On the Topic of Miscarriage

I’m not sure what compelled me to write this but it’s going to be a ramble–it may lack cohesiveness.  Perhaps it’s the fact that it seems so many people I follow on instagram are pregnant; or that so many people I know are having more babies, as so many people my age do.  But mostly, I think it’s because it’s spring–and six months ago, this season suddenly had a lot of meaning.  As I mentioned in my “This Is 34” birthday post a few months ago, I had a miscarriage in the fall.  SO many of you commented  with comforting words or similar stories (thank you) and I’m hoping that sharing mine may normalize the experience or make you feel less alone.  As I approach what would’ve been my due date for that pregnancy, I am starting to feel pangs of sadness and other emotions; it’s cathartic for me to share it with you all, as I’ve shared other snippets of my personal life.

My miscarriage was sudden and quick at 9 weeks; I hadn’t had an ultrasound yet but I had a confirmed blood test and plenty of positive pregnancy tests.  I also FELT pregnant–very similar to how I had felt with Harry and Teddy early on: waves of nausea, bloating, and the need to constantly relieve my bladder.  And then all of the sudden, I wasn’t pregnant.  I’ll spare you the details, but it happened at home, in the middle of the night.  I was scared, in pain, and it was awful.  The days that followed were a blur.  I was really bummed out–maybe also in denial, a bit.  In retrospect, I think was trying to shake it off rather than grieve appropriately. Because I had two normal, pregnancies, I naïvely assumed this would follow suit.  I was already excited about having another spring baby (Harry is an April baby).  I had a dream the baby was a girl (and I had dreams that both Teddy and Harry were boys).  After the miscarriage, I felt guilty for allowing myself to be so sad about it.  Miscarriage is so common, and even knowing that, it doesn’t sting any less when it happens to you.  Yet, how can I feel so sad knowing that so many people struggle with infertility and miscarriage when I have two healthy children?  There was a nonstop cycle in my head of embarrassment that I had lost a pregnancy (it’s hard for me to process why I felt that way), mourning the loss of what could have been (this is what is currently eating at me), and guilt of feeling sad about something that so many women have suffered far worse (and this is why I was feeling reticent on the subject).

But this shouldn’t be taboo. While it’s a hard subject to share, it’s even more difficult in the long run to internalize it and go through it alone. I know so many women who have dealt with miscarriage; these same women then acted as a source of comfort when I was dealing with the aftermath–friends, my sister–even my mom who experienced one after having four kids.  And so many of you shared kind, encouraging, and empathic words when I broached the topic of my own loss, even though it was a brief and cryptic mention.  So, thank you–for your words of comfort back in November as they lifted me up more than you’ll know; my birthday was exactly one month after I had the miscarriage and it weighed heavily on me for awhile.  I’ve realized it’s a process and those feelings have recently re-emerged as I come up on “what could have been” due date of the lost pregnancy, and also as a I deal with crazy cycles that still have not normalized months later.  Hopefully I can extend the same comfort to you– I want you to know that someone out there empathizes and that you aren’t alone.  It’s ok to feel sad.  It’s ok to grieve.  It’s ok to not know if you want to go through it again.  And it’s ok to not totally understand why you might feel a certain way.  Thank you for letting me talk about it all with you.

35 comments

  1. I know it can be hard/uncomfortable to talk about but thank you so much for sharing. I have two boys and both are rainbow babies. I’ve had five confirmed pregnancies, two of which ended with D&Cs and it honestly never gets easier. The heartbreak is raw and real – those were the dreams you never knew how much you wanted until they were taken from you. I’m thankful to be on the other side but I never forget the birthdays that will never be celebrated. We’re in this together though and you’re not alone.

  2. I think a really bittersweet note about your experience is this- despite a loss of a pregnancy, your empathetic, loving, emotional, kind, thoughtful way of processing and honoring the loss is a beautiful example for your lovely boys. You are an incredible mom. Sending love to you as springtime comes and goes with only echoes of what might have been. This mom gig is hard and beautiful in all the twisty ways.

  3. Hi Anna, I want to thank you again (I think I commented on your other post too) for writing about this. I’ve now had two miscarriages (and one healthy son) and have so many thoughts about them I wouldn’t even know where to start in this comment section. But, I think what I really want to say is that talking about it is so important. I think that’s why we struggle with the emotions during and after a miscarriage – it’s just so foreign and we have no examples of how others have felt or dealt with it. I have learned a lot from reading stories online since my first miscarriage that actually helped me process things better the second time around. It’s just so nice reading that someone had a similar reaction as you (embarrassment, guilt, etc.). I personally haven’t shared much about mine, I haven’t figured out how to start the conversation, and am not sure if I’m ready, so thanks again!

