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. Andrea says...

    Hi,

    Thank you for this. Of all the sites I read, this is the only one I’ve ever commented on. In fact, I emailed you last year when I had my miscarriages and felt miserably sad, all the time. You’ve always seemed like a friend I haven’t met yet.

    We had two miscarriages (in 2014), and we just had a healthy baby girl in August. We are still sad to think of the babies we didn’t have, but I know we wouldn’t have ours now if we’ve had the others and she’s so wonderful. I certainly remember the dates of loss and their future birthdays, even now. Doctors appointments were scary and hard, particularly before we could feel the baby moving.

    People were beyond kind – friends shared stories, put us in touch with others that shared, and just opened up so much. I did feel like there was a particular lack of community for my husband, who really grieved though.

    Thanks for talking about this.

  2. Mary says...

    The “pregnancy years” were not easy ones for me and my husband. Thanks for this post.

  3. RG says...

    My granddaughter just sent this post to me. Thank you for writing this. I didn’t know what to say to her after her recent miscarriage. She was hurt by what I said. Then she sent me this link and I sent her one of these cards which seemed to help her and our relationship. It’s hard to know what to do. I hope more young people share their stories so they can get the support they need. http://shop.drjessicazucker.com

  4. Jess says...

    Three months ago I got pregnant for the first time in my life. My partner and I were both so happy that we shared the news with our closest relatives, knowing too well that it was too early. After tons of blood tests, multiple visits to the doctor and long hours of stress, we learned it was an ectopic pregnancy. I was incredibly lucky to be diagnosed really soon, my life was never in danger and I just got a few shots to induce a miscarriage. It was just a little bit of pain and blood. But my grief and my partner’s was very very real. I felt so unlucky. Then I learned ectopic pregnancies are much more common than you can think: my boss almost died because she didn’t know she was pregnant. The only thing that made it bearable was knowing my family and my partner’s were there to support us in every step. I don’t regret telling them in the first place.

  5. Katie says...

    This post could not have come at a better time for me. I am currently going through a miscarriage today, with my first pregnancy, and I am heartbroken. This post and this thread, however, make me feel like I’m not alone in my sadness and heartache. Thank you to everyone for sharing your stories, and to Joanna for creating such a beautiful space.

    • Jessica says...

      I’m very sorry you are going through this. Sending lots of love.

    • PM says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Katie.

    • Katy says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Katie, and to other parents experiencing this loss today.

  6. Shawna says...

    I’ve had three miscarriages. The first after my first round of IVF at 7 weeks. The weird thing about IVF, is 7 weeks feels like 7 months. You’ve monitored your blood levels daily, been tracking every moment of your body from last period, estrogen/progesterone building, implantation, etc. so, although people would say “its early” it certainly didn’t feel that way. The second was after another round of IVF. I had d&c with both. Such a feeling of sadness and hopelessness. And bleeding that felt like it went on forever. Then on my 4th round of IVF, I was blessed to have my beautiful daughter. When she was 10 months old I got pregnant naturally. I was surprised, perplexed, and overwhelmed. We started getting excited about having two kids so close. Then I received a notice from the doctor saying my genetic screening test had come back abnormal and I needed to go get more testing. We scheduled the appointment, stressed out, felt overwhelmed again. At 17 weeks we went in for the ultrasound, we watched the doctor look at the screen, tell us he saw a cleft lip palate, then he paused, and realized the baby’s heart had stopped beating, most likely the day before. That moment will be frozen in time in my mind. It’s a journey and sometimes I look back in disbelief at all of the pain we went through. But I do try to find comfort that my daughter has some other little angels up there keeping an eye on her.

    • Miranda says...

      I’m so sorry for your losses, Shawna. I had a missed miscarriage at 12.5 weeks at the beginning of August after my first round of IVF. We did genetic screening of our four embryos, and two came back “normal.” After the miscarriage, though, genetic testing showed that the baby died because he had Trisomy 18. Our clinic told us this kind of misdiagnosis has only happened to 12 of their patients since 2007. I also feel haunted by that last ultrasound – it was our NT screen, so we were seeing everything the tech saw on our own screen. I immediately saw there was no heartbeat; my husband didn’t notice, and said “Oh wow!” and looked back at me beaming because it was the first time the baby looked like a baby. That moment feels like such a nightmare. I feel like I can hardly look at another doctor, let alone speak to one, let alone have another shot or ultrasound or blood draw. I can’t imagine all that you went through to get your daughter here, but it’s encouraging to know that you kept fighting. Best to you!

  7. Thank you so much for this! I needed to read this today. We just lost our baby boy in the NICU. He was born when I was only 23 weeks pregnant and he wasn’t going to survive. My life has been turned upside out and inside out. The grief is unexplainable. Gratefully, we came across these baby loss/stillbirth cards and sent them to friends and family to honor our sweet boy who is no longer with us. http://shop.drjessicazucker.com/cards/baby-lossstillbirth-announcement

    • PM says...

      Jody, I’m sorry for your loss. Sending love.

  8. S says...

    I remember my miscarriage from two years ago clearly like it happened yesterday. Yes there was the sheer and utter heartbreak, but what I didn’t expect was the anger. It would well up inside me like a powerful, unstoppable force whenever I saw a woman who was pregnant, or was with her children. All I could think of was “Why her?” “Why does she get to have a baby?” It got so bad sometimes I was just filled with pure hatred for complete strangers. My husband was very supportive but I couldn’t quite share with him the (inappropriately) bitter resentment that I felt day after day. I also didn’t feel comfortable sharing this with my friends, and definitely not my colleagues. Going online every night and reading other women’s stories (like the ones in this post) was what got me through this difficult time. You just never know what the woman at the next table is going through in her life.

  9. Kelly says...

    Thank you for this post. I just had a d&c 2 weeks ago. Since it was my second miscarriage, I was little more prepared with what to expect and didn’t get as “attached”. Just 4 days ago, as I was starting to heal from this process I found out that I had a partial molar pregnancy and I am not allowed to try and get pregnant for another 6-12 months. It was another huge blow and a terribly tough weekend trying to come to terms with this news. To not even be able to try for something you want so badly is devastating. Thank you for sharing that I am not alone.

    • Abby says...

      I’m sorry to hear this. I also have had two miscarriages (and now have two children), and my second miscarriage was a partial molar pregnancy not discovered till 14 weeks. It is hard, especially with the very frequent blood draws to check your hormone levels. We did get pregnant a few months after I was cleared to start trying again (about 8 months after the miscarriage). I hope the process goes smoothly for you.

    • Kelly says...

      Thank you for your comment. I am not looking forward to the very frequent blood draws. A miscarriage is hard enough, but this just takes even more strength. My heart yearns to give my daughter a sibling, I just hope one day I can do this!

  10. I’ve had multiple miscarriages and am so grateful to see this post! Someone recently sent me one of psychologist Jessica Zucker’s new pregnancy loss cards: shop.drjessicazucker.com. They really nail it. They say it like it is. I still grieve my losses and might for a long time.

  11. Katie says...

    Thank you so much for this post. I just had my second miscarriage. It was my third pregnancy. My second pregnancy blessed me with my beautifuly baby boy who makes it a little easier to get through. I can relate to each of these stories. It helps to know that others feel your pain even though you wouldn’t wish it on your worse enemy.

  12. Miscarriage dad says...

    Dr. Jessica Zucker’s NYT piece is so incredibly moving! Brilliant. She recently launched a line of pregnancy loss cards to help people find the words after these difficult situations: shop.drjessicazucker.com

  13. Heather says...

    We lost our son before 20 weeks, so technically it was a “miscarriage” even though he was born alive and lived for an hour in our arms before his heart stopped beating. This sort of loss is so painful no matter when it happens, but it seemed to me like many people jumped on the word miscarriage to categorize what had happened to me as no big deal – like a migraine or some other temporary medical bummer. I found the repeated reminder that miscarriages were “common” often to be dismissive, as if the frequency of this sort of loss made it any less devastating and traumatic. 100% of our parents die, but you’d never hear anyone comfort that sort of loss by saying “this is actually pretty common.” I think that’s partly where the shame part sets in – that the level of emotional impact of the loss might seem to others to be disproportionate to the event. Like you don’t deserve to be that depressed, or that the depression is mostly a hormonal thing.

    • Katy says...

      Such a great way to point out that it doesn’t help that it’s common: “100% of our parents die, but you’d never hear anyone comfort that sort of loss by saying “this is actually pretty common.” And I’m very sorry for your loss, Heather.

    • Marie says...

      Heather, I also had two babies born/die just before the 20 week mark. One son was stillborn, the other lived for about an hour also. Holding Collin , giving him a million kisses and telling him how much we loved him and would always remember him was the hardest thing my husband & I have ever done. Its been 20 years since that day but I still remember it vividly.
      I can relate so strongly to your feelings of dismissal. A doc in the hospital actually told me that “now you have two angles in heaven”.
      Many people cannot comprehend the depth of sorrow and pain that a loss like this brings. It took me a full year before feeling strong enough to try again. We now have a beautiful grown son that we think of as our miracle baby. I hope you find peace and comfort knowing that others share your feelings. I don’t know how recent your loss was, but please feel free to email me if you ever want to talk with someone who has endured the same pain .I’d love to be of some help.

  14. Kristin says...

    My heart aches reading these comments. My first pregnancy ended very early. My husband and I had about 4 days to be excited and then it started to end. It was such a shock, and it was so early into the pregnancy it almost didn’t feel authentic or justified to be sad. But I was. I was so so devastated. And shocked to be honest. When I saw the positive pregnancy test, I didn’t really consider that it might not turn into a baby in my arms. But it didn’t and I was deeply sad, and also felt very much alone. Even my husband didn’t seem to understand what a tremendous loss it was to me. I don’t think he’d had enough time to become connected to the idea. I got pregnant again very shortly after, and am so blessed to have the most perfect, beautiful little girl now. But as a few other commenters have noted, that early loss cast a shadow over my next pregnancy and I found it difficult to celebrate my baby-so-be, until she was in my arms. And truthfully, I’m terrified to be pregnant again although I desperately want more children. I think motherhood is the most vulnerable condition in the world, whether you’ve just seen that positive pregnancy test or your baby is headed off to college. Love and luck to all of you.

