Six of my seven pregnancies ended in an early miscarriage. An early miscarriage is one that happens within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. But just because it has happened within the first 3 months does not make it any less of a loss.

I hated it (and still do!), when I hear people’s ill-informed and inconsiderate responses to the word miscarriage:
– ‘at least it was early’
– ‘it wasn’t even a baby yet’
– ‘it probably didn’t even have a heartbeat yet’
– ‘at least it didn’t happen later on, how much worse would that have been?’
– ‘count yourself lucky it happened now’

An early miscarriage is painful and as emotionally heartbreaking as a loss at any other time. Let me explain why…

Imagine really wanting something, like really wanting it. Let’s use an example to make this a little more relatable. Imagine this – you want the latest iPhone, you work extra shifts at work, you save a little extra each month, every other day you find yourself googling the features to remind yourself of what you’ll soon have, you pop into the phone shop just to look at it, excited that it won’t be long till you have one of your own. You imagine yourself using it, showing it to your friends, using the new camera, posting the photos from it, you imagine yourself feeling good, feeling proud that you worked so hard for something and you finally got it!! You can’t wait! You actually can’t wait! Can you picture that? Can you feel that excitement?

Now imagine how much deeper the dreams, the excitement, the longing, the anticipation would be if the thing you really wanted was a baby, not an iPhone. Can you imagine that?!

When you see the blue lines on the pregnancy test, possibly after a difficult journey to even get pregnant. Can you imagine the sheer excitement? The feeling that you’re on the journey to finally getting what you always wanted. Flooded with love, with longing, with connection to the little life that is starting it’s journey inside you. Every day checking your pregnancy app to see how big your baby is and what features are developing, talking to it even though you know it can’t hear yet, writing your hopes in your journal, tenderly touching your tummy, wondering if it will be a boy or a girl, your excitement gaining momentum and you don’t know how you’ll keep this a secret especially with the beaming smile that you can’t seem to remove from your face.

Now imagine that out of the blue, you feel pain, keeled over with cramping, you lose blood, it feels like you’re having contractions, you’re confused at what is happening, you want to pretend nothing is wrong but you know it is…and in that moment, or days later you finally ‘pass’ your baby, it is sitting in the bowl of the toilet, you scream at the thought, mortified that at some point you’re going to have to flush the chain and let what remains of your baby be flushed away in the most undignified manner. Yes, my friends, this is how so many early miscarriages happen, not in the comfort of a hospital bed like the picture painted in many soap operas.

That life you longed for, the dreams you dreamt, the hopes you had – all gone. You are broken. You actually feel like your heart has broken in two. You are emotional. The smile you wore has gone. The excitement has been replaced with a dark cloud. You’re finding it all a bit too hard.

And now imagine the sting, the dagger, the sheer cruelty of these words…
– ‘at least it was early’
– ‘it wasn’t even a baby yet’
– ‘it probably didn’t even have a heartbeat yet’
– ‘at least it didn’t happen later on, how much worse would that have been?
– ‘count yourself lucky it happened now’

Do you see? Do you see how a baby that is longed for and lost, at whatever stage can be a deep and profound loss? Never should that loss be greeted with the inconsiderate and uncompassionate words above. 

Share this, make others aware, a loss is a loss no matter when it happens. Use your words wisely.