Motherhood

“I Had a Miscarriage”: Three Women Share Their Stories

I Had a Miscarriage

Many of my friends have had miscarriages over the years. Last spring, five different friends confided in me that they had just had miscarriages. They all felt very isolated and lonely in their sadness. It made me realize that although pregnancy loss is so common — studies show that about 15% of recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage — it’s not often discussed openly and publicly. Here, three women share their stories in the hope of helping everyone feel less alone…


Lucy Baker:

I recently had an early miscarriage, at 7 weeks.

I felt grief, but there were also other emotions at play that I wasn’t prepared for. For one thing, I was irrationally angry at my husband for not being “sad enough.” I also have a single picture from my five-week ultrasound, and I don’t know what to do with it. Throw it away? Put it in my jewelry box? Right now it’s still on the fridge, but I turned it over.

I have an ovulation disorder that makes it challenging for me to get pregnant, so my doctor was monitoring me very closely. My husband and I went in for the appointment where we were supposed to hear the heartbeat for the first time. I knew instantly. With my first son, there had been this ethereal whirling sound (the fetal heartbeat). But this time there was just silence.

I had what is called a “missed” or “silent miscarriage.” Even though the fertilized egg wasn’t developing into a baby, my body was still producing pregnancy hormones. I didn’t have any traditional signs of miscarriage, like cramping or bleeding. My doctor said it could take a month or more for my body to figure things out, and for me to start bleeding naturally. I chose to have a D&C to speed up that process.

The procedure was scheduled for a week later. That week was strange. Maybe it was psychological, but I stopped having those early pregnancy signs of being so tired (and so hungry). At the D&C, I felt so emotional. It made everything feel completely raw and new all over again.

Then a few days later, my hormones crashed and I was a total mess. I stayed up late one night obsessively looking at the Facebook pages of my pregnant friends. When I finally climbed into bed, I started sobbing.

The day I found out I was having a miscarriage, my husband thought I should get in bed and rest. But that’s not how I deal. Instead I went for a six-mile trail run and then came home and cooked a huge pot of ratatouille. My kitchen is my favorite place. Maybe it was weird, but it was what I needed to do.

Honestly, what was most comforting was the sheer number of my friends who have also had miscarriages. It was like, this is part of the sisterhood, you know?

Talking to my mom was also helpful. She had a miscarriage more than 30 years ago, and she still remembers it clearly. That helped me to acknowledge my miscarriage as a big deal, even though I lost the pregnancy very early. It was OK to be sad, it was OK to be angry, it was OK take as much time as I needed to heal. I will remember it clearly in 30 years, too.


Abbey Nova:

I lost two pregnancies — one in February 2013, the other in July 2015.

Losing that first pregnancy was heartbreaking. The hard part was that I didn’t know. I didn’t feel any different. I had to get the very upsetting news — that my hormones had stopped rising, that the pregnancy wasn’t viable — over the phone. I got a call from the nurse. That’s a terrible detail: Nurses give you good news, not bad news. She said, “Please hold for the doctor.” I immediately knew something was very wrong.

Emotionally, I was in shock. I had been really excited to be pregnant because we had been struggling with infertility. Once I got pregnant, I thought, my body can do this. I knew miscarriages happened in the abstract to abstract people, but somehow I never thought it would happen to me.

Part what was upsetting was losing the hope, the positive feeling that we were going to bring another person into the world. A mother I know celebrates the birthday of a child they lost with a miscarriage. I didn’t name these babies, but I do have a feeling of them being complete entities who didn’t make it, two children that I’ll never get to know, and have the pleasure and privilege of parenting, and that is that saddest piece of it to me.

Before this miscarriage, I always had a sense that everything would be okay. I’d been through hard things before — financial stress, career setbacks, my husband had been sick, my parents had been sick — but I went through those crises with the sense that we would all make it through. After the miscarriage, I was so down, even for a year. I had a sense of the veil being pulled back. It’s as if I realized there is no order to the universe, we are all molecules running into each other. We make narrative out of the chaos, so we can live with it. But I had this nihilist view that the universe is chaotic, not that everything will be okay.

In this experience, I longed for faith; I longed for a sense of something bigger than myself, something to fall back on.

It was hard walking around with my secret sadness. The whole thing was bizarrely isolating, mostly because it was so physically intense and full of uncertainty. People at work or in our building would say, how are you? And I felt weird saying, well, I’m having a miscarriage. It was like dropping a bomb of bad news. I can’t go around telling the checkout clerk or neighbors why I’m not quite myself today.

Little things meant a lot. I had left my slippers at a friend’s house, and suddenly I really, really wanted them. She dropped them off at my house, and slipped a bar of chocolate in one slipper. I felt that she was trying to take care of me in this very sweet and thoughtful way. It was wonderful. My mom came to stay with me for a week without asking me. I really needed her.

One of my oldest friends from high school responded by saying, THAT SUCKS. And I loved it. It did suck. It absolutely sucked. That was the truest thing to say. I use it now a lot. It felt so honest and empathetic. She wasn’t trying to sugarcoat it. It didn’t sound pitying.

Advice: DO NOT SAY everything happens for a reason. I love that Emily McDowell card; I want to get it and frame it. People tried to be positive. People would say, I know you’re going to be able to get pregnant again. If you want a baby badly enough, you’re going to have another baby. Those things are devastating things to hear when you’re in the throes of losing a baby. People were moving ahead into the future, but I wasn’t moving into the future. I had lost this pregnancy, this baby.

My husband was really sad both times. My friends who included Tim in their kindness, I love those friends forever. A few emailed him and said, “I heard Abbey lost the baby; I’m so sorry to hear the news, it’s so upsetting.” It was Tim’s baby and his grieving process, too.

The following winter, I was in a hazy daze. It was the first polar vortex so I remember the season as a slog of boots and coats and mittens on and off. I don’t remember much beyond that. It was a dark time. The following spring we got a puppy (which we had planned before my pregnancy) and caring for him brought me out of myself and out of the house for walks four times a day. Spring and the puppy defiantly marked the beginning of me coming back to myself. I joke that the dog saved me, but it’s close to the truth.

My second miscarriage, the following year, was less emotional for me. I’m still very sad about it. But because I knew there was a chance that I could have a miscarriage, I had tried not to get as invested. This was also a much faster miscarriage. I definitely mourned that child, but I wasn’t put into a depression. I think it’s important to tell both stories — how completely devastated I was by the first one, how it fundamentally changed my view of the world; and the second time, when I was sad, but I had already lost some of my innocence. I think it’s okay if you’ve had a miscarriage and you aren’t really feeling anything; similar to pregnancy, you don’t know what kind of experience you’re going to have.


Emma Straub:

I had a miscarriage in 2011. We’d only been trying to get pregnant for a couple of months, and when I got that first positive pregnancy test, it felt a little bit like a whoops! Well, okay, I guess it’s go time!

But then things took a turn. That’s a polite way to describe what happened, which felt like extreme food-poisoning combined with the worst menstrual cramps of my life, with additional vomiting, fear, sadness and heartbreak.

One evening, I came home from a book reading and was bleeding. I quickly turned to all my pregnancy books, and to the internet, all of which told me that a little bleeding could be normal and fine, but the longer it went on, and the more pain I was in, what was happening became clear. The bleeding wasn’t stopping, and neither was the pain. Even though it was obvious enough what was going on, I refused to take any pain medication. Because you’re not supposed to take blood thinners when you’re pregnant.

There are lots of things no one tells you about miscarriages, but one of them is that they may last and last — just as having a baby takes hours and sometimes days, losing a baby does, too.

The hardest part was not knowing why — I’ve always been a goody-two-shoes, doing my homework on time, marrying my long-time boyfriend, calling my parents on a regular basis. And this didn’t compute. Adding insult to injury, my subsequent periods were like horror movies — big and bloody and endless. It took me the next two years to figure out what the hell was going on (a giant, evil mass of fibroids) and how to fix it (two surgeries) which meant that I spent most of those years confused and frustrated, not to mention covered in blood.

We now have a two-year-old son, River. These days, I have enough emotional distance from the miscarriage to appreciate that without it, I wouldn’t have the child I have now — I might have another child, but I wouldn’t have my sweet River, who is so focused and funny, who is a bookworm, who is his father’s tiny doppleganger, who is the love of my life.