  15. Jenna says...

    I’m 16 weeks and am in tears reading the heartbreak in these stories. It’s only now that we’re having our own that I truly understand the fear of loss and have learned about how many of my dear friends have lost a pregnancy and kept it to themselves. I just want to hug them and tell them it’s not ok and they’re allowed to be not ok because really, it’s not ok.

  16. Emma says...

    Love this post. Thank you for talking about this as not enough people do. It’s crazy how common yet how taboo this topic is. In the past two years I’ve been through a miscarriage at 9 weeks and a still birth at 25 weeks. I think about both of my babies everyday yet don’t get to talk about them nearly enough. I like the advice of treating it just like any other loss, because that’s exactly how it feels. You mourn for the memories you won’t get to make and all the missed “could have been” moments.

  17. Elizabeth says...

    I had two devastating miscarriages in 2013. And I will still remember them in 30 years… I also have two beautiful children born before and after the miscarriages. I have read a lot of accounts of pregnancy loss and I think these 3 are the truest accounts of how it feels and all the pain, regret, lost-hope and anguish that parents experience when they lose a baby they were waiting for. Thank you for sharing. Going to go kiss my kids now

    • Elizabeth says...

      I should say that after my second miscarriage I was diagnosed with PTSD. Therapy really helped me get through our loss and give me the emotional distance that I needed to move on. EMDR treatment worked great.

  18. kim says...

    Much needed post. The Real Simple words put my own thoughts better than I could my own. I have three children, and lost one at 13 weeks between the first two. I try to bring it (her? I’m always sure it was a girl) up when it naturally arises in conversation, to heal for me and to normalise the topic. A loss is a loss.

  19. Wow. Me and my friends are too young to think about children, marriage, miscarriages, but I’m keeping the stories of this blog with me, so I can learn from them and share them once we start our own families and face our own challenges.

    xx B
    http://www.thisisb.be

  20. caro_in_london says...

    I read the articles and all the comments and I feel so sorry for all the women expressing their pain and sorrow. I also experienced a miscarriage a few years back, before I had my 2 children and I cannot really relate to this intensity of emotions. I wonder if there is a cultural difference here (I am French) or if it is because my own mother always talked very openly of the miscarriages she had, as did all the women in my family (my aunts, my sister). I was told from a fairly young age that miscarriages are a common risk in pregnancy, that they don’t affect future pregnancies and that there is nothing you can do about it. It’s a fact of life, it’s part of being a woman and goes with the wonder of being able to give life. When I experienced it myself, I did feel sad but there was no shock, no shame and no loneliness as I knew many women to turn to for comfort. I did not really think (nor do I think now) that I lost a baby because at that stage it was more of a possibility than a real person. Of course, each story is different and your own history play a big part (my miscarriage was around 8 weeks, medically uncomplicated and we had only been able to conceive for a few months). But do feel that open communication and awareness are key to alleviate all the trauma associated to miscarriages.

  21. Diana says...

    Thank you for posting this, Joanna! And thank you to your friends who shared their stories.
    Have you read all the stories people shared on the comments? It’s beautiful! You’ve built a comunity here. I can feel all the support and love! It’s amazing!
    Thank you.

  22. Kit says...

    I agree we need to talk about this more. As women, I think we need to talk about everything more; all the things that happen in our lives – day-to-day, or significant and profound – which, big or small, we internalise and hide because we’ve been taught the rhetoric of “don’t make a fuss”. Why is it that sound and fury in men is valiant but it’s the silent, suffering woman who is brave? We all need to tell one another these things that happen to us.
    My miscarriage was when my twins were 4 months old. Very much a surprise pregnancy (my twins are from IVF treatment) so we were just getting our head around this cataclysmic event when – BOOM – my bra was tight and I was falling asleep on the sofa at 8pm! Turns out you can get pregnant after IVF and male factor infertility and whilst you’re breastfeeding and having sex only once since giving birth. It wasn’t what we were expecting or really lined up for but then it was over before it had really started. I started bleeding at 6 weeks and it just carried on. Endlessly. An early scan was inconclusive because it was hard to pinpoint my cycle/dates but I was told I was “probably going to miscarry”. As I already had two babies it was said as if this was for the best – as if a doctor got to decide whether my baby was a mistake or not. I didn’t want a D&C as I’d had such a terrible delivery for my twins but I regret that now as the bleeding was terrible and dragged on. Foolishly I had no idea that miscarriages were so physical, not least that early on. Pain and blood. I remember one day sitting on the loo passing great clots and gouts of blood whilst my babies lay on the hall floor in front of me. I had to look after them alone whilst I cramped and bled all day long. I think the perception was that because this was my second pregnancy I just had to toughen up and get on with it as no friends came to help. Even my husband went to work and he’s normally so sensitive and supportive. I remember feeling very angry that I’d been left to get on with it, crawling around the house on my hands and knees. That somehow because it was my second pregnancy and a surprise, the miscarriage was worth less than that of a friend who had lost her first baby the year before. She’d (rightly) received flowers and support and had friends visit. And there I was, a year later, bleeding onto my bathroom floor, passing my baby from my body.

    No one remembers my lost baby. But I do. In my head, I’ve taken it back inside me and when I die we will somehow be together again. I don’t know how the world and heaven works but I know that baby is mine and part of me, however briefly. Because of that, I will always be its mother and that baby will always be mine.

    Condolences from the UK for all of you who have experienced pregnancy loss.

  23. Sally says...

    I’m not generally a contrarian, and it’s a particular surprise to find myself one within this community…

    BUT. Has anyone else had a (one-off, first-trimester) miscarriage and been fine about it?

    Mine was a few years ago – 12 weeks in, at home, painful, alarmingly bloody. We’d been trying for kids for six years at that point, and I’d finally got pregnant for the first time, so I’m not saying it was easy (are they ever?) I was physically traumatised, upset, frustrated. But one thing I can’t claim to feel was grief. Even at the time, it felt like it was something that had to happen, that should have happened. The way my body expelled the pregnancy, it clearly hadn’t been right and healthy. It was tough, of course, because we had come so close to fulfilling the potential of something really beautiful. But that’s all it ever felt like for me; the potential, not yet the something-beautiful, not yet a baby.

    I also didn’t feel shame. I was – and still am – quite happy to tell people about it. I’m not talking about over-sharing with strangers on a bus. But with family, friends, and even certain colleagues, it never occurred to me to keep it hidden like a shameful secret. I got wonderful support, for instance, from the co-worker I sat next to on my first day back, as he remembered his wife’s miscarriage a decade earlier.

    I don’t want to belittle the grief of everyone that’s shared here… just reassure anyone reading this that if they went through similar things and weren’t affected in that way, that they are also not alone!

  24. In February on the morning of my wedding I started bleeding, my period was six days overdue, already that a clear indication, and it had also been confirmed with a blood test. Worse timing ever. I know it was only a few days I was pregnant (knowingly), but it was still so sad, on top of worst timing ever. I cannot imagine to go many weeks and then miscarry, must be truly awful. We’re still trying, now a year and a half in total. Great post, thanks so much.

  25. Carmen says...

    Thanks for this, it really hit home. My counting goes “7 pregnancies, 3 births (1 Cesarean, 1 Forceps, 1 Eutocic)”. You don’t realise you’ll have to write these so many times in your life and each one is like a pinch. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the women telling their experiences.

  26. Lara says...

    Oh Joanna, thank you so much for this. What a painful thing to read but also what a comforting thing to read.
    I wrote you an email before about my recurring pregnancy loss and your reply was a great comfort to me.
    We have a three year-old boy now and we are extremely grateful for him. But we will always always always love and remember those babies we lost.

  27. Rahana Jarvis says...

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I had a miscarriage at the end of last year and only just now feel I am coming out of the ‘darkness’. I relate to all three stories for different reasons. This definitely helps, thank you.

  28. I think it’s really important to share these things so women realize they are not alone.
    I had a missed miscarriage at 12 weeks. My husband and I showed up for the big scan 12 week, with the screening tests, and you could see what looked like a baby already, small and curled up, head, legs and everything, but then the doctor became very reserved and pointedly polite, called in the nurse and it turned out the baby was dead. It had stopped developing only a week before, at 11 weeks. Then came the D&C under general anesthesia, which was traumatic and scary, and you’re placed to recover for the day in the maternity ward with all the new mothers and babies afterwards.
    I’m very glad we didn’t share the news with anyone, we were waiting for the second trimester to be safe. I couldn’t deal with other people, it was too raw and personal and I was too vulnerable.
    I later told very close friends, or people who shared they’d gone through the same thing. Now, with my boy a toddler, I don’t mind talking about it at all, it’s not a sore point.
    It’s horrible how much it affects you emotionally – my second, healthy, no-problems pregnancy, I couldn’t breathe the first trimester, I got scans every week, just to hear the heartbeat. At every check up and right after he was born my first question was “is he alive”? I remember feeling paranoid when you haven’t felt him moving for a while in the third trimester. Sometimes I had panic attacks looking at the stuff we had bought in advance thinking, what if we won’t be needing this, how will I be able to look at it? It’s like it in some ways it robs you of the innocence and ability to fully enjoy your pregnancy.

    • cg says...

      I went home an hour after my DnC, I’m glad I wasn’t placed overnight in a maternity ward. I’m sorry to hear of your experience.

  29. cg says...

