January 16, 2020
“Have you been having any pregnancy symptoms?” the sonographer asked. 
My Miscarriage Helped Me Build A Better Life
My husband and I laughed. “Well I’ve been throwing up for eight weeks, signed off work and have barely been able to function, so yes.”
The knowing smile I was looking for in response didn’t come. And as I looked up at the screen and the gaping black hole staring back at me from my twelve-week scan, I knew there was no longer anything to be cocky about.
There was no baby. Just an empty sack, and my bruised ego. They called it a ‘missed miscarriage’ – missed because there had been no pain or any physical signs, just high hormone levels and a confused body cruelly producing all the symptoms of a healthy pregnancy. 
If there hadn’t been pain before, there certainly was now. In the blur of that lunchtime appointment, I remember thinking how offensive that term was: “missed” implied I was too stupid to notice what had been happening to my own baby. The growing bump that I’d convinced myself of was, of course, non-existent and calling it “the baby” for all those weeks felt ridiculous now I’d discovered it probably hadn’t formed past the four-week mark. Perhaps I was stupid after all. It’s not that I was an awful person, just blissfully happy – and blissfully naïve.Before 8 October 2012, I felt untouchable. I had my dream job, found myself a wonderful man, had the perfect wedding, bought a house – of course a baby was next up. And so when ‘pregnant’ came up on the test I almost took for granted because, in my head, getting pregnant and having my happily ever after was a sure thing. I had never had my heart broken, had never lost anyone close to me and I’d never wanted for anything in life. Any disappointment I’d experienced before that day was a bad bit of feedback at work or a friend pulling out of a long-awaited date in the diary. Nothing raw. Nothing life or death. It’s not that I was an awful person, just blissfully happy – and blissfully naïve. 
“One positive you can take from this is that women usually get pregnant very easily after having a miscarriage,” the nurse told me a week later.  I had just woken up from having my ERPC – ‘evacuation of retained products of conception’, another offensive term that made my trauma sound more like a routine clean out than my world turning upside down. I hung onto her every word, but I wasn’t part of the ‘normal’ society she’d painted such a hopeful picture of.
Getting pregnant again wasn’t the walk in the park I’d been promised. My ‘perfect’ world had suddenly been tainted. I became depressed, bitter, obsessed even. Shocked to the core, my whole outlook on life shifted considerably: I held a grudge against fertile friends, anyone with good news to share – baby-related or not – was pretty much black-listed, and it affected my marriage too. Every conversation was ruined by the ‘b’ word, and between the acupuncture appointments, hypnotherapy sessions, constant diet changes, temperature taking, and emotional breakdowns (not to mention all the dodging of friends with children) we were utterly exhausted. But among all of this, these two years of sheer sadness, something else was happening to me that I was unaware of: I was growing up.
Suddenly, I had a whole new level of experience in something I’d known nothing about before. This was raw, and nothing like the wedding magazine, love letter bubble I’d been living in pre-scan. Suddenly, I was able to provide first-hand comfort to others going through the same thing, if they ever wanted it. There was no longer this rose-tinted haze – my eyes had been opened to real life, and I realised it was actually doing me a world of good.Where I used to go in all guns blazing during conversations, I started to listen to people harder. For once I wanted to hear their stories, their opinions, their advice. I’d stop the usual channel-hopping and listen to the woman on TV talking about her recent ordeal, or the man on the radio describing how he was feeling. Suddenly I could relate – albeit usually in a roundabout way – but a life experience is a life experience, and I realised that to simply be listened to is the most valuable thing a person can do for the other. The listener learns from what they’re hearing and the person wanting to be heard feels less alone. And listening helped me feel less alone too. Pre-scan, I saw myself as a good person on the whole – but it’s almost as if I wasn’t qualified to be a better one until I’d experienced such raw pain. 