I’ve written about having a miscarriage once before, when I was about eight months pregnant with River. At the time, I felt fragile, and like my body was performing an impossible task, one that I wasn’t sure it was up for. I went to two pre-natal yoga classes a week. I took the subway into Manhattan for weekly pregnancy-supporting acupuncture during the first and last trimesters. I got more pedicures and massages than I have at any other point in my life. I was like a very well-cared for animal — a prize pig, or maybe a heifer — trying to use all that self-care to assuage my fears.

It’s funny what having a baby does.

This time, I feel like a tank. It’s only now, entering the third trimester, that I feel myself slowing down at all. I hoist my forty-pound toddler into the air a hundred times a day. I know both that my body can handle the task at hand, and also that anything can happen at any time, by which I mean, if my son wants me to carry him half a block, I am going to carry him half a block. The loss that I felt when I miscarried is a part of how we got to where we are now, and it makes me both more and less afraid of loss in the future.

My husband and I love our midwives, and thank god, because at this point we visit them once every two weeks. Part of those visits — especially when it involves going to the hospital for blood tests or other souped-up medical stuff, is that they always ask about how many pregnancies you have, including miscarriages. It can be startling, to repeat the number — that I’m on my third pregnancy, but my second baby. There will always be that hovering ghost. That will always be a part of my weather, and our family’s. And that’s okay. At the risk of sounding entirely sentimental, that layer of sadness puts everything else into such stark relief. When I’m walking down the street with my son, and he’s laughing and telling me a story about how he’s a truck, no, actually, a dinosaur, no, actually, a little boy named Jack from one of his favorite books, no, actually, he’s River, it’s that baseline of sadness that tells me just how high my heart can, and will, soar.


Years ago, I remember reading the etiquette column in Real Simple, and the wonderful Catherine Newman gave such thoughtful advice about how to help a friend with a miscarriage. Her words have stayed with me all those years:

The kindest thing that you can do — and I say this from personal experience — is to treat your friend’s miscarriage the same way you would any other bereavement. Acknowledge it directly and compassionately. Send flowers, comfort food, or a card, or tell her in person, “I’m deeply sorry for your loss, and I’m here to listen if you ever need someone to talk to.” It might feel uncomfortable – and she might not want to discuss what happened, which is fine — but do it anyway.

You don’t need to worry that you’re reminding your friend of something painful; she is probably thinking of little else. And you’ll dispel that strange sense of shame — as if the event were an embarrassing gynecological issue or a personal failure and not a devastating heartbreak — felt by some women who have had miscarriages. Your job as a friend is to share the burden of sorrow. You can’t do that by looking the other way. You have to reach out.

Sending a huge hug to those out there who have lost pregnancies, and lots of love to everyone today. xoxo

P.S. An essay about why it might make sense to announce a pregnancy right away, instead of waiting 12 weeks; and a beautiful article about trying to talk loudly about miscarriage.

(Illustration by Caitlin McGauley for Cup of Jo)

  1. Eleanor says...

    When what you’re expecting, is not what you expected

    Written 12/01/2017 by Eleanor Grainger

    When I was young, all I ever wanted was a family. In fact, I used to base all my potential boyfriends on their ability to be a father. I didn’t care about what all my friends seemed to care about; career, money, cars, friends etc. I always thought that when I met ‘The One’, we would fall in love, get married, buy a house and have a family. No one ever warns you about the difficulties that might lie ahead when trying to achieve the perfect future. So, I’m going to tell you about the true fear, anxiety, and trauma of starting a family.

    My beginning

    When I met Dan, we fell in love almost instantly. He laughed at the stupid things I said and did, he loved my family, he pushed me to achieve things and experience things that are sometimes WAY out of my comfort zone. So, when we started dating, I thought this was it.

    I met Dan in my final year of University. Actually, in the final few months of University. Falling in love whilst writing a dissertation is definitely not advised. Anyway, we dated, he took me to places I had never been before, he introduced me to all his friends and family, and we talked about the future. After a short while, I graduated from university and had to face the prospect of moving back to my family home – miles away from where Dan would be. We decided that the best option, although penniless and jobless, but full of hope – was to move in with him and his mother.

    We lived with Dan’s mum for a few months before earning and borrowing enough money for a deposit for a small rented ‘granny-annex’ near the city centre. This was really the start of things – we had already emotionally committed ourselves to spend the rest of our lives together and I knew that this was the start of my lifelong dream to have a family.

    Hopes and dreams

    I was probably only 13 years old when I knew for a fact that I wanted to become a mother. I was always good at caring for people, and I always gave more love to others than I ever did myself – this itself caused a mountain load of heartbreak as a youngster. However, me being the sensible type, I knew that until I was grown up, financially stable and with my Prince Charming, I could not start a family. So, I worked hard throughout school and when I was 17 years old, I decided to set my goals towards becoming a teacher so I could at least get the interaction with children I so desperately craved, without becoming a teenage mum.

    Throughout university, I was a typical student. I had an amazing group of friends, lived in shared houses, and loved the uni lifestyle. I was training to become a teacher in the Early Years department. I loved all my placements, and got good grades. But what amazes me now, is that after 3 years of studying the development of children from conception to school, I still was not prepared for what the future had in store.

    Reality

    So, after about 2 and a half years of dating, Dan and I had hit our first rocky patch. There was no doubt that Dan and I were in love, in fact, it sickened a lot of our friends. But, sometimes when that black cloud hits your relationship, you can’t see a way out. We were both so young when we met, and we both thought we were missing out on living the ‘high-life’. We would spend our evenings bickering and avoiding each other rather than actually communicating how we were feeling. We had decided to move from our ‘granny-annex’ to a new, 2 bed, family home. Within 6 months of moving, we had decided to split. Within 4 weeks of this decision, we had said our goodbyes, split our furniture and began our new lives in separate one bed homes. Well, actually mine was a bedroom in an 8 bed shared house, but that’s another story entirely.

    Dan and I tried forcing ourselves to be happy with our new arrangement – we even started talking to other people. But, being with Dan was like wrapping yourself in your favourite blanket after being freshly washed in your mums fabric softener. He was home to me. So we kept finding ourselves spending evenings talking on the phone for hours on end, laughing and crying together. We realised that being together was the ‘high-life’ that we were so concerned about missing out on. Although still living in separate houses due to unfortunate tenancy agreements, we decided to give it another go.

    Being back with Dan for the second time round, was like re-living the honey-moon period. We would snuggle, and talk, and just really enjoyed being together. However, I decided that my new accommodation was a waste of money if I didn’t at least spend a few nights a week there. We both worked in different parts of the city, so this meant spending nights apart. It was during one of these nights, that I decided to do a pregnancy test.

    Starting our family

    I only bought the test because I was feeling a bit bloated and my boobs were swelling – I hoped that I had finally hit the part of puberty where my boobs blossom from a comfortable B cup, to a G cup. However, this wasn’t the case.

    I went home, did the test and stepped in the shower whilst waiting for the result. When I came out of the shower and saw two red lines on the test, I couldn’t believe my luck. I was absolutely elated, and I knew Dan would be too. I got back to my room and instantly video called Dan – this was the height of my technological intellect ,so he already knew something was up. When he answered, I asked him if he would come over without needing a reason. By this time it was 10pm on a work night, but he didn’t hesitate. He said ‘of course, but what’s happened?’ At this point, I flipped the camera to face the positive pregnancy test I was holding in my hand. Dan just beamed. He had a smile from ear to ear and tears in his eyes, I’ve never seen him so happy. He jumped straight in the car and within 20 minutes he was holding me, both of us crying with joy.

    We led in bed that night and fell asleep with smiles on our faces, we talked about the future and planned how perfect everything would be. It breaks my heart to think back at it now.

    So we began preparing; we made an appointment with the GP, went to an Early Pregnancy information session, bought all the relevant vitamins, and started to discuss how we would tell the family.

    Planning our future

    We decided that we wanted to make our announcement to the family really special. This was going to be Dan’s mum’s first grandchild, and I am my mum’s youngest, so we knew they would be thrilled.

    We made two wooden boxes from scratch, painted pink and blue, filled with baby bits; baby food, a teddy, dummies, talcum powder and a mini bottle of champagne (for the future Nana’s, not the baby), with a wooden sign that said ‘Will you be my Nana?’

    We travelled to my mums, feeling totally elated and terrified at the same time. We sat on the sofa and told her we had a gift for her, Dan then bought in the box and after the initial fears and questions, my mum was ecstatic. We as a family, have been through a lot with my nephews, so I knew that this was going to be my mum’s opportunity to be the wonderful Nana that she already is.

