By Hadil Arman
There’s a first time for everything and I always wondered how different women deal with the unwanted loss of the one thing society tells us we were born to do. The process and the healing. For some; denial, anger, depression, blame. For others, contentment, survival, forgiveness. Sadness, however, never fails to make a show. Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raji’oon– Indeed to Allaah we belong, and to Him we will return. Miscarriage, at whatever stage, is one of the most heart-breaking experiences any woman can go through.
There’s the before. You hear about it. You’ve read about it. Yet, you’ve never placed yourself in the equation. It was something at the very bottom of your concerns. Typical human complex. It happens. But not to you.. right?
There’s the during. I’m waiting to be seen for our first scan. How terrifying! A couple come into the reception room after finishing their scan with a picture. They looked so excited and happy! I turn around to my husband and jokingly say “I guess we will really know if there IS a baby in there today!” after all, of course there is, right? “Ms Hadil Arman,” I sit on the bed. Full bladder, as requested in the appointment letter, the doctor starts scanning my tiny paunch and after a little while tells me to empty my bladder. Hmm. I go back into the room and she continues to scan me. And continues. And continues. Maybe that’s how these things happen! I finally see the tiniest being ever so still on the screen in front of me. ‘Ahh, there it..’
‘I am so sorry, but there is no heartbeat,’ I froze for a few seconds trying to digest what she just said. So, she regurgitated it in different ways. That’s okay. Those were the first words out of my mouth. My first thought. Some more medical lingual was thrown in my direction in the most empathetic tone. As nice as the doctor was trying to be, it was all going straight over my head. Don’t you dare cry. Don’t you dare cry. So I smiled so hard to try and crush that throat lump whilst trying to listen and before I knew it, my tears escaped. That was the first time my husband saw me cry. So imagine how I felt knowing two strangers were seeing me cry?
The rest of the day became a very mental process of acceptance filled with so much emotion and contentment. At that exact moment though, I instantly found myself in the typical self-blame corner many experience. Could I have done ANYTHING to prevent it? The answer is no. It is always no. This was His plan and I did nothing wrong. My eldest sister rushed to the hospital and was pushing me to go and “find answers”. How did it happen? But go back, you are not even in pain… so many suggestions when the answer is the same. It was His plan. Just let me mourn and accept it in peace. So it continued for a whole week. Going through day to day activities whilst pregnant, knowing there is a foetus inside you that has no heartbeat. That will have to come out. I survived the mental loss with so much contentment until the physical process begun.
This part almost feels like a distant memory now. Very blurred at most. It started off slow. Cramps at most. Then the day happens. And before you know it, I found myself unable to flush the toilet. No, after a while; I refused to flush the toilet. Someone had to do it for me. At home and at the hospital. I could not flush the toilet. You are going through pain, dizziness, loss of blood, seeing tissue and clots in your toilet. All whilst knowing you are in the process of miscarrying. Miscarrying a being. I knew it wasn’t a baby, but it was still my first ever experience of having a being in me. Something that was a PART of me. How could I flush the first thing that was a part of me? I did not feel like I was being deprived of anything, but I still felt sad. I knew everything happens for a reason, but I allowed myself to be content yet sad. I allowed myself to experience what I was going through in a way that made me content. I did not allow anyone else to tell me how or what I SHOULD be doing. I did what was best for me and found peace in that.
Then there’s the after. The aftermath looks different on every person. Those who are close to me, know I have been in circumstances that have forced me to practise patience in a productive kind of way. This time was no different, so for me, I was happy and ever so grateful with the patience I was gifted to have throughout my miscarriages. I was happy that Allah took care of my affairs. I was happy because I know all my conversations with Him.
I believed with all my heart, Allah only takes that which is not good for me. So, I quickly accepted what had happened and moved on.
There are those who are blessed to get pregnant again. For me, every single day.… Is a never ending ‘what if’. It is a struggle that is so silent and deep. It translates differently every time. You feel so blessed, grateful, happy, scared, careful and paranoid. All at once. There are those who go through a second, third, and even fourth miscarriage/pregnancy loss. A new experience every time. A new outcome every time. Dealing with it is subjective to every woman.
