On Life and not blogging

It's been a long while since I last wrote a proper blog post. I wonder if anyone is still reading...perhaps if you're like me, you don't clear blogs out of your blog reader when they haven't posted in ages so maybe this will pop up as a surprise. I should warn you, that this is a long and personal post, and not connected to crafting at all.....

If you follow me on Instagram ( I haven't posted recently, more later) you might have seen me posting in the summer about having had 2 miscarriages in 2017. The first, in January 2017, was when I was 10 weeks pregnant. It was such a shock and very hard to process. I fell pregnant about 3 months later, and although it was wonderful it was also terrifying and I was convinced the same thing would happen again. This time I made it to 12 weeks. In fact, it was on the evening of the day I was exactly 12 weeks pregnant, in July, that the bleeding started. This time it was even harder to bear, having just made it to the so-called 'safe' time. It was utterly devastating and I was very angry. I was able to get some counselling through my workplace, which was helpful. Without that outlet, I'm not sure how I would have coped. I also posted about it on Instagram, and received warm and supportive comments that really helped. I started making an embroidery with flowers which was to mark the two pregnancies, and I felt, to some degree, that I had dealt with the awful and intense emotions.

Then, after getting pregnant again shortly after, I had a third miscarriage in October. This time, I had only known for a couple of weeks and it was at an early scan (7 weeks) that it was confirmed that the pregnancy wasn't viable. It was hard to believe it could happen a third time. Part of me was pathetically grateful that I hadn't known for as long as last time and that it was overall less physically and emotionally traumatic. However in thinking that, and telling myself that it 'could have been worse', I was failing to deal with the combined weight of the grief of three miscarriages. At the time, life was very hard going, like wading through mud. I kept feeling like someone had their knee in my back and was pushing me down, not allowing me have something I really wanted.

But, I kept going, trying to concentrate on work, family and home, developing the coping mechanism of cutting out things that were too hard. So, no mental space for blogging. Instagram also had to go - despite it being helpful in the past, it was too hard to see people announcing pregnancies or even just getting on with their lives in a way that I felt I couldn't. Instagram had always been a 'safe space' to talk abotut crafting and I didn't want to feel it with loads of personal stuff or sadness. But equally, the miscarriages were such a big part of my life that I couldn't not talk about them. I had to cut out things to do with pregnancy and babies because it was too hard. So that meant minimising contact with people with small babies (not close friends, they were fine) or sometimes even not getting into the same train carriage as someone with a baby. So even while I was doing this as self-protection, I also felt so sad that I had to limit and control my life in this way just to keep going. Everything felt very unfair. I also resented the fact that being so sad was making it hard to concentrate on the good things in life that I really wanted to enjoy.

Everything came to a head in January this year. After dreading Christmas and New Year, I got through them, only to be faced with the anniversary of my first miscarriage on the 19th January- also on the same day as the due date for the second. Shortly after that, I interviewed for a job I wanted, but when I didn't get it I was so upset that I realised that I needed help. I was tired of being so sad and feeling like I just had no emotional resilience left. I felt like my skin had been stripped off and I was just raw and vulnerable to any emotion. Not that it was any wonder about that - 12 months of a rollercoaster of hope and grief will have that effect. I had used all the tools I had - counselling, talking, making stuff and running, but none of it was enough anymore.

This is where a trip to the Doctor came in. The less said about the first Doctor I saw the better - she was incredibly unempathetic and severely lacked in people skills, leaving me very upset by the encounter. Luckily the second Doctor I saw was lovely and very helpful and the result of our discussion was a prescription of anti-depressants. This wasn't something I knew much about or would have sought but her questioning of my mood and explanation of what they were and how they worked made me feel that this could be something that would help me. The idea of getting relief from the sadness that was so ever-present in my mind, was uplifting.

And so, this is where I am now. I'm still sewing and making things and living life. And after all that explanation, I wanted to talk about sadness and grief, because when I was feeling it the most, I craved reading about other peoples' experiences of grief because it helped me to feel less alone. Much of what I found is about grief after the death of a person. While miscarriage grief shares much of the same characteistics, I found it hard to negotiate because I was grieving for someone I didn't know, so I did wonder how on earth it could be so painful sometimes. But it really is. And none of the miscarriages were any less painful than the others, just different, as I was in a different place emotionally each time. The cumulative weight of the grief is very heavy, and the recalibration from hope to grief to hope and fear to grief to hope and grief yet again has been so exhausting.