    We did the same with Dan’s mum, and she was as ecstatic as mine. In fact, her dog, who usually plays with me and nips my fingers, sat by my chair on guard as though my baby’s protector. It was surreal.

    So, as the weeks went on, and the word got out amongst the family and close friends, we had texts and phone calls sharing their joy and excitement with us. It all felt so magical, but I couldn’t shake the fears and nightmares I was having about the pregnancy. I spoke to a close friend and explained that I had had a nightmare that we had our first scan, and they couldn’t find a heartbeat. She, and her partner, comforted me and told me that all expectant mums have the same fear and as long as I was not in any physical pain, that I shouldn’t worry. So I tried not to, and just focused on the excitement that laid ahead.

    The first scan

    So this was it. It was finally time to go and see our baby for the first time. Dan and I went to work in the morning, heaven knows why as neither of us could concentrate – and I caught a taxi to meet him at the hospital. I was in a total anxious flap, my taxi was late, my bladder was so full I could barely move, but it was finally time. We went to the waiting room and saw all these happy couples coming out of the room with pictures of their beautiful babies, and Dan and I just looked at each other, squeezed each other’s hands and smiled. The nurse called my name and we went into the room. I led on the scanning bed and the sonographer talked us through the process – although there was no need as I had done so much research, downloaded all the apps and bought all the books, I felt like I could do it myself! Anyway, she put the gel on my belly and started scanning for our little bundle of joy. After a couple of minutes she asked me to go to the toilet as my bladder was too full, this threw me for a minute as everyone had told me to go with a full bladder. When I came back into the room I felt this wave of fear hit me, I led down and the process started all over again. The sonographer asked me how far gone I was, to which I explained that I should be around 11 weeks, although Dan and I had not kept track of my periods or date of conception so we could be a few days out. A few more minutes later, after trying various positions, as apparently my womb leans backwards, the sonographer said that we would have to do an internal scan. At this point, I was almost hysterical with fear. I was shaking, had cold sweats and my entire body was so tense that all I could do was choke back tears and squeeze Dan’s hand. He looked at me and told me everything would be okay, but I didn’t believe him.

    The sonographer asked me to take off my trousers and underwear and positioned me on the bed. I had never even had a smear test before, so the whole experience was new and scary to me. She lubed up what looked like a rocket, and told me to relax. Dan could see the monitor screen and after a couple of minutes of what felt like vicious digging, he smiled. He could see our baby. What he couldn’t have been prepared for, was what the sonographer said next. She looked at me, and said that our beautiful little baby didn’t have a heartbeat. The whole world felt like it had frozen in time. I couldn’t believe it. A few minutes later, although the whole experience felt like a lifetime, another nurse came into the room and confirmed that our baby had stopped growing at 9 weeks and 2 days. She then asked me if I wanted to see the baby, after a short hesitation I said yes. My whole future felt like it was crashing down, and I could feel Dan’s disappointment radiating throughout the room. I felt like a broken woman. How is it possible that my own body killed my baby? Why would this happen to me when all I have done is good?

    We left the room, Dan comforting me as best he could as we walked through the waiting room filled with happy expectant parents. We got to the car and I broke. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do next, and I felt so guilty but all I wanted was my dead baby out of my body. I felt worse for feeling this, but I had no control over anything, even my own child’s life.

    The next few hours were a blur, I remember receiving calls from my mum and texts from Dan’s family all expecting to hear happy news about our healthy baby. It was truly awful. Once Dan and I had broken the news to the family, we just stayed together in silence, comforting each other.

    The miscarriage

    The scan was on December 20th 2016, and I was supposed to be travelling by train to my mum’s house on the 22nd. I distracted myself with Christmas preparations and indulged in last minute Christmas shopping, but I couldn’t shake the dark cloud surrounding me. I just didn’t feel like a whole person, and although Dan did nothing but love and support me, I kept thinking, ‘how could he possibly still love me?’

    On December 21st I received a call from the midwife surgery, who had not yet been informed of my miscarriage, to inform me that my blood tests taken at my booking appointment had come back, and my blood type was A Rhesus Negative. This didn’t really mean much to me at the time, but I knew that there are sometimes complications with a negative blood type, I did not yet realise how complicated it was.

    Later that day, I started to bleed. I was wrapping Christmas presents when I started to feel hot and dizzy, and when I stood up, I felt something come out of me. I pulled down my trousers and there on my sanitary towel was my baby. I mean, it didn’t look like a baby, it was a large, bloody clot, with a head, arms and legs. I held it in a baby wipe in my hands and began to shake uncontrollably. I shrieked, and poor Dan, who hadn’t slept for 3 nights due to excitement before the scan, and shock from the outcome, sat bolt up right in bed and rushed to help me. ‘Put it in the bin!’ he shrieked, but I couldn’t let go of it. Then I felt another clot which came straight out and landed on my knickers which were between my legs on the floor. I looked up at Dan, terrified, he took the baby wipe out of my hands and put it in the bin, and marched me to the shower. I was hysterical, almost scared for my own life. None of the research I had done had ever warned me about this.

    Whilst in the shower, a few more clots came out and the bleeding began to lighten. I got dried and dressed and took the large clot out of the bin, and put it in the toilet. I whispered ‘I’m sorry’ as I pulled the flush.

    I went back to my room and led on the bed, thinking that it was all over. But, it wasn’t.

    I began to feel feverish, fidgety, sweaty, hot and cold, and just generally unwell. We were either told by the doctors, or I read online (I can’t remember) that if you feel like this during a miscarriage, to get professional medical help immediately. Dan called 101 and they sent an ambulance out. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, we were waiting 2 and a half hours for an ambulance – the lovely lady on 101 called multiple times to apologise and check on how I was feeling, but by this point I just wanted to go to sleep. When the paramedics did turn up, to my extremely overlooked 8 bed shared house, they checked me over and gave me the okay.

    The next day, Dan had to go back to work. He left in the morning and I was feeling surprisingly upbeat. This was the day I was travelling to my mums for Christmas. Sometimes in life, you just really need your mum, and this was one of those times. The only unfortunate thing was that I was about to travel 2 and a half hours on the train. However, I spoke to the hospital in the morning and they told me that as long as I felt well enough, and my bleeding was not too heavy (which it wasn’t, it had almost stopped completely since losing the clots), then I was okay to travel.

    When things go wrong

    The journey was going well until I was about half an hour from my final stop. I remember reading my book, and coughing, and then all of a sudden it felt like a tidal wave in my knickers. I knew I had flooded so I left my bags in my seat and ran to the train toilet. My sanitary towel was totally soaked through, and I lost more large clots in the toilet. I sorted myself out and thought, I will be fine, I just need to be aware of flooding until I’m home. Luckily, I was wearing black trousers. I went to the toilet twice more to change my pad before my final stop. I had text my mum who was picking me up from the train station and asked her to put a towel in the car so I didn’t flood her seat. When I saw her at the station, I felt so relieved to be back in my mums care. She took my bags, put them in the car and sped home.

    Everything was fine for a while, I had opened a beer – my first drink in 3 months, and my mum was cooking duck and pancakes (a favourite on my return home). My mum, as always, kept making me laugh and every time I did so, I flooded my pad. My mum assured me that this was normal, but told me to go jump in the shower and get in comfy clothes ready for a chilled evening. Whilst I was in the shower, my mum came to check on me and noticed that I had constant drips of fresh blood coming out of me. Each drip was less than a second apart, so she decided to call 101 and seek advise. I asked her not to as the paramedics had okay’d me the night before.

    After a brief phone call, the lady explained that an ambulance was on its way. Unlike the night before, the ambulance was there in a matter of seconds. The paramedics were absolutely fabulous. They checked me over, as the night before, but based on the amount of blood I was losing, they decided to take me to hospital.

    Now, my mum – the bloody angel that she is, is not very good at seeing her little girl’s in pain. She’s an anxious woman at the best of times, and because everything had happened so quickly and we assumed I would be home shortly, she stayed to keep an eye on the duck (in the oven) and our little Jack Russell, Meggy.

    Being in the back of an ambulance is another surreal experience that I never thought I would have to endure. It was terrifying, but I can’t state enough how wonderful the paramedics were. They were keeping me entertained with stories of recent nights out, plans for Christmas, and their favourite fast food.

