How I connected to others
By Juliana Kassianos, Transformational Fertility Coach, Yoga Teacher and Founder of The School of Fertility
When you have a miscarriage, it can be quite an isolating experience for both you and your partner. One of the reasons for this, is that it’s not something that society tends to openly talk about. I find this so frustrating, especially as it happens to so many of us, one in four to be precise. Plus, when it does happen, it can be extremely traumatic, taking a huge toll on both body and mind, which is why having access to people who can support you, is so important.
When Steve and I found out we were pregnant, we choose to only tell our parents, specifically because of the risk of miscarriage. Like many others, we were going to wait until the 12-week pregnancy scan, when we’d have confirmation that all was progressing well. The problem with this, however, is that when something does happen, you’re left in a situation where no-one in your close circle knows that you were pregnant, let alone that you lost the baby. From experience, I can tell you that it’s not an easy conversation to start either.
Although you may have the support of close family and friends, you might feel that they don’t really understand what you’re going through, as they haven’t experienced it for themselves and so can’t really relate. Although they offer their support, there’s an element of not feeling comfortable opening up to them as you feel they just won’t get it. You may be offered lots of positive thoughts such as “at least you can try again”, but really what you need is for someone just to listen to you and for you to feel truly heard.
This is where I feel it’s really important to find people to engage with who have had a miscarriage. It helps you realise you’re not alone, the thoughts and feelings your having aren’t unusual, and that you will get through it, even though it might not feel like it at the time.
SPEAKING TO A FRIEND
For me, this was speaking to my best friend who sadly had a miscarriage a few years ago. The fact she now has a beautiful baby girl gives me so much hope. I knew she'd be helpful to speak to as not only did I feel she'd understand where I was coming from, as she'd been in my shoes herself, but also because of her loving and caring nature. It was difficult to tell her what had happened, as it was still fairly raw, but as soon as I had, it all started to pour out. All the thoughts and feelings that were going through my mind at the time. It was comforting to share our stories of miscarriage and the more she talked to me about hers, the more I opened up to her about ours. Not doubt from her own experience, she just seemed to know exactly what words of support to offer.
BROWSING ONLINE FORUMS
I'd browse online forums through a good old 'Google' search, looking for stories of others like me who'd had a 'missed miscarriage'. In some ways, I used to search for posts that offered me hope, couples that had been through a 'missed miscarriage', but then got pregnant again and had a healthy baby. It’s almost like I needed confirmation that it was actually possible, which may sound silly, especially coming from a Natural Fertility Therapist. The problem was that even though I consciously knew that it was possible, at the time, my subconscious had started to doubt it, because it was clouded by fear.
CONNECTING THROUGH INSTAGRAM
I choose to be open about my experience on Instagram, by posting links to this blog and interacting with others within the trying to conceive (ttc) community. It was the one social platform I felt safe to speak freely about our miscarriage. I think it's because it has so many supportive individuals on it, who specifically have accounts to share their fertility journey's. Everyone's really respectful of the feelings of others, for example anyone announcing a pregnancy, tends to put 'sensitive post' beforehand, which is code for, this could be a trigger for you. I received such touching messages from complete strangers offering me love, support and advice on how they coped with their miscarriages that it literally took my breath away. I now try to take time to do the same, as I know how much it meant to me at the time.
If you’ve recently experienced a miscarriage, know that you don’t need to go through it alone. There are others out there like me, here to support you and help you heal. Try to connect to poeple who have experienced miscarriage, whether it be family, friends, through social media or online forums.