Women have this super power to remember every little detail of some incidents/memories that they try so hard to forget. It is both blessing and a curse. I was on my 7th week of pregnancy. We were due for our first scan in two days. All excited to see the teeny tiny human.On June 5 2010 it was just like a normal day. We had our dinner and was about to sleep. I felt like going to loo and within few seconds I had sharp pain in abdomen started bleeding heavily. I didn’t even had the heart to flush.. We rushed to hospital and the doctor categorized it as Spontaneous Abortion.Nothing could be done about she said. Also since it is common in many women she asked me to relax and continue with meds for few days. Asked me to comeback visit her after 3 months. Everything seemed normal in a couple of weeks I didn’t realize that this incident could potentially change my life for the next 5 years..
I want to write this post mainly because I don’t want women to commit the same mistakes I did while going through this dark phase post miscarriage. I was just 24 then and I didn’t have much exposure to many things. The following are some of the key issues I missed acting upon during that stage..
- Post MC care :
Make sure you visit your Gynac even after miscarriage and ask her the recovery plan. Depending on when you underwent MC she might suggest you to take pills or advice D&C procedure. Whatever it is follow it and give enough rest to mind and body. Eat healthy, eat your supplements without missing them while you are grieving. Though the loss is irreplacable health is your priority
- Stop feeling guilty :
Though I understand that feeling guilty after a loss is quite normal it doesn’t mean we have to keep on that guilt for so long. Keep in mind that your actions aren’t responsible for that miscarriage. “What could I have done differently that would have saved the bub?” used to be my question for so long. Was it the increased dose of my coffee, or the kambu dosai i ate that day for dinner, or the way i walked fast inorder to catch the train, or was it the spicy Manchurian that I ate outside etc Honestly it could have happened even if we didn’t do any of the above. Stop feeling guilty and try to cheer yourself up.
- Don’t keep changing your doctors :
MC can make us (i don’t want to generalize. Atleast in my case) desparate to have baby immediately. Give sometime and don’t expext results immediately. Every gynac I have visited starts with a blood test, check LSH FH, thyroid, prolactin level, prescribe meds, advice to do follicular study, monitor ovulation, give trigger injections, proceed to IUI next, check for tubes, if tube test fails then suggest IVF. This has been the case with every Gynac I visited. No matter whomever I visit they first start with blood test and everyone of them have a different approach/set of medicines to prescribe. We are doing more harm to our body by changing the docs, looking for results the next month. It is better to do your research stick to one good Gynac for over a period of time. Follow their suggestions and then see how it goes.
- Stop seeing the calender :
This was the toughest for me. Every month I used to cry during my first day of periods and gradually settle, once I hit the 23rd day mark I eagerly wait to know the results. Then take HPT even if a day was missed, then get disappointed if it became negative in couple of days. This cycle continued forever. No matter how confident, strong you are this “trying for a baby” phase changes everything in you. Try to be casual. Try to not count the days. Try to live a life apart from this silly calculations.
- Don’t Over Eat or Stress eat :
This in continuation with the previous point. I used to eat a lot of ghee laden sweets, greasy oily food.. It did no good to my body apart from messing with my hormones. Please do watch you eat. Don’t blame on the situations and spoil your own health
- Don’t Procrastinate :
If you want to learn something or planning to join a gym or planning to start eating healthy or want to start working again plan your goals, march towards it. If we let the sadness take over our mind procrastination becomes a habit. It makes us lazy altogether. In few months we will again feel guilty of not doing much, will start feeling inferior and this viscious cycle continues. Looking back now I regret for not trying hard enough to get back to a job or kept myself engaged much.
- Don’t hate your body :
Every month during PMS and even otherwise I used to hate myself when a medication fails or for not being able to get pregnant. It took years to accept myself and look myself positively. Thanks to Yoga and Meditation it made me realize the importance of appreciating this body.