    After a long wait in the hallway for a bed on the A&E ward, I finally got seen by a doctor. I got off the paramedics bed and found that I had been sat in a pool of my own blood, it was then that I realised how serious my situation was.

    The doctor gave me a hospital gown, and some paper knickers which were pretty much like an adult nappy, and told me to get settled. While I was waiting to be seen by a specialist doctor, I was surrounded by all the other patients in A&E. I couldn’t see anyone as all the beds were separated by curtains, but I could hear the wails and groans from old men and children who had been injured. It was like a scene from a war film. At this point, I looked around me, looked at the needle hanging out of my hand, checked my phone which had 30% battery, and began to cry. I felt so scared, and so alone – all I wanted was my baby back in my belly where it belonged for 6 more months.

    My mum was texting me, comforting me as best as she could, but we still expected me to be home that night so we didn’t see much point in her coming to the hospital. Dan, bless him, was on his Christmas works do, which I forced him to go on. So, as I didn’t want him to risk driving under the influence, I had not told him that I was in hospital.

    Anyway, hours passed, and I was finally seen by a specialist doctor. She examined me and told me that they were going to do a manual, apologies for the graphics, ‘scrape out’ of the clots. She explained that my heavy bleeding may be caused by a blockage of clots. Once this, extremely uncomfortable experience was over, they told me that I would have to stay in hospital over night. My very first thought was the pure disappointment that I wouldn’t be able to go home and eat the duck and pancakes my mum had so thoughtfully bought for me.

    Whilst waiting for a bed on the main ward, I went through several waves of fear and sadness which reduced me to tears. However, someone sent down a little angel to take care of me while I was in the temporary a&E ward. There was a mother with her son in the bed space next to me, her son (probably in his early 20’s) had recently recovered from bladder cancer, but was in A&E as he hadn’t been able to go for a wee for 3 days. The mother had overheard me talking to the doctors and had heard me crying. She reached out to me through the curtain separating my bed to her sons, and held my hand. She asked me if I was okay, and said that she was so sorry to hear about my situation. She squeezed my hand and told me that I was going to be okay. Her son, who had obviously spent a lot of time in hospital before, had a portable phone charging device which they leant me until I moved wards. She really was a little angel.

    They took me up to the main ward, all decorated in colourful Christmas decorations. By this time it was the early hours of the morning, so all the other patients were fast asleep. Luckily for me, the only bed available was a private room. As I was not expecting to stay the night, I didn’t have any home comforts with me but by this point, I could have slept on a park bench. The nurses, who again were all absolutely fabulous, woke me every couple of hours to check my blood pressure, but by this time, the bleeding had reduced to a mild period.

    The next day, I had to have another scan to see if they had removed all the clots, or whether I would need to have surgery. It all just felt like a never ending nightmare, but every step I took was another step closer to my recovery. I knew there was nothing I could do for my baby now, so I just had to make sure that I had all the treatment necessary to avoid this happening with any future pregnancies.

    The second scan

    So there I was on 23rd December, three days after supposedly seeing my healthy baby for the first time, in another waiting room, in a hospital gown, in a wheelchair, waiting for a second scan to see if there were any ‘remains’ left in my body. Again, there were happy couples coming out of the room with scan pictures, and I felt like my entire personal life had been broadcast throughout the whole hospital. I went into the room, this time a ‘pro’ with being jabbed and poked with a giant rocket, and led on the scanning bed. I was still waiting for Dan to be home and semi-sober to speak to him about being in hospital, so this time I was alone – apart from the audience of student nurses stood at the end of the bed, looking at my intimate area with saddened, puppy dog eyes.

    I explained to the sonographer that I couldn’t cope with any more bad news, and if she could tell me that all the ‘remains’ had gone, that’d be great. She side-smiled at me, took the rocket out of my vagina, and told me that unfortunately there is still a 2cm clot in my womb and would need surgery. I was so deflated by the whole situation that I actually just laughed. I didn’t know how else to react, I had nothing to say, I just laughed. The nurse wheeled me back to my room, I sat on the visitors chair next to my hospital bed, and stared into space like someone had taken my brain and left me with an empty shell. A lovely doctor came in and sat with me, we talked and talked, even though I know she didn’t have time to, but she didn’t rush me and she didn’t make me feel like I was wasting her time. I just told her that I needed my mum. By this point it was midday and she told me that my mum could come to the hospital rather than waiting for visiting hours at 3pm. I was straight on the phone and my mum was holding me 20 minutes later.

    My mum told me that I looked well, bless her, and had bought in some clean clothes, a toothbrush and my book. I was so appreciative just to have her with me, and to have a few home comforts. She stayed for a few hours and other than nurses checking my blood pressure, we had no further news. We assumed that I would either be having surgery that afternoon, or the morning of the 24th, Christmas Eve. That was a killer for me. Christmas has always been my favourite time of year, I plan for Christmas 6 months in advance and enjoy every minute of it, usually. As I was expecting to have surgery, I was not allowed to eat. So I was emotionally and physically exhausted, starving, heartbroken and all I wanted was to go home and have a shower.

    I must’ve had someone looking down on me, as a couple of hours later, a doctor came in and told me that the size of the clot was on the borderline for surgery, and that I could wait for it to come out naturally, and I could go home. I was elated. I had told Dan after the scan in the morning that I was in hospital and he was already doing the 2 hour journey to my mums, bearing in mind he had planned to spend Christmas morning with his own family. I felt like things were finally going forward. I knew I was never going to get my baby back, but it was finally time to grieve and recover.

    Before I left the hospital, I reminded the doctors of my negative blood type. It is my understanding that having a negative blood type can effect pregnancies if you are carrying a positive baby. Positive blood types are ‘stronger’ than negatives, so if your partner is positive, chances are your baby will be to. It is not impossible to carry a positive baby if you are negative, as you can receive an anti-D injection throughout your pregnancy. It has not yet been confirmed that my miscarriage was caused by my blood type, but it is definitely something to be aware of when pregnant. I was told that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, so mine might just be another statistic.

    It was confirmed that because my baby stopped growing at 9 weeks and 2 days, I did not need the anti-D injection. If the baby had survived to 12 weeks, and I lost the amount of blood that I did, then I would have needed the injection.

    When I was discharged, I was given Co-Omoxiclav which is an antibiotic which is given to kill off any chance of infection. I couldn’t help but think that perhaps it would’ve been better to have the surgery, and ask for the anti-d injection just as a precaution. I shrugged this off as I figured the fabulous medical staff which had dealt with me would surely know what they were doing.

    Dan picked me up from the hospital, he took me to my mums, and we finally got stuck in to the duck and pancakes mum had cooked the previous day. I couldn’t believe it had only been 24 hours since I was last home, it felt like a lifetime.

    Christmas

    So, Christmas was very different this year. My mum had informed the wider family that we had miscarried so there were no uncomfortable conversations, just a lot of love and support. We opened presents, had Christmas dinner, watched films and laughed – just like any other family. I still just couldn’t shake the feeling of loss, but I think that’s understandable.

    We celebrated Dan’s birthday on December 27th, and then travelled by car back to Dan’s house. We felt that as his family had been just as concerned as mine, it was only fair to go back and let everyone know that I was okay.

    After all the festivities and checking in with the families, I was ready to get back to normal. I had one final scan on the 3rd January and it was confirmed that the final clot had passed naturally, and I would not need any further treatment. We left the hospital, took a deep breath and promised that we would just get on with the rest of our lives. And, that’s exactly what I did, for about a week.

    Grief

    I went back to work on January 4th 2017, and I dove straight back into it. I worked hard and I worked fast. I thought that now I was on the road to recovery physically, I could move on with my life emotionally. However, it is only this week that I have realised how much losing my baby has really effected me. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that my baby wasn’t really a baby. My baby stopped growing at 9 weeks and 2 days. I have friends and family that have lost their children at birth, or late in their pregnancy when they have bought clothes and accessories and planned the rest of their lives. And, I can’t imagine what it must be like losing your child that late on. But, that doesn’t dismiss what I have been through and the loss I feel. This was my first pregnancy, and I thought my life-long dream was finally coming true. I had the man, the job, the house (ish), and I was finally of a respectable age. I had it all planned. I am so disappointed that this has happened, and the only thing anyone can say is ‘everything happens for a reason’. Now, this is usually my mantra, but, what on earth can the reason be for losing your baby?

