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Am I entitled to my grief?
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SingSweetNightingale · 06/02/2021 20:56

Hi all,

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately since I had my beautiful DD in September last year.

Prior to my pregnancy with her I had a miscarriage in late 2019. That was my first pregnancy and it was slightly unexpected. I was absolutely over the moon but shocked as my fiancé and I were planning our wedding and nobody thought babies were on the cards for us yet.

I knew I was pregnant for about a week and a half before I started to bleed one morning. I felt like my heart stopped in that second, I was in complete shock and disbelief that this was happening. I went to the EPU and after doing some bloods they confirmed I was miscarrying (I didn’t have high enough HCG for a scan). I was 6 weeks pregnant at the time of the miscarriage.

The aftermath was horrendous for me mentally. I suffer with anxiety anyway and all I could think was “what’s wrong with me?”, “why couldn’t I carry this child?”, “what did I do wrong?”. All very common thoughts I know and of course everyone told me it wasn’t my fault, it’s just one of those things that happens. None of those wise words made any difference to me. I became convinced and obsessed with the thought that there was something fundamentally wrong and that I would never be able to carry a child.
Whilst I became depressed about it quite quickly I feel like people around me started to become frustrated. I was told by a few close to me that “you were only 6 weeks, these things happen, at least you can get pregnant, at that point it’s only a bunch of cells”.
My sister also suffered a difficult time the year before in that at 12 weeks she found out her baby had Down’s syndrome and she decided to have a termination which I completely understand. However I felt many people were comparing our situations and downplaying my grief in comparison to her horrendous situation.

Anyway, very quickly I became pregnant again with DD which was, thankfully, a successful pregnancy. My fiancé and I are so in love with her and I couldn’t be more grateful that I have my so longed for child.

However, now that I have her I often think of what would’ve been, I view the baby that I was pregnant with first as the child that I lost even though I know (as people told me) it was only cells at the point I miscarried. I sometimes become emotional about it but I feel so stupid and self indulgent to feel that way.
My partner doesn’t understand my grief, he says it’s different for dads and he hadn’t thought of that pregnancy in the same way he now feels about our daughter. He is supportive of me but just feels like the past is the past and why dwell.
I completely understand his view and those of others around me but I still feel the grief of a mother that lost her baby.

So I suppose my question is - am I being silly? Should I just get over this?
Am I entitled to my grief or am I being way too overindulgent?

P.S I know there are lots of women that have multiple miscarriages and I have been very lucky to fall pregnant easily after my miscarriage and have a successful pregnancy. I’m not looking to offend anyone x

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Kitkat151 · 06/02/2021 21:00

Everyone’s feelings are valid....everyone feels differently , there is no right or wrong way to feel....I had A miscarriage at 11 weeks with my first pregnancy..... I didn’t really feel anything at the time or after...
It was never a baby really to me.....I went on to have 3 healthy babies.... but I think other people feel like you and that’s fine

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SomersetHamlyn · 06/02/2021 21:05

I think you are being over indulgent, yes. A natural miscarriage at 6 weeks when you went on to have a healthy baby immediately afterwards... really not something you should still be dwelling on.

I am one of the many, many women who has experienced this and I would not expect anyone to be treating me as 'bereaved'.

I think you should move past this and concentrate on your child and your future.

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alanpartridgefromtheoasthouse · 06/02/2021 21:14

You are absolutely entitled to feel grief, for as long as you want. It may be helpful to talk to a counsellor so that over time it becomes easier to live with your loss.

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morninglive · 06/02/2021 21:23

@SomersetHamlyn

I think you are being over indulgent, yes. A natural miscarriage at 6 weeks when you went on to have a healthy baby immediately afterwards... really not something you should still be dwelling on.

I am one of the many, many women who has experienced this and I would not expect anyone to be treating me as 'bereaved'.

I think you should move past this and concentrate on your child and your future.

As SomersetHamlyn says ^^^
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Hoppinggreen · 06/02/2021 21:30

@SomersetHamlyn

I think you are being over indulgent, yes. A natural miscarriage at 6 weeks when you went on to have a healthy baby immediately afterwards... really not something you should still be dwelling on.

I am one of the many, many women who has experienced this and I would not expect anyone to be treating me as 'bereaved'.

I think you should move past this and concentrate on your child and your future.

I don’t agree at all, although I appreciate everyone feels differently about their loss
I had a Mc at 12 weeks and then got pg a week later (no idea that was possible) and I felt I wasn’t allowed to grieve properly. As far as everyone was concerned I was pg again so it was all ok, except it wasn’t, it was actually worse because I was pg again so soon.
OP you are entitled to your grief, that baby felt real to you and that’s valid
If your grief is negativity affecting your life then maybe get some counselling but my mc was over 16 years ago and I still “dwell” on my loss sometimes. The fact that I have 2 healthy dc now doesn’t mean I didn’t lose my first baby
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AnneLovesGilbert · 06/02/2021 21:30

Do you think seeing a therapist might give you a safe space to work through these feelings?

