To the Woman Trying to Keep her Marriage Strong Through Miscarriage and Infertility: This Story is for You.
To the woman trying to keep her marriage strong while going through miscarriage, infertility, and pregnancy: this story is for you.
You were brought this article because you are going through something tough. Maybe you are struggling with infertility, or you have been through a miscarriage. Maybe you are pregnant after years of trying, and although you are thrilled to be pregnant, you are worried about every little thing. If this is you, I want you to know that you are not alone. Like you, I struggled. I felt alone, and like my struggle would never end. I’m sharing my story and the lessons I have learned along the way with you so that you can feel understood, heard, and supported.
My story of miscarriage, infertility, and pregnancy:
Our story of pregnancy began on a typical night out at the local movie theatre. My husband and I were enjoying the movie, and the popcorn, when suddenly one of the characters was killed. Immediately, I started crying and became so emotional! As someone who rarely cries, let alone in public, it dawned on me that something else must be going on. Sure enough, after taking a pregnancy test, we found out we were pregnant!
Miscarriage & Guilt
Fast forward to just a few weeks later, I was at work and getting ready to leave for lunch when suddenly I had a feeling like I was about to start my period… only I was now 8 weeks pregnant. My heart dropped, as I had the sick feeling of intuition about what was happening. I quickly took off for the day, feeling panicked and scared about what was going on with my body and my baby.
Within one painful hour, I lost my first baby at home and alone, and a deep sense of grief and guilt settled in its place. I went to the hospital to make sure I was physically okay. They sent me home telling me “there was nothing you could have done.”
My husband did not know how to act around me. He sat beside me as I cried, but I didn’t know how to talk to him about what I was feeling. I was so ashamed that I had lost our baby. I felt so much guilt and sorrow. Instead, we both remained silent and never talked about it again. It was just too painful. I felt so sad and alone in the grieving process, with all the stress, fretting, and loss entirely on my shoulders.
My struggles with miscarriage and infertility continued after that day for more than 2 years. I was having trouble conceiving, and was scared that something was wrong with me. This was accompanied by the fact that, since my husband and I had been married for a while, people would constantly say: “When are you going to start having kids? You’re not getting any younger!” It made me want to scream.
I had nearly given up on becoming a mom. I felt like the life that I’d always imagined for myself was fading away, and I was plagued by thoughts of “what am I doing wrong?”, and “am I just not meant to ever be a mommy?” I never told anyone how I was feeling.
I masked my pain and told people that I was fine, and that I was leaving motherhood “in God’s hands.” But in secret, I started using apps to track every little detail of my ovulation cycles and my sex life, and took test after disappointing test.
One miraculous day, I just knew I was pregnant again. I took a pregnancy test that evening and hallelujah! My prayers had been answered! I did not tell anyone about my pregnancy for several weeks, just to make sure everything was going well.
Although I was wonderfully excited, I developed a severe case of anxiety during my pregnancy. I began to fret over all of the things that could go wrong. Was I taking showers that were too hot and going to give my baby Spina Bifida? Did my increasing age increase my baby’s risk of having Down Syndrome? Was that a club foot I saw in my ultrasound photo? My worries were out of control!
Despite all these things, more than 2.5 years after my first miscarriage, we had a blessing. I became mommy to a healthy, beautiful baby girl. Now, as we prepare to start trying for a second baby, I look back on my journey to get to this point.
I wish I could go back in time, and give myself and my husband some advice on how to make things easier when dealing with our miscarriage and infertility.
5 ways I learned to keep my marriage strong through my journey of miscarriage, infertility, and pregnancy:
This has never been my strong suit. I tend to hold things in, bottle them up, and not share them. This has caused a lot of problems throughout my marriage. Communication is so important! Talking about my thoughts and feelings while they were happening would have unburdened me so much, and allowed my husband to know what I was going through.
2. Grieve Together
Let your partner share your grief. Communicate how you are feeling, and allow them to support you! If you cry, let them comfort you. If you have worries and feel guilt, share it with them so that neither of you face this alone. It is dangerous to let the grief eat you up inside. You must get it out in the open to be able to process it and move forward.
3. Be Understanding
Your partner is going through things that are emotionally painful and taxing. Don’t expect them to get better and get over it overnight, and don’t pick at each other. Do not let the negativity consume you! You are both grieving and going through a difficult time, and you must both be understanding of each other and yourselves during this time.
4. Show That You Care
Actions are powerful. Be affectionate towards one another, show that you care and want to get through this together. Listen to each other. You are partners in life, and this includes the ups and downs! If you can get through this together as a team, you will come out on the other side stronger than before.
5. Don’t Play The Blame Game
As a woman, I questioned myself over and over and over again. What did I do wrong? What can I do different? Why did my body fail me and my child? These thoughts are so common for women who experience a miscarriage, but they are also damaging. Instead of shouldering the blame and thinking that it was my fault, or that I was responsible for our loss, I should have held my husband’s hand and dealt with it together.
I hope that my story can help you know that you are not alone in your struggles, and give you some helpful tips on keeping your marriage strong.
Share this story with other moms or moms-to-be in your life to help them know that they are also not alone.
About the Author: Mindy Felisiano
Mindy Felisiano is a work-at-home mommy-preneur and children’s book author. On her years-long quest to motherhood, Mindy realized that she was lacking in camaraderie with other women who had been through the same things she had, and so she started TheMisadventuresOfMindy.com to create an online community where mommy’s of all stages could come together in support of one another. Here, Mindy shares her stories and anecdotes with her own humorous and creative spin, along with the tips and tricks of motherhood that she’s learned along the way.