Saturday, August 1, 2009

A word about Miscarriage

I wanted to share something with you that I never knew (or recognised or accepted as acknowledged fact). The acupuncturist I went to on Wednesday night unknowingly tripped a wire I didn't realise I had set. He advised the same thing I found in a book I later 'googled' (and have included the link here, for anyone interested):

It is important to remember that, according to the experience of Chinese medicine, a miscarriage is as draining to a woman's energy as labour. Indeed, there is a saying that proclaims "a miscarriage is more serious than labour." . . .

The popular view, often corroborated by medical opinion, is that a miscarriage is a trivial occurrence after which a woman can try to conceive again straight away. This is not so from the point of view of Chinese medicine, which considers a miscarriage to be as draining to a woman's system as childbirth, if not more so, especially if there is profuse loss of blood during a miscarriage. In fact, after a miscarriage, there is a sudden drop in hormone levels which has a very weakening effect on the mother. Furthermore, a miscarriage is more draining than childbirth from an emotional point of view, as childbirth is at least followed by the joy and emotional fulfilment of motherhood, whereas a miscarriage is followed only by an intense sense of loss and, often, of failure, however unjustified."

I believe this is too important to overlook. I know first hand the desperation and determination that arises from just one pregnancy loss, let alone multiples (or the death of a born child). I also know what it's like to "recover" from birth - it took eight months to physically heal after the LGBB (urgently pushing a posterior presenting baby out to prevent a cord 'accident' when you're only 8cm dilated may just do that to some of us...).

But just like the acupuncturist and I discussed, a birth also gives back a whole lot - things a miscarriage will never be able to.

There has been such a freeing in being gifted this 'saying', by a total stranger, who had absolutely no idea the prison he was unlocking me from.

Who knew that all this time, when I was surrounded by people who didn't pay much mind to what it felt like being on the other end of things they said, like, "just another pregnancy, it was early, you're still young, you can try again..." I was actually doing it harder - longterm recovery-wise - than their one or two live, relatively uncomplicated births?? I never ever gave myself permission to consider a miscarriage might be harder to go through. I was not allowed nor encouraged to see the miscarriages as anything other than pissy annoying false starts getting in the way of what it meant to be a real woman, in the scheme of things.

They weren't all "no more than just a late period" miscarriages. I'd say only three (roughly calculating here) of the nine were under five weeks. The rest were enough to have already sent my body, mind and heart into baby-nurturing overdrive. Swollen breasts, heavy abdomen, nausea, fatigue.... for this to suddenly stop and those hormones to (sometimes) keep going but always just go nowhere... well, is it any wonder it can knock a body around? And that's not even factoring in the missed miscarriages (I have had two... and a half... the half being not completely missed because the foetus was just hanging in there when we stopped it, before it became a Christmas to Remember in 2004...) - a missed miscarriage means your body doesn't really have any idea there's trouble afoot! It keeps merrily swelling, deceiving your mind into thinking that "Hey, if I don't want to give up the cream pie and pickle sandwiches just yet, surely everything must be fine this time in there." A body that has not responded, hormone-wise, to the demise of a baby is bound to also need some talking down from the ledge. My body never got that talk. I just shifted it up a gear and went, hey, let's make another... that D&C was fun!

And now, this release has catapulted me into a different level of healing, which I am enjoying and keeping low about until it is fully passed and the time is right.

I have soooo much more to tell you! But it's not the right time to truly go digging deep into it. I just couldn't leave this hanging, though, in case there is just one person who reads this and gains a similar sense of validation or comfort as I have had, years past my TTC days.

But what I will share here is something very important. To anyone experiencing, especially, multiple miscarriages, I do not believe the investigation of these things (or consideration) can be flippantly overlooked. I'm not saying this is a cure-all answer. Nooooo, no no no. I don't live in that world.

However, in case it is of any help at all, take a look here at this book and see if anything might be for you. The entire ruddy thing appears to have been scanned and uploaded on the web! So take a squizz. You can search the actual text using your own key words, over on the left side there and it will find all instances of the word/s you're looking for.

Looking for more about what I have to say on miscarriage/infant loss? See here.

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