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Let’s talk about miscarriages

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Here’s my story of miscarriage; may it provide some comfort even though it has no happy ending. 

I never thought that I would be 1 out of 4 moms who had a miscarriage. Even Google does not like the word, and I felt I should whisper it. According to Google and my midwife, it was an “unexplained miscarriage,” meaning I would never find out the famous “Why me and why my baby” question. So, I did not want to talk about it, closed all the doors, and buried myself in work. Or, I did not want to hear “what a shame,” “it was God’s plan,” “Thank God, you will have another one.”

My miscarriage story

I was having my second child. Everything was super normal, and sometimes I was amazed by the differences between my pregnancies. I had my appointment with a midwife, no morning sickness, no craving, and I acted as if I was not even pregnant. As my therapist told me, it was a present. I did not tell my parents and waited for the 12th-week-check-up, then I could tell them, “Hey, you are grandparents again.” It was sad not to tell anyone, not even my sister. It was a secret, and you are not supposed to share the secret.

We were in Spain for our summer holiday. After a long day at the pool with my son, I felt a bit sick and started to see some spots. I told my husband; he assured me it’s okay, “You had a busy day, and let’s call the midwife to ensure that everything is fine.” But, I knew something was wrong, and the midwife told me maybe it was innocent blood loss, and the best you could do is to take it easy for the next few days.

The next day for me was a rest day, but the pain was growing inside me. That day, I thought I would die. I had the scariest and painful night of my life. We were alone in a hotel room with our 4 years old son, who fell in love with the destination, and a mom who suffered from all kinds of pain.

When the miscarriage happened, I did not know it could be my baby. I googled “miscarriage 9 – 10 weeks,” and there we go. I called the midwife, and she confirmed it and told me what to expect in the next couple of days. Time stopped. This loss dropped like a stone into the empty places inside me. 

We returned to the Netherlands and had an immediate check-up with my midwife, confirming that the miscarriage was completed. They offer me some follow-up checkups and walk me through the physical healing process. But, I did not want a physical check-up; I needed to talk about my drama and my secret.

It was painful physically and emotionally, especially since I did not tell anyone about it. I could not handle my emotion and seek explanations for what had happened. But there was no answer to my “Whys.” So, I grieve on my own. 

Facts about miscarriage

I read many research papers, listened to many talks, and found nothing. They all said that “10% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage”. In the first trimester, when an estimated 85% of miscarriages occur, it is so common that families keep it a secret. But, the numbers assured me, I was not the only one who did not share the news, and maybe many families like us were grieving on their own.

As I read more, I found an article in Washington Post mentioning that “according to a study by Imperial College London, 45 percent of women reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder three months after their miscarriage. About 30 percent of these women reported that the symptoms affected their professional life; about 40 percent, their relationships with family and friends. Yet, women do not talk about it openly”. 

I wondered why these numbers are so high because we do not talk about miscarriage openly. It does not matter if it was 1 week or 40 weeks; we all had hope, listened to the heartbeat, saw those tiny fingers, and all of a sudden, it’s gone. So, I would say talking about a miscarriage is taboo.

Break the silence

I looked for a support group in Delft, where I could share my feelings and secrets without being judged or hearing cliché words about miscarriage. So, I posted a message in DelftMama and asked if anyone else experienced the miscarriage. I received so many heartwarming messages and stories. I broke the silence and told a big community what had happened. Writing that post and reading the messages was challenging, but I was relieved that I shared my secret.

I needed to take action for my feelings; I have a family, a job, and a life. So, I started to talk to a professional about my story. When I left her room, I could not help myself, sat down on the ground, and offered myself a good cry, one of those that nothing around you mattered anymore. 

Miscarriage has no grief timeline

Took me six months to tell my friends about my miscarriage, and could not put myself together to tell my mom and my sister yet, but I am getting there. Miscarriage has no grief timeline; I am still counting the weeks, and looking at a mirror on Sundays is one of those difficult jobs for me.

Sharing experiences can be powerful. By doing this, I want to convey a message to other women/families who went or are going through this challenging moment.

This post is an open invitation to all of you. You are not alone; I can be a shoulder to cry on if you need to. Please open up and talk about it with your families and friends. We all need to be there for each other and support. I know it is painful, but let’s talk about miscarriages.

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Ameneh Deljoo

Hi everyone, my name is Ameneh Deljoo from Iran. I came to the Netherlands in 2012 with my husband to pursue a Ph.D. I did my Ph.D. at the University of Amsterdam and am currently working as a cloud architect. I am a plant lover, a runner, a book reader, a cookie lover, and a mom.

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