Whichever stage of the miscarriage you are in, the during or after, there are some things I know that help in the healing and accepting process, as well as dealing with a pregnancy after miscarriage.
Do not for a single moment feel guilty for being sad. Let it all out. Give yourself time to grieve. Give yourself time to heal. Cry whilst being content. It does not defeat the purpose of contentment. It just allows you to be human. Give yourself the chance to feel every bit of emotion without allowing it to cloud every part of you.
Only Allah truly has and knows everything that is in your best interest. “Allah is closer to you than your jugular vein” (50:16). How close is that? This vein has the purpose of carrying blood from your head, brain, face and neck to your heart. Its’ value is in assisting blood transportation from important organs in your body. It does it 24 hours a day. Allah is CLOSER to you than that. So, rest assured, dear sister, in knowing how close Allah really is to you. In knowing He always has your back. What makes this time different? He always wants what is better for you.
I know, this is regurgitated time and time again. Still, it is one of the many qualities we are so blessed and fortunate to be taught to have as Muslims, especially for times like this. Practising patience throughout the WHOLE process is key to surviving and healing from it as well as reaping the benefits of what we are going through. See, to have patience is not to conceal your hurting. Having patience is slowly pushing that hurting away. It is to know that the Prophet (s) said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, the miscarried foetus will drag his mother by his umbilical cord to Paradise, if she (was patient and) sought reward (for her loss)” (Ibn Majah, 1609). It is to know that “After every difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief” (65:7). Practise it as much as you can, practice patience for the gift that it is. And TRUST what Allah has decided to do for you.
TRUSTING AL-WAKEEL (The Trustee)
“Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is, over all things, Disposer of affairs” (36:62). “and they said: ‘Allaah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).” (3:173). The word in these verses were “Wakeel” and “Al-Wakeel” in Arabic. Al-Wakeel refers to someone who is the entrusted one to run the affairs of those who entrusted him/her to do so. “When a person puts his trust in his Lord, he submits to His Lordship and becomes a true slave of Him. Allaah has complete authority, meaning that al-Wakeel has full knowledge of that which has been entrusted to Him and He encompasses all its details; He has full power to deal with it and protect that which has been entrusted to Him, by His wisdom and His knowledge of how to deal with it in the most suitable manner. (Islam Q&A)” He is Al-Wakeel. He is your Wakeel. So, trust Him. Trust the process.
Do not for a moment underestimate this weapon. This was my key to getting through every single emotion, every single stage and every single outcome. I had to BELIEVE Allah’s promises to me wholeheartedly. I had to BELIEVE that the outcomes were not what I may think would be best but what He knew to be best for me. Heartfelt du’aa was my comfort, so do not underestimate what it can do for you.
“Laa ilaaha illaa Anta, Subhanaka, inni kuntu mina dhalimin” “There is no deity but You. Glory be to You! Verily, I have been among the wrongdoers” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The supplication of my brother Dhun Nun (Yunus, peace be upon him), who called on Allah while in the whale’s belly: ‘There is no deity but You. Glory be to You! Verily, I have been among the wrongdoers’ (Quran 21:87) – no Muslim person says it, for any situation whatsoever, except that Allah Most High answers his call.” [Tirmidhi]
If you are going through this right now, there are some important things you need to know. Praying; depending on the stage of the miscarriage (for example, you still have to pray if it is before a certain period of days). Wudhoo and its’ rules if you are praying whilst miscarrying. Rights of the baby if it was lost after a certain time (naming, burial, etc). So please read more into this/ask for more information through accredited sources/knowledgeable guides.
About the author
Hadil Arman is a lover of reading, learning and deep conversations and thoughts. A UK based mother of two and wife to a revert, she is also a graduate of Sociology and Psychology. She hopes to be a part of the growing change in mental well-being within our community.