    • I’m so sorry for your losses, Colleen. I also gain comfort from others’ stories because it’s such a weird and isolating experience to go through. Thank you so much for sharing your story. x

  4. I lost my second pregnancy at 5-6 weeks and had very similar feelings. Like it was too early of a miscarriage to be sad, guilty I was SO sad for mourning what could have been. I had a friend that had a healthy baby 2 weeks after my due date, and I still felt it a little at her 1st birthday party we attended. I similarly had very irregular and crazy cycles afterwards, and it took awhile to get pregnant again. Thank you for sharing, it helps to hear you are not alone, that’s why I share as well. I did get pregnant again, and it was a blessing (in retrospect) that my girls are a little farther apart in age than I originally planned. Now we are expecting girl number 3! Sending love to you all from Arkansas.

    • Ugh yes, my cycles have been NUTS and it’s just another reminder of what happened in late October. I’m so sorry for your loss – it really is just heartbreaking. But I’m so excited for your 3rd–that’s great news! xo

  5. i am sorry for your loss but grateful that you will use your platform
    to talk about it and hopefully break down some of the taboo. my first pregnancy ended at 12!weeks and the only people that understood were the women who’d experienced the same. i’ve since had 2 healthy boys but still think about that baby. i’m 6 weeks with our 3rd now and i’m terrified. hugs to you.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, Erin. It’s such an isolating experience but it felt cathartic to share so I’m glad it’s helping others, in a sense. I hope you can find a way to enjoy this pregnancy (that’s so exciting! 🙂 but I know exactly how you feel–I would be the same way. Sending lots of love! x

  6. Anna,
    Thank you for this beautifully written post and for opening your heart to us. Three years ago I had a miscarriage at 15 weeks. Everything you mentioned here is exactly how I felt. All the emotions – the guilt, the sadness, the regret described perfectly how I felt for months. I couldn’t get past the loss of the potential- a second baby, a new life. Even worse I cringed at every baby announcement because they made me feel worse for the loss I had. I’m DEFINITELY not proud of this but I realize we can’t fight how we feel and grief is so complicated. But one thing is for certain, I relied heavily on stories from other women. I sought them out and listen to how they dealt. I love that you have shared yours and how your words aRE helping heal a heart right now. That’s amazing!! Love to you and your family.

    • Thank you so much, Bridget and I’m so sorry for your loss. I have felt the same way at baby or pregnancy announcements–it just can sting a little. I really appreciate you sharing your story! x

  7. Just reading the other comments from women here and I have to say , you have created such an awesome community. Lots of amazing women here. 😘

  8. I had a miscarriage in June last year at 11 weeks. I was extremely emotional for a really long time and it seemed like everyone at my kids’ schools and everyone I follow on social media was pregnant. I wasn’t sure what I would feel on the due date 1/1/19. It was tough, but I handled it better than I thought I would. I have two healthy kids, 8 and 6, and I’m extremely thankful, but it’s still a loss.

    I applaud you for sharing. I wanted to talk about it with others for a long time but it’s not something that’s easy to come out and share. Thank you for giving us this space to do so!

    • Hi Megan, My loss last year was at a similar time – in June/July (it dragged on) at around 11-12 weeks. My due date was Dec. 21st, 2018. Christmas was hard for me. I had imagined bringing home a baby when our Christmas tree was up. I have a 3-year-old son, who, like you, I am hugely thankful for, but still mourn that lost baby-to-be.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, Megan. For some reason, I thought that sweeping it under the rug back when it happened would keep it away, but the upcoming ‘due date’ is resurfacing all those suppressed feelings. I’m glad we can all talk about it like this because so many women have a story to tell–thank you for sharing yours as it helps me feel less alone. x

  9. I’ve never been pregnant or anything like that, but I have the privilege of actually being a “rainbow baby.” My mom has 2 daughters easily, and then experienced 2 miscarriages before finally having me. I think that’s why my mom and I have such an innate, special connection that’s very different than the relationship she has with my sisters (we are all adults in our 30s). She had given up having a 3rd baby, and then I surprised her! I’m sorry you went through that, and from hearing from my mom about how heartbroken she was is something I can’t imagine. But I do know that the world works in mysterious ways, and if it didn’t then I wouldn’t be here.

  10. Wow, thank you so much for this post today. I found out last Friday that I had a missed miscarriage – I should have been about 9.5 weeks, but the baby only measured about 8.5 weeks and no longer had a heartbeat, even though we’d just seen it the week before… anyways, I had a D&C on Monday and have been mostly doing OK this week, but I identify with so much of what you’ve written – the embarrassment, the guilt (I’m lucky to have a wonderful healthy toddler), and the sadness about what could have been. I’m also nervous about trying again – what if my son was a fluke and losses are actually the norm for me? It’s a lot, and it’s very isolating.

    Sorry for the rambling, but I really appreciate being given the space to share. I’m sorry for what you went through and that this time of year is drudging up these feelings for you again. Sending good thoughts your way.