    I am still going through waves of emotion; denial, sadness, anger, fear for the future. But, I need to put my trust in the medical staff that they have given me all the treatment that I needed and that they will be there to support me if anything like this happens again – God forbid.

    I have been informed that there is a high risk of miscarrying again, purely because of my blood type. But I am hoping that this miscarriage was just a one off – just another statistic.

    I have written this because I want the world to know that I, and others, should not be ashamed for being pregnant, or miscarrying.

    I did nothing wrong throughout my pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant at 3 weeks, and I found out my baby had died at 11 weeks. That was enough time to totally change my life for the best interests of my child.

    Expectant mothers should know to trust their medical staff, and if you have questions or queries, DO NOT hesitate to ask. If the nurse/doctor does not know the answer, then ask them to ask a senior member of staff to get back to you. It is important that you highlight any fears as early as you can to avoid any stress on you or the baby.

    That baby, that you are either carrying, or hope to carry one day, is a miracle and you are the luckiest woman in the world to have that little bundle of joy inside you.

    I don’t want this story to put off any potential mothers to be, and I am not suggesting that when looking for a spouse, you ask for their blood type! But, just ensure that you do the research.

    I will live with the loss of this baby for the rest of my life. But, God willing, I will have the family I have always wanted, and I will continue the grieving process until I am healed.

  2. E says...

    Thank you, Jo! I’m currently going through a miscarriage and it is so helpful to share this experience with others through these stories. Thank you for offering us connection, love, and hope❤

  3. Chloe Maune says...

    My mom had a miscarriage and this blog was very informative for me to better understand how a woman feels and how I can be more understanding when she talks to me about it. It was really helpful seeing personal stories and I learned a lot reading them

  4. Shannon C says...

    Thank you for sharing these stories. It is really nice to have real stories instead of just statistics and a list of emotions women may have after a miscarriage.

  5. SMK says...

    I bumped into this post today after my check up with my physician.. I have been having random pains & problems after my 2 miscarriages, so I got myself to get couple of tests done.
    In my 1st miscarriage, at 8 weeks, I did a D&C & I dint like the experience at all. Lot of pain & crying & disbelief that after all the trying, this can happen to me & my husband. We were mourning for many months. My pregnancy hormones took some time to subside, making it all the more difficult to move on.
    Time went by and we moved on in our lives but with a feeling of having lost something big, but we wanted to keep our hopes alive.
    I got pregnant the next year again but that too ended in a m/c at 8 weeks which we tackled with medication. This too was too painful & bloody.
    Made me ask myself, Why ? Why does God think I am not ready for this & is taking this away from me?
    I see my friends with their little ones & I feel happy.
    I see random people with their little ones & I feel sad.
    I think I’ve gotten over it , but when I mention my case to any person , known or unknown I break down.
    All my scans and blood tests are normal but I still feel pain, worry, feeling of not being fit enough to carry a baby.
    My Doc finally said, Dear, you are young and you have a lot of time to get pregnant, just have faith.
    I have faith but I still grieve my loss..
    I am trying to keep myself occupied with things I love doing and my family, but not sure where all the pain & sadness creeps in. Hope time will heal.
    I read somewhere, writing about your pain will help take it out of you. Glad I found this post apt for this.

    • Guadalupe says...

      Reading your story got to me. I just lost my baby at 3mos in a half. It was painful and i still feel sad i really dont know how i feel. I feel like this is all just a dream and that i was never a mother. Y gave birth in the restroom of the emergency and i saw my baby and carry him in my hands! He was so small and all form already. He was so beautiful! I feel weird that i had him last week inside of me and now i dont! I feel empty! 💔😪

  6. Kerusha says...

    These stories….i guess i didn’t know how much i needed to hear that what i was feeling was ok, my feelings weren’t crazy rantings or me having a mental break….they were “normal”.
    I needed someone to tell me that you have a right to grieve for your baby…..and yes it was “my baby”, not just a 7 week pregnancy that ended badly. That baby was a part of me and i have never felt more love and connection to anything before, no one can prepare you for that, that bond that forms when you take that pregnancy test, my heart swelled and it just filled with more and more love….until that day 7 weeks later when i started to spot, it started slowly then progressed to a point where my doctor admitted me, it was basically downhill from there. I spent days in that hospital room praying for my baby to be ok, i gladly did all the blood, pressure and other necessary tests, waiting for the doctor to say “it’s all gonna be fine”, unfortunately that day never came….what he did say however was: ” It doesn’t look too good, the levels have dropped too drastically”.

    My heart missed a beat, my mind went blank, but i managed to ask, “What are the chances of my baby surviving?”, “Just pray”

    I cried and cried, i tried to rationalise things….that just made me cry more.
    I called two of my closest friends, one to give me comfort and the other to make me strong, i would have crumbled without them.

    That night when i climbed into that cold hospital bed, i lay my hands across my belly and whispered all the words i had in my heart to my unborn baby, important things; silly things; meaningful things…..”i loved them more than anything and i would have done anything to protect them”….i said my goodbyes and i knew i would see their soul again cos they were a part of me

    It’s been a month….looking back on things, i still go through the stages of grief, but i had that one night that gives me some comfort, knowing my love will never stop.

  7. Erin says...

    This article comes at the right time for me. I experienced 2 missed miscarriages in 2015, both from IVF. The first in June at 6.5 weeks and the second at 8 weeks where I had a d&c 1 week before thanksgiving. The first was easier somehow because I had this feeling from the beginning that something was wrong and it wasn’t going to work out. I was depressed from the first positive test even though it was a much-wanted pregnancy and just knew something was wrong. With the second one, I was caught unawares. I really believed this baby was going to make it- I could see him/her in the future and had this feeling that my family would be complete (I also have a daughter from IVF attempt #4, but I’d never before had a m/c). I was devastated around the time of the d&c, managed to distract myself through Christmas and now I’m back to just feeling loss and anxiety and don’t know what to do next, but can’t really stop trying to figure out a plan. It’s really hard to sit with the grief and take care of an active 3 year old, even though I know I’m so lucky to have her. Thanks for sharing these lists and comments- it’s helpful not to feel so alone.

  8. Lisa Barone says...

    I had my 8 week dr’s appointment scheduled for the day after this post went live. The morning before the appointment I woke up and knew I had suffered a miscarriage. There was no physical indication that anything horrible had happened- absolutely none of the usual signs- but it was something I just knew in my bones. I brought it up to my husband, who couldn’t possibly understand why I would even suggest it given the lack of evidence. I started to doubt my intuition and chalk it up to nerves, but I couldn’t shake the feeling. This post was almost like a sad signal to trust myself, and prepare for the worst. We learned I had a “silent miscarriage” the very next day. Although the sadness felt unbearable for a time (having tried for a year for this first baby), I now feel secure in knowing that nobody understands your body- husbands, doctors, parents- more than you. Mothers know so much more intuitively than we give ourselves credit for- even those of us who can’t show that to the rest of the world just yet.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’m so, so sorry to hear that, Lisa. How devastating that must have been. And how incredible that you knew and felt it so surely. I’ll be thinking of you and am sending you a hug through the internet.

  9. Stefanie says...

    Hello everybody!

