their babies, you feel totally inadequate. When you can’t even fall pregnant to begin with, you feel inadequate. When friends tell you “We fell pregnant the first time we tried” or “It was just an accident” you feel inadequate.   

It’s ok to feel inadequate but hopefully, the knowledge that you are doing everything you can possibly do to make it happen will overcome those feelings. 

3.  Betrayed – You not only feel betrayed by your body, but by all of those people who weren’t there for you and failed to understand you. You loose trust in your body because it’s not doing what it’s been programmed to do. You loose trust in your absent friends who rejected you in your time of need. You loose trust in those people who failed to understand how much pain you were in and said things like “You were only pregnant for 7 weeks so why are you so upset?”

It’s ok to feel betrayed and rejected because sadly, your body and your friends did betray the trust you placed in them. You need to choose whether you can forgive or not. You have to forgive your body because you need it to fall pregnant. It’s up to you whether you can forgive your friends but it’s more peaceful to live in forgiveness than anger.

4.  Fear – Once you’ve lost a baby, your journey is tainted with fear. Fear of it happening again. Fear you won’t fall pregnant. Fear the pregnancy you lost will be the only pregnancy you get. You are constantly plaqued with “what ifs” and “maybes.”

It’s ok to feel fear because it’s a natural part of the journey. But, it’s important not to let it keep you stuck or create so much anxiety it ruins your experience. Sometimes, it’s difficult to see past the fear but I always try to remind myself that whatever happens will happen for a reason and it’s my job to figure it out.

5. Confusion – It’s difficult to make sense of a situation that doesn’t make sense. We will all try to figure out a reason why we lost the baby. We will all try to figure out a reason why we can’t fall pregnant. For the majority of us, there will be a reason to the infertility. For the majority of us, there will never be a reason why the baby didn’t make it.

It’s ok to be confused. There is no way to prevent it. It’s a natural part of the healing and acceptance process. You will drive yourself nuts trying to figure it out and one day you will suddenly realise that it’s time to accept the fact you will never know. That moment will come and it will bring you enormous peace. Keep striving for it!

6.  Guilt – You feel guilty about everything but it will all be things your mind has made up. The fact you couldn’t protect your baby. The fact you’ve let everyone down. The fact you must have done something to cause it. The fact you had one thought that you weren’t sure if you wanted the baby. The fact you can’t fall pregnant. It is a terrible and toxic emotion but one you will have to move through.

It’s ok to feel guilty because it’s part of the process of trying to make sense of what happened. It’s hard to escape and hard not to let yourself become consumed by it. But everytime you think a guilty thought, ask yourself if you would tell that to a friend who just had a miscarriage. Would you ever say to your best friend “You lost the baby because you drank too much coffee.” “You lost the baby because you had a negative thought.” “You lost the baby because you just don’t deserve one.” If you wouldn’t say it to your friend, don’t say it to yourself. Replace it with whatever the compassionate thing is you would say to your friend because you deserve your own compassion.

7.  Hopeless – Sometimes, you loose hope. Sometimes, it’s just too hard to go on. Sometimes, life just piles itself on you and the load is too heavy to bare. Sometimes, you collapse convinced it’s never going to happen. Hopelessness normally turns up when you reach a plateau. You’ve been going for a while and nothing has changed. But I find it normally turns up just when I need to kick things up a notch. It’s a good indication that it’s time to start putting in a little more effort.

It’s ok to feel hopeless. The pain can be so great at times that there is no room for anything else. Sometimes, you just don’t have the energy to go out looking for hope. But, it will be short lived. Something will happen to regenerate your hope and you will be re-energised to continue your journey.

8.   Bravery – This is one you probably don’t think of too often, but I’ve just realised that everytime you feel fear, bravery is lying just under the surface. To feel fear, you need to be facing something that presents a great risk. You need to push through the fear to release the bravery. If you don’t, then you just stay in fear. But every time you put your arm out for another needle, let another plastic foreign probe enter your body, put another fertility pill into your mouth, you are releasing the fear and finding your bravery.

It’s ok to let yourself be brave. The simple fact is whenever you feel fear, you also have the ability to feel brave. Which one would your rather choose?

9.  Freedom – You spend a lot of time trying to convince yourself not to feel what you feel. You try to rationalise things by thinking of other people who have it worse than you, or other situations that would be tougher to face. Minimising your experience does not help. You need to give yourself the freedom to feel what you feel.

It’s ok to be angry at pregnant women. It’s ok to just sit and cry all day. It’s ok to be in a bad mood. It’s ok to spend the day in bed. It’s ok to take the day off work. It’s ok not to go to your friends’ babies 1 year birthday parties. It’s ok to give yourself the freedom to experience the truth and severity of your experience.

10. Hope – The hope of achieving you dream is what pushes you to keep going. Hope is the most powerful thing in the world. If we were ruled by fear, we would just give up. Hope is what pushes us over the plateaus and makes us keep going despite all the pain we feel. Hope is what drives us on the days we’ve had enough. Hope is what makes us get out of bed in the morning on the days we want to stay under the blanket.

It’s ok to let yourself hope. Sometimes, we don’t want to hope because we know we will be shattered if it doesn’t work this time around. But, you can either be depressed every month or spend two weeks being hopeful, and two weeks feeling down. It’s really about the ying and yang of the process but hope is everything.

For those struggling with a miscarriage, infertility, or both, it is a tough journey. You will be challenged on a daily, if not hourly basis. It does get better. The sun does come out. You can move on.

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” - Harriet Beecher Stowe


  1. Thank you for helping me realize I'm not alone. Thank you for letting others know these feelings are normal and healthy.

  2. Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I'm so glad this has helped you and let you know you are not alone!



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