It is unfortunate that people—whether it be ourselves, our spouses or people around us, and whether intentional or not—seem to blame the mother for a miscarriage. While many people would probably deny it outright, the reality is that many of them in the back of their minds thought, “She must have done something” upon hearing the news of a miscarriage or a child who has died. As it applies to pregnancies, this guilt complex compounds with each additional miscarriage and can weigh on and destroy marriages and relations between family members and friends.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, “During the first trimester, the most common cause of miscarriage is chromosomal abnormality…cause of a faulty egg or sperm cell, or…due to a problem at the time that the zygote went through the division process." Obviously, there was nothing the mother could have done in these instances. Since most miscarriages occur within the first trimester that means these mothers more than likely did absolutely nothing to endanger their baby or their chances of conception.
In some cases, there are actual physiological challenges for the pregnancy process to overcome. According to the American Pregnancy Association, these challenges include, but are not limited to:
- hormonal problems, infections or maternal health problems
- lifestyle choices that include smoking, drug use, malnutrition, excessive caffeine intake, or excessive exposure to radiation or toxic substances
- improper implantation of the egg into the uterine lining
- age of the mother
- trauma experienced by the mother (for example, a car accident)
In my case, my baby died at 11 weeks and 2 days. In the back of my mind I replayed my choices during that period of life leading up to that. I had just stopped taking birth control, which I had been on for seven years, about three months before—so it could have been that my hormones hadn’t really stabilized on their own and really couldn’t provide the best environment for a baby to develop. I also played soccer during that early three month period. Now some would say that I shouldn’t have particularly considering I was a goalie.