    I agree with the one writer, don’t say things happen for a reason or that you will get pregnant again… because not everyone believes there’s a higher reason, and most certainly not everyone goes on to get pregnant again. Many years ago I had a miscarriage two weeks before Christmas. It was our first, no one told us to not say anything so at about 7 or 8 weeks. We were so excited, the cravings, the nausea, all of it, so we announced it to all our loved ones in our Christmas card. Sent. Week 10 I miscarried and I had to write a mass email to stem all the incoming well wishes. Week 11 I had a D&C, I don’t remember much of that week but I remember every minute of the doctor’s office and the procedure. Week 12 we had to celebrate Christmas with family… b/c “we”, who is that “we” I don’t know, I was in a haze of sadness and just going through the motions and agreeing to agree. Anyway, “we” thought it would be good for me to celebrate and be jolly with family. Only I wasn’t. Only I was upset that my one cousin came up to me and said “It’s nothing, we’ve all gone through it before.” Only it *was* something. “It” was supposed to be my child. “It” was supposed to make me a mama. How horrible that my one aunt came up to me and flashed a red envelope (Chinese money/gift) and said “Too bad I can’t give this to your baby for good luck!”. I still hate her for it.

    I counted the weeks til when we could try again. 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, ER. A week before I could try to get pregnant again I suffered a pulmonary embolism in my right lung and was hospitalized for over a week. Months of agonizing over whether we should try again and do the blood thinner choreography, we finally agreed to adopt instead of risking my life. That July I went to Florence, Italy for ten days by myself. “It” as some family had put it would have been born. I couldn’t bear the thought, and I couldn’t bear my friends who were having their baby that month as well. We eventually adopted a beautiful baby girl from China.

    She is my light and my love. But she is also autistic. No, we didn’t request a special needs child. So one can imagine, once diagnosed, my hopes and dreams of and for this beautiful girl had initially shattered. And there I was, left to grieve two losses of the children I had imagined were mine and to figure out the child that I loved so much but wasn’t prepared for. All of that happened over ten years ago. Ask me if I have forgotten any part of that pregnancy and I can definitely say “no”.

  30. Ingrid says...

    I miscarried 33 years ago. I had been trying to have a second child for 10 years. I was heartbroken and angry with what friends and family said, trying to make me feel better. My least favorite? “It’s for the best.” No, it wasn’t. Just say you’re sorry, or it’s awful, or it sucks. Don’t minimize the loss. 33 years later, it still hurts to remember those days. Her name was Hope.

  31. L says...

    Thank you so much for this. Hugs to each of you.

  32. Brandi says...

    Thank you for this post. I had a miscarriage my first pregnancy, in 2012. I found out I was five weeks pregnant and we were THRILLED! At 12 weeks, I started bleeding. We had a very cold visit to the ER where we were told I looked fine, then after an hour of waiting, the doctor came back and said, “I was wrong, you are having a miscarriage, your baby stopped developing 6 weeks ago. You can sign this paperwork and head home.” We were absolutely devastated. In addition to losing the little life that barely had time to grow inside me, our friends didn’t know what to say, so they said nothing. It seemed no one understood what we were going through, and some people were hurtful, saying, “It’s easy to get pregnant, just keep trying.” or, “Shit happens, you move on.” So hard to hear. It took us nearly 8 months to get pregnant again, and we have our beautiful boy who turns two next month. After my miscarriage, my life was a very dark place, no matter how hard I tried to be happy. I feel for anyone who has lost a baby, and love that you are willing to acknowledge such a hard topic on your blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me share my little story. It means more than you know.

  33. Thank you to all of the women who shared. I lost my first baby in July of 2010, on my sister’s wedding day, at ten weeks along. I was supposed to be the maid of honor, but was instead in the hospital, covered in blood. Now I have two beautiful daughters, but it is good to reflect and remember the sadness of the miscarriage, as well as the joy I experienced during those first weeks of my first pregnancy.

  34. C says...

    Thank you so much for this post. I just found out today I am having my second miscarriage this year. The first time I actually went to your blog to see what you had written or addressed in regards to the loss.
    It is comforting to hear others stories and know that you do not have to be isolated or ashamed in your pain.

  35. Beth says...

    This post is so timely. Last Thursday at 6weeks 5days we were told there was no heart beat. And now we wait for confirmation this Thursday. It’s a long week (my husband describes it as waiting for the axe to fall). This is our second miscarriage- the last one was in June. They were both very early and following ivf cycles so we had a lot of monitoring and knew success was a long shot. I struggle to call it a miscarriage because having it occur after hearing a heartbeat seems like it would be so much worse. Nevertheless, the first one was very hard because that positive result came after two years of ivf cycles and I mistakenly believed this all might really work. Reading the stories and everyone’s comments has been both heartbreaking and comforting. Thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences.

  36. joan says...

    I am 64…and had two ectopic pregnancies and a miscarriage. We have three wonderful adult children who were adopted. I was not up for more physical trauma/drama and potential loss. I am grateful beyond grateful for those courageous birth moms. We have met one thirty years later…hope to connect with the others some day. BUT…I never ever forget those babies who we did not meet. Even after all these years. They were teeny bits of hope and love. I eventually named them…so those pregnancies were brief but real. It gets easier, but it is never over. I feel like a mother to six children and I was.

  37. Lizz says...

    Thank you for sharing this. Mourning our recent loss–our first pregnancy–still, and I needed this. Thank you.

  38. Katy says...

    I always love how you share all sides—thank you. I experienced a miscarriage at 10 weeks, and it felt so isolating. I had shared the news of my pregnancy on Facebook and had to follow it up by letting people know that we had lost the baby. It was humiliating and made matters feel even worse. But then my inbox was flooded with stories from friends who said that they too had had miscarriages. It amazed me how common it really is, and was reassuring and comforting to know that most of these people now had beautiful healthy children.

  39. Mariam says...

    Thank you, Joanna. I had a miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy last year. It was such a sad time in my life and I felt much like many of these brave women. It feels so comforting to have a safe place to talk about this experience when it is so often ignored.

  40. Ashley says...

    Thank you for this.

  41. Thank you for this post. I miscarried at 8 weeks in July and it still feels like yesterday. Everything happened so fast. I went in for my first appointment on a Thursday and there was no heartbeat. I had the D&C on Tuesday. I remember reading somewhere that you think back to the people you told you were pregnant and feel almost foolish… I also remember a lot of friends not understanding or knowing what to say. I felt comfort in talking to friends and family that have gone through this. When I start to think about it and feel sad, I try and think about all of the good things happening in my life, especially my healthy 3-year old. I’m hopeful and pray that I’ll get pregnant again.

  42. Amamda says...

    Thank you. I needed this today.

  43. Hi Joanna, I’m childless by choice myself, but I just wanted to say that I so, so, so appreciate everything you do. Talking honestly about being a woman, with kids or without, pregnant or not, single or not in an honest and kind way is amazing (just like you and the wonderful woman who were brave enough to share).

  44. Theresa says...

    Thank you for this post, although heartbreaking to read others’ stories, it is comforting to those of us that have gone through it. I also had a miscarriage at 7 weeks and this was after a couple years of infertility. Although the pregnancy was new, I was devastated. It was really hard for friends to understand and it was amazing to me how little women talk about miscarriages. We now have a beautiful 18 month old, but still think about that time in our lives and how hard it was. It’s nice to have a space to read about other experiences and know my feelings aren’t unique.

  45. Lua says...

    I hope my comment doesn’t feel inappropriate in the context of what is perceived to be a miscarriage nor that it sounds like i’m attributing more value to one thing over another. I just wanted to mention loss. Loss of an idea or something more palpable, loss of hope. I’ve been struggling with infertility for many years. This past summer we lost our embryos in what is considered an implantation failure. I’ve heard so many times “at least you didn’t miscarriage, that is really hard”. It broke my heart. It broke my heart not only because my personal type of loss was being minimised but because the loss of those who do go through what is called a medical miscarriage was also being minimised against another type of loss. Maybe the loss of a baby at a later pregnancy state, the loss of a newborn, the loss of an older child.

    Loss is loss, whether it is an idea in your head, all those longed for babies that don’t materialise into pregnancy test lines month after month, the loved embryos who fail to thrive before your hormones tell the world you’re pregnant, or any little soul that departs after those much awaited lines. Motherhood is so intense that people find it so hard to not project their own feelings onto someone else. Because everything is felt so intensely, your own idea of grief and happiness is often thrown at others, with the best intentions but with so much potential for hurt. And people forget. Parents forget. Humanity forgets.

    I’m now 9 weeks pregnant of a little soul whose heart beats strong. In the midst of all the happiness and fear for what is ahead, my heart bleeds everyday for the person that i was before i conceived this baby. I don’t want to forget. I want to hug her and tell her that everything she felt was valid. I want her to know that her grief is valid because everything she ever wanted is indeed beautiful. The loss that she felt, day in day out, is justified because she knew, she really knew, how being able to be a parent and want to be a parent is a wonderful thing. Not understanding this simple concept minimises everything that the woman i was before this baby felt.

    I don’t want to forget and i want to always remember to honour that woman. To all of you who have experienced loss, i am sending you so much love. To all of you who are experiencing it as we speak, i hope you find someone who loves you, holds your hand and tells you that what you feel matters.

    • Jenn says...

      What eloquence, Lua. Your words remind me of another, who writes, “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break” (William Shakespeare, Macbeth). I, too, never want to forget who I was because she helped me become the woman I am today.

    • Beth says...

      I am sorry that the loss your your embryo(s) was in any way minimized. Everything about fertility treatment feels like a loss and to minimize any of it is unfair. For me, two miscarriages, one chemical pregnancy, and more than ten embryos- it is all loss, it all hurts and it has all forever changed me. I can’t congratulate you enough on your current pregnancy. Being pregnant now doesn’t undo your prior loses. Take care.

    • Ingrid says...

      Our love to you too. So sorry for your loss, and hoping for much joy in the future, though the loss will always be there too.

