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Talking of lost pregnancies and miscarriages is considered taboo, and we never now what another woman has gone through. But sharing this can help all of us.
Pregnancy! Ectopic! Anembryonic! Pre-eclampsia! Miscarriage! MTP! and lastly that the Biological Clock Ticks!
Have you come across the other terms except for the first one? If not yet, google up please…its not always Okay to be ignorant you know!
Yes its all about the organ that holds the maximum secrets!
Reading through ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama I came across the part about her failed pregnancy and miscarriage, and how it makes one feel like a lonely world to be in when facing something like this. And it’s not just Michelle, but many other celebrities have come forward to share their experiences.
But yet again, what creeps into your mind is the fact that celebrities are no common humans like us. It’s easier for them…..or is it?
I had a similar experience the summer of 2017 where hardly 10 weeks into a pregnancy I had to undergo an MTP (medical termination of pregnancy) because the embryo did not show up in the scans nor did the heartbeat.
This science of creation and the mystery of the womb left us confused. There was the positive pregnancy test, the hormones surged, the weekly tests, the presence of an embryonic sac in the uterus but yet the reality of the void in that sac.
While the doctor explained what it meant for it to be an anembryonic pregnancy, there was a complete chaos in the house and my own mind alike. I failed to explain to my family what had gone wrong and the pressure to regain their confidence that neither my husband nor I were responsible for this, and the hospital wasn’t either for running multiple scans, was tremendous.
I have not been through the labour of childbirth, but the termination of pregnancy is just as painful. I had it at 10 weeks and that too with the help of pills, but the shock and pain it puts on that poor little organ can never be expressed after those sleepless night with a feeling of a virtual drill machine churning and scrapping your abdominal vitals. (Sorry for expressing it in so graphic a manner).
After all the physical and hormonal shock that the body had been through came the phase where ‘easier for one to curl into our own cocoon and disconnect from all the outside noise.
Most of us are not comfortable about speaking about it, share our experience, or even ready to accept a few words of concern and encouragement. Obviously there is the phase of depression, denial, self doubt which if not acknowledged and handled carefully may worsen. We become sensitive enough to people’s comments, like even the hospital receptionist who refers to you for a post MTP package which makes it sound insensitive.
However, slowly as I worked myself to normalcy, went back to work and shared my experience with friends and female colleagues, I was surprised to know so many of them had experienced something similar. There was a friend who had to abort her 5 month pregnancy due to abnormal foetal growth, and another colleague who had a complicated ectopic pregnancy resulting into an infected Fallopian tube that had to be operated.
When I went back to my gynecologist with my set of doubts, she told me the fact that the pregnancies that we hear around us are only 25% of the total pregnancies every year. The ‘good news’ out there is only the ones that have completed the term of 9 months.
All others which do not make it to the full term are hushed in homes, buried in hearts and most importantly never after acknowledged as existed. Just imagine the number of pregnancies that existed but not acknowledged again. It may fade in the minds of people even if they knew it existed but the thought that it existed remains forever in the minds of the couple who has been through it like a tatoo on your chest which is visible only to you whenever you are under the shower.
My intention here is not to make anybody feel sorry or pity about such experiences but to be a little sympathetic before questioning the next time about their fertility or the good news. It does not always spark joy to the person intended. And if you pop the question, remember you should be in a position to handle the emotional flow of the bad news as well if the person in question even plans to share. The awkward change in subject does not help because its all human and this is equally normal.
My intention to share this part of my life was to give a shout out to all the women and their spouses to let them know that you are not alone. This phase might be depressing but it is only temporary and neither you nor your spouse need to blame yourself for what happened. Whatever happened was unfortunate, unexpected but absolutely natural and not a reason to curl yourself into your cocoon and shut yourself from the world.
Pregnancies….planned/unplanned, normal/abnormal, MTP/abortion, a baby in your arm or one in the stars are equally valuable to you and your spouse. So acknowledge those uncertainties, sorrows, a pained womb before you plan to move ahead or you plan against it. You will be respected and loved irrespective of what you have been through and what you will choose for yourself. But most importantly love yourself and be gentler to your self.
I came across this little video where Oprah Winfrey describes Vulnerability.
Quoting Oprah below –
Vulnerability is: Being willing to express the truth no matter what. The truth of who you are, the essence at your core, of what you are feeling at any given moment. It’s being able to open up your soul and let it flow so that other people can see their soul in yours.
So all the beautiful people out there, young or old, please be a little vulnerable to share the secrets your ‘not spoken about’ organ holds buried into it. Take your time to speak up but when you do summon the courage please open up. We never know how many people we might knowingly or unknowingly give that word the acceptance and courage which is otherwise difficult to ask for.
Lets be kind to our own self! Lets be kind to the young women and couples around us!
Once you open your self and do not hold anything back, you will be surprised by the inflow of positivity and love in the universe.
We are sure that the agony aunts who come up with the question of good news also mean well but it would be helpful if you are a bit sympathetic before you ask again. Perhaps, you could also share your experience from the past which will help wash off the self doubt and depression a young woman might be going through
Dear Women! We are strong and we need not prove it always…
Be a little vulnerable, a little kind, a little loving…..
Share your stories…..
And see no one questions your strength and spirit….
See you just helped another young woman out of her insecurities….
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: shutterstock
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Saptadeepa works as a IT professional from the last 9 years. When not at work,
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