I had 5 mcs over a few years before having my daughter and you haven’t offended me. I also found one of earlier ones which started naturally was much much more traumatic than a later missed miscarriage which required surgery, for a variety of reasons.

Do you feel these emotions are stopping you from living in the moment and enjoying life with your daughter? If so then I’d definitely look into some counselling. You could also contact the Miscarriage Association.

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jillandhersprite · 06/02/2021 21:45

I suspect that because it was all a bit of a shock, discovering you were pregnant, accepting that to then finding out so quickly that you had lost the baby, and then fairly quickly a new pregnancy to deal witg, that you are still processing those feelings.
Some people need to talk a lot to move on from something, if you feel like you 'should' be suppressing those feelings for other people then it's going to cause turmoil.
If you do not have the family or friends that you can communicate with and are free to be open with then it's valid to find some kind of counsellor that will listen.
Everyone is different and processes life differently. If you need to talk about it then you do. Just because many other people don't need to doesn't make you wrong...

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SingSweetNightingale · 06/02/2021 21:47

Thanks for the replies

@Hoppinggreen - thank you for sharing your experience. I think I had very quickly become a mother in my own mind and then just as quickly it was taken away from me. I couldn’t get my head around that and felt that whatever other people thought about the cells that were in my body, it was a pregnancy and therefore a baby (to me anyway).

@AnneLovesGilbert - thank you, I’m glad I didn’t offend you. I don’t feel they’re impeding on my experience with DD or my life in general but I often find myself thinking about the pregnancy and miscarriage in quiet moments. I feel silly though for feeling the way I do about it as though other people may laugh at me as it was such an early loss. I don’t feel I’m able to talk those around me, family & friends etc because of past reactions so I end up keeping it inside and grieving privately. I also feel protective over that pregnancy because of those reactions to the loss. Almost like I need to protect my “first baby”.

@SomersetHamlyn - thank you. I understand lots of people have this view and maybe I am being way too indulgent and need to give my head a wobble

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SingSweetNightingale · 06/02/2021 21:48

@jillandhersprite - yes exactly. It was like a rug was pulled from me. Thank you, I think it’s clear I should seek counselling of some sort

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Santaiscovidfree · 06/02/2021 21:49

I lost my first pregnancy.. I honestly never dwell. Worse than losing a baby I never knew I may not have had my dd.... And she is precious..
Imo you are wasting precious moments in the here and now reliving the past.

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Ohalrightthen · 06/02/2021 21:53

Tbh, i think the way your mind spiralled and the fact that you started obsessing indicates that your reaction to a very common though upsetting situation was out of proportion. If you're still upset about this, I'd seek help if i were you.

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Scirocco · 06/02/2021 21:54

I think you are entitled to view your first pregnancy and your miscarriage however feels right to you. People view pregnancies, conception, personhood very differently - and I think we need to be respectful of other people's experiences and beliefs about this.

I'm sorry for your loss. It sounds like there would have been a whirlwind of emotions around that time, and that you barely had a chance to get your head round being pregnant when you found yourself having to come to terms with the loss.

I wonder if it might be helpful to speak with a counsellor to process some of your thoughts and feelings in a safe space. Maybe Tommy's or other charities supporting people through pregnancy loss might be able to help you find a counsellor with experience in this area.

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lordyanothernamechange · 06/02/2021 21:55

I had an early mc a while ago and although it was unexpected and in a bad relationship, I had a really strong hormonal reaction that left me emotionally flattened. Compared to other people's losses it was nothing but everyone is different and we are perfectly entitled to react in our own ways to situations, even if other people would shrug it off. It might help to seek counselling to move forward.

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Ohalrightthen · 06/02/2021 21:56

I have had two miscarriages from unplanned pregnancies, and both sent me into absolute tailspins of grief and despair. In both cases, it was a symptom of a bigger mental health problem that i hadn't properly addressed.

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Merename · 06/02/2021 22:01

I don’t believe a six week old baby ‘is only cells’. I’m sorry for your loss. People have different views on these important issues and whatever you feel is ok and up to you.

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AnneLovesGilbert · 06/02/2021 22:03

You can examine how these feelings are impacting on you without being mean or critical about yourself Flowers

I doubt anyone would laugh at you, I certainly hope they wouldn’t, but I think talking to someone who’s trained in miscarriage grief would be helpful. Your friends and relatives don’t understand what you went through and your sister’s experience was quite different so I think I’d talk to someone who doesn’t know you who can support you. If you think it would be worth a try, entirely up to you obviously.

I’ve got a friend who was trying to make me feel better about my repeated losses and said she didn’t get over her 7 week loss until she had her daughter and since then she’s “completely over it” and it would be the same for me. I’m pleased for her that was her experience but it wasn’t mine at all, not least that for quite a while I didn’t believe I’d ever get to stay pregnant so it felt pretty fucking insensitive at the time. But it goes to show what a range of things people think and feel.

