Various parts of this post may contain TMI – proceed with caution. Again, it’s a case of absolute frankness in hope that if anyone reads it seeking (as I did) the shared experiences and solidarity of knowing that others have been there, others have gone through miscarriage and managed the fall-out (and how) they will find it helpful.
Another day of tears and no silver lining yet, but a strong glimmer of support-in-the-offing thanks to a local branch of CareConfidential.
They primarily deal with women who are struggling with pregnancy or abortion, but they also offer support for those who are experiencing baby loss. Thank goodness.
I drove round straight after a meeting with my GP, who was very sympathetic and suggested they might be my best option for immediate support. I met a lovely woman (whose name I can’t remember, because my brain wasn’t doing things like memory today – or directions, or parking, as I found later) who let me cry and offered to take me on as (I guess) a counsellee. She managed to be sympathetic without being cloying and supportive without making me feel useless. She’s probably had a lot of practice, and that’s just what I need – someone with experience to help me as I work through all the dark clouds in my mind and come to a place of acceptance.
The other thing I didn’t realise at the offset is that every person in the local branch (not sure about the organisation as a whole, but it seems likely) is a committed Christian, and whilst they offer their services to everyone and have been trained secularly, it is comforting to know that I won’t be in a position of trying to explain why IVF isn’t an option for us and that there will be an additional layer, if you like, to the experience.
Close to the end of the introductory meeting (extremely well put-together, seeing as I’d walked in off the street, unannounced, and was immediately accommodated) the lady (I think her name was Lynne) asked whether I’d mind taking a survey to give them some quantitative data to work with, to assess whether I was ‘at risk’ and to have something tangible to refer back to in a few months time to check my progress.
Many of the questions were standard ‘check how you are’ ones, in which I had to answer with reference to the last week. Have you felt like hurting yourself? (No) Have you been irritable? (Plenty) Have you acted with aggression towards another person? (No) Have you wanted to take your own life? (No). Suffice it to say, I’m not ‘at risk’, but one question got to me. Have you experienced unwanted memories or images. Yes.
My miscarriage began on a Friday evening back in November. Being an early miscarriage, though I’d missed a period and had a few weeks of signs of early pregnancy, at the end of a week (of very excited waiting) I took a pregnancy test and was catapulted into anxiety when it showed as negative. Presumably the death had already taken place earlier in the week, as that evening the bleeding started.
The next day I went into town with friends; a prearranged event. I wasn’t prepared to share my miscarriage with them – I wanted to deny it was happening and carry on as normal, so I didn’t tell them. Town was busy and we walked for a long time. After a while it became apparent that I would need to find a toilet to empty my Mooncup before any leakages occurred. The only place available where we were was a branch of Subway. My friends sat in the restaurant while I went to the bathroom.
I can’t get out of my head the grubby walls, harsh electric lighting and the noise outside as I dealt with matters and flushed some of the remains of my baby away. I shut all that out at the time but it haunts me now.
Logically I know that all toilets lead to the same sewer, so it makes very little difference which one I used and I know it wouldn’t have been appropriate to save all the debris through that ghastly week and effect any kind of burial, but I can’t get that bathroom out of my mind. Did I really flush my only biological child away in a grubby Subway shop?
I hope Lynne can help. I’ll be seeing her every Monday for the forseeable future. Thank God it was all so simple and straightforward because goodness knows I need this help.
I was able to go from there to my Sister’s, where I cried more, then we went shopping, where I cried most of the journey there, got lost and discovered that bay parking when you’re in turmoil is more difficult than you might think. I managed not to cry in the shop, which was an achievement.
Lots of people have been praying about today. I believe prayer helps (though I’m not sure how) and today was nothing if not successful, despite all the crying. Husby had a successful day with the ‘trying-to-get-unemployed-people-back-to-work’ people. He had been anxious about the meeting (as had I) but was paired with a lovely Irish woman who said that because he’s signed off for medical reasons, she can do more to help him get into a career he’d like than someone who’s signed off for non-medical reasons. Result.
This evening, one of the organisations I receive updates from on Facebook posted this article about infertility and abortion. It was an interesting echo of an earlier conversation with my Sis, who warned me that she’d heard hearsay that the CareConfidential group, being Christian, came down quite hard on women who ‘needed’ an abortion. I questioned her further and it turns out that what they do is to encourage women to see the reality of the situation – that their ‘product of conception’ or ‘pregnancy tissue’ is a life; a baby, and that this should be understood, not cloaked in clinical jargon and denied.
I can understand how this would be taken badly by someone who wanted to undertake a termination – it probably makes it easier to deal with. My Sis initially suggested that it made it unreasonably hard, but I disagreed (quite violently) that abortion was a reasonable option to deal with unwanted pregnancy when there are many people out there desperate for children, who *may* be judged (eventually) as appropriate candidates for adoption, but when they have been approved, the children available are not those who have been given up at birth, they are those who have been forcibly removed from their parents by the authorities because to leave them would cause them too much damage.
In the nicest possible way, the children available to potential adopters are those who have suffered much, those who will need the added investment of theraputic parenting; those who are damaged and need help to heal. The tiny babies which are ‘given up for adoption’ are incredibly scarce. The numbers of teenagers needing adoption are mounting up. The use of abortion has had a dramatic influence on the opportunity for adopters to be matched with a young and relatively unscathed child.
And any way you look at it, it doesn’t seem fair.