    Now I have to try to write a good answer because I feel like I really must do this…
    I’m German and my English is totally out of any practise, so I hope I can show my emotions, thoughts an point of views the way I want to: that you understand 🙈
    I often come over here to read motherhood posts. I really enjoy them because the Britain way to educate and grow up your child follows totally different basics like the German ones. I enjoy the different sight and feel like part of the motherhood in different country series.
    Now I read this really deep heart touching post and needed to answer!
    My husband and I tried to get pregnant 14months. As I saw the second stripe on my test I totally freaked out 😁 But I had a missed abortion in week 14 and had to go to the hospital. It was on our honeymoon trip. That sucks! But I still had hope in me.
    4 months later I got pregnant again and thought it is okay – we didn’t loose lot of time. I was full of fear every day and every night. Oh my god, please don’t let me loose this baby again. These little prayer went through my head a thousand times. In week 8 I had an appointment for ultrasound – no more heartbeat to see… Once again to the hospital.
    I felt like falling in the deepest black hole you can imagine. I cried rivers. There wasn’t only a little bit of hope in me. I was often unable to go to work and stayed in bed for days just crying and staring at the wall with my rabbit red eyes.
    The second baby I lost was gone on Valentine’s Day.
    I was scared about my future and asking myself if I’ll be able to give birth at all?! Being pregnant doesn’t mean getting a baby automatically, that’s what I learned. And it is not easy but it is a gift. The biggest gift ever.
    In December I got pregnant again. In the hottest summer we had for years I gave birth to my little sweet girl named Frida who is 13 weeks old now! I’m so in love!
    I also have lots of friends and relatives who lost baby’s.
    Now I will point out some really personal thoughts from my own experience…
    Things I hated in my dark time:
    – everybody who wanted to help me with sentences like “you’re so young, you’ll have more baby’s in future!” Sure? Somebody told me the same after the first miscarriage and what is now? So just shut up.
    “I’m sure the baby wasn’t healthy and is gone because if that” maybe. But it’s gone – and I’m so sad about it!
    “You’re married for 2 years now, don’t you want to have children?” Piss off!
    … Endless list …
    Things which helped my to climb out of the hole:
    – I changed my relationship to God! I prayed a lot and it gave me self confidence, it helped me to calm down my thoughts and I felt comfortable with the knowledge to leave my pain and fear at somebody else’s shoulders, so I didn’t had to carry it all alone. And I learned I couldn’t influence the first 12 weeks. Having a miscarriage doesn’t mean having debt!!!
    – I tried to find new hope! So I got tattooed: two little stars (my star children) near to the infinity sign including the word hope. It is placed on my left side, near my heart. I wanted to give a place to be to my two lost babies and I wanted to remember myself to never loose hope again, it is such a terrible feeling without!!!
    – talking about it!!! Write an anonymous blog, talk to friends, talk to strangers, find your own way to let it out and don’t keep all the pain and sorrow in you. Otherwise it will make you sick.

    As I got pregnant with Frida my personal fazit was, telling everybody about my pregnancy in week 5 or 6. Why? Because everybody knew we wanted to have a baby after the second misscarriage. And keeping it as a secret isn’t a guarantee to keep the pregnancy.

    Women out there feel free to talk about your lost babies, you will wonder how many really nice and helpful words will reach your broken hearts and heal it a little – step by step. And maybe you’ll find your own way to climb out of your dark hole and find some new hope? I wish you all the best!
    Giving my two stars a place to be helped me to accept that this sad capture of my life will be part of it forever. And as I recognised that fact, I felt a little better.

    Don’t be shy to search for help.

    Kisses
    Stefanie

    • Alina says...

      Thanks for that. I lost my baby at 34 weeks and 5 days. It was 3 weeks ago. The pain is unbearable. But turning to friends and family really helps. I’m hopeful but really scared. Seeing the strength in other women, the courage to keep trying despite losing the baby in other pregnancies, keeps me going. It’s all part of life.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’m so sorry, Alina. Sending you a big hug and many loving thoughts.

  10. Barrett says...

    I have lost two pregnancies, each at 12 weeks, since March, basically back to back. The first was a missed miscarriage, discovered at 14 weeks. The second pregnancy was given a fatal fetal prognosis, after an incredibly difficult time with morning sickness and perhaps prenatal depression, and we decided termination of the pregnancy was the most compassionate decision for us and for our unborn child. I had just decided to stop reading your blog in fear of seeing more pregnancy and motherhood posts (which I’d so been enjoying!) when this one was posted. Thank you for acknowledging and sharing in this hard but real and too common side of life. Most women I know have also experienced some kind of pregnancy loss or scary complication. Each loss is unique and deep and its own kind of nightmare. My heart is with each family sharing their stories-including the fathers- and other children- whose grief is too often overlooked or underestimated. Thank you again.

    • I am very sorry for your losses. That is a lot to go through in so short a time. For what it’s worth, I understand the feelings of needing to protect yourself from others’ pregnancies and motherhood. I want to tell you, in case you need to hear it, it’s okay to feel like that. I wish you well. Much love xo

  11. Pam says...

    There are a number of people bringing more awareness to this difficult topic. Through the Heart is a nonprofit who mails care packages to grieving families. A documentary is being made on the topic titled Expectinmg Sunshine. A woman is walking the Camino and carrying objects on behalf of women who have lost on caminoforacause.com. More and more women are facing this and infertility very alone.

  12. So raw but so good at the same time.
    Bravo to these brave women.

  13. Eliza says...

    Thank you Joanna for compiling these stories, and for all of the brave women commenting here as well.
    My husband and I suffered two miscarriages in the past two years and are now trying IVF to conceive. We were both terribly traumatized by both losses, and it was heartbreaking to say the least.

  14. Kimberly says...

    Many thanks for posting this Joanna. I have had two miscarriages and was lucky enough to have a full term baby in between them. After my first, I couldn’t imagine having a second miscarriage. I didn’t think I’d be strong enough to go through it again. Until I did. Thank you for letting your readers know they’re not alone in this very difficult and isolating experience. Sending a ton of strength to the women out there reading this post.

  15. Melissa says...

    Thank you. Just thank you. I needed to read this.

  16. Jaime says...

    What a comfort to read. Just as a side note, would love to read a post about women who in the end, can’t have children and where they go from there.

  17. Annie Field says...

    Thank you so very much for sharing these stories. Like so many other people have commented, you never think it could happen to you until it does. I had a miscarriage at 12.5 weeks and have found it so comforting to hear from others who have gone through the same thing (and worse) and come out the other side. Knowing that I’m not alone has given me strength and support these last few weeks. It’s sadly so common and unfortunately so hidden. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  18. Iris says...

    I thank you so much for posting this. It’s so hard to long over all the motherhood posts…waiting for my turn, and sometimes feeling like no one understands how I feel. This is because broad media coverage never talks about this. I also had a missed miscarriage at 11 weeks and lost the baby earlier. It was devestating to me, it took 8 months to get pregnant which seemed like forever…and it has taken me 6 months to come out of a deep depression. I wish it never happened to us women that have had mc, but I am thankful for how strong it has made me. I feel like I am so strong now and I can take on anything. Wishing everyone who has had this experience peace. I am a longtime reader…from way before you were married, and have wanted kids since then. It’s been hard for me to even go to this blog sometimes because of all the motherhood posts, which really make me feel aware of my loss and trouble conceiving again. But thank you for posting this. Xo

  19. Jenni says...

    I read your blog every single day. I can’t believe the timing of this post, as I found out the day you shared this that I was losing my first baby. It was an ectopic pregnancy, diagnosed the next day. I am supposed to be in Panama today, on a vacation we’d planned for months. Instead, I’m trying to focus on work while grieving and trying to get used to going back to this “normal” baby-less life. I’ve read and re-read these stories so many times. Thanks for sharing. It helps.

  20. Ali says...

    This post came at a perfect time. I had a stillbirth in September at 39 weeks. I am in a fog. I feel like I will never be myself again. I’m terrified. I read this on Pregnancy and Baby Loss Remembrance Day 10/15 and it helped me feel less alone: http://mashable.com/2015/10/15/pregnancy-infant-loss/#pvKdlFV3cqqd What if I never fully heal from this loss? Thank you so much for including loss on your wonderful blog.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh my goodness, Ali, I’m so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how you must feel. My friend Kate Suddes shared her story about having a stillborn son a couple years ago, in case it’s helpful. I’m sure she would be happy to email with you, if you’d like, and of course you can always email me. http://cupofjo.com/2013/11/motherhood-mondays-i-had-a-stillborn-baby/

      You will feel happy again. I promise you. Even if it doesn’t feel at all like that right now. My thoughts are with you. xoxo

    • Alex says...

      Ali, you are not alone and I wish I could reach through the internet to give you a tight hug. My first son died on the evening of the day he was born, in January last year, at 39 and a half weeks, after a joyful, much-longed-for pregnancy (his cord broke and he was deprived of oxygen and blood for too long, despite an emergency c section). I remember reading the stillbirth story on Cup of Jo when I was 7 months pregnant with him, and thinking, that is so terribly sad, but not thinking I would ever lose my child. When I look back at 2014 I don’t know how I survived it. But I got through it and you will too. Hang in there. The pain and grief stays with you, but so does the love for your baby, that changes you. And the batterings get spaced further apart. You will feel yourself again – just a slightly different you.

    • KC says...

      I am so sorry Ali. I had a stillborn at 39 weeks 1 year ago. Please reach out to me if you feel it would be helpful. I still cry almost everyday and think about her everyday. I am sending you lots of strength as you navigate the unending (though changing) road ahead of you.

    • Connie says...