I know a woman in her 80s whose son died in his 50s and she spoke about that bereavement as equivalent to a miscarriage she had before he was born. I can’t imagine that at all but her feelings were her feelings and completely valid.

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User0ne · 06/02/2021 22:06

I experienced a near identical situation with a MC and then ds1. I do wonder sometimes what they would have been like but:

Maybe it would be useful to think about what might have been.

The only really comprehensive study of early miscarriage (12 weeks and under) took place in Japan. They found that 99% of early miscarriages were due to developmental abnormalities. You could have a very disabled child and a totally different life, probably without your DD as the caring responsibilities would be so time consuming you'd be unlikely to consider another child.

Knowing the above doesn't make me less sad about the MC but I do think that things often happen for a reason. I certainly wouldn't describe myself as grieving (though it was nearly 5 years ago).

If you really think what you are experiencing is grief then you should probably seek counselling.

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dingoesatemybaby · 06/02/2021 22:14

I had an MC around the stage you did. Was also my first pregnancy.

I was very upset at the time as we has been trying for a while and this was the first positive we'd had. We went on to conceive and I had DD. This changed my mindset a bit because I thought if the first pregnancy had been successful I wouldn't have had DD.

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Apileofballyhoo · 06/02/2021 22:24

I think your feelings are your feelings. I suppose it depends if the sadness is taking over your life or if it's just there, part of you and sort of healed over a bit. I still cry about a miscarriage from 8 years ago. Sometimes I feel sad and I hurt inside when I see people with more than one child. I used to love spending time with babies and toddlers and I stopped feeling that.

People don't get it but it doesn't mean it's not valid. But my daily life goes by and I don't think of it for months at a time. Sometimes I can't imagine how I ever would have managed to look after DS if I had another child too. He's not difficult but likes lots of interaction, and life has thrown some difficulties my way so it hasn't always been easy to be the kind of mother I want to be. Can't imagine spreading myself even thinner.

I'm sorry for your loss. Flowers

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kittlesticks · 07/02/2021 10:02

I had three losses over 4 years before I managed to have my two DCs with medical help throughout.
My first loss was the most traumatic, very unexpected, and obviously not something I had dealt with before.
I think perhaps this has brought up something else for you. It might not be truly about what happened. I do sometimes think about that time before I had my two but I think I remind myself I wouldn't have them if those pregnancies had worked out. I had counselling which was helpful.

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FelicityPike · 07/02/2021 10:07

A loss is a loss. You grieve how you grieve.
No one should judge you, let alone yourself.
Congratulations on your baby.

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SingSweetNightingale · 07/02/2021 15:18

Thank you all for your replies.
It doesn’t impact my daily life or time with my DD to the point I can’t function - however I do often think about it and the grief and despair I went through.
My pregnancy with DD was also blighted with anxiety because I was scared the whole way through that something would go wrong. I feel that the whole thing set off a range of emotions within me that obviously still affect me.
I look at my DD and still can’t quite believe she’s mine. I obviously do also think about the fact if the first pregnancy had worked out I wouldn’t have DD.

I think it’s clear some form of pregnancy loss counselling would help me come to terms with things. The miscarriage, the fear during my subsequent pregnancy that I feel robbed me of a happy experience and the thoughts I’m still having now x

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Apileofballyhoo · 07/02/2021 18:02

I think you're right re counselling, but also just to allow yourself have your feelings. You're entitled to be sad about things that are sad. It is sad you didn't have a happy worry free pregnancy.

The thing is it's that people often try to make people feel better by telling them it's all for the best, or it could be worse, or it worked out ok in the end or something else they think is comforting. I don't think you can skip sadness and grief, they just come out in other ways. I'm a firm believer in letting a child cry and acknowledging their feelings so that they can process them rather than dismissing them and telling them they're fine. I never tell DS he's ok if he isn't, I say I'm so sorry you're upset, I'm so sorry that you fell, I'm so sorry your toy broke, that was an awful thing that happened. He'll often come to the conclusion himself afterwards that it's not the end of the world, but the crying still needs to be done. I think it's important to do the same for adults. Flowers

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RapunzelHadExtensions · 07/02/2021 19:30

I've had an abortion and a miscarriage.
The abortion was my choice and yes, I did view it as just cells. Because thats all it ever WOULD be.
My miscarriage however, which was many years later and a much wanted and tried for baby, was a complete devastation, despite only being 5 weeks 'older' than my abortion.
Because it was the potential. It was going to be a baby, then a child, then a teenager, then an adult. You were going to have a baby and then you weren't. Your feelings are totally valid. Flowers

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Mylittlesandwich · 07/02/2021 19:37

I had an early loss (about 8 weeks) it really affected me, much more than I thought it would. I didn't TTC for years because of it. When I then fell pregnant with DS I was so anxious and it got worse after he was born. I'm now receiving counselling.

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