Life Goes On: Getting Through “The Firsts” After a Miscarriage

Life Goes On: Getting Through 'The Firsts' After a Miscarriage

Today was tough. Actually, this whole weekend was tough. As time continues to pass, it becomes more and more real that my twins are gone and that I have to start from Square One all over again. Realizing that life goes on even after you’ve lost the life inside of you is both cruel and reassuring.

I’ve gained so much comfort in knowing that everything around me continues, that life and its cycle does what it does best and keeps on going. But I’ve also found so much sadness in this same thought.

How can the world just carry on when I am suffering such loss? Why hasn’t the entire world stopped to mourn the loss of my twins? Don’t these people know what happened to me?

But life does goes on. And women who’ve lost their babies — women like me — must also go on. Daily life will not stop for us, even if the lives inside of us have. And getting though “the firsts” is part of the healing process. Seeing the bank teller for the first time and having to tell her you lost your baby. Allowing your boyfriend, husband, partner, girlfriend, wife to intimately touch you again. Deciding to try again. These are all such monumental steps to take after a pregnancy loss. And to heal, you must. In your own time…

Here, I share the most difficult “firsts” I’ve had to handle after my second-trimester miscarriage.

  • Bumping Into Someone Who Doesn’t Know 1 of 12
    Bumping Into Someone Who Doesn't Know
    When you experience a second-trimester pregnancy loss, expect to have those awkward run-ins with people who've known about your pregnancy but who haven't yet heard about your loss. It gets easier after the first time you have to break the news to someone in a public place. The toughest part is that, while you've had some time to get "used to" what's happened, this is the first time these people are hearing the news and they are genuinely saddened by it. It places you in a strange position where you often find yourself being the one who is doing the consoling.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Holding a Baby 2 of 12
    Holding a Baby
    I have a handful of friends who are currently pregnant, as well as a friend who had her baby seven days after my miscarriage. I was truly so excited and happy for my friend, and I couldn't wait to meet their Little Man. But I wasn't certain how I would feel or react upon our meeting. Would I cry? When I met her son, I was overwhelmed with joy. It was exactly what my heart needed.
    Photo via Flickr: Creative Commons
  • Returning to Work 3 of 12
    Returning to Work
    I had taken holiday time off from my day job, and as it turned out, I miscarried on the second day of my holiday vacation, December 22. I wasn't scheduled to return to work until January 2. I spent the entire time off dealing with and healing from my miscarriage. I was actually eager to return to work, to some sense of normalcy, after my ordeal. But the first day back was emotionally rough. I left there in December pregnant. I returned, flat-stomached and without any life inside of me. And, of course, my coworkers had all known what had happened, so there were the sympathetic exchanges and words, which was good and healing -- but also draining.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Getting Out of the House 4 of 12
    Getting Out of the House
    After I left the hospital, I spent one night at home and then went to my parents' house for Christmas Eve and Day. I was pretty checked out and numb then, just trying to push through. I then came home and didn't leave my house for days. When I finally did, I felt like a different person. The pain of losing my twins changed me, changed how I saw things -- even the aisles in the grocery store and the way snow fell. I now look at the world through a different lens. It's an outlook that is more aware of both the beauty this world holds, and the sadness.
    Photo via Flickr: Creative Commons
  • Wearing Regular Clothes 5 of 12
    Wearing Regular Clothes
    I went to the hospital late the night that my water broke, and I was wearing my maternity jeans. I went home two days later in the same jeans. I don't remember what I wore on Christmas Eve, but I know I then wore pajamas for days. Putting on my non-maternity clothes for the first time was devastating. It actually felt like a slap in the face.
    Photo via Flickr: Creative Commons
  • Getting Through a Day Without Crying 6 of 12
    Getting Through a Day Without Crying
    The first day I didn't cry was 11 days after my miscarriage. I remember falling asleep that night and realizing I hadn't cried that day. And I suddenly felt guilty, like I should still be crying over this horrendous thing that happened to me. It has since become one of the two days I haven't cried -- but not because of guilt. Some days, I just don't cry.
    Photo via Flickr: Creative Commons
  • Hitting Important Dates 7 of 12
    Hitting Important Dates
    Today was supposed to be the day we found out our twins' sexes. Instead, I sat with our reproductive endocrinologist to discuss "what next." I can only imagine what my due date will feel like.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photo
  • Saying it Out Loud 8 of 12
    Saying it Out Loud
    In the middle of the night last night, I was sleeping soundly when I awoke to myself saying, "The babies are gone." I was on my back, with my hands on my stomach -- which was the first time since I lost the twins that I've touched my stomach. I keep thinking about who I was trying to tell this to in the dark hours of the night. Was I dreaming? Who were these words intended for? And then I stood in front of my mirror naked this morning, looking at the body that I haven't been able to in over two weeks, and I realized these words were for me. I did in my sleep what I haven't been able to do awake. Accept my body and say the words aloud that I've only been able to write: The babies are gone.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Having Sex 9 of 12
    Having Sex
    This hasn't happened yet. I went from a crazy-high second-trimester sex drive to having absolutely zero interest in sex. I'm sure I'll get there, and I'm sure it will be an outrageously emotional experience. I am so out of tune with my body right now, and some days I am mad at it for failing me. So I can't imagine being intimate right now. Not to mention that I'm still spotting from the miscarriage I had 16 days ago.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Indulging in Not-OK-For-Pregnancy Treats 10 of 12
    Indulging in Not-OK-For-Pregnancy Treats
    I've had some wine. And bacon. And deli meat. And soft, imported cheese. And runny egg yolks. I avoided all of these delights when I was pregnant because they were on the "no" list for pregnant women. It's a strange feeling to enjoy something you didn't think you would for another couple seasons.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Returning to the Fertility Center 11 of 12
    Returning to the Fertility Center
    My wife and I returned to our fertility center today. It was really difficult to go there. When we last left, we had told the amazing staff there that we'd return when the twins were born for a hello. Sara and I were excited for our "insta-family," as we called our twin pregnancy. We were excited to be done at the fertility center, done with the poking, prodding, transvaginal ultrasounds, blood work, embryo transfers. We adore our fertility center, we really do. But we thought we were done there. Today was like Day One all over again. It was hard.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Getting Your Period 12 of 12
    Getting Your Period
    Like sex, this actually hasn't happened for me yet. But I know that when it does, it's going to be an emotional day. I'll be relieved to know that my body is returning as it should and that we are that much closer to beginning the process of getting pregnant again. But it will also be a reminder of the babies that are no longer growing inside of me.
    Photo: iStockphoto

Main Photo via Flickr: Creative Commons

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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