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After miscarriage: grateful for support

A failed pregnancy.

What a horrible term.

But that's the term I heard again and again in the emergency room when I had a miscarriage recently.

Failed pregnancy. Geez, you might as well sit in the corner with a dunce hat on while a doctor scolds your reproductive system.

\"Bad uterus. You're a very naughty little uterus, aren't you?\"

At least I'm luckier than a friend of mine whose doctor told her to

go home and have a drink to celebrate not being pregnant after her

miscarriage.Then there's my cousin, who had a hospital nurse yell

across the room, \"Don't worry — it was just a bad egg.\"

Talk about adding insult to injury.

For health-care workers who have never lost a pregnancy, I just

don't think it clicks that it's not just a failed pregnancy. For a

mother-to-be, it's a baby as soon as she sees those two pink lines on

the pregnancy test.

I was six weeks along when I miscarried — barely long enough to see

anything on an ultrasound. But to any woman who has been pregnant, you

know that's long enough to have calculated the due date, picked out

which room will be the nursery, and started thinking about how

drastically life will change in just nine short months.

No, it's not a baby yet according to science. No, I didn't lose a

child with a face and a name. But I did lose a vision of the future

that was already cemented in my mind.

How do you grieve an idea?

Perhaps that's what makes miscarriage so difficult; you're lost in

this no-man's land of early miscarriage where you have nothing to bury

but feelings of loss that are real.

And each time someone asks me how I'm feeling or how I'm doing, it

just reminds me again that I really have no idea how I feel. I don't

know what I'm supposed to be feeling.

Yes, I feel sad. Each time I utter the phrase, \"Oh, I had a

miscarriage,\" the fact that it actually happened becomes a little more

real. It's kind of like when you tell people you are pregnant and the

words sound surprisingly delicious as they roll off your tongue.It's

like that, except when you announce a miscarriage, the words scratch

your throat as they come out.

I also feel sick. I had no idea the physical toll a miscarriage, especially one this early, would have on my body.

I feel silly. In my excitement about my pregnancy, I told pretty

much everyone I knew.And now as those friends and family continue to

ask how the baby is doing, I feel awkward telling them there is no more

baby.

But as I've tried to pinpoint exactly how I feel in these past few

weeks, I've discovered something surprising — I mostly feel grateful.

I'm grateful for a supportive husband and an adorable daughter who

cheered me. I'm grateful for a mother who helped me know what to expect.

I'm thankful for readers who sent heartfelt comments and

sympathizing stories when I first wrote about my miscarriage on my

Deseret News blog.

I'm grateful for a doctor who knew how to help me and give me

treatment to prevent this miscarriage from affecting future

pregnancies. I'm even grateful for the expertise of the emergency room

doctors who casually batted around that \"failed pregnancy\" term.

But mostly, I'm grateful for this body. This amazing body of mine

took care of itself with few complications. Although I'll never know

why this pregnancy didn't last, I know that my body did what was best

for this baby and for me. It did what it was designed to do.

And in that sense, I will never think of myself, my body or this pregnancy as a failure.


Erin Stewart's blog, Just4Mom, can be found Tuesdays and Thursdays at deseretnews.com.E-mail: estewart@desnews.com