Bilodeau, 40, hails from Toronto and never really thought of having children until she met her now husband. She was open to trying and found herself pregnant in October 2015. A few days later, she had to go on a five-day business trip. When she returned to she started experiencing back pain she attributed to sitting on a plane for many hours.
The next morning she was spotting and by the time she was going to work, there was more blood. Bilodeau went into the doctor who sadly confirmed she was having a miscarriage. She was six weeks along and had known she was pregnant for only a few days. It was still a traumatizing event and Biloeduae stayed in bed for 24 hours after. “It was really early, obviously, but you get really attached to the idea,” Bilodeau told Canadian News.
Her feelings are normal and common among women who experience a miscarriage. She is far from alone. Miscarriages in the first trimester are alarmingly common. Most happen when something goes wrong in the early development of the fetus causing some sort of issue making the fetus incompatible with life. This cannot be prevented and happens spontaneously.
Despite an early loss in pregnancy, most women feel sad, upset, worried, and/or angry. They also blame themselves for what happened. They think maybe a few drinks before they knew they were pregnant caused it. Or maybe they shouldn't have gone on that run. Or had gotten some more sleep. These fears are valid but they aren't the case. There is still a stigma surrounding miscarriage and shame. We don't talk about them often despite most of us having had one ourselves.
Experiencing a miscarriage may also influence future pregnancies. Women are scared it will happen again and worry. A 2013 study found that 30-50% of women have anxiety and 10-15% experience depression after a miscarriage. It's important to note that most women who have a miscarriage will go on to carry a healthy pregnancy to full term.
Dr. Kim Garbedian, of Hannam Fertility Center Toronto, has seen how miscarriage negatively affects women. She is constantly advocating for more emotional support and education among women. “The important thing for patients to realize is there’s two parts to healing from the miscarriage,” she said. She encourages women to take a step back and focus on themselves.
Bilodeau did become pregnant again about five months after her miscarriage and now has a daughter. She hopes women will one day be able to openly speak about miscarriage and their feelings surrounding it.