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.