After a Miscarriage: Seeking Support
Miscarriages may affect women very differently, but the one thing that most have in common is the need for support. Seeking support after a miscarriage was very important for Cherokee Women’s Health patient, Sachiko.
Our Patient Suffers a Miscarriage
Sachiko knew since she was 16 years old that she had endometriosis, (the development of uterine-lining tissue outside the uterus), and that it could one day affect her chances of getting pregnant. Once married and beginning to think about having children, she decided to seek help from Dr. Litrel of Cherokee Women’s Health. After Dr. Litrel performed surgery to remove the endometriosis, he gave her his approval to start trying to get pregnant. Sachiko got pregnant immediately. She and her husband were both thrilled and had no reason to expect any problems.
Sadly, Sachiko had a miscarriage late into her first trimester. It started with signs at 8 ½ weeks and lasted a few weeks before she lost the baby. Their excitement turned to devastation and Sachiko felt emotionally broken.
Sharing Her Story
Like many couples, Sachiko and her husband had chosen not to make a public announcement about their pregnancy until they were past the first trimester. Because that never happened, Sachiko felt alone and recalls that the hardest part was suffering, without anyone knowing why. That’s when Sachiko decided to post her story on Facebook. She typed a very long post telling everyone what she had been going through and how it had been so hard to grieve in silence. She explained why she had been avoiding friends and that pretending everything was perfectly fine when it wasn’t, had only made matters worse. She had originally thought that keeping her miscarriage a secret would protect herself from having to continually open that wound. But that day, she decided it was time to “rip the band-aid off” and stop hiding so she could begin to focus on healing and moving forward.
“The only thing worse than losing something that meant the world to you is pretending that you lost nothing.”
She shared the details and timeline of all the pain she and her husband had been going through. She also shared the physical and emotional pain, and the loss of loving the life growing inside of her. She shared how one quote she read had described perfectly what she was feeling. It read, “The only thing worse than losing something that meant the world to you is pretending that you lost nothing.”
Sachiko didn’t ask for or want any pity. She just wanted understanding and patience, and thanked the few that she had confided in for their love, prayers and support.
Finding Unexpected Support
She certainly didn’t expect what happened as a result of her opening up. Not only did she receive an overwhelming amount of support from her loved ones, but friends and acquaintances started reaching out to her to share their own miscarriage experiences. Many of Sachiko’s large network of sorority sisters contacted her to say that by sharing her experience, they realized that they weren’t alone, and that was very helpful to them.
By sharing her story, Sachiko didn’t just help others – she helped herself. She found that connecting with others gave her comfort and hope. “It was a very cathartic experience and the support helped me to begin the long process of healing,” she recalls.
Sachiko also found music to be very therapeutic. She created a large playlist of songs that spoke about loss and hope. She entitled it Broken. The music was a source of true comfort to her.
And then, not quite a year later, Sachiko found another source of support and comfort – her rainbow baby Killian. Though she had a few scary moments during her pregnancy with Killian, he was born a healthy baby and she and her husband were ecstatic and grateful.
Advice After Miscarriage
Through the whole process Sachiko has continued to share her story as a source of support, hope and comfort to others. Her advice to others who have suffered through the pain of a miscarriage is to talk about it with others, especially those who have also been through it. She says, “Let people into your true feelings and don’t fake that you’re okay. If people don’t know, they can’t try to understand”.
Getting support from loved ones or even those outside of your inner circle is an important, and often necessary, step to help in the grieving process. Many communities offer more structured support systems, such as counselors, literature or support groups, which are often free of charge. Your local hospital may also offer information and support. Wherever you seek support, just know that you’re not alone.
Following are resources you may find helpful for your recovery process:
H.E.A.R.T. Strings Support Group – Hope, Empathy, Alliance, Resources and Teamwork