The Pain of Miscarriage

 

Almost every woman I know has suffered a miscarriage at least once in her life. Unfortunately, it’s commonality oftentimes transforms this emotionally devastating experience into something ordinary and even a negligible “side-effect” of trying to conceive. I hope my conversation with Haadia Begum, who shares her painful experience surrounding her miscarriage, will help emphasize the continued need for compassion and support for any woman that has suffered a miscarriage.

The pain that accompanies the loss of a child is incomparable to any other type of loss. Allah swt has elevated the status of a woman who bears her miscarriage and the loss of her child with patience by granting her Jannah (Heaven). The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him said, “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, truly the miscarried child will certainly drag its mother with its umbilical cord to Paradise, provided one expects recompense, for Sabr (patience).”

I’m grateful to Haadia for allowing us inside her darkest moments soon after her miscarriage. May Allah grant her and all mothers sabr at the loss of their children. Ameen

Haadia Begum is a 34 year old wife and mother of 3 children. She lives in New Jersey.  

Sadaf Begum: Please share your experience

Haadia Begum: In my case, I wasn’t trying to conceive. I didn’t even know I was pregnant. I was actually on birth control so when the bleeding began, I assumed I got my period. When the bleeding worsened, I called my physician and she said I’m having a miscarriage because the bleeding was too heavy to be normal. I was shocked because like I mentioned, I wasn’t trying to get pregnant. I kept wondering how this was possible since I was on birth control.

So the bleeding continued through the next day. I had miscarried in the past but never experienced a miscarriage at home so I honestly didn’t know if this sort of bleeding was normal. I had heavy clots and kept wondering if this much blood was normal.

I went to take a quick shower because I had bled through my clothes but when I came out, I felt strange and ended up fainting in the bathroom. I woke up to my kids screaming while I was still on the floor. I got up, only to fall down and faint again.

I’m grateful for my daughter who was so brave and mature mashaAllah. She realized I was sick and called my husband. None of my neighbors were home but we eventually got in touch with my sister-in-law. She came over immediately and watched the kids while I was taken to the hospital.

At the hospital, I had a D&C. My doctor explained that I had lost a life threatening amount of blood and that’s probably why I fainted twice. I was 8 or 9 weeks pregnant at the time.

 

SB: In your opinion, what is it about miscarriages that is often misunderstood by those who haven’t experienced it themselves. 

HB: I think when people hear that you have a miscarriage, especially if you already have children, they don’t realize that it’s still a sensitive topic. A miscarriage affects you emotionally, whether you have have kids or not. It affected me deeply. It was traumatic actually. That was a child that I lost. It’s still devastating when I think about it.

I guess people are trying to reassure me in their own way when they say, “Alhumdlillah you already have kids so be grateful.” Yes, that’s true but that does not mean I wasn’t sad over the loss. Someone asked me, “Well, you have three kids. Would you of wanted another one?” No, probably not but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t sad. I should be allowed to grieve.

 

I felt drained for days but I didn’t get a break. That’s the life of  a mother. Illness, miscarriage, whatever, you keep going. 

 

Most people feel as if I should just “get over it” because I already have a few kids. They really don’t understand that it hurts each time you lose a child. It’s difficult when some family or friends don’t understand your grief. At times, it’s difficult for your loved ones to comprehend why we’re so saddened by the loss. I can understand that the conversation may be awkward for them and they may not know what to say in that moment. I get it.

Someone once asked me, “How could you be sad over something you never had?” I was so upset when I heard that but now I look back, I do understand their logic. However, as someone who recently experienced a traumatic miscarriage, I hope to emphasize that, this is really not what you wish to hear from your loved ones.

The issue I hope to highlight is that miscarriage is painful both physically and emotionally. It hurts each time you experience one, regardless of how many children you may have. You grieve because you lost something, the possibility of another child, even if you weren’t actively trying to conceive.

SB: Can you talk about how you felt after your miscarriage? 

She begins to tear up.

HB: I’m sorry. Just thinking back to that moment is tough. It was really tough. I felt so upset. Alhumdulillah I never thought “why me”  because I know we’re not supposed to think in that way. I was upset that it happened to me. And I was upset at my doctor for not better explaining the process to me. I kept asking myself, why did she let me have a miscarriage at home. But it happened.

Comparing it to the difficulty you experience during childbirth, you eventually forget all the pain of the delivery. That moment you hold your baby for the first time, I can’t describe the feeling. Only Allah swt knows because HE puts that feeling inside you. But having a miscarriage is so different. You never forget the pain of losing something inside you.

 

When you go through these experiences, you naturally become a little more grateful for everything you have, for all the supportive people who helped you through the pain. You learn to appreciate them even more.

I was physically sick as well since I lost so much blood. So trying to take care of my 3 kids while slow regaining my strength was a process. I felt drained for days but I didn’t get a break. That’s the life of  a mother. Illness, miscarriage, whatever, you keep going.

I’m so glad alhumdulillah my eldest daughter was home so she was able to call for help. She was my little hero that day!

But now she worries a lot more about me. I was a bit dizzy during Taraweeh prayers in Ramadan and she immediately rushed to me and held my hand. She had tears in her eyes and said “I don’t want you to get sick again Mom.” I realized how much she was affected by what had happened that day.

SB: What helped you through this difficult time? 

HB: Fasting during Ramadan, which started soon after my miscarriage helped me through the sadness. Even though I was weak and warned against fasting, I decided to try my best to fast. I finally started to feel normal again, fulfilling my obligations like every other Muslim.

My husband and family supported me so much through the days that followed. My best friend was my rock. She would just listen to me and reassure me that everything I was feeling was normal. She never once judged me. She allowed me to grieve.

My husband is of course more practical so he helped remind me that it just wasn’t meant to be. Initially, it’s difficult to see things clearly because you’re consumed by your emotions. Now I see that it was a part of Allah’s plans so i’m grateful for my husband and the children i’ve been blessed with alhumdulillah.

When you go through these experiences, you naturally become a little more grateful for everything you have, for all the supportive people who helped you through the pain. You learn to appreciate them even more. I am especially grateful for my sister-in-law who rushed over that night with her kids and was so supportive. It elevated her status in my eyes.

SB: Please give some advice to someone who has also experienced a miscarriage to help them cope with their loss. 

HB: I think definitely have someone you can talk to about your feelings. Don’t isolate yourself. Salah and duas help of course but I initially couldn’t pray for a few days but I made a lot of dua.

It really helps to hear a friend offer reassurance, someone who will validate your feelings. A supportive friend who allows you to feel sad and doesn’t rush you to “get over it” makes all the difference.

Also, try to remember your blessings. There is always someone who is going through something much worse. It’s hard to think that way but once you make an effort to count your blessings, you slowly start to feel normal again.

 

Below is a video lecture by Sheikh Omar Suleiman discussing the concept of Miscarriage in Islam and how to better cope with the loss of a child. I pray it benefits anyone still grieving over their loss inshaAllah. 

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