what I learnt from my miscarriage

I guess I should have written a short little post when this all started. Something along the lines of “sorry, things are hectic, but I will be back!”. But as a good friend of mine has told me many times (after each breakup or too many glasses bottles of wine), hindsight is a perfect science.

As most of you know, Dan and I went on a great holiday to Cape Town. It was exactly what we wanted: lots of friends, family, a great wedding and of course a lot of good food! What we didn’t bargain on was finding out that I was pregnant. Most of our close friends knew that we had been trying for a few months, but we never thought it would happen this quickly. Of course, being the skeptic that I am, I took 5 pregnancy tests and didn’t get too overly excited until after we had a blood test, en route to Hermanus mind you. When everything was confirmed we were beyond happy – its something so hard to describe, but we were crazy chuffed with life. We immediately decided that we wanted to tell some of our close friends (turns out we have a lot of those!) and family. We wanted to be able to share our joy and to build a firm support structure – this was a first for both of us as well as our parents. Everyone was as excited as we were and it made our holiday that much sweeter.

Soon our holiday was over and we were back in Johannesburg and back at work. I’ve always worked hard, my job and career are important to me and I tend to go a little overboard every now and then in terms of working overtime and going way past what is expected of me. Now, this isn’t such a bad thing if you can balance it properly but I definitely was not doing that. It got to a point where I would just come home and collapse in a heap with no energy to even make dinner or shower, never mind write or post something on Instagram. I was taking my health for granted, but I thought I was doing OK – I was taking my vitamins and eating healthily, making sure that I got everything I thought my body needed.

And then last week happened. I thought that the past month and a half had been rough, boy was I in for a surprise! After being rushed to the hospital on the Sunday night for bleeding and being booked off for stress for two days (of course I still worked from home, being the idiot that I can be) I went to go and see my gynae for our first scan. We were so nervous and so excited, we couldn’t wait to see our little squish and the heartbeat. When she did the scan there was a long pause ( I even said to her “you need to speak to me because I don’t know what I’m supposed to be seeing, I just see grey fuzz on the screen”) ,she told us that there wasn’t a heartbeat. Oh my heart! It just dropped, and I looked across at Dan and knew that he was feeling the exact same thing. We sat down and the doctor explained that in most of these cases this becomes a miscarriage but we should do some tests 48 hours apart to measure my hormone levels. Should they not double within 48 hours we would need to decide whether we wanted to terminate the pregnancy or miscarry naturally. How Dan drove us home safely is beyond me. I just cried and cried and cried. And when we got home we cried together. We had no idea what to expect and we were scared.

The next day I went to work and half way through the day I started having a miscarriage. I was completely calm as I called the doctors rooms, called Dan and drove myself to the hospital. When I had been checked and scanned and everything else that goes with it, we went home. I think that we had cried and got all of the emotions out the night before and so we just sat quietly together.

The past week has been an absolute blur. I didn’t even take time off work, I just carried on. I said to Dan this morning that I think I’ve been concentrating on the practical part of miscarrying so intensely that I haven’t really had time to process it all properly in my mind.

Although I still have a way to go (another scan today, a possible D&C although I am hoping not since I am so scared, another scan in 6 weeks again) there are some very valuable lessons that I have learnt from this whole ordeal over the past month and a half.

  1. You only have one body – don’t take your health for granted. I over worked myself so hard that I started to neglect things that made me happy like my blogging and even painting my nails. I became so anxious and stressed that everything in my life suffered, including my friends. Let’s not even talk about how my cuticles started to tear!
  2. You deserve the best possible healthcare that you can afford. When I started having my miscarriage, the gynae told me in no uncertain terms that I would be in hell from the pain and that Dan would be beside himself with worry because of how much I was bleeding. She wouldn’t give me a concrete answer or statement about anything and just had incredibly poor bedside manner over all. Needless to say, I will be finding a new gynae!
  3. There is always a silver lining, even if it is teeny tiny. I forced myself to find some positives in this situation. Don’t get me wrong, I cried and am still sad for this pregnancy ending but I know that we will have our baby, and I will take the lessons that I can from this experience.
  4. In tough situations, you learn who your friends are very quickly. And if you are lucky like I was, everyone that knew I was pregnant and subsequently found out that I miscarried has gone above and beyond. Dan and I can’t believe how incredibly lucky we are to have people like them in our lives!
  5. You are stonger than you think. I never thought that I would have a miscarriage. Why I thought this is beyond me as I have since found out that something like 60% of first pregnancies end up in miscarriages. But besides thinking I would never go through this, I didnt think I would cope with something like this. Although this has been a very testing time for myself personally and for Dan and I together, I can honestly say that we have come out stronger individually and as a couple.
  6. This too shall pass. This is something that I meditate on each day – I know that it will get easier and that Dan and I will both continue to learn from it.

And so that’s my story for the past month and a half. I am hoping to get everything back on track within the next two weeks and am going to try my best to keep up with the #MayGloss photo challenge on Instagram (it’s so much fun, you should join!) and pop a post as often as I can, but as I have now learnt, I need to take things in my stride and that’s exactly what I plan to do over the next few weeks as I gather my thoughts and start to concentrate on the things that bring me joy in life!

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    cathybooyens
    May 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    My darling Sarah and Danie, I am in awe of how steadfast and contained you have been in your acceptance of this sadness. The support you provide each other and the trust you have in the positive side of this. There is no doubt in my mind that you will be the most wonderful parents! I am so proud to be your mom.

  • Reply
    bioishumerus
    May 16, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    I’m so sorry that you two and your families went through that. Reading your post, I’m in awe of your courage in sharing this with people. Your points on moving forward are very honest and inspiring. keeping you in my prayers

  • Reply
    Thoughts on turning 30 + my birthday wishlist – Mascara & Mimosas
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