I miscarried at work and I suffered alone.
I thought I wanted it that way, but looking back, I could have used the support. At the time, I felt an overwhelming amount of shame, guilt, and embarrassment, all of which hindered my ability to heal.
It all started with a missed period and a gut feeling.
I took a pregnancy test and 2 pink lines appeared. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me but they weren’t! My pregnancy was confirmed by a blood test. It was completely unplanned. I thought people planned these things, right? I shared the news with my husband and he was beyond excited. He reassured me that we’d make it work; we always did.
That night I tossed and turned, feeling an overwhelming amount of anxiousness and worry. I worried about whether I’d be a good mom. My head filled with worries about a tiny human growing inside of me and how a million things could go wrong. I thought something was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I just feel happy? We knew we always wanted kids. I felt so ungrateful. I kept telling myself, you have 9 months to figure it out!
Or so I thought.
I started feeling some light cramping but didn’t think anything of it.
I’ve heard light cramping is normal so I wasn’t too worried. When I went to the bathroom I noticed some bloody show which was also very light. That is a normal symptom of early pregnancy as well. I called my doctor the next day and they wanted me to come in. They did an ultrasound which showed some bleeding, but he told me the amount was normal at the time. Never having been pregnant before, I tried to convince myself all was well. I still worried incessantly about it, as I naturally tended to do.
After my doctor’s appointment, I went straight to work as usual and went about my day. I smiled through the increased cramping, met with clients, attended my meetings and carried on like nothing was wrong. The pain kept getting worse and the cramping got sharper and sharper. I knew as the pain grew unbearable that something was very wrong. Yet feeling ashamed and embarrassed, I continued my day. I called my doctor while on lunch break, whispering so no one would hear.
“I’m miscarrying and the pain is unbearable!”
There was no denying it now. He told me to go to the ER and they’d give me pain medications. But that would involve telling people what was going on, so I went about my work day. In my mind, it was easier to suffer in silence than to have to talk about it.
I miscarried at work.
The doctor confirmed this after an invasive, awkward and messy internal ultrasound revealed nothing was in my uterus anymore. I felt guilt before sadness. as if my body knew my initial uncertainties and that’s why I miscarried. I felt like this was all my fault. The feelings of shame and guilt eclipsed my ability to grieve. I pushed my feelings deep within and was back to work as usual. Maybe if I didn’t let myself feel, it would somehow go away.
Why couldn’t I just tell them what was happening? Heck, why didn’t I just go home? Everyone would have understood! They would have supported me and been there for me. Why did I suffer alone and in silence? I needed to grieve and I didn’t allow myself even that. I didn’t even give myself a day off of work. Because I didn’t know any women who had gone through this, I felt so alone. I know now we often don’t talk about it because we feel shame and isolate ourselves.
It’s been a long time coming (years) but today I am finally able to acknowledge what happened without shame. I have grieved and still grieve our loss. As I’ve shared my story I learned I was never alone, that many people miscarry and feel guilt as I did.
Please know you are not alone and do not have to suffer in silence.
Miscarriage is not something you should ever be ashamed of.
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