Having been throught this experience has given me a greater depth of understanding of grief and of the problems that are caused by not dealing with it - because you never get to escape from it, and it will get you sooner or later. It's taught me the importance of seeing and acknowledging grief - mine and other peoples'. This is particularly relevant for miscarriages. After 3 miscarriages I had spent a total of 29 weeks being pregnant (10,12,7) but no-one would have known about it unless I had chosen to share it. I found that very painful, and sometimes just wanted to tell everyone to let them know how broken I was feeling. It was important for me to acknowledge the pregnancies in some way - I started my embroidery after number 2 which seemed a appropriate means for me to mark the experience, but once I'd had the third miscarriage I was at a loss as it was, quite literally, not in the plan so I didn't know how to include it in my embroidery plan.

And I really do think it is so important to talk about miscarriage, to stop it being a secret, shameful-feeling thing. None of my miscarriages were because of anything I did, or didn't do, in spite of all the crazy theories I have come up with. And I wanted (and needed) to talk about them, a lot. Happily I do have good friends and a husband I can talk to. But there were definitely times I needed to talk more but didn't. Partly because I just didn't know what to say and also because it felt like such a huge weight I was dumping on someone, it was too hard. Having spoke to a counsellor about this, I know that it's silly because I wouldn't feel like someone was 'dumping' a problem on me, and would probably feel honoured they had chosen to trust me with it. Again, it's something that's been underlined to me, is how very hard it is to make space to talk about mental health, depression or grief. We think we are connecting with people, online or even in person, but it is hard to make that space to introduce big, difficult topics. That's why I wanted to write about this here, where it is my own space to write about whatever I choose, on my own terms.

I know that many of you reading will have been through miscarriage or dealt with grief. You are not alone. And if you're struggling to cope, speak to someone or to your Doctor - and make sure they have really heard you. If you are looking for information on miscarriage, on dealing with it or supporting someone who has been through it, I recommend the Miscarriage Association.

I will be back with another post soon about sewing and making. It will be good to be blogging again.

K x

34 comments:

  1. Good luck for the future with your supportive husband, friends and doctor. I'd firmly agree that the Miscarriage Association is fantastic. Time does make things easier, but anniversaries are always tough. I've got two children now, but still think of their elder siblings and how they might have been. Well done for speaking/writing about it - most people are just plain embarrassed to talk to you after miscarriages, they don't know what to say! Letting them know that you just need to talk can help.

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  2. So sorry to hear about your third miscarriage, Kerry. I have been missing your online presence recently and was hoping it was for happier reasons. I have mentioned before that I have had 2 miscarriages and while I evidently didn’t/don’t experience the same levels of grief as you, I know how tough it can be. I found it incredibly difficult to talk about and I completely relate about worrying about burdening people. I just found that I didn’t know how to bring it up! I absolutely mean it when I say that I am more than happy to chat if you ever want to. Really truly honestly. I am here. I’m glad that you are feeling better able to cope. Sending you much love. X

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    1. Thank you Helen. It is indeed incredibly hard to bring up in conversation, and really hard to make that first step in taking about it x

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  3. My deepest, heartfelt condolences. It's shocking that women feel unable to talk about miscarriage, and that they're so often met with heartless platitudes when they do.

    You mentioned wanting to read about bereavement. I'm not sure if this is still something you're wanting to do, but I thought I'd post this link – my best friend wrote a book about her experience of stillbirth, after losing her baby at 34 weeks in a car accident. I still grieve her baby eight years later; even though she died before she could take a breath, she is still a big part of our lives and we will never forget her.

    https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Lost-Story-Grief-Hope/dp/0522869432

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  4. I have tears streaming as I write. So well I know your pain. I wish I could hold you and just cry, rock,yell, hug, whatever we need,yes I said we. I’m 56 years old and while I know I shall never give birth, even acknowledging that fact now is painful. Such a journey of surgeries, shots, procedures, pills, and this well before infertility treatments were what they are today. I finally learned I would conceive many, many times over, but lacked the hormones necessary to sustain a proper implantation and pregnancy. So those “late” and extremely painful periods I had so very many times were in fact miscarriages. Eventually I adopted an 18 month old girl and now with my second husband we adopted a special needs child four years ago. I’m too old for this I think, but here I am. I will pray for you pain, sweet lady, as you continue your grief journey. Mine hasn’t found an end, but it does get better.

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    1. Thank you for sharing, what a tough journey you have had x

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  5. I just want to hug you and let you know it will get better, especially with the support group you have in place!

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  6. Oh Kerry, I wondered why you had been quiet for so long and now it all makes sense. What a terrible thing to happen to you. My heart goes out to you.