    • Oh, I am so so very sorry for your loss. I can relate to everything you’re going through; it’s just a bummer. Looking back, I wish I would’ve talked about it more…I know people were there to listen and I just tried to pretend it didn’t happen. I hope you’re able to find a way to keep talking to others about it and this is a great start. Take care of yourself! x

  11. Yes, this definitely should be a less taboo topic. I had an early one at 6 weeks and it was devastating. I was so scared I would never be able to conceive (I did, 3 weeks later and now have 2 healthy sons) but the fear was so terrible and lasted throughout my pregnancy with my first son. I’m glad more people are sharing their stories. When i had mine, my sister-in-law was the only woman I knew who had had one and now I know a lot more people who have shared, especially after I have shared mine. Thanks for opening up the conversation.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, Lucy. I appreciate you sharing, though and am so glad to hear you have two little boys (just like me!). It really is such a traumatic experience but I’m glad we’re all bringing it to the table because it is such a tough thing to go through.

  12. Hi Anna,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your pregnancy. Thank you for sharing, even though it’s hard. I had many similar feelings to you when I had a miscarriage. Even though I knew how commonly it occurs, it was still shocking to me when it happened. And it was sad, really sad. I remember realizing how little we talk about it and how hard and lonely it feels. I had a beautiful healthy pregnancy after that & I just knew when it was time to try again. You will too.

    • Thank you, Amy! I’m so sorry for your loss, as well. It’s such a weird and isolating experience; even thought I wanted to talk about it…at the same time, I didn’t want to talk about it. It was a very tough time for me, looking back, and it feels good to talk about it now.

  13. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing. I had two miscarriages and no matter how common, it feels so lonely. And it can be so hard to grieve alone something that only you really got to feel and know. I’m now 9 days away from my first being born and while I enjoyed every minute, I’m still terrified something will go wrong. But talking about it with other women is so cathartic, and is so important. I hope you find peace and find your way to a healthy pregnancy.

    • Wishing you a smooth delivery any day now! I am so sorry for your losses. It’s so hard and after it happened, I didn’t even want to talk about it…it was really hard for me to admit it happened for some reason. Thank you so much for the note. x

  14. Alexis Tapp says:

    I miscarried a few weeks ago so seeing this post felt like fate. It’s such a weird thing to process. One minute you are pregnant and excited and suddenly you just aren’t pregnant anymore. For me, I have the hardest time wrapping my head around the purpose of it. Why did I get pregnant in the first place, just to lose it seven weeks later? Like you, as the weeks have passed I think about how pregnant I was suppose to be. On top of that, when the loss happens so early it’s hard for those who haven’t experienced something like this to understand. I am an OB nurse, I see women lose their pregnancies daily, but yet I was shocked it happened to me. Makes me even more grateful for my little one at home, and I am a better more compassionate nurse because of this. I am so sorry for your loss.

    • I’m so sorry, Alexis! It is such a surreal experience and even though you hear about how common it is, it’s a punch to the gut when it happens to you. Thank you for sharing and wish you the best if you try again. x

  15. Loss is real and hard. Recognizing it is brave. Sharing it is courage in action. I personally encourage you to have faith in what is meant for you…and there is probably some pink involved.

    • Thank you so much! It really is hard and I wish I wouldn’t have tried to sweep it under the rug back when it happened. Appreciate the note! x

  16. Anna-
    I cried when reading your words- I’m not quite sure a mother ever fully recovers from a loss- I was an infertility nurse & saw my women suffer early losses- it was never easy. Now my life is in a place where my son & his husband have suffered 2 miscarriages w/ a surrogate- Hard for them to grieve publicly believe me- yet a terrible loss- the good news is that their surrogate is now 19 weeks pregnant but I still haven’t started to breathe yet-
    Brings me back to the beautiful words to live by- Everyone has something going on in their lives- be kind.

  17. Courtney O’Connor says:

    Anna, thank you so much for using your platform to share such a personal experience that so many of us are scared to talk about. I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you! Our due dates must’ve been close, I was 10 weeks when I found out we miscarried the week of my birthday in October. It was so hard to go from one appointment seeing the healthy heartbeat to the next appointment watching the nurses and doctors try to find one. Unfortunately I had to have a D&C, but Im grateful it was a controlled environment with my trusted doctor. Since it was our first pregnancy Im riding that emotional roller coaster of feelings of embarrassment, nervousness to be pregnant again and the grief of losing a child. Thank you for putting this out there so that more people feel comfortable talkjng about it. Xo

  18. The dreams! I was pregnant and dreamt it was twins. Sure enough, there were 2 embryos at our 8 week appointment but they were gone a week later. For me, the dream was confirmation that God was in control and I could trust him throughout the experience. The twins weren’t meant to be mine but the sweet boy who arrived a year later is an incredible joy and the best little brother.

    I’m a pretty open book and not at all ashamed or guilt-ridden about the miscarriage but I still find that I haven’t shared it much simply because it doesn’t often come up naturally in conversation – which means it’s even more important that people with platforms like yours start conversations about it. Thank you for your vulnerability and eloquence!

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