      Ali, I had a stillbirth exactly one year ago. He was my first baby. It felt like a black hole in my life and I too was wondering if I could ever get out of that endless sadness. I promise you will. Be strong. Hang in there. I still think about him everyday and wonder what my life would be like. But life goes on and you will live on. I send you a hug. You are not alone.

  21. Rachel says...

    Thank you so much for this post, Jo. I am an avid follower of your blog and have longingly read your pregnancy and motherhood related posts for years now wishing my own time would come. It finally did, but we lost our twins a few months into the pregnancy due to what we now know is a uterus malformation issue. These women did such a beautiful job of describing the way this loss feels, and for the first time in months I feel like I am not alone in my mourning or the uncertain road to parenthood I now have before me. Sending love and light to all of you that have lost a child.

    • Cate says...

      Lots of love to you, Rachel.

  22. Thank you for posting this. I’ve been working on a photo series, The Miscarriage Diaries, since 2009. I was motivated to do so because of the lack of information and what I felt like was open support for those who miscarry. Again, thank you for posting this great piece. http://www.meganjoplin.com/the-miscarriage-diaries

  23. Britt says...

    All of these stories are beautiful in their own individual explanation of grief. I think, what stood out for me more than anything, are the stories about the people that are there for you when you are going through such heartache. My husband and I lost our first child at 23 weeks and 5 days. She was born in a traumatic delivery, and after 45 minutes, her little lungs could not sustain her anymore. I cannot describe the pain of having to sign your child’s birth certificate while you hold her lifeless body in your arms. It has been the most unimaginable and unfathomable sense of grief and loss that I have ever known in my life. What I will forever remember from those moments, are the friends, family, and the food. Which might sound like a joke, but honestly, the last thing you can think of is feeding yourself when you are so completely and wholly devastated. The friends and family that rallied are forever imprinted in our lives now, they will always be a part of who I am, and who I always want to be. Friends who brought 25 corndogs over to the house, because we constantly had family there (I ate 11) friends who brought us bags of healthy snacks, including 6 different types of extra dark chocolate and pink himalayan salt popcorn, friends who came over and took over our kitchen and cooked tacos and shared in our sadness and gave us SO much love. People who sent and brought flowers and continued to do so, they were there, they showed up, they would message me every day and ask me what I needed, or tell me, that they were coming over and bringing dinner no ifs, ands or buts. It was over the dinners and the snacking and the relating to one another, that they so often said, it is awful, you don’t have to rationalize it. This is a terrible, horrible thing and if you want to sob and cry and scream and pound your fists, you should, and that is okay. My friend’s boyfriend grabbed me when I broke down because he was closest, and held me into his perfect white shirt and let me cry big, snot-filled tears and wipe my face on him without so much as a question. The women and men who inserted themselves into our lives at that point, and gave us all of them and shared their stories and listened to ours, over dinner or lunch, the people that came in and cleaned my entire house top to bottom before I could even come home from the hospital – these are the moments and the relationships I will never forget in my life. If you have someone going through such a loss, be there for them – not in the, if they want to reach out to you they can way – fully become part of their lives and they will be forever linked to you in a way you cannot imagine.

  24. Thank you so much, Joanna and all of you wonderful women for sharing your stories. I feel your pain. I’m in it too. Wish I could send each and every one of you one of these beautiful cards: http://shop.drjessicazucker.com Xoxo

  25. Ellen says...

    Thank you, Joanna, Lucy, Abbey, and Emma. Thank you.

  26. j says...

    Thank you. Thank you a thousand times for sharing these stories. They are just what I needed to hear right now. You never think it will happen to you until it does. It is a real loss and the grief, shock, and emotion are valid and raw. Thank you for sharing these so-often silenced stories. It’s odd that once I started talking about mine, I learned that most of the women I knoe have had one as well. It’s like a science fiction novel that no one will talk about this phenomenon.

  27. I just wanted to send Love to all the beautiful mothers who have gone through a miscarriage. May you experience comfort in your grief and be supported by the love and caring of others. <3

  28. Elizabeth says...

    Thank you so much for sharing these stories. I miscarried twins nearly five years ago and I remember feeling so isolated. Reading these stories helped me to continue to heal.

  29. Kelly says...

    You’re a lovely woman, Joanna Goddard 💚

  30. Kristin says...

    Thank you so much for posting these stories. As someone who has experienced several miscarriages it is so helpful to read other peoples’ experiences and how they deal with all the huge emotions involved. Each time I found out I was miscarrying I immediately went to the Internet to find stories of women whose situations were similar to mine. Reading those stories really made me feel not so alone. I have yet to be brave enough to share my experiences but I hope one day I will, as I know my story could bring comfort to someone just as all the stories I read did for me. Thank you again for tackling this topic.

  31. Christi says...

    I went in to the nurse midwife for my 15.5 week checkup, my 3 kids (4,7,8) in tow. There was no heartbeat, and their was silence in the room for the longest time. I told her I was beginning to get worried, and she said, “I am worried.” She sent me over to the university hospital for an ultrasound, but although I called my husband and everyone I knew, no one answered so I had to go alone with my kids. I thought for sure that the heartbeat was just missed, and I’d get to find out the gender early. I’ll never forget the baby not moving on the screen and the quiet. My kids said excitedly, “is that the baby–oh, look it’s the baby!” Finally, I burst out, “my baby is dead, isn’t it”. I could not stop sobbing. They said they would admit me to Labor and Delivery so I could deliver the baby naturally. I was in Labor and Delivery for about 3 hours, was visited by the chaplain, told I would get pictures and get to hold my baby,…and then they changed their mind. They said they made a mistake, and due to the gestation I’d actually have to go home and come back and have an outpatient D&E the next day. I was so traumatized. I went home and just cried and cried saying “I want my baby back.” After the procedure I felt like I’d been raped. If it weren’t for my faith in God I don’t know how I would have made it. I even got a bill later for my hospital admittance to labor and delivery. I was never able to have any more children because the next year when I was 33 I had a skin cancer on my face the size of a quarter and had to have reconstructive surgery. Then, later that year I had a herniated disc in my neck requiring fusion surgery and still have chronic pain. Sometimes you think you have everything figured out in life, how many children you’re going to have, etc. and then those plans change, not according to your will. It was definitely isolating. I was in a church where they printed the expectant mothers names in the bulletin every week and prayed for them by name publicly. I definitely felt a sense of shame and a feeling like something was just wrong with me. These hard experiences have brought me closer to God and given me more compassion for those who are suffering. There are definitely things in life that bring one to the place where nothing else but God can bring comfort.

  32. Anna says...

    Like this article, I would love to see an article talking about when labor doesn’t go to plan or sharing traumatic birth stories in your usual sensitive and empathetic tone. As a survivor of a traumatic birth that left me unable to carry future children, I found there was nowhere to turn to and no support out there. Even an article about this might facilitate connections with other women who can share their stories in the comments. Love your work so much, truly the only blog I read every single day.

  33. Sarah says...

    As much as I wanted to stop reading these posts, I simply couldn’t. I am seven weeks pregnant at the moment and am absolutely terrified. Mt heart is heavy for all of the beautiful women out there who have suffered the pain of pregnancy loss.

    • Sarah, I can relate to your comment so well. I’ve learned over the past few years that every life – whether our babies are 6 weeks in tummy, 6 weeks on earth or 60+ years – is worth celebrating. This is what allowed me to move past the fear of losing another pregnancy. I’ve lost 3 babies since my first was born, and I cling to the hope I’ll be able to carry another in my arms one day. The funny thing we tell ourselves is that once we get to a certain point (12 weeks, the birth, etc) that the fear subsides. My son is 3 now, and I’m still not in control of his life fully. The fear creeps in now and again but letting go of it can be really beautiful. It can allow you to enjoy each day and opens your heart to love instead of fear. Many congrats to the precious little life that is alive and growing in you right now.