    • Anya says...

      Beautiful words and so true – loss is loss.

  46. Isabella says...

    Thank you for this! As so many others here have noted, there’s such a strange sense of shame associated with miscarriage, and it’s so little talked about in spite of being so very common. I had an early miscarriage last spring, and it was a terribly isolating experience, and beyond sad. While we’d only had a week to get excited about the pregnancy before it ended, there was this sense of the full pageant and grand steam calliope of new life starting up… and then inexplicably falling apart. I got pregnant for the second time last fall, and I wish I could go back and assure myself that it was all going to be okay; I was worried to the point of superstition, expecting bad news and bitter irony at every prenatal visit, every screening, every ultrasound, and it interfered with my ability to celebrate my pregnancy and allow my heart to melt over my child-to-be. Fortunately, it WAS all okay, and my heart is now properly puddled over my beautiful baby boy. And I’ve realized, too, that the world after birth is still full of worries — illness, injury, choking hazards, SIDS, and heaven help us, someday, DRIVING! Thankfully we aren’t all alone with our hurts and our fears. It’s so reassuring to hear these stories.

  47. Em says...

    Just the other day i was going to ask if you could share something about miscarriage. Last week I had a miscarriage of my first ever pregnancy. It has been extremely difficult. I have felt isolated even from my spouse. Thank you to the women that have shared here

  48. Thank you for writing about this. I lost three babies before having my son. This quote that a friend sent me was a comfort: “The pain you feel is like a link in a chain to all the other mothers who know, and who share your pain. We all carry it together, and we try to help lighten it for each other.”

  49. Josephine says...

    This illustration is great for this topic. Good job.

  50. As I read each woman’s account of her miscarriage, I kept thinking, “Me, too. Yes. Oh, and that…” So many similarities in their experiences to my own. Infertility has been a huge part of our journey as well as a missed miscarriage, and both situations are shockingly isolating, despite the huge number of women who are on the same path. Thanks to these ladies for sharing their heartbreak and bringing the community of women who ‘get it’ a little closer…

  51. Ugh. I hate that I can empathize so well with this. Two years ago, our newborn son died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart defect. Six months after that, I got pregnant with a girl. At 14 weeks, her heart stopped beating. Six months after that, I got pregnant with another girl, and at 14 weeks, her heart stopped beating. We have done every test under the sun but can’t figure out why suddenly we can’t make it past 14 weeks. I’ve been pregnant most of the last two years and I don’t have a baby in my arms. I have two healthy beautiful children age 6 and 4 and I love them so much my heart could explode, but it doesn’t make the pain and grief of losing other babies go away. We are currently trying again, and I’m almost planning on getting to 14 weeks and having problems, but I can’t just give up! Thank you for bringing a difficult subject out in the open. xo

    • Jo Chan Smith says...

      I made it through this post OK, but cried when I got to your story. Said a prayer for you that you’ll make it ok this time… and for courage to face what comes.

    • Emma says...

      Micci, your warmth and strength is so evident in your words: what a wonderful and brave mother you are…to all of your children. I’m sending you heaps of love and the very best for your next steps, and a warm hug for the hardships you’ve endured.

    • Heather says...

      Hug

    • Christine says...

      I am so sorry for all that you have had to endure, what a heart breaking story. Sending you a big hug, I really hope you achieve your dream of another healthy baby soon xx

    • Thank you my friends. One day at a time!

  52. Lisa says...

    Beautiful. These stories need to be told. I also remember that advice from Real Simple and have remembered it when a friend needed it.

  53. bridget says...

    i want to echo another comment i read here – this is truly my favorite space on the internet. so much love, support, consideration, inspiration and understanding.

    thanks for another thoughtful post that will stay with me.

  54. Marissa says...

    These comments are just as good as the article. Thank you for sharing today Joanna.

    I had a miscarriage between my first and second children. I was around 10 weeks pregnant, and it was Thanksgiving. We were planning to tell both of our families that weekend, and were hosting my husband’s family for Thanksgiving. Around the time the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade ended on TV I got really crampy, and decided I should take it easy for a while. A bit later I started bleeding sporadically. Since it was Thanksgiving I couldn’t even go to the doctor, so I had to wait until the next day. We wound up telling my husband’s family that evening that I was pregnant, but that I had been bleeding that day. By the end of the day I felt like things had slowed down, and maybe it was a false alarm, but by the next morning I was bleeding heavily again. We had planned to spend the day with my family, and wound up dropping my 1 year old with my Aunt who lives close to my doctor’s office, quickly mentioning that I was pregnant and bleeding heavily and we were heading to the doctor. My mother didn’t even know I was pregnant at that point. When we got to the doctor, there was no heart beat. We were given the option of letting it pass naturally or having a D&C, and I wanted to wait to let it pass naturally. We just went home by ourselves and cried and sat on the couch all day barely speaking, until finally I went on my own to pick up our son.
    In the end my body would not do what it was supposed to, and I wound up having a D&C. I remember it so vividly, I was so nervous that g-d forbid the baby was actually still alive, I asked the nurse with tears in my eyes if the doctor could please just check before she started to make sure. After the D&C there was nothing, barely even discomfort, definitely not pain, and I felt like it should hurt more physically. True to my nature I deflected and jumped back in to life head on and moved on by keeping busy, but every year on Thanksgiving I still think about the miscarriage and the baby that could have been.
    We’ve been extremely lucky and since have had a beautiful spunky daughter, who will be 2 in December, and are expecting our 3rd child in April, but with every pregnancy comes a big reluctance to celebrate until well into my 2nd trimester.

  55. Rebecca says...

    My heart goes out to the brave and strong women who have gone through this painful loss. Thank you for creating a space for them to share their stories.

  56. eb says...

    Thank you for sharing these stories – in the post and in the comments. I am so sorry for every mom who has lost their little one. We lost our first baby in February. We had shared our happy news at Christmas with all of our family and friends. A month and a half later at our 20 week ultrasound we learned our daughter had passed away a week or so before. Because we’d already shared that we were expecting with so many people, it didn’t occur to me not to talk about this, and I really believe that’s helped us a lot. We felt, and continue to feel, incredibly surrounded by love and compassion. Some people may say something that doesn’t really offer comfort, but just their ability to say anything about something so personal and painful means a lot – they are thinking of us, and even the perfect words can’t take loss away. I think of Bella every moment and grieve for her even as I carry (and worry) about the baby that we’ve been blessed with for the last 30 weeks. I can’t imagine this is a grief that goes away, and honestly I don’t want it to – when I cry I just pray that my daughter knows my tears are an expression of the incredible love I have for her, and that her sibling feels my tears as the hope and excitement I have for this new life. I hope more people will talk about the babies they’ve held in their hearts, cry openly, and acknowledge that these precious people mean so much to us. And I hope that if you do, you feel love from friends, family, colleagues and strangers that reminds you there is goodness that can be felt amid the sadness. Wishing all you grieving moms lots of love.

  57. Anne says...

    I’m reading all of this – how much joy and sadness and happiness and grievance can you find in one place : and it’s my own story as well.
    My first pregnancy (after four years of trying and fertility treatment) ended in a catastrophe and a miracle, when I lost one of my girls at 37 weeks and three days. Her sister was born one day later. Words are not enough to describe the feelings.
    I had an early miscarriage one and half years later, I felt sad and blessed because it was my first natural conceived pregnancy. And again half a year later, when we were getting started to do another round of fertility treatment, I got pregnant, all natural again. My baby boy is one now.
    How much can you cram in four years, I’m still struggling with my feelings. It’s getting better, but these two lost ones are always on my mind. Good to see that one is not alone!

  58. sara says...

    I had 2 miscarriages in between my 2 sons. The first I was 10 weeks along. I had already seen a wiggling jellybean with a heartbeat on the ultrasound. I had some bleeding, went to my docs, and saw a more-baby-looking blob, floating motionless on the screen. I’ll never forget the image. I had a D&C. I switched OBs after that, because the exam rooms had a smell (disinfectant?) that brought back the memory whenever I went in. The second miscarriage was a 5 weeks. I was crushed. I was afraid I’d never have another. I found it hard to get out of bed. Hard to be with my son. My fourth pregnancy was so full of fear that it would end again. Even now, with 2 healthy kids, I get sad thinking about it.

  59. Em says...

    I have lost 4 babies. 3 miscarriages. 1 stillborn ( also would have been very premature) but because I have 7 children now people think I shouldn’t morn the others. My first was my second pregnancy. The hardest things to hear were ‘ you didn’t need a baby right now anyways’ and ‘youre young, you’ll have others.’
    I think it is as nuts as saying ‘sorry your husband died, you can get another one’ people aren’t replaceable. Death stings. I don’t understand how babies are replaceable in the minds of so many.

  60. Beautiful as always.
    A relative of mine miscarried twins a few years ago and as the very thoughtful, emotional, proactive person that she is, she shared her story/her experience in a fb post to make people aware. In the very small society where we live it’s very important for these stories to come out, especially from women that have some influence on others, as she is. People here hide these stories as if it’s a stain, or a failure from their part that they had a miscarriage, and they suffer alone. I hope that time makes us more open and realistic in our expectations from ourselves and others as well.

  61. Jen says...

    I’m going through a missed miscarriage today.. at 9 1/2 weeks. This is my 2nd miscarriage this year (in the time span of 4 months) and it has been even harder than the first one. My D&C surgery was 4 days ago and I’m in so much pain both physically and emotionally. It’s beyond devastating but my husband and I have grown incredibly close during this painful experience.
    I loved Abbey’s advice on what not to tell someone in the throes of losing a baby – I wish my friends with brand new babies would stop telling me that they know I will get pregnant again. Or how common miscarriages are. That’s the last thing I want to hear right now – they are devastating words…
    I hope in time the fog will lift, the pain will heal, the anger will subside and I can find peace.