- Get some fresh air :
Start going out more often (if you are working its great. Work helps as a distraction) As a homemaker I confined myself mostly at home. I give excuses to myself to stay at home and not to go out even for a walk. Trust me when I moved to London in 2014 I became far more relaxed, I started walking almost everyday..It calmed my mind a lot. Realized how importance physical activity is. Especially when we are trying for baby we are often told to eat this eat that, dont climb stairs don’t do this don’t do that… But I later understood all these self imposed restrictions and mindblocks are totally unnecessary.
- Getting professional help for mental health :
I wish I had the courage to take help from a professional a few years ago. It could have definitely helped me get over my sadness, my constant guilt feeling, anxiety, fear much earlier. It would have helped me channelize my thoughts better and to work towards other goals in life rather than just thinking about having a baby.
- Stop worrying about your parents :
I know it is not easy. We become emotionally weak when thinking about our parents. But many of my friends who went through this phase including me we all worried a lot about our parents than ourselves.They are supportive, they are eagerly waiting to see their grandkids etc are understandable but even if a treatment fails we were too worried how will they take it. I could be wrong but from my observations I felt this emotional aspect makes women even more weaker.
To the couple going through this :
Make sure you both sit and talk a lot. Share your feelings, what you are going through etc. Support each other, understand each other. There are days when I used to be very cheerful, wanted to roam around the city but S ll be busy at work. The day when he is free, when we plan our day out or a trip I might suddenly feel low for no reason. Bottomline is be patient. Find ways to keep yourself cheerful.
The different kinds of people :
- One set of people(wellwishers) who want us to be present in every occasion of their life be it baby shower, baby birthday parties etc. To be honest nothing wrong in attending these celebrations. But sometimes people who are waiting for a baby get triggered during these events. When they politely say no or miss these events it is better not to assume that we are jealous or not happy for them. Its just the situation and time will heal.If we are in the right mindspace we will defnitely attend.
- The other set of people like my neighbour in chennai who ensured that their pregnant daughter-in-law is well protected from my eyes and keeps closing the door whenever i step out. These are the ones who think that people who wait for baby are some kind of unlucky souls.
- When random strangers behave that way you can atleast understand that they don’t know you well. But at times even your best friends move away the moment they get pregnant. They maintain distance with you and all of a sudden stop sharing pics with you
- Then this group of people who volunteerily, keep suggesting home remedies for fertility, keep recommending us doctors to visit etc keep checking upon us. I mean as much as I appreciate the time, the care they provide for us, over a period of time it becomes slightly irritating
- The ones who constantly give that Sympathetic look when we play with a kid in neighbourhood or during family events. “unakum seekiram indha mathri oru papa vandhudum”.. Nothing wrong in blessing but the way some people say as if our life isn’t complete without a baby.. It gets to my nerve
Again all the above examples I gave was not to demean them. I have come across such people in each and every category. Its the reality and maybe knowingly or unknowingly even I might have done any of the above to my circle of friends. 🙁 Oflate I realized that it is ok to be emotionally available to others, to provide mental support whenever needed but at the same time not to pester them much. We all are grownup adults now and we should know where to draw the line.
The only way to tackle all of the above category people is to ignore and move on. I know it is tough but keep in mind that it is ok to put yourself as priority above everyone else. If they constantly hurt you, don’t think too much about giving up that friendship.
To everyone reading this if you anyone who has suffered a miscarriage or who is trying for a baby make sure you don’t ask uncomfortable questions to them. Try to be considerate and compassionate. They can choose IUI, IVF, Surrogacy, Adoption or they can even decide to be childless it is none of anyone’s business. It has to be decided only by the couple. None of us have any say over this.
Let people live their life in their own terms.
I understand my privilege and am grateful, glad I had full support of my husband, parents, in-laws,family & friends. There are thousands of women who undergo various traumatic experiences in a marriage, in this phase of waiting for a baby and even otherwise. Hoping they will get the courage to raise their voices and hoping they will get to live a life on their own.