Miscarriage, Substance Use and Grief

A couple days prior to my miscarriage I was in the emergency room having what I could only imagine felt like labor pains and bleeding. My HCG levels were still at a normal level and I was told to take it easy and return in 2 days to retest my levels. 

I went home and cried, rested, and tried not to think of it. I returned 2 days later, to confirm I was miscarrying my first pregnancy. 

My heart didn’t sink when they told me, I already knew that I had wiped and flushed my baby down the toilet two days before. I left the hospital numb and with a piece of paper on grieving. 

Did they really think that a single piece of paper was enough to prepare me to grieve?

I had only known that I was pregnant for a week. I balled it up and threw it on the floor of the car. 

I told my partner to drive to the beer store.

I had a couple friends visit that evening to make sure I was supported. “I’m fine, it’s okay” as I drank in the garage. I must’ve drank 20 beers that night. 

I had an interview that week, I remember telling them I had just miscarried so I may not be on point. They asked if I needed to reschedule. “I’m fine, it’s okay”. This became my line for everything.

I drank every day. Whether it was 2 or 15 beers. And on the days I didn’t drink, I was in bed staring at my four walls. Numb. 

Most people drink to forget, I drank to feel. To smile and laugh. Otherwise I was numb.

My partner put aside his grief to support me. He did everything to try to make me happy. I put aside both of our grief to drink.

We ended up calling it quits. Of course there were other reasons, but me being numb and drinking played a factor. He felt like he couldn’t do anything to make me happy.

Would I call myself an alcoholic? Not really. But Did I abuse alcohol? Abso-freakin-lutely.

All I know is that it took me almost a year to feel and start the grieving process in a healthy way. Unfortunately, without him by my side now. 

But I now had a community of strangers who can relate to the loss that I experienced. The pregnancy and infant loss support centre and a number of Facebook and Instagram pages taught me that it’s okay to grieve no matter how far along I was.

One of the first steps; recognize that my baby’s life matters. And what’s the best way to do that? Name them.

Willow Baker; you matter, you are loved, and you are with us. You made me a mother even if I only carried you for 6 weeks.

 

You are not alone on your journey through grief.

Pregnancy Loss Resources and Support:

Text 📱 or Chat on the Pregnancy Loss Support Line for immediate support from peer volunteers who have also experienced loss.

1-888-910-1551⁠ | pilsc.org
9am-11pm MST | 7 days a week

Addictions Resources and Support:

Alberta: Addiction and Mental Health Helpline: Call 1-866-332-2322 to access 24/7 support

Canada: To access support for addictions or substance use please access Wellness Together Canada: Youth in Canada: Text WELLNESS to 686868. | Adults in Canada: Text WELLNESS to 741741.

USA: Call the American Addiction Centre at 1-866-202-7707 to access 24/7 support

 

Photo by jasmin chew from Pexels

Written by PILSC Volunteer

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