You just gave me the worst news ever. Let me tell you what I wish you knew about my miscarriage. My miscarriage may be a medical event but please do not treat it as merely a medical event. My miscarriage is much more than that to me.
My miscarriage is shocking, even if I suspected in the least bit this would happen. I was not expecting to learn my pregnancy is ending. I had such hopes that I would be reassured today. Instead, in our short, two minute conversation, you told me I am going to miscarry and to call in a few days.
You left me with no more information than that. You did not console me in any way. You did not provide me with any options, nor tell me what to expect. And I, having never been through this experience before do not know what questions to ask. Even if I had been through a miscarriage before, this is a new baby and a new experience. I still am not sure of all the questions to ask to be sure I am fully informed about what is happening and will happen to my body and my baby.
You are my authority on all things miscarriage. Because you have dismissed this experience as merely a medical event, I am unsure of what I am feeling. I feel sad and I am mourning this loss, but your nonchalant attitude about this contradicts what I am feeling and I begin to question my grief.
I know you see miscarriage happen every day and maybe that’s why you can’t offer a condolence or even say you are sorry for what I am enduring but I am in crisis. I know you have seen several women in crisis today but it doesn’t help that you are discounting my crisis. I know that not all women feel loss when they hear they are miscarrying but I am feeling a loss right now. I am losing something so precious to me that I am not sure how I will take the next breath.
You see, I have been dreaming about this baby. These dreams didn’t begin the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test, I have been dreaming of this baby for months and year. Only then, when I saw the positive pregnancy test, could I really envision my life with this child. It was no longer a dream, but a reality. In eight months, I would be holding that reality in my arms.
But today, your words crushed that reality. It’s not your fault that my baby died. I know you did everything you could to help this baby grow, but how you shared this news has a huge impact on how I am feeling right now. Let me tell you how I wished you shared this devastating blow.
“I’m so sorry, your baby no longer has a heartbeat.”
“Your HCG levels have not risen sufficiently. It looks like you may miscarry soon. I am so sorry.”
“You should expect heavy bleeding within ____ days. Please call me if you have concerns or if you would like other options such as surgery or medications to speed up this process. I am sorry for all you are enduring.”
“I am sorry that your miscarriage hasn’t started yet (after several days of spotting), would you like to hear about other ways to help this process along? I am really sorry this is such a struggle.”
“I am so sorry, I am here for you. Is there something I can help you with right now?”
“You may feel sad and confused but even if you don’t, that’s normal too. Here are some resources to help you through miscarriage. It is my wish that these resources provide you some comfort.”
These are just some examples. You can steal them from here if you aren’t sure what to say to the next woman who receives this bad news. It is my wish you treat her much differently then you did me. In fact, your harsh treatment towards my miscarriage experience has prompted me to move on. I need a doctor who treats me and my baby with more dignity.
In Loving Memory of Evelyn Rose Costigan
This story was not my experience although this is very similar to how my first miscarriage was handled. My last miscarriage experience with Gus can be read here.
– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage