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Stop Rationalizing a Miscarriage
a blog by Shana Kurz, June 12, 2012
When I suffered a miscarriage, I was always able to use the rationalization that the baby “wasn’t meant to be.” Early miscarriages are most likely because of chromosomal abnormalities, so I was able to use research, medical terms and comments from well-intended friends and families to explain away each miscarriage I had. The fetus wasn’t developing properly and therefore stopped growing, “it wasn’t meant to be.”
The days between a positive blood test and a blood test with a falling hCG level were always full of hope, signals between the embryo and myself through exhaustion and nausea. I would think about the time of year I would give birth and how my life would change. I would enjoy the secret I had inside me, invisible to all others while so important.
And in one phone call, from a nurse named Alexia, those thoughts and hopes would be slashed. My body was carrying a chromosomal mistake that would be explained away with the words “it wasn’t meant to be.” And although I believed those words, I now realize that they were not true. It wasn’t up to me or anyone else to determine what is meant to be — it was my body and an experience. If someone loses their watch, a loved one or a race, we don’t say “it wasn’t meant to be.” Instead, we say “bummer," or “I’m so sorry to hear about your loss” or “better luck next time.”
Nobody tries to take away your experience in any other situation, except when there is a miscarriage. Why did I believe those words? What was on the other side if I took away these words and stared at the hole that was left? I would have admitted there was a huge loss that would shape my life in every way, ways I will never understand. I will never know what would have happened if I hadn’t miscarried, and, therefore, my life is different now. There was grief, but as that faded, I would have admitted that a miscarriage isn’t a mistake or a small hurdle. Instead it’s a sharp turn in the road, a u-turn in fact. It’s a shift for your body and mind, a shift for you, your partner and your families. I should have screamed, “Life just changed forever! Is anyone listening?”
But instead I suffered in silence, rationalizing and burying my feelings in an effort to have hope again. Could I have suffered five miscarriages and faced my true feelings each time? Did I have the strength to stand up to friends and family when I heard them utter those same words “it wasn’t meant to be?” I wish I could have, just like I wish I could have the baby that was lost each time.