sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: Maria Servold EPLA Editor
I often wish the Early Pregnancy Loss Association was established years ago, as I could have benefited directly from what we are creating now: resource folders to place in doctor’s offices, churches, and emergency rooms, and care kits to help with the physical needs of a miscarriage. Without these resources, my story of miscarriage was one of confusion and isolation.
In September 2012, I was nine weeks pregnant with my first child when I suddenly began bleeding late one evening. My husband and I rushed to the local emergency room, where I eventually was given a “stall” and seen by the ER doctor on shift. After determining that I was most likely miscarrying “the products of conception” (as he called the baby) he sent me on my way home.
For the most part, the visit was business-like and sterile. I felt as though no one really cared about what I was experiencing Thankfully, there was one ER nurse who saw me in tears and, once she heard what was happening, gave me a big hug. I am still grateful for her.
While I didn’t expect to be cuddled and loved by the ER staff (they are medical professionals, not counselors), I left the hospital feeling lost and confused. What had just happened? Why had it happened? Should an OB-GYN have examined me before leaving? I had more questions than answers and a broken heart on top of it.
I later learned that the ER was in fact the right place for me to be seen, not the labor and delivery unit, as I was less than 20 weeks pregnant. But, it seemed like no one in the emergency room was prepared to handle a mother grieving a miscarriage that night.
This is one of the ways EPLA can help. We provide resource folders and miscarriage care kits in local hospitals and doctors offices that medical professionals can provide to grieving mothers who come in during or after a miscarriage.
These educational resources help close the knowledge gap for a woman going through what I went through. While this information won’t take away the grief, pain, and frustration, it might help provide some clarity during a time of confusion, or a path when a woman might otherwise feel lost.
The miscarriage care kits consist of comfort and sanitary items to help a woman navigate a very difficult emotional and physical experience. These care kits have been donated and assembled by women and families who have been there, and through these kits EPLA hopes to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
While my miscarriage was one of the hardest things my husband and I have had to go through, I am grateful for the opportunity to work for EPLA and help other women with our resource folders and care kits, in hopes that their suffering may be eased a little.
Maria Servold is an Editor at the EPLA, Assistant Director of the Herbert H. Dow II Program in American Journalism, and Lecturer in Journalism at Hillsdale College