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  7. I am so very sorry for what you've been going through. My first and third pregnancies ended in miscarriage and I absolutely agree that it is helpful to share it with others. In talking to others about it I found out that there were many women I knew who'd also miscarried. I had no idea. It helped me to know that I wasn't alone and it gave me hope since in this case they'd all gone on to have healthy babies later, although I realize things don't always work out that way. Thank you for sharing your story. There's no telling how many women you will help by putting your story out there. Hugs to you!

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    1. Thank you Laura, I hope it does help soeone else x

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  8. I am grateful that you had the courage to blog about this. No one handles grief in the same way. The father of my kids was murdered in October. Some days we are ok and other days it's all I can do to brush my teeth. I have learned that you don't get "over" grief, you get "through" grief. Truth be told my anger at the unknown person(s) that committed this act is walking free really scared me. The only thing this hard taskmaster has taught me is compassion. That sometimes people hurt, you don't really what's going on, but you show love to them anyways. Take your time with your feelings and surround yourself with positive people is the best advice I can give you. Sending an internet hug to you.

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    1. Thank you pattyc, I'm so sorry to hear you've had such a traumatic time. You're right that taking time and being compassionate (to yourself and others) is important. Sending love to you too x

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  9. Writing about loss definitely helps. I am so pleased to hear you sought and received help. Like you, I clocked up 3 miscarriages in my time and know that I did not give myself permission to grieve, mainly because I was "old" by the point I lost the last 2 and I was sure I would be judged for daring to try to have a child at 40. My fertile days are long gone now but that doesn't take away the "absence", that space in my heart. Wishing you all the very best for the future. Be well!

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    1. Thank you Roo, I'm sorry for your losses too. Sharing has helped me a lot x

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  10. I too have had a miscarriage. It was early on in the pregnancy but it had a massive effect on my life at the time, as I didn’t talk to anyone. I completely agree from experience that it’s much better to speak up when you’re stuggling. Lots of love xx

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    1. Thanks Philippa, love to you too x

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  11. So sorry to hear about everything that you've been through and are still dealing with - but glad that you've been able to find some help now. Take care of yourself!

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    1. Thanks Ruth, it's been really helpful to talk about it x

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  12. Dear Kerry, I am so sorry to hear your news. I had wondered why you hadn't posted for a while, but assumed that you were just busy with your house. Thank you so much for posting this; I firmly believe that it is only by people being brave enough to start that conversation that we will make it normal for anyone and everyone to admit that they are not OK and need some help. Take care of yourself. xx

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    1. Thanks Elaine x Still plenty of work to do on the house too! :)

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  13. I am so very sorry and will be thinking of you. I had 3 miscarriages before my 3 girls. I hope you are receiving medical advice as to what the problem might be; if not it should be available if you ask your nice doctor. All the very best and warmest thoughts, Jen

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    1. Thanks Jen, I've had some blood tests which haven't showed anything but as I've had a successful pregnancy before that does count in my favour - even though the odds do seem to be against me right now x

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  14. Kerry, I am so sorry for your losses and the grief you are feeling. You certainly don't owe anyone an explanation for your absence, but thank you for sharing this very personal post with us. Wishing you peace and healing from across the pond. <3

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    1. Thank you, it really helped to share :)

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  15. These are the posts that inspire me the most. They are honest and real and thus beautiful. Sharing pain is just as important as sharing joy. Life is made up of both. I'm glad you are getting help and starting to get back on your feet.

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    1. I agree that it's just as important to share the tough bits, and it's really helped too :)

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  16. Oh I am so sorry Kerry. I know grief from a different angle but I do know what is common with all forms is that you have to go through it and ride the waves, there is no going round it. I can totally relate to the burdening people as well, it's a hard balance. Sending you love. A x

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  17. Hello Kerry, I read your instagram post and this blog post and wanted to comment straight away but couldn't. I am so terribly sorry for your losses. I can't imagine how you must have been feeling, how you must still feel. I had a miscarriage last October and although I've talked to a lot of friends about it I am still struggling to cope and have recently sought more help. I am in such admiration of your courage in talking about it here on your blog and on twitter and hope I will be able to do the same sometime as reading honest posts like yours and the comments have helped me. It would feel good to talk about it more and hopefully help others by doing so. I love this quote (which I use a lot) from Louise Bourgeois 'the act of sewing is a process of emotional repair' and I hope sewing, family and friends are providing that for you too.

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  18. Hi Kathryn, I'm so sorry you've been through it too, it's very hard. Talking and making do help, I am glad it's helped you to read the comments here too, they also helped me xx

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Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say