  34. Del says...

    Joanna thank you for posting this and to all who share this intimate experience, THANK YOU, especially Emma. I suffer from fibroids and have had 3 surgeries (1 after the 1st miscarriage, the other two were two and 4 years earlier, and helped stop the bleeding and discomfort), and 3 miscarriages. The first two was in January and November of 2014, and the third was this spring. I’m beginning to heal. I look in the mirror and I don’t see myself physically, I’ve gained 50lbs since January of last year. I don’t think I would mind the weight gain, if I could look into the eyes of my child. I’m learning to let it go, I still keep the ultrasound photo from the first pregnancy but its kept in book. It never made it to the fridge. I was so happy the first time I wanted to keep it close by near my bedside table in my bible. The other two miscarriages occurred early so there are no ultrasound photos, just knowledge that they happen. A few months ago, my Ob/gyn suggested another fibroid removal surgery but I’m physically and emotionally not able to do that. I worry about scarring even though he has assured me there is none. I’m leaning on my faith and believing that I will become a mother, my husband and I will become parents. I don’t know if I will get pregnant again and have a full term pregnancy or if we will adopt a child or children but I do know, that nothing is impossible.

  35. Thank you for talking about miscarriage on your site! I haven’t had a miscarriage myself but as an OBGYN I see it everyday. Our society doesn’t talk enough about the frequency of pregnancy loss which results in people feeling isolated. I read this article on The Washington Post about miscarriage not being “contagious” that sheds light on some very important aspects of why we as a culture struggle with talking about loss. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2015/01/26/i-had-a-miscarriage-talk-to-me/ I wish women didn’t feel so alone after these difficult experiences.

  36. Chris says...

    Miscarriages can be so devastating, thank you for giving us the opportunities to share our experiences and grief in this way. I have had two miscarriages, one at 7 weeks and one at 10 weeks. I am also blessed with two beautiful daughters, one who was born before my miscarriages and one who was born after them. I personally found the second miscarriage the hardest. With the first I thought to myself, they are so common that it was bound to happen. But then with the second I was really knocked for six, I worried that I would never have another child and that there was something wrong with me. It was such an emotional upheaval, a really really difficult time. I chose to tell my closest friends that I was pregnant right from the start and I am so glad that I did as I needed their support. I worry that our culture of keeping pregnancies secret until 12 weeks makes many women feel isolated and alone. I understand why we do it, as it is such a risky time, but I personally believe that it is better to be open with one another so we can share the joys and the struggles that come with pregnancy. Of course it is a personal choice and some people may wish to keep it to themselves regardless, but I wish it was more or a personal choice than the societal norm. Sending my love to you all x

  37. Mac says...

    Loving is painful sometimes, isn’t it?
    Very early in my second pregnancy I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. SO tired. SO nauseous. So different from my first pregnancy. I knew it was twins, I kept telling my husband. We were anxious. We were about to move across the country.
    My 10 week appointment found two little babies, then the nurse said, “well this one looks good, but I’m going to get the doctor…” There was only one heartbeat, and honestly, I felt incredibly relieved. I mean, I went in pregnant and left pregnant. Then I felt incredibly guilty for not being sad. Shouldn’t I be feeling sad?! I just didn’t. Then, at the 20 week ultrasound, healthy baby girl was tucked snug into one section of uterus and there was a big empty space, space where the other baby had been. It hit me then, seeing the actual void. I relate so much to the first story–I too felt like I had lost the chance to have that child a part of my life. Early as the loss was, it seemed so real, the potential was real.

  38. zoe says...

    I’m an ER doc and I had to give the horrible news of a miscarriage to a patient just a few days ago. I knew her and her husband were staring at my face as I was checking the ultrasound. And they knew that I couldn’t find a heart beat when it was taking so long. And then sitting down with them to share the news was heart breaking. Its probably one of the hardest parts of my job, and it happens all too frequently. Its reassuring to know that there is a community of people sharing their stories. Thank you.

  39. I’ve found it hard to “bounce back” from my losses. It feels like the grief goes on forever! Everyone tells me to have hope but somedays I simply can’t. Thank you for this post and this important discussion. So many messages out there don’t really seem to get the long term struggle after miscarriages. This really speaks to me http://shop.drjessicazucker.com/cards/grief-knows-no

  40. PM says...

    Oh, Joanna, thank you so much for this post. It helps so, so much.

    I relate so entirely with Abbey Nova – I, too, found myself pondering spirituality; turning from a type of agnosticism to a craving for God to make sense of it all – while also feeling deep skepticism that any God would allow suffering if s/he could chose otherwise. It was a hard time, in so many ways.

    Thank you again for this forum. I’m grateful to read the comments, too.

  41. Katie says...

    This is a beautiful post and a beautiful discussion. This topic is precisely why I feel so strongly about being pro-life as a community of women. For any of us who have experienced this loss, we love the life we formed so strongly and fully from that first moment of existence, no matter how small or how long we were blessed to have them with us. The devastation we feel is so real because the life we have lost was and is equally just as real – regardless of whether we are surprised to find out we are expecting, or if have been trying for a baby. It is discussions like these that I believe will help us see the true miracles in pregnancy, birth, and life!

    • Esti says...

      I’ve had two miscarriages this year and I don’t have alive children yet. If anything, these experiences have made me even more pro-choice. I really wanted to be a mother, and losing these pregnancies was horrible: my expectations for my life got shattered by circumstances I could not control. Being pregnant is really hard and I can’t imagine any woman not wanting to be pregnant being forced to go through it. Not to even mention women being forced to carry on nonviable pregnancies, like it has happened in Ireland or Nicaragua, or women being put in jail for having miscarriages “that may have been forced abortions” like it happens in El Salvador.

    • Anon says...

      It’s funny but I was thinking that I as I read these stories of loss, I think there are so many things that some women experience that is just behind the curtain……they happen in our lives, but for one reason or another we don’t maybe talk about them. This blog has been brave in talking about depression and loss and miscarriage. Abortion is one of those things that we just don’t talk about really to one another. I can see it being polarizing and would understand why….but it’s just another one of those experiences that we don’t talk about.

  42. Ivy says...

    I think about my other baby all the time. I lost him or her at 12 weeks, but I think looking back, that s/he stopped growing at about 10 weeks. My due date would have been the same date as my nephew’s birthday, so I always think of the baby with joy on that date. I also think of my other baby with gratitude, because I got pregnant with my son about five months after I miscarried, and without that sad event, I would not have my beautiful two year old boy.

  43. I miscarried 3 years ago. In my regular everyday life I don’t tend to think about my miscarriage, but that makes it worse for me. For when something reminds me about it, it’s like a shocking revelation each time.
    I will never stop hurting when having to say “3 pregnancies, 2 children.” I was shocked at how emotional I was over it. I am not an emotional person. Very light-hearted and happy and quick to get over things. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t know what to do with myself. We had told some people about it, but I didn’t even really care about that piece of it because I was too busy dealing with all of my own huge emotions. However we shared the news with some of our best friends and a few weeks later she told me she was pregnant too. We were so excited to go through he pregnancy together. A few weeks later I lost mine. I’ll never forget being on an overnight vacation with my husband and he was talking to that couple and it was like I remembered that the miscarriage was forever. She would have a baby and I wouldn’t. I had never taken the time to think about the finality of it all until that moment. That even if I were to get pregnant again, it wouldn’t change or fix this. This would always be pain and heartbreak.
    It was a pregnancy in which everything was moving along except a baby wasn’t forming. So my first ultrasounds they told me to wait two more weeks to see. But I knew. They knew, too. My friends who I told knew also. And yet, those two weeks were bizarre. A bur of me acting like I am both not pregnant and pregnant. I had thrown a baby shower for a friend and all of my other friends told me it was ok to drink. God bless them all for trying to bring me back to reality, because I kept clinging on to the miracle that I might have a baby. When it was finally determined I would miscarry, they asked if I wanted natural, D&C or a medication that induces a miscarriage. I chose the medication. Pardon my language, but what a mind fuck that was. It had to be inserted vaginally, every few hours. It was so painful and bloody, I had to convince myself to keep inserting the medication. It was awful.
    Looking back, my friends did so much for me. I was in such a blur I could barely even take notice. I had my best friend and her husband literally stay with me while I took the medication to induce a miscarriage, I can’t even remember why my husband was gone at the time now. Another friend sent me fruit and a balloon. Others simply listened while I explained to them that I was so happy for them and their babies and pregnancies, and that I wanted to hear everything about it all! ….but that I might cry while they were talking. They gave me such grace.

    Love to all of you women out there. Whenever I see the phrase, “Be kind. For everyone you know is fighting their own battle.” I think of those who have had miscarriages, fighting their own silent battle.

    • I forgot to include: I wrote about my miscarriage while it was happening. In case it might help any one out there, you can check it out here: http:judysavestheday.com/2012/09/just-let-go/

    • PM says...

      thank you for posting this, Judy. <3