Why We Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Talk About Miscarriage
There’s absolutely no doubt about it: #adulting is hard AF. And navigating the relationship and career worlds is complicated enough without even thinking about babies. Making the decision to get pregnant is really only half the battle, because reproducing can be really hard work! This can seem especially crazy after we’ve spent the first half of our lives trying *not* to get pregnant. Then we hit 30, and suddenly we’re being bombarded with pressure to have a child. If we’re in a committed relationship, it’s “When are you having a baby?” And if we’re single, then we’re given ALL the egg freezing info. So what gives? The bottom line is that getting pregnant isn’t the same for everyone. Some ladies we affectionately refer to as “fertile Myrtles,” while others may end up spending thousands of dollars on IVF. And what if you succeed at getting preggers but then lose the baby? Well, nobody talks about this unfortunate event, and sadly the lack of information in circulation can feel paralyzing. Here are my personal top three takeaways from experiencing a miscarriage firsthand.
1. Miscarrying is very common. It felt like I was the first person in the whole world to miscarry — which is so crazy, on so many levels. First off, consider that 75 percent of all conceptions miscarry. Women often conceive and miscarry without even realizing they’re pregnant and instead chalk it up to a heavy period. Yeah, for real! Second, even if the conception is successful, about one in three pregnancies miscarry. Luckily, as a fetus develops, the likelihood of miscarrying declines, which is why people are always telling you to wait until at least three months to share the good news. And even if you feel like the most pragmatic girl in the room, I recommend waiting to share. Excitedly showing up for my first appointment and finding there was no heartbeat was surprisingly crushing for me — even knowing all of this. And pragmatism aside, having to share the bad news with everyone was the last thing I wanted to do.
2. There are multiple treatment options. There are actually three options if there is pregnancy tissue left in the uterus: watch and wait, medicine, and suction procedure. And even though this is probably the last thing anyone would want to think about when they’re feeling so low, it can actually be dangerous to not address the situation and find the right treatment for you. When I received my sad news, no one close to me had recently experienced a miscarriage, and it felt incredibly isolating. As a society, miscarriages are rarely discussed publicly, and this can end up making the whole experience feel much less common than it actually is. As there are multiple treatment options to choose from when a miscarriage occurs (and the best one for you may depend on what type of miscarriage you have), I recommend talking to everyone — friends, family, and a couple of different doctors — for further advice.
3. Sharing life experiences helps to normalize tough topics. Personally, I chose to have the Dilation and Curettage (commonly referred to as a D&C) or suction procedure. Anesthetic is administered, and a doctor surgically removes pregnancy tissue. It’s a simple procedure, common, and requires very little recovery time. But it’s still surgery! And there is a slim chance that if done incorrectly, it can cause infertility. The combo of these two factors gave me a legit scare. And the fact that no one close to me could provide any personal insight made it that much more frightening. I spoke to my doctor (who happened to be out on a recovery of her own), and she explained all of the above facts and recommended that I get the procedure. I decided to do it, all went smooth (it took about 15 minutes), and I was at my fave sushi spot with my partner just an hour after I woke up. And believe it or not, I felt great. Now I share my experience honestly and openly, in hopes that I will not only be able to help normalize the conversation but also someday provide insight to any woman that finds herself in the same position.
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(Photos via Getty)