NO one can foresee misfortune coming your way. There are people who pass away at a very old age, and there are those who are gone even before they even glimpse the first light of day.
Three weeks ago, the unimaginable happened: I was astride my motorbike with my wife, who was one-month pregnant, to her office near the international airport. I am a slow and careful driver, but bad luck stirred that morning. We ran over an oil patch left by a car accident the previous night — and whoa, we fell. Not seriously injured, but my wife was white as a sheet, started crying because she thought she had lost our baby. I confessed I feared the same.
That evening we went to the hospital. I was waiting nervously while my wife was being examined by the doctor. This baby, the first one, is priceless for us. Hundreds of questions popped into my head. Would the accident affect my wife’s health or the baby? Would we be able to conceive again? But, more grieviously, if we really lost the baby, would my wife forgive me as a clumsy driver?
Unable to stand the suspense, I whipped out my smartphone and googled Can falling cause miscarriage? One common answer from all the websites was ‘Yes’ (I nearly fainted), but they also said that the risk actually depends on the stage of pregnancy (Thank God, a bit relieved now). Falling during early pregnancy, the first three months, will not lead to miscarriage because during this time, the uterus sits low in the pelvis and is thus well protected by the pelvic bones of the mother.
Yet, I also found something I first thought was scarier — miscarriage in the First Trimester. (Oh, my gosh! I just wanted to throw the phone away.) But, I should read about it in detail first.
People think a miscarriage is rare, and it is the woman who brings upon herself. This, later confirmed by our doctor, is a misconception, but its impact could be huge.
According to a survey published by Obstetrics & Gynecology in 2015, more than 25 percent of the people who have or whose partners have experienced pregnancy say they felt shame. Many of them felt they lost a child while more than half felt guilty about it and think that it occurs in less than 6% of all pregnancy.
According to Dr Zev William, who directs the Program for Early and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss at Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center in New York, miscarriages are the most frequent complication, happening to 1 in very 4 pregnant women.
“Because miscarriage is very common but rarely discussed, many women and couples feel very isolated and alone after suffering a miscarriage,” Dr Williams writes in a report. “…We want people who experience miscarriage to know that they’re not alone—that miscarriages are all too common and that tests are available to help them learn what caused their miscarriage, and hopefully to help them in subsequent pregnancies.”
According to Parents.com, it was not caused by moderate exercise, even sex (Seriously? I have been holding myself since I learned that my wife was pregnant) or stress. American Pregnancy Association Some reports that the most common causes for miscarriages include hormone imbalance, chromosomal problems, chronic diseases (like heart and kidney diseases), uterine problem and even high fever (over 102 °F or 39 °C) before the sixth week!
There is no point in blaming the mother or each other for the miscarriage because in most cases, the parents have done nothing to cause it, and they cannot do anything to prevent it either. It could be sad, of course, but a woman can conceive again. Having a miscarriage, or even two, does not make you less fertile, our doctor told us later.
My wife came out smiling, telling me that the fetus is fine. I was over the moon, of course. I can still keep my new job as Super Papa.
WHO is at risk: A higher risk of miscarriage comes if a woman is over age 35; has diabetes or thyroid problems; and has had three or more miscarriages. Symptoms include: Bleeding (progresses from light to heavy), severe cramps, abdominal pain, fever, weakness, back pain.
A miscarriage is the loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. The medical term for a miscarriage is spontaneous abortion, but “spontaneous” is the key word here because the condition is not an abortion in the common definition. According to the March of Dimes, as many as 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage — most often before a woman misses a menstrual period or even knows she is pregnant. About 15-25% of recognized pregnancies will end in a miscarriage. Over 80% of miscarriages occur within the first three months of pregnancy. Miscarriages are less likely to occur after 20 weeks gestation.
Hard to forget, except to live with it: A miscarriage refers to the loss of a pregnancy and occurs in 15 to 20 % of all pregnancies. Most miscarriages occur during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.
Can a miscarriage hurt? Symptoms of Miscarriage in the First Trimester: Firstly, confirm you indeed have miscarriage symptoms before even worrying. Two main symptoms are vaginal bleeding and abdominal cramping. But these symptoms are not a definitive indication. It may be ectopic pregnancy* — that develops outside the womb; usually occurs 6-8 weeks of pregnancy.
(*ectopic pregnancy: If there is no sign of rupture, the doctor may recommend medication to terminate the pregnancy or monitor as it ends naturally.)
Talking helps healing: A person dealing with a miscarriage needs to tell his or her story repeatedly. Eye contact and gestures show you care. Talk about the baby. Hearing others say the ‘word’ helps grieving to heal.
How to cope with a miscarriage: Stop to acknowledge the passing of your child, tell people what’s happening, get your girlfriends or women around you for support, don’t let distance grow between you and your partner.
“How very softly you tiptoed into our world, almost silently, only a moment you stayed. But what an imprint your footsteps have left upon our hearts.” — Dorothy Ferguson (a therapist on coping with grief and loss, says people we lose will always be with us. The same goes with children we only held in our wombs, and not our arms.)
“Babies lost in the womb were never touched by fear. They were never cold, never hungry, never alone, and importantly always knew love.” — Zoe Clark-Coates (who reminds us that when her babies died before they were born, in the warm comfort of her womb, they were not afraid or hurt. It brought her comfort to think that their world was entirely one of love.)