sharing your stories and remembering your children
By Stephanie Gordon EPLA Editor
When I went through my miscarriage, I didn’t share the news with the world until years later. I felt like talking about miscarriage was still a silent topic – even in 2012. When I shared the news with my 86-year-old grandma, Rosemary, she told me she, too, had lost a baby four months into a pregnancy. Her loss was something we never talked about until recently.
In 1962, she became pregnant with her third child. Four months later, she lost her baby. At the time of her miscarriage, she had two healthy girls.
“I didn’t talk to anyone about it,” Rosemary said. “Back then, miscarriage was kept a secret and wasn’t talked about. It wasn’t a good experience.”
My grandma worked in a local school system at the time of her miscarriage. She made an appointment with her doctor before going to work one morning. She was experiencing blood loss, and wanted to determine if she was losing her child.
“My doctor confirmed that I was losing the baby,” she said. “Back then, there weren’t options like there are today. The laws were different. I felt so helpless.”
If you have experienced miscarriage, you know that there are options for mothers experiencing loss. A few options would be to pass the baby naturally, a D&C (dilation and curettage), or a pill, usually misoprostol, to help complete the miscarriage. My grandma’s only option was to wait to pass the baby naturally. To this day, she believes her doctor wished he could have helped more.
She continued to work even though she was losing her child. She remembered crying to her doctor as she waited for her baby to pass. He again told her that he could do nothing to help her.
A few days after bleeding began, my grandma passed her baby during the night at home. My grandpa stayed by her side as she delivered the baby. Apparently in the ’60s, it was common practice to be admitted to a hospital after miscarriage for close monitoring.
“I stayed in the hospital for a day-and-a-half,” Rosemary said. “I felt so relieved that it was all over. I went home and it was fine.”
My grandma went on to tell me that back then, women didn’t talk to their doctor, family, or friends about the things they do now. This was interesting to me. Was this a generation that just dealt with the situations they were put in with little support? Were they forced to bottle up their emotions and act like nothing happened? Sort of like an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality? It felt as though it was.
After my grandma’s miscarriage, her doctor said that she wouldn’t be able to have more healthy children. I’m not sure what made him think that – maybe because she had experienced miscarriage. But, two years later, she became pregnant with my mother. She birthed one last healthy child, and I am so incredibly happy she’s here.
Stephanie Gordon is a paleo food enthusiast, wife, full-time SAHM of two girls with one on the way, marketing professional, and blogger. You can follow her on Instagram at @stephgordonblog.