In the pit of my stomach I know, even before the ultrasound operator tells us, it isn’t looking good. The image on the wall is dark and still. Not the busy rush of pixels we saw the time we were pregnant with Sacha. ‘It’s hard to see,’ she says, ‘but I don’t see a heartbeat.’ We cry. The operator tries to comfort us, but she is not very good at it. Says all the wrong things. We hurry home, close the door to the outside world and grieve.
It is a strange kind of grief I feel. There are no memories to look back on, only the half-thought wishes, joys and fears of the future. All the things that could have been, but won’t. Never were. I don’t quite know how to call the empty sadness that replaces the potential. I think grief is the best I can do.
It’s hard not to fall in the trap of trying to get over it. Trying to reduce the hopes and dreams and the smiles we had already shared to no more than a clump of cells that did not quite make it. It is not our first time, there could still be a next. And sure there might be new hopes and new dreams, but that does not mean that I can’t be sad about these. I need to be, to process.
We are three, we have close friends and family that is there for us, to support us and help us through it, but even with all that help, I still feel alone. Miscarriage is so little talked about. So many women, families go through it alone. On the website of Tommy’s Research I read the following harrowing statistics:
- 70% of women said that they felt guilty about miscarriage
- 79% said they felt like a failure after losing a pregnancy
- Two thirds of women said they found it hard to talk about their miscarriage
- 85% said that they didn’t think people understood what they had gone through
- 67% felt that they couldn’t talk to their best friend
- 35% didn’t feel like they could talk to the father about their experience.
As a father, and a partner, I want to do something, to help in some way. To support and help. So let’s end the silence around miscarriage. 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in one. That means there are so many of us to comfort each other.
To raise awareness and to raise money for more research, I have started a fundraising campaign. In about 12 weeks time (or duration of the first trimester if you will) I will cycle up one of the most daunting Pyrenean cols. So follow my preparation, share the fundraising page, donate when you can, but most of all; let’s change the story on miscarriage.
And for everyone out there who has been where we have been; please, please, please remember: it is not your fault, you are not a failure; you are NOT alone.