When you are focussing on trying to conceive a baby, the last thing that usually occurs to you is the possibility that you might lose it, unless of course you have previously suffered pregnancy loss.
Especially when experiencing the type of euphoria that overwhelms you when you find you've been successful after a long time, it can be virtually impossible to allow such an awful possibility to gain access to your head.
And if, like me, you haven't devoured an entire library of pregnancy books, spines and all, before becoming pregnant you can be blissfully ignorant of the things that can go wrong with pregnancy. And even if you do like to be prepared for all eventualities, in the effort to remain positive and uplifting, to convey the joy of pregnancy, most of the pregnancy books devote little coverage to topics such as what to expect during miscarriage or what a miscarriage looks like. For that you need to go straight to the books entitled 'Miscarriage' and who, when newly pregnant, is doing that, no matter what paranoid tendencies they may possess? Even when I was finally pregnant again after my first miscarriage I was not tempted. Well, not much, only a bit. I confess that I may have picked one up and peeped inside before realizing I was on the verge of taking leave of my senses and put it hurriedly back on the shelf.
So, how do you know if you've had a miscarriage and not realized it? Especially if you hadn't heard or read anything about it beforehand, it is entirely possible to have missed it altogether. Statistics on miscarriage are based on 'known pregnancies' and do not take into account women who miscarry when they didn't know they were pregnant. Generally it is passed off as a particularly heavy or nasty period, with heavier than usual bleeding accompanied by some clotting. A pregnancy test when taken up to several days after a miscarriage will still show a positive result. My state of denial after my second miscarriage was so strong that I frantically took two further tests, despite an ultrasound having shown nothing but an empty sac and the fact that I'd bled the equivalent of small dam, and both of them showed the strong double line. I called my doctor, who told me that the pregnancy hormones could remain in my system for up to a week.
Miscarriage emotions, on the other hand can last a lot longer and can vary widely: from hysteria involving wailing uncontrollably and flinging oneself at objects like a Greek widow at a funeral, to the depths of despair causing curling up in foetal position for days at a time, to a kind of blank dissociative state where you go through the motions of living without feeling anything.
Is it harder to conceive after a miscarriage? Personally I found it hard to conceive before and after my miscarriages but this was due to a whole host of reasons, which may or may not have been linked to the miscarriages themselves. My doctors, after each miscarriage, advised me to ideally wait three months before trying again, to 'allow the system to get back into order' or words to that effect. Yet I've met many women who didn't even wait to have another period, they resumed trying again right away and fell pregnant first go. Even after loss of infant due to miscarriage, when the miscarriage is later in the pregnancy and not far from a still birth, women conceive relatively quickly and successfully. I had a work colleague who lost a baby at twenty weeks and just over a year later she gave birth to a healthy child.
So, achieving pregnancy after a miscarriage is more likely to be difficult if you had difficulties before the miscarriage, like myself. Some women, after the initial 'hiccup' will sail through and never have another problem whereas there are those of us who will experience a spectrum of problems in our endeavours to have a child.
Something to remember is that, if one in four (including the unknown) pregnancies end in miscarriage, the more pregnancies you achieve there is some chance that you may lose one of them.