I upped my reading game too. Rather than thinking happy thoughts and dodging anything to do with fertility in magazines or newspapers, I discovered that forcing myself to be educated on what I had gone through was vital. I learned about why it happened and, more importantly, discovered that so many others were going through it with me. Forcing myself to read more, not just about fertility issues, also opened my mind to the significance of our complete lack of control – whoever you are, good and bad things can happen at any time, no exceptions. Take risks and enjoy life, I learned, because who knows? Who knew that having something so devastating happen to you could actually make your outlook on life a lot healthier – happier, even?Who knew that having something so devastating happen to you could actually make your outlook on life a lot healthier – happier, even?Fate played a part too. Things happened in my career – promotions, opportunities – that I would have missed out on if I’d had that baby. Any problem at work suddenly seemed trivial, which gave me the tools to deal with things rationally. I was no longer the stressed, everything-must-be-perfect employee, I was the one with a level head who knew first-hand that worse things could happen and that whatever the problem, it could get sorted quickly and calmly.
Let’s make one thing clear: if I had to go through it all again, I wouldn’t. But I genuinely believe the way I evaluate this thing called ‘life’ has benefited as a result and frankly, I’ll take all the positives I can from it. Not only am I more measured about dealing with the things that have come my way since – a significant death in my family, money worries, friendship issues – I am also now fully aware that nothing is perfect and nor do I want it to be. It’s fair to say that day shocked me into living my life with some much-needed self-awareness, and my head firmly screwed on.
I’m now a mother of two. Even now I cannot believe I am typing those words – let alone how I got there. But despite the long list of new things to worry about that comes with being a mother, there hasn’t been a single day since having each of my beautiful children that I haven’t felt overwhelmingly fortunate to be in this position, nor will I ever take for granted again the sheer enormity of creating a life. 
I’m not sure I would have taken the time to feel that if I hadn’t felt that first heartbreaking loss.
Philippa Pearne is a freelance journalist and editor. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram
Have a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on ukpersonal@huffpost.comMore from HuffPost UK Personal I’m An Introvert, But Here’s Why I Gave In And Made ‘Mum Friends’ Black And Brown Mums Like Me Are Judged Differently. Here's How I Know My Anxiety Is Stopping Me Enjoying My Pregnancy
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Julia Fox defends viral ‘Uncut Gems’ interview moment: ‘I was stoned’ | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
4m-p0_-ePd8
Alexia Echevarria pushed ‘RHOM’ producers to show more of son Frankie’s recovery | Page Six
February 17, 2022
E-wTaN9NfkI
Pete Davidson rejoins Instagram amid Kanye West drama | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
SsC3dmsI6t4
Aaron Rodgers And Shailene Woodley Reportedly Break Up | TMZ LIVE
February 17, 2022
FoErdRE8Qe4
Chet Hanks Done Talking About Famous Parents, Becoming Personal Trainer | TMZ
February 16, 2022
5_UrULOkQ6o
Woman Stabbed at Foot Locker During Nike Shoe Release
February 16, 2022
TfuXMs1JdVg
Steph's Freaky Side, "Summer House" & "Love During Lockup"
February 17, 2022
9W_raO0zlA8
Tay or Nay, Offset's Sushi Anxiety & Nick on Monogamy
February 17, 2022
PauYHpJRA6o
Kim Kardashian & North West TWINNING in Matching Pajamas | E! News
February 17, 2022
b-_Oib6R108
Adam McKay - Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony
February 17, 2022
tYtzsHoOZzo
Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and the Cast of 'Uncharted' Talk Most Challenging Stunts
February 15, 2022
d3ksX-SKi8c
Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell on ‘The Adam Project’, ‘Deadpool’, and Possible ‘Star Wars’ Role
February 16, 2022
5TxJsbJr9Dk
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
04
May
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Playoffs
Seattle Sounders - Pumas
04
May
USA: Major League Soccer
FC Cincinnati - Toronto FC
03
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
02
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Brentford
02
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Fulham - Luton
02
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Real Betis
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Eintracht Frankfurt
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - RB Leipzig
02
May
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Salernitana
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Leicester City
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Mallorca
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Bologna
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Arsenal
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Chelsea
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Inter Milan
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Venezia
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Rayo Vallecano - Real Sociedad
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Bayern Munich
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bochum
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Atletico Madrid
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Espanyol
30
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
28
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
27
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Liverpool - Villarreal
27
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Inter Milan
26
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Manchester City - Real Madrid
25
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Juventus
24
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - AC Milan
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Everton
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - West Ham United
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Empoli - Napoli
23
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.