One thing that has astounded me during my whole pregnancy journey is the way in which others have reacted to my two miscarriages. After one pregnancy loss, my husband and I found most people to be supportive and caring. After two pregnancy losses, some reactions changed.
Our close friends were still there for us. I will be eternally grateful to those people who remained caring throughout; who came to visit us in hospital, who sent messages just to check how we were, made food for us when we would not have had the motivation to do this ourselves. Those people who called to invite us out, and still treated us as ‘normal.’
Because many people did not treat us ‘normally’ any more after two miscarriages. It seemed as though our personal misfortune had somehow tainted their world, our unhappiness threatening their secure existence. Did they worry that our bad luck was contagious? Perhaps I am being harsh, maybe they simply looked the other way as our misery made them uncomfortable. Either way, it made a devastating situation lonelier than it should have been.
And then there were those women who feel judged. A situation as personal and devastating as pregnancy loss affects every person differently; speaking as someone who has been through this, I would not presume to know how another person would deal with this if it happened to them. During the height of my grief, I was told by certain people that I was dealing with my grief wrongly, that I should not appear upset in public, and that the person in question understood as they had had a long battle to conceive themselves and that this was somehow the same as my loss. This was all by other women. Not just other women – mothers.
Most people didn’t know what to say. This is understandable, it is a very hard topic to broach and thankfully one that many people do not have experience of. We really learnt the meaning of friendship during this time; those people who we knew were there without having to say it. Those people who didn’t judge, didn’t ignore us, didn’t turn their backs. Who didn’t make me feel like a leper because I had experienced trauma. Who understood when I couldn’t face certain situations.
We seemed to have become members of an elite club; one miscarriage is bad luck that others could relate to. But after two miscarriages, no one know what to make of us it seemed. After one miscarriage, it was surprising how many people had been through the same. After two, our pool of contemporaries got infinitely smaller. One thing is for certain, we learnt who our friends were.