This is every mum or mum-to-be least favourite word to talk about, but it is necessary for people to know that these things happen and if it happens to them, it is not because they did something wrong.
The M word I mean in this context is miscarriage. A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 23 weeks. Before I got pregnant, I used to think miscarriages were very rare and only women with certain pasts (e.g previous abortions) or unhealthy habits (e.g chain smoking, drug addicts and heavy drinkers) were victims of miscarriages.
It was not until I started bleeding a few weeks into my then pregnancy that I wondered why this was happening to me. My midwife, family doctor and early pregnancy nurses and doctors explained that it just happens and no one knows why. I did some more research and I was none the wiser as to why this had to happen to me. So after loads of tears and days of crying, I accepted my faith and we tried again, which thankfully lead to our now healthy and full of energy son.
So what did I find when I did my research? (Source: http://www.nhs.uk)
1. The cause of a miscarriage is not always known, particularly in early pregnancy.
2. In majority of the cases, it is not caused by what the mum has done.
3. It’s thought most miscarriages are caused by abnormal chromosomes in the baby. Chromosomes are genetic “building blocks” that guide the development of a baby. If a baby has too many or not enough chromosomes, it won’t develop properly.
4. If a miscarriage happens during the second trimester of pregnancy (between weeks 14 and 26), it’s sometimes the result of an underlying health condition in the mother.
5. For most women, a miscarriage is a one-off event and they go on to have a successful pregnancy in the future.
6. Most miscarriages cannot be prevented but in the UK, if a woman has more than 3 miscarriages, the doctors try to see if any medication can help her carry her next pregnancy to term.
Most women don’t share or are encouraged not to share the news about their pregnancies in the first 12 weeks as miscarriage is very common during the first 12 weeks. It is a lot easier not to share the news then as imagine how painful it would be having to explain to all those people why there is no baby 9 months later or why you are not yet showing a few months later.
In addition, what tends to happen is that once a woman experiences one or more miscarriages, she gets anxious in future pregnancies, remembering her past experiences. It is very sad and unfortunately, I have no tips on how to manage this as it is simply easier said than done. However, as a Christian, I know I can always go to God in prayer and live by faith and his words and that gives me comfort.
I also know that a lot of women have miscarriage scares during their pregnancies as a member of BabyCentre’s birthboards, I know first hand that a few peoples pregnancies end in miscarriages, a few people have miscarriage scares and the majority of people have healthy pregnancies. However, there is always that one woman who posts on the birthboards about how she doesn’t like hearing about the losses and will stop reading the loss posts. I mean, I am sure the ladies posting about their losses don’t like posting about the fact they have just lost their pregnancy and they aren’t even asking for sympathy, they are just letting you know why they will no longer be active on the board and in most cases they never come back to comment, so saying that, I feel it is very insensitive.
Okay, rant over.
If you know anyone who has suffered from a miscarriage recently, give them your love. Don’t tell them they are lucky that it was earlier rather than later, or that it’s only been a few weeks, or that they escaped having an incompletely formed child. It may be tempting and it may make sense for you to say that or even logical, but please, “I’m sorry for your loss.” will do.
So now that I have explained that these things happen, I would like you to know that the aim of this blog post was not to spread fear but to give you facts. The chances of having a successful pregnancy is very high, but at the same time, a few peoples pregnancies tend to lead to a miscarriage. Women who have had miscarriages can but have healthy babies. Stay healthy, take your vitamins and seek help when in doubt!