    • Hillary says...

      (((((hugs)))))) to you.

    • Trish O says...

      I am so sorry for,your loss.

    • Julia says...

      Jen, I have been there. I have had several miscarriages in succession, the last ending with a D&C in January. I just wanted you to know, I am feeling for you, and sending my heartfelt condolences to you, wherever you are. It really, really, really hurts – no other way to say it.

    • Emma says...

      You’re not alone, in this moment, or in this experience. Sending you and your husband warmth and comfort during this excruciating time.

  62. Lauren E. says...

    This continues to be one of my favorite safe spaces on the internet. The level of support and feeling of community among women is so valuable to me. Thank you for posting this.

  63. Kate H says...

    Thank you

  64. Abbe says...

    Thank your for writing this. In October, at 11.5 weeks pregnant (after two great ultrasounds at 6 and 9 weeks, and the IVF doctor giving our baby a 95% chance of success) our baby died…a missed miscarriage. A pretty heartbreaking way to end a year that included a secondary infertility diagnosis of two blocked tubes, tube removal surgery, IVF egg retrieval, a failed fresh cycle, this frozen cycle (and all the painful injections that go with it), a D&C and then a D&C bleeding complication my OB hadn’t seen in “years and years.” I have an ultrasound photo with arms, legs, face, everything there. And then he died. This pregnancy had made me feel whole again, after 3 years of being unable to give my daughter a sibling, and then all of that hope was gone again…just like that. The 2nd story resonates quite a bit, down to the same name and getting the puppy, but most notably in the sense of no longer believing everything always necessarily works out. Any miscarriage is devastating; when you add IVF or other assisted reproductive technologies to the mix, it adds to the sense of isolation.

  65. Beautiful and thoughtful post. So many brave, strong women. xo.

  66. this is one of the best posts on this blog. It is such a important topic that doesn’t get discussed at all, whether it be in the media, on blogs, in movies, or in conversations with each other. many times women suffering miscarriages feel quite alone. I’m so proud of cup of jo bringing such a topic to the forefront and giving a platform for these women to share their stories and in doing so giving other women who have gone through the same a community.

    http://www.footnotesandfinds.com

  67. It´s so touching. I have no physical and mental idea of how it feels, but I have thought a lot about it. I recently read one of those beautiful portraits of Humans of New York about this young women who miscarried. She said that it was very hard for her because she got used to the idea of becoming a mother little by little and that she started noticing what mothers used with their kids, some pregnancy clothes ecc, but she didn´t tell her friends that she was pregnant. The moment she miscarried, she felt so lonely, because she had nobody to talk to and because, of course, the situation was very hard. I repeat that I don´t know how it feels, but I know what it feels when you think that you are pregnant and you find out that you are not. Of course it´s not the same, but it´s such a sad and lonely feeling. Yes, lonely: it feels so lonely when your belly is empty. I send a lot of love and strength to all of you <3

    https://pandaonavespa.wordpress.com/

  68. Skye says...

    Your blog gets better and better. Great post.

  69. Sarah says...

    What a thoughtful post. I had a miscarriage August 2014. I went in at 10 weeks to hear the heartbeat, and found out that I had miscarried. This was on a Friday afternoon, and I was going to take the weekend to decide how I wanted to proceed when I woke up very early Monday morning to find out my body was passing it naturally. During my subsequent pregnancy (my daughter is now four months) I was always afraid that I would see the midwife who was there when I found out about the miscarriage, because I didn’t know how I would react, and avoided her until I gave birth via emergency c section and she was on call to check in on me and remembered me from before. It was very surreal but also that feeling of “full circle” seeing her after giving birth.

  70. Jennifer says...

    I had a miscarriage two years ago in October. I was only five weeks along. I discovered it while at a staff meeting at work. A fellow teacher who had experienced the same thing held my hand while I called the doctor. I went home that day. I spent most of the day crying, unable to control the flood of emotions. I felt like because it happened so early, that I was supposed to carry on as usual, so I went back to work the next day, and did a big fundraiser that weekend. I thought that the braver and tougher I was, the less it would hurt. But my grief found ways to come out. At least once every other week I would feel to exhausted to go to work and would call in sick. I had a panic attack in the car on the way to the grocery store once as well. After the panic attack I thought realized that I needed to slow down and let myself grieve properly. My mother in law gave me a lime tree that we planted in memory of our little one.

  71. Thank you.

  72. Ah this is wonderful. I’m in the last weeks of my third pregnancy, but my second child, and while I pray that all ends well with a healthy child and am grateful for this blessing, I will never forget the terrible loss of innocence (I love that!) I experienced when my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. This is indeed a secret sisterhood, and while I understand not everyone may want to talk about it openly, I also believe that those of us who ARE okay with telling our stories need to, because that’s what helped the MOST – talking to friends (in my case one friend) who have gone through it too.

  73. Clare says...

    Oh, wow. Like so many others on here, I had a missed miscarriage just a few weeks ago, at 9 weeks. In the days afterwards, I came to Cup of Jo and found a swathe of pregnancy and motherhood posts, and actually thought, ‘can’t you tackle miscarriage? It’s such a common – and horrendous – step on the road to motherhood, and everyone skips right over it!’ So thank you for staring in full in the face, and thank you to Lucy, Abbey and Emma for so open-heartedly sharing their stories. Each of our stories is so individual and heartbreaking and personally felt, and yet has at its heart the same pain and bewilderment and total injustice and absolute LOSS. And it’s the strangest loss, because it’s the loss of something real, a real pregnancy and a real baby, but also other things completely intangible – the loss of myself as someone’s potential mum, the loss of a dream I had for me and my partner, the loss of a radical change in my life that’s just – gone. And it’s forever ruptured my faith in my body to do this heroic thing of having an entire pregnancy and an actual, beautiful baby at the end of it. Though I can’t wait to be proven wrong on that, and I’m touching every wooden thing within reach right now.

    Love, and silent support and understanding to everyone who’s gone, is going, and will go through this awful, normal situation. And hoping that it IS just a step on the road to the mothers we all want to be.

  74. KC says...

    Thank you for sharing these stories. Also, the illustration is beautiful.

  75. phoebe says...

    My husband and I lost our first baby this past August; I was 8 weeks along. It was (and is) absolutely devastating — though I had gotten pregnant very quickly after we started trying, we wanted this baby so badly. I’ll never forget how right after I found out I was pregnant, I was overcome with this insane protectiveness for our child — how I would do absolutely anything to protect him or her. The hardest part of the miscarriage for me was not being able to protect my baby. I know it wasn’t my fault, but still, the mother part of my heart is so broken — no mother should ever be separated from her child. I’m so sad for all of you who have walked through this as well — but it’s good to know we’re not alone.

  76. Laura says...

    Hi Joanna,

    Thank you so much for writing this. You should check out ‘Sincerely, Mama’, a community blog started by a Vancouver woman after she experienced a loss at 39+6 weeks. When Emma’s own personal story went viral, woman from all over started writing to her, sharing their stories and seeking support. She started Sincerely, Mama as a result – partly to keep her baby’s legacy alive, and also to help woman (people!) to realize that it is okay to talk about loss.

    http://www.sincerelyskin.ca/mama

    • Laura says...

      I really wish I hadn’t made so many spelling/grammar errors in this comment, but alas….at least I got the point of it out heh

    • Hi Laura,

      Thank you so much for sharing the blog! I truly believe that so much healing comes from sharing and reading our stories – especially in the midst of a loss. Talking about pregnancy, infant, and child loss has been such a taboo in our society. No matter when a parent loses a child, it is the most devastating thing they will ever go through, and they will likely feel utterly alone. When we lost our son, Reid, we actually had no idea that it was possible for a child to die in utero after a completely healthy pregnancy. We felt so alone in our loss until we shared our story. Putting our experience into words brought me so much healing, as did reading the stories of mamas who had lived a similar loss – I felt a little less isolated and a little less crazy.

      Thank you, Jo, for opening up the conversation and raising awareness. You will have helped so many people with this article.

      Emma

  77. Sabine says...

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve had two consecutive miscarriages after having my little girl and now we don’t know whether we’ll be able to have another child, although we will certainly try. They were silent miscarriages, they happened around 9-10 weeks, and those babies had nicknames already. My husband and I shared our grief, most of the time. I still think about these babies who will never come into the world. We didn’t tell many people, yet friends and family were supportive, except two family members who said we weren’t ready yet to have another child so it was somehow good news (those were actual words; there’s tactless, rude, downright rude and ‘are you for real?’). Reading those stories relieves my grief.

  78. Meagan says...

    I had a miscarriage a little over a year ago at 8 weeks. I had been so excited after years of trying, but knew to keep it close to the chest, so I kept it to myself for about a week and surprised my husband on his birthday. His reaction was a combination of shock, terror, and excitement. I have to say, that was my reaction too. We had a blissful week of planning and then after a couple days of bleeding, I went to the doctor and confirmed there was no heartbeat. I had my D&C the day before my 30th birthday.

    I was strangely calm about the whole thing and never really mourned, but in hindsight, I can see the turmoil it had on my life in the months after. I let myself get sloppy, inappropriately drunk a few times shortly after –including at my work holiday party. I know now that it was a cry for attention and once I really took an inward look at how it affected me and talked to someone, I was able to address those feelings.

    It seems shocking for something so common to be so untalked about, but after going through it, I didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t want to think about it, I didn’t want to have to deal with those feelings. I think this is why it is such a hush hush topic, women all deal with it differently and some women want to deal with alone…for better or worse.

  79. Katharine says...

    Thank you, Joanna, for having a holistic blog that embraces it all. I had triplets for most of my first trimester with my first son but then babies A,B &C became just A. It’s something that still, almost 4 years later, I feel a strange loss over but am also just so grateful for my lovely child.

