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I Thought Miscarriage Only Happened Among Women Of A Certain Age
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  • I remember the day I had my first miscarriage all too clearly. I had bled the day after my first ultrasound when I was around five weeks pregnant. The sonologist had said she could not detect a heartbeat and that it was too early to check if it was a viable pregnancy.

    Because it was my first pregnancy, my husband and I really did not think that anything bad could happen. And so when it did, it changed my life forever. I blamed myself. I blamed my husband. My life collapsed in front of me, and I almost lost everything. (Read my APAS journey to motherhood here.)

    Bringing up miscarriage had been taboo in the past, and I feel it is still a bit true today. Most women are afraid to open up for fear of being judged. But as more and more miscarriages are being linked to conditions such as reproductive immune disorders (RID), I feel that we should change the way we view and talk about these pregnancy losses.

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    According to the American Pregnancy Association, 10% to 25% of pregnancies end up in a miscarriage. That is an alarmingly high number, and I was one of those women who did not know the statistics or the facts. I had always thought that miscarriages are complications in pregnancies of older women, or it happened because a mother did not take care of herself (like she smoked or what-not!). I had not known it could happen to anyone.

    We need to talk more about miscarriage and pregnancy loss so more women will be informed, and they will not feel alone in their journey. Because at the end of the day, we need all the help that we can get.

    5 things you can do to cope after a miscarriage

    I am grateful that I was able to find a support group after my second miscarriage. It has been my advocacy to talk about my journey, hoping to reach out to women who are in the same boat where I have been. I have randomly asked women who have had miscarriages from our support group on the advice they could give to someone who has recently had a pregnancy loss. Below are the things that helped them cope after a miscarriage:

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    Grieve if you must

    Healing is a process. Cry as much as you want to. Do what it takes so that you can have the closure that you need. But never forget to stand up after this fall. Know that many have overcome their losses and successfully became mothers in due time. Trust that everything will work out for the best.

    Have yourself tested for immunological disorders

    It may be an unpopular opinion, perhaps because these tests are not exactly cheap. While the cause of early miscarriages is unknown, it will not hurt to try to cover all bases.

    Had I known that RID was linked to miscarriages, I would have had myself tested during my first miscarriage. I would have saved myself from the emotional and psychological pain of losing another baby. At the same time, I would not have had to spend for a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure. We spent almost the same amount as if I have delivered a baby but without bringing home one from the hospital.

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    Find the best doctors

    It is crucial to find doctors who can empathize with what you are going through and would not just treat you as another number in the queue. Check their background if they have handled cases like yours. For me, my best measure in choosing any doctor was instinct. You would know in your gut if the doctor is the one for you.

    Join a support group

    Only mothers who have lost a baby can fully understand how hard it is. The good thing about our world now is everything is just an arm’s reach. Through technology, we can hold a space for people who are going through the same plight via social media, community groups, and the like. If you are a RID or APAS warrior, you can join our support group at facebook.com/groups/allaboutapasandrid.

    Pray

    Pray when it doesn’t happen. Pray when it happens. Children are gifts from heaven, and we can only do what is humanly possible to have them. At the end of the day, it is really not in our hands.

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    It is difficult to cope with the loss of a child, especially since we become mothers the moment we know there is a little seed growing inside of us. But take comfort in the thought that the babies we have lost are now angels watching over us. We can honor their presence in this lifetime by remembering them with joy in our hearts, knowing that they were made of love and sent back to the heavens with their parent’s unconditional love. May God bless all the souls of our angel babies.

    Balot Del Rosario is the author of the book, Lost but Found (available here), and the mom-of-two behind the blog Chronicles of The Happy APAS Mama (www.callmebalot.com). Know more about reproductive-immune disorders here.

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