I didn’t even know I was pregnant. Objectively speaking, it would have been absolutely awful timing to have had a baby – I was only 21, single, studying and so depressed that getting up in the morning was the hardest thing in the world. I had taken my pill religiously, or so I thought, but for whatever reason had ended up pregnant.

The first I knew of the miscarriage was the most intense cramping I’d ever experienced, so much so that I was at work, pretending everything was fine, but unable to stand upright because of the pain. And then the bleeding started. I went to the doctor, who did a blood test, and left a voicemail of all things on my work phone telling me that I was pregnant, but probably miscarrying.

I bled lots for the first week or two, but then bled just enough to be a nuisance, every day for about 6 weeks after, as a constant reminder of the shame, the guilt and the fear that I felt. I’d been about 8 weeks pregnant, and completely oblivious.

What made me feel more isolated than anything else was that I had no idea how to grieve for a baby that I’d not expected, nor planned nor particularly wanted at the time. It didn’t seem to make sense. But I did grieve, and I did feel guilty, and I did feel like I’d somehow betrayed this little foetus by not being enough to give it the kind of life that I’d always wanted to give my future child, by not being enough to give it life at all- even though at that particular point in my life, I hadn’t wanted a baby.

I would spend hours online in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, looking at people’s posts on forums, on articles people had written to try and find someone who’s experience had been like mine, looking for some validation for my grief because it didn’t mimic the typical narrative of post miscarriage grief where a baby had been wanted, dreamed of.

I didn’t know anyone who had had an experience close to mine, and the few friends that I told had no idea how to help, and honestly had no idea why I didn’t just feel relieved that it had all happened without my knowledge, and that kind of thing only made me feel more isolated and invalidated.

I’m writing this in the hope that someone who feels as lonely and confused as I did in what can be such a lonely and confusing experience that you’re not alone, your grief is real and you’re entitled to feel it.

Caitlin xx