  80. Lee Ann Soowal says...

    This used to to be so much a part of my identity…I had multiple miscarriages, I had eleven miscarriages. It doesn’t even seem real when I say it now. I remember number four because it was the first and last time that I really cried…a deep, primal kind of cry. But that was all so long ago. My adopted daughter is 22 now and she is so much a part of us that it doesn’t seem possible that we could be any more connected. ‘Mom’ has informed my identity for the past few decades and I wouldn’t change how I got here for anything in the world,

    • Liza says...

      Lee Ann, thank you for this comment. My husband and I recently found out we will likely not be able to have children even with medical intervention. I have been looking into adoption, and it’s a comfort to know that your daughter is truly yours. That’s what I hope to find as well. I can’t wait to be a mother.

  81. Katy says...

    I’ve never had a miscarriage. I’m reading through all of these comments and am in tears. My husband just came over and wondered why I was crying, I said so many woman have lost babies, and I’m not sure I’d be able to come back after that. He too agreed that we wouldn’t know what we’d do if we had lost/were to lose one of our kids. (We have two sons.)

    My heart aches for each of you. Makes me want to hug tightly, those friends of mine who have miscarried, at least the ones who’ve shared it with me.

  82. I will never forget my miscarriage. My husband & I were heartbroken when we found out. This is the first time I share my horrible experience with the doctor who performed my d&c. He kept cracking inappropriate jokes and saying stuff like “this will be over in a jiffy.” While I was sitting there screaming inside. He was completely insensitive and creepy. He made my miscarriage experience so much worse. Afterwards I felt so scared of the doctor and I wished I would never see him again. I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter, my ob/gyn told me any doctor on call would be called in for my birth and my first thought was i couldn’t take it if it was that evil man! My experience continued to suck because then my MIL questioned me behind my husband’s back and insisted on knowing what exactly happened. I guess she thought it was my fault. Besides my husband and my own parents who were wonderful, our next door neighbor’s did the sweetest gesture they called to ask if we were ready for visitors, brought flowers and she gave me a glass angel. They didn’t say much but their gesture spoke for itself. I hope all women who are currently going through a miscarriage or have gone through it know that they are not alone.

    Lendy
    http://www.twoplusluna.com

    • Allyn says...

      Oh that’s so horrible! I would encourage anyone whose doctor doesn’t treat this with the utmost sympathy and respect to turn around and find a new doctor ASAP.
      The OB group I had just started going to has a rotating group of doctors, but the two we’ve now dealt with have been so kind, especially the one who performed the D&C.
      Honestly, everyone at the hospital (in the labor and delivery unit, but in a special section) could not have been more compassionate, from the nurse who stayed with me for hours to the anesthesiologist who explained everything to the doctor who I had just met that day, but quietly held my hand until I lost consciousness. As hard as the past month has been, that experience was actually really healing and gives us a lot more hope and comfort moving forward, knowing that there’s such a great team of people all hoping for good news for us.

  83. Kay says...

    Thank you for writing this post. As someone who is still struggling with infertility after 3 years and having had an early miscarriage this post has really resonated with me. I don’t yet know if I will get my happy ending but it’s so good to acknowledge that this is a journey and it’s OK to not be OK.
    Thank you.

  84. Katie Larissa says...

    Thank you so much for this, Joanna. I miscarried last May, and one of the most helpful things for me during that time was the multitude of women who quietly told me they knew the pain I was in, (emotionally and physically,) because they had experienced the same thing. We don’t talk about this enough, I think.

    I began losing my baby during a yoga class, and even though I was being completely safe and careful, the feeling that I caused the miscarriage haunted me, even though my doctor told me the baby had stopped growing a week before the miscarriage actually took place.
    I became pregnant again three months later, which was a shock, because I have severe PCOS and was told I probably wouldn’t be able to conceive. It was months into the pregnancy before I worked up the courage to go back to yoga or to buy something for my baby.

    I wear the date of my first baby’s loss on a necklace, and its constant presence is helpful. I will never forget that baby, even though I didn’t even get to know whether it was a boy or girl, and having the necklace always with me gives a sort of tangible permission to remember, if that makes sense.

  85. Megan says...

    Thank you for writing this post. I miscarried in January 2014 and searched your past posts for something related – your words always seem reassuring, Joanna. I’m happy this is here now. :)

  86. As for many other women, this post has struck at the very delicate heart of grieving for my miscarriage. I lost mine after 7 weeks and would be due about now. I have reopened the wound that is the loss of potential. I was in a casual relationship that had ended when I found out I was pregnant. It wasn’t on my agenda, I’m 27 and single and still working out life, but I felt this absolute surety that this was my path. I altered my whole lifes outlook and when I started bleeding at work I was devastated. I knew I wasn’t going to be a mother yet I still held out hope. Anytime a doctor said I was ‘threatening miscarriage’ I believed my body would hold on. Of course the nurse very kindly told me the statistics for losing a baby, which I know were in kindness and reassurance but felt like daggers. This was my baby and my loss right now! No one was grieving like me at this point. I haven’t really dealt with the grief and recently saw a psychic who mentioned there was a little girl being held by my grandfather. I don’t know if I believe it or not, but the psychic recommended I create some sort of symbol of letting go of the grief. I’ve planted forget-me-nots so I never forget the little being that helped give my life direction. Thank you so much for this post, handled with delicacy and honesty, it made me feel less alone at the nine month anniversary mark.

  87. Abbey says...

    Bravo Joanna and Cup of Jo! Bravo to all the brave commenters, too. I’m so glad to see some of the silence about miscarriage come to an end.

  88. Kristen says...

    Good and important, this post.

    What words:
    “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.”

    Thx to all for sharing.

  89. Myia says...

    ps. my heart so dearly goes out to all who have lost a little one – remember to be kind to yourself, and take things slow. Do healing things for yourself, and look after your heart. There is no time period it takes to feel any less grief – take as long as you like.

    This quote from a friend resonated with me during this time:
    “Babies are born in the flesh and souls are ever abundant. Your child’s soul is still out there waiting to come back to you, your next child will be that same soul when you are ready for it’s arrival.”

  90. I had a miscarriage at 9 weeks. I went in for my second ultrasound and the tech was super quiet. I asked her what’s wrong and she muttered something about no heartbeat… that’s all I heard before I burst into tears.

    My husband was gutted by the loss but he was strong for me while I went through surgery. He held me when I needed to be held, made me laugh when I needed to laugh, and I couldn’t have gotten through it without his strength.

    Initially we kept it very quiet because no one had known that we were pregnant or even trying. But then I realised that it wasn’t something to be ashamed of, and I did nothing to cause it. The baby just wasn’t meant to be. Now I talk about it if the subject comes up, because I don’t want it to be a secret. And more often than not, I hear the words, “I lost a baby too”.

    Miscarriage is, unfortunately, so much more common than we think, but because not everyone is willing to talk about it, the ones going through it feel like they’re the only ones in the world and they did something wrong.

  91. Aimee says...

    I had mine a year and a half ago, at about 11 weeks. I was 42 at the time, and it was unplanned and a surprise, to say the least. I’ve known since I was a teen that I didn’t want children, but the whole experience was just heartbreaking from beginning to end.

    I suspected pretty early on—around 3-4 weeks—that I was pregnant and it was confirmed somewhere around 4-5 weeks with a home test. My first reaction was a big “Oh, f—————–ck” and instant tears (not the happy kind.) What have I done??

    My husband and I struggled for weeks trying to decide what to do—vacillating between an unbelievably difficult array of choices, all agonizing, with none of them feeling like it was the right choice to make. We’re financially secure, reasonably-well adjusted people who would have been perfectly situated to raise a kid. It just wasn’t what we had planned for, or wanted to do with our lives and our marriage. But terminating didn’t feel right either, without some compelling reason other than “we just don’t want to be parents.”

    For the first few weeks, I guess I honestly half expected that the pregnancy wouldn’t stick, given the statistics for viability at my age. But I progressed, and passed weeks 8, 9, 10 with little more than some wicked bloat. It was a six week run of a lot of tears, feeling horribly trapped, guilty, selfish, with a couple of (very) brief flashes of, ok, maybe we can do this.

    On a Sunday night I noticed that my regular evening crampy spell was a little more sustained than usual, and there was some pink-tinged evidence before bed. The next morning I got up and went to work, but by mid-morning I was bleeding bright red. A call to the doc got me an appointment that afternoon.

    The first thing they did was an ultrasound, the first I’d had. I was upset but managed to keep it more or less together. The tech said that the scan showed no heartbeat, and that the fetus measured about ten weeks. Before I could tell her “I don’t want to see,” she swung the monitor around and said “See?” There’s a whole series of pics in my patient file, I guess, but that’s where they’ll stay.

    My doctor was great, no-nonsense and pragmatic. He scheduled me in for a D&C the next day because I didn’t want to take the route of waiting potentially weeks to let my body decide when to resolve things. I went to bed that night feeling raw overall but not so bad physically, bleeding moderately but nothing severe. But cramping woke me up around 4:30 in the morning, and by 5:30 I was in the worst pain of my life, with contractions coming one on top of the other with no respite in between. I’d had no idea to expect it to be that bad—I’d read it described as a bad period but this went way, way beyond that. The procedure later that day was pretty much a non-event after that.

    I went back to work the next day because I’d already taken the previous day off. Actually, I traveled for a client meeting the next day. It was surreal but I couldn’t come up with a valid rationale not to do it, and in a way I guess it was a bit of self-punishment. I’d still only been in the first trimester so no one aside from us, and my doctor, knew I’d been pregnant. I went through a weird period of numbness for a while, alternated with bouts of tears for no reason: Oh, a red traffic light? Let’s have a sob. Hey, that’s a cute dog: cue the snotty tears. September 24th was (would have been?) my due date, and the first year I dreaded the day. This year, I again dreaded the approaching date but then I got super busy and it slipped by.

