A New Beginning: Moving on after a Miscarriage
Two in the morning.
The call came at two in the morning, me and my husband all groggy and sleepy and terribly afraid. It was the secretary, telling us to come in, that the doctor had arrived, and that we were next in line at the clinic. So we got up, got dressed, and drove to the hospital.
It was the only thing left for us to do.
This kind of thing was normal for us, the horrible hours and the sudden phone calls and the waiting, waiting, waiting. We had just lost our baby then, and this last doctor’s appointment was the irrevocable seal of finality that confirmed everything—that our baby was gone, that we were left childless, and that there was nothing else we could do about it.
We simply just had to move on.
Where it all began
We had always known we would have problems, and even before we decided to get married, we already knew that there was a high probability we would never be able to bear a child. The pimple was where it all began, really—who would have thought that a tiny zit would reveal everything that was wrong with my reproductive system?
I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Endometriosis, a three-headed Mickey Mouse ovarian dermoid cyst, and Anti-phospholipid Antibodies Syndrome (APAS)—all of which can turn baby-making into a far-off fantasy. Nights were difficult and days were long, and while we did everything we could to make things right—the painful treatments and the sudden hospital confinements and the stressful trips to the doctor—we knew we couldn’t keep it up forever. Our bodies and minds were exhausted just as our funds were, so before we got married, my husband and I both came to a decision—that we would go all-out with all the treatments and prioritize baby-making above all else, but we would only do it once. If it works, it works; and if it doesn’t, then it doesn’t.
So we followed through. We agreed upon it, made up our minds firmly and steadily, and the fertility treatments were all that we were obsessed with until we finally, finally got pregnant. But all that dedication came at great financial, emotional, and personal cost. Even after one of the many inseminations finally succeeded, our baby survived for only eight weeks—and, despite all the injections and the house arrest and the financial and emotional pain, I had a miscarriage. It just wasn’t meant to be.
I grieved. We both did. I was at a dark place in my life at the time, and my husband was doing his best to be strong for me. How could we have done everything we possibly could, only to have it all end in failure? In the end, we still lost what we were so desperately holding on to, and because my condition was extremely rare, not everyone could understand what we were going through.
But after the D&C (Dilation and Curettage)—when our dead baby was taken and the wound was gone and only the hole in my heart remained—I realized that this was what my husband and I agreed upon, that we would try it all and risk it all and go for it. And when it failed, we would accept it.
And we would find peace.
There was something inside our wounded hearts that day, when we left the doctor’s clinic for our final appointment. A different kind of emotion washed over us, overwhelming us, calming us. We left the hospital at 6 a.m., and as the sun began to rise over the horizon, I saw it as the Big Guy’s way of telling us that it was a new day, it was a new beginning, and there was a fresh start just ahead of us.
The joy we felt that day was indescribable—we were so inexplicably happy for our lives to begin again.
To this day, the people around us still do not understand. They tell us that we have to try again, that to have a child is a must, that we gave up too soon. The insensitivities extend to comments that tell us we will never be happy with just the two of us, without a child’s laughter to fill the so-called empty gap in our home. We nod and smile and accept their best intentions, but deep down, my husband and I both know that our happiness does not depend on having a baby of our own. We got married because we wanted to be together and not because we needed a child, and true enough, five years in and we are still blissful, youthful, and very much in love.
Perhaps, on that day when we drove home from the hospital with the sun rising on the horizon in front of us, it was a wake-up call for us not to aim for a life that was not meant for us. And now that we did everything we could, we can move on with no regrets and be at peace, living out the rest of our days in married bliss and never-ending love in each other’s company.
Is there any other kind of love a girl can ask for?
The next chapter
The whole process of trying to make a baby and then losing one was, of course, not an easy road for us. There were ups and downs indeed, and there is no easy way for anyone to truly get over a miscarriage, especially knowing how hard it is to go through pregnancy itself.
If you’re struggling with your own infertility, or you have a loved one who is going through the same thing, here are just some things you can do to help you deal with a miscarriage.
- How to move on after a miscarriage is never a simple thing, but the most important thing to remember is that it is not your fault. Most women inevitably feel a semblance of guilt whenever they lose a child in the womb, but you should always keep in mind that pregnancy loss is not something you can control. There are a myriad of factors that are at play here—biology, genetics, and even chance all included. Nothing good will come out of you punishing yourself—on the contrary, stressing yourself out will only worsen your condition, as well as your partner’s emotional well-being too. So do yourself a favor and don’t put the blame on you or on anyone else.
- Allow yourself to grieve. It’s okay. Not only does losing a baby affect you emotionally, but a pregnancy ending also affects your brain chemistry as well. Your hormones will be all out of whack, and your anxiety just might go off the charts too. You will be at your most vulnerable during this time, so don’t be ashamed to feel sad about it all. You are allowed to mourn your child, and you should never give in to the stigma of silencing yourself just because you lost a baby. Miscarriages happen all the time—there is no shame in that.
- Your partner deals with the miscarriage differently from you, so don’t neglect them. You’re both in this together, and you need each other’s support now more than ever. Help each other cope with the loss, and never play the blame game. Who else will fully understand everything you are going through more than the one who bore your child with you?
- There is no right or wrong way for you to get any “closure”—and there are no “shoulds” here, either. Only you can tell how and when you can truly move on, so you must never compare yourself or your feelings with anyone else.
- Do not be afraid of reaching out and seeking comfort in a support group of women who have experienced pregnancy loss as well. It helps to be part of a group of people who understand you and can relate to your experience, because family, friends, and loved ones will not always know what to say. You will undoubtedly hear a lot of comments from genuine well-wishers and negative nay-sayers alike. Even the most innocent loved ones who mean well might seem insensitive at times, but know that they have the best intentions and that at the end of the day, they will still love and accept you with or without your baby.
- Finally, when you feel like you are ready to move on, know that this does not mean that you have forgotten the baby you have lost. Do not feel guilty about living your life to the fullest, or enjoying the quality time and love between you and your partner. Moving on and letting go of the pain and sadness doesn’t mean you are letting go of the memory of your child. He or she will always be a part of you forever, so go ahead—regain your strength and find lasting peace. It’s the best way to honor your pregnancy and the memory of your baby, after all.