    So I guess there really isn’t a moral to this long-winded comment. Every now and again, if I’m feeling low and in a mood to poke around at all of my emotional sore spots, I pick at this one and get teary for a bit until I move on. The miscarriage is always there—there’s rarely a day I don’t think about it—but it’s not a dragging-down sadness. More like an underlying current of layered relief, guilt, and, maybe, a fraction of regret that’s now a permanent part of me. I still haven’t talked about it with anyone aside from my husband, and I’m not sure I ever will. In writing that out, it sounds very lonely, doesn’t it? But I honestly don’t feel that way. I hold it close because that’s the best way for me to deal with it, not because of any shame or self-blame. I guess knowing it’s a common thing helps too—it happens, it happened, we were unlucky…. And so it goes.

  92. Myia says...

    Thank you Joanna for always bringing us posts that connect us and bring an honesty to it that others can’t. It is such an isolating experience and I truly wanted to connect with other women who had gone through the same at the time. I lost two babies (14 weeks and 7 weeks) – I have chronic neuro lyme disease (MSIDS), which at the time I also didn’t know. This disease robbed me of everything – but never could it have hurt more than losing children. People don’t talk about babies, pregnancy and chronic illness. I live an organic, inspired and conscious life – everything I do is to heal my body and soul but a day in the life of lyme disease is insanity – let alone that you risk passing to your child should your body permit you a pregnancy. I suffered so much during my short pregnancies and I lost it after losing them. To fight for your life is one thing and to then fight to have children is another. If you or anyone would ever love to discuss or needs any help or insight to lyme disease, I would be so obliged.

  93. I wrote about mine a little while ago on my blog and honestly sharing it publicly was something that did more for me than talking about it privately because a lot of people who knew me personally felt I had no reason to be affected. I wasn’t married, my partner and I do not plan to be married any time soon, we are young, it was largely unplanned, etc. But I didn’t think it was a reason to demean my experience or make it seem as though a loss shouldn’t affect me, even an unplanned loss. I commend these women for bravely sharing their stories. Women are so resilient and can be an encouraging community, especially within our shared experiences because no one knows us like we know each other. My partner could not understand it at all. But it was comforting to see the bevy of women come out with unflinching support of what they knew was difficult no matter what the circumstance. A life is a life.

  94. Joanna says...

    I have lost track of my miscarriages or failed IVF’s. Early on, after my first miscarriage, I had also an ectopic pregnancy with a heartbeat in my tube… lost the right tube also. I really vaguely remember my feelings maybe because I finally had my daughter at 40 and I forgave my fortune for all my previous suffering.
    But, she is now two and I have tried already through IVF to conceive a second child. I had already one miscarriage and I am feeling now stressed, anxious and exhausted at the same time. I feel my time is running up and I feel more disappointed after a new failure than before my daughter. Somehow, before, I knew that I would eventually have a child, in spite of everything. I believed in it. Now, I feel hopeless and burst in tears when I think of my daughter and her live as an only child with parents that she will lose fairly early in life due to us having her at 40. Picturing her alone in life is something I am dreading. (

    PS: Sorry, English is not my native language. I read the blog for years now and had for the first time the urge to share my feelings about a topic.

  95. Elizabeth says...

    I went through infertility treatments and it took over 3 years for me to have my twins in 2012. In July of 2014 I found out I was pregnant on my own and was blown out of the water by the surprise of it. By the time it started to sink in, I started bleeding and it was over. Even though it was a chemical pregnancy and I only knew I was pregnant for a week it was still very hard on me. I think of that third baby I could have right now that would be 8 months old. What would he or she be like? It’s emotional and some days it still really gets to me. I also had a hard time in March during the week of the due date.

  96. meghan says...

    We got pregnant right away when we started trying, and then I had a miscarriage at about 7 weeks. It was startling and a little lonely – only my husband and mom knew I was pregnant. I was never really sure I wanted to have kids, so I was still processing the idea of even being pregnant. The miscarriage started when I was out of town on a work trip. My husband picked me up from the airport and I started sobbing. We went home and he made me lunch before going to the doctor. As I was eating, he said, “I’m sure the baby is fine.” I didn’t realize that he didn’t understand. I couldn’t bring myself to describe what was happening yet, but I thought he knew. I had to say, “No, honey, there’s no baby anymore. I’m having a miscarriage.” Saying it out loud was awful. The doctor who helped me was so kind and reassuring. She did the ultrasound and gave me the statistics and a hug and told me I’d be fine and to start trying again in a few months. I was surprised to hear how common miscarriage is. I went home and called my mom to tell her and she said the same thing had happened to her.

    It’s weird to have to have to fill in “Number of pregnancies:” and “Number of live births:” differently on medical forms.

    Now I’m very excited to be 27 weeks along!

  97. Emily says...

    This piece was powerfully relatable. I have not gone through a miscarriage (and I’m so sorry for those of you who have), but I can relate to the descriptions of pain and isolation because I am going through a bad situation with my former partner. And it is changing me every day and I am deeply aware of this. There were two pieces that grasped at me: “I had a sense of the veil being pulled back. It’s as if I realized there is no order to the universe…” and “that layer of sadness puts everything else into such stark relief. ” So thank you for giving me these sentences to hold on to today while I have my sad day. Because no, I can’t tell the cashier at the grocery store that my former partner of ten years has been stalking me for a year and a half and I’m sad, raw and afraid. But some days, like today, it’s all that I can think about. So thank you ladies, for sharing your stories and putting some honesty out into the world. And thank you Joanna for being a touchstone for real human experiences.

    And now I’m crying at my desk thankyouverymuch!
    xo

  98. Sam says...

    Our first pregnancy was so smooth, we thought the second would be just as easy. We had a miscarriage at 6 weeks. I was pregnant and then I wasn’t. The plus sign was there and then a week later my hormone levels dropped and there was nothing. It was a painless period which almost seemed more cruel. I was devastated and I wanted my body to reflect my pain but it acted like it was fine, like it just tossed the baby out on it’s own free will. It didn’t ask me.
    We were pregnant again a couple of months later and now we have two heathy beautiful boys. I still think about my baby that was and was not, but I’m grateful for my little men.

  99. Christie says...

    After two miscarriages, two ectopic pregnancies, one gorgeous little girl and a lot of trauma, there was one piece of advice that stuck with me, and it went along the lines of this:

    People will always give you as much as they are capable of (in terms of their support).

    I heard it all during my losses – ‘You can have more babies’ (that’s no longer true), ‘it’s better that it ended if something was wrong with the baby’, ‘it’s nature’s way’, ‘you’re still young’, and sometimes there was just pure silence from friends who disappeared until I was ‘over it’.
    In the end I realised that they were all only giving me what they could… nobody ever wants to hurt you, and all you can do is accept what they are offering and take in the useful advice, and let the rest skim over you.

    Much love and support going out to anyone who has experienced loss today. X.

  100. libby says...

    I am having a miscarriage right now– it is so strange to write that, but it’s true. I am nine weeks pregnant, but there was no heartbeat at the eight week ultrasound. I have no bleeding or cramping, and I just never expected a miscarriage to be a surprise. I feel pregnant, which is horrible, and I am just waiting for my body to realize that the pregnancy is non-viable. It is terribly sad and alienating, and it makes me feel estranged from my body as well as from the all the people at work ,etc. Sending love to all the women who shared their stories– reading them is one of the only comforts right now.

    • meghan says...

      Lots of hugs!

    • Megan says...

      I am sorry. Take care and God bless.

    • You might be right- sending you prayers if you are! But I am currently 34 weeks pregnant and there was no heartbeat at 8 weeks either- they did a vaginal ultrasound and the baby was moving and fine. The midwife said sometimes its hard to find a heartbeat that early.

    • Kara says...

      I am so sorry to hear this, Libby. Sending you love, peace, and strength through the interwebs

    • phoebe says...

      I don’t know you, but my heart breaks for you. You’re not alone. Your baby’s life, no matter how short, is so infinitely precious, and you are a beautiful, strong mama. Love and hugs.

  101. Laura says...

    Thank you all for your stories that have me in tears. My first pregnancy was ectopic. At 9 weeks I began bleeding, and felt that something was not right. I was advised by my nurse that I was miscarrying and that it would happen over the next few days. By the time I went in for a blood test after the weekend, my HCG levels had not moved, so I had to go in for a ultrasound, and discovered the ectopic. I then felt scared because I knew this was dangerous. I ended up having to have two rounds of methotrexate which is actually a strong chemotherapy drug to end the pregnancy which I was told would re-absorb into my body.
    It was a long process, over a month, for the “products of conception” as the doctors say, to pass. My husband kept reminding me that it wasn’t a baby yet. But I felt like it was. This was physical, and real.
    I felt so sad sometimes, scared most times that I was going to hemorrhage and die in the street, and then I often felt oddly happy. I felt happy that my body could become pregnant. That felt powerful. Also, I felt happy that this experience confirmed for me that I really wanted a baby. I am a city dweller who loves to travel, and I had worried about what a change a baby would be. But then I knew, I really wanted a baby. I couldn’t have that baby, so we would try again.
    As soon as the doctor cleared us to try again, I became pregnant. I was scared, but I felt calm mostly. We now have the son I could have never even dreamed of. I cannot imagine not having this little boy in my life. He is my heart.
    I don’t really think about the other baby as lost. I think that our son now possesses wonderful qualities that the first baby could not bring to us on his own.

    • Mara says...

      I went through the same exact process. I remember it took so long for everything to be complete that I thought it would never end but eventually it did and it was over. I was always scared that since it happened once it would happen again but your story of getting pregnant again gives me such hope! Im so happy for you!

    • Laura says...

      Thank you, Mara. Your sweet words made me cry. I remember that uneasy space of wondering if it would happen again: pregnancy or the ectopic situation. I hope you have a good support system at your doctor’s office. The doctor and all of the nurses at my practice were so kind, supportive, and direct with me. It helped tremendously.
      I am sending you hopeful prayers.

  102. hannah says...

    thanks for this. i suffered a miscarriage at 6 weeks this past august and everything about it was the pits. looking back i can kind of laugh about how badly everything went because it just kept piling up—it happened five days before my 30th birthday while my husband was out of the country and i was visiting my sister for her daughter’s christening, and we were due to go on big family trip to europe to celebrate my birthday just a couple of days later. long story short, i didn’t give myself any space to grieve at first because i had just barely found out i was pregnant a week before so i sort of treated it like a heavy period, and that came back at me with a vengeance when i had a panic attack on the freeway while i was driving back home from my weekend away with my 2 year old daughter in the back seat. at the same time there are many tender mercies about that experience—my parents were in town and my dad rescued me from the side of the freeway and just let me lay down and cry in his lap. even though the experience was terrible and i still feel the emotional effects all these weeks later (like why am i still crying about the tiniest things), i definitely feel like i’ve grown and have more compassion for people who have suffered any kind of loss. there’s still that fear of “will i ever get pregnant again??” which is sort of terrifying, and i cringe a little every time i hear about a friend due at the same time i would have been due, but i also am grateful for the sisterhood of women who have been through the wringer to start/grow their families.

  103. Rebecca says...

    Its bizarre how perfectly timely this post is, as I had a miscarriage last week. Our first daughter was conceived quickly and easily and we assumed that it would repeat when we wanted a second child. After seven months of purposely trying to conceive, I got pregnant, but 9 weeks later I miscarried. I was unprepared for all of it (physical pain, weeks of bleeding, and emotions) and especially the isolation, since we had only shared it with our parents and siblings. Its a weird thing to say to people- I was pregnant and now Im not. But I did tell a close friend and she sent my husband and I a card and it was just perfect. This has pushed me to tell other close friends, and everyone has been so wonderful.

    Its hard because it feels like everyone around me is having their second babies and I feel left out. Even though I am a mother, I feel not as much when compared to my friends who have multiple kids. Then I feel guilty because I have a wonderful child, and a lot of women have none.

    As we inch towards holiday gatherings, I am dreading the “when is the second one coming?” comments that people off handedly say.

  104. kathy says...

    for those in the sf bay area, i want to mention that stanford has a recurrent loss clinic and having two consecutive miscarriages qualifies you to be seen. that came out funny. but anyway, i had two miscarriages in a row before i had my second child. the first one was hard on my husband, but the second one, at 10 weeks, was difficult for me. i really felt well taken care of and monitored at the drs at the clinic while trying to get pregnant with my second. it was a friend who told me about it and not my OB, and i’m so glad she did.

    • Sabine says...

      Thank you for saying that. I’ve had two miscarriages in a row and there is a chance we might move to the SF Bay area.

  105. Katia says...

    Thank you so much for tackling this topic while, as always, striking the gentle, yet straightforward, balance. Before having my daughter, I had two miscarriages and one ectopic. My way of healing is to talk about it even if it shocks the person I talk to. For example, when people ask me if I want a second, I very calmly say “My daughter is my fourth pregnancy and I was pregnant on and off for two and a half years. So I’d like to not be pregnant for as long as I was pregnant.” There is something so lonely in the silence of it all. That’s the main thing I remember from my first miscarriage (which was the hardest) – just being so lonely. So I decided that if I tell everyone, they’ll have someone to reach out to and talk if they ever have one. If for some reason you’re stumbling upon this comment because you’re in the middle of a miscarriage: I am so sorry for your loss. This absolutely sucks and you have the right to feel whatever you are feeling at the moment. I found that if you don’t fight the feelings, they take less of a permanent hold. Also, if yet another person tells you that miscarriages are common – feel free to tell them that parents dying is really common and yet, somehow, it’s not socially acceptable to respond to that loss with “it’s so common.” At the same time, people really just don’t know what to say and that’s why I’m so appreciative of this post. Talking about it is the only way people learn how to respond. Speaking of, if you happen to be reading this and someone you know told you they’re having a miscarriage, here’s what not to say (and I heard it all numerous times): 1) “Well, at least you know you can get pregnant.” 2) “Oh, well at least it was early.” 3) “It’s so common. My friend’s cousin/sister/friend/cat had one.” 4) “I’m sure you’ll have another baby really soon.”

  106. Joanna Goddard says...

    I am tearing up reading these beautiful, honest comments. Thank you so much for sharing.

  107. Amy says...

    This helps so much. I haven’t experienced a miscarriage and I have two children, but I have friends around me who have lost babies. I don’t know what it feels like, and this helps to know how to show compassion and have empathy for them. I liked what one of them wrote about the chocolate bar in the slipper being a kind gesture. I felt the same when my husband lost his job and my mom came over and gave me a little bag of a couple of soaps from my favourite shop. It touched me in a surprising way in a situation that felt crappy. I want to remember to do the same for my family and friends when crappy things happen.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  108. Joanna, I just want to say that I really admire how you have created a community of women through your website. It’s one of the few websites where I enjoy reading all of the comments almost as much as the post itself because the perspectives of other women are so invaluable. This is a tragic topic, but it’s so helpful and comforting to read about the experiences of others. Kudos to you for your gentle way of encouraging all of us to share our thoughts so we don’t feel quite so alone.

  109. I had an early miscarriage – it was my second pregnancy, my first child was 10 months old. Two things surprised me about it all. The first was this thing that it it didn’t just happen and then was over – it took days. It was really hard to go through the motions of regular life while my body was busy with a miscarriage. And the second is the whole the veil of secrecy that surrounds pregnancy loss. It was early so we hadn’t told hardly anyone, but still today, it feels like a secret – something to keep to ourselves. Strange. I got pregnant again just a couple of weeks later and I guess that put everything into a different perspective: If I hadn’t lost that baby, I wouldn’t have had my lovely little Louis. But that baby I lost I will always be with me.

  110. Pammie says...

    My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 14 weeks. At the 12 week ultrasound, the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat. I still felt very pregnant, though the embryo was only at the size of 8-9 weeks. We waited another week and then checked again and decided to schedule a D&C.

    Fortunately, fertility has never been an issue and we went on to have 5 more healthy, vibrant children. Now at age 43, knowing we are done, overwhelmed, lucky, bone-tired most days, and happy with life, I had an IUD placed. It fell out without my knowledge and I became pregnant.

    There was crying, cursing, and a lot of heavy, solemn moments but we decided to end this last pregnancy. The feelings of grief and regret and the “what could have been” moments are … I can’t put in to words. My health would have taken a toll with a 7th pregnancy (I don’t know how the Duggars do it!) but every day I wonder about the two children that might be a part of our family. Were they boys or girls? Would they have my husband’s eyes?

    I can talk to no one about this last pregnancy, and didn’t feel comfortable sharing my sadness all those years ago. It’s like those two babies are secrets that will always be hidden away in my heart.

    • Meredith says...

      I’m so glad you felt comfortable speaking about it in this safe space. My heart hurts for you for the sadness regarding the two babies you didn’t have, and the inability to speak about it with those close to you. I hope you have a support system that would be compassionate and loving if you do ever feel comfortable talking about it. Sending you compassion and love.

  111. S. says...

    I’ve had 4 miscarriages and really appreciate you drawing attention to the experience of it. Two of them were physically excruciating and involved the emergency room and going into shock, all were terribly emotionally difficult. What Abbey said about how you can’t respond “I’m having a miscarriage” when people ask “how are you?” is what really resonated with me. When I had the first one, I discovered how many friends and family members had also had a miscarriage. Now, I try to be candid about our experiences (when it’s not weird to do so). I think it’s important that it not feel like some secretive thing and that there’s some awareness of how common it can be. Also, the devastation of each of those experiences colored my life for the three years that we were trying to get pregnant, and I don’t want to pretend like everything was fine. There are only so many times you can pick yourself back up after a blow like that. I think one of the saddest parts of having had a miscarriage is how it affects your feelings about subsequent pregnancies. You sort of have to protect yourself from feeling joy because of the constant awareness of how fragile a pregnancy can be. I’m now 13 weeks pregnant after doing IVF and we’re thrilled and feeling good about being this far along, but in the days before each one of the ultrasounds I unconsciously start preparing myself for the worst. It’s this self-preservation instinct that I can’t quite kick. Seeing the heartbeat each time is the biggest relief.

  112. Katy says...

    I had a miscarriage four years ago. From the beginning, things were strange. My pregnancy test was positive at home but negative at the doctor. So they tested me again at the doctor and told me the second one was positive. I had spotting, which I never had when I was pregnant with my son, but was reassured by a nurse that a little bit was normal. It didn’t feel normal, though. I learned I was pregnant Thanksgiving weekend and although I was reluctant to do it, my husband wanted to share the news with family at Christmas, which we did, and then with friends on New Year’s Eve, which we also did. A week later when we went to hear the heartbeat for the first time, there wasn’t one. Only something tiny on the ultrasound that they think stopped growing two weeks earlier. In hindsight, it turned out to be a good thing that we had shared the news. Otherwise, I would have kept it to myself and I really needed the support from friends and family. My husband didn’t know how to react and as is his way with hard, emotional things, pushed it aside too quickly. I chose to have a D&C and just three weeks later he was questoning me as to why I wasn’t “over it” already. That was hard. I know it was his way of grieving, and these are issues we’ve since addressed in our marriage, but it was hard. We chose to have genetic testing done and found out that there was a rare chromosomal abnormality that was not compatible with life, and was unlikely to occur again. We also found out that it was a girl. I am now a mother of two beautiful boys whom I love with all of my heart, But there has always been a tiny part of me who longed for a girl. And since we will most likely not have anymore children, this is the part that still stings a little bit. But I quickly got pregnant again, with our second son. And he would not have been born had I not miscarried. And I have since talked with other women who desired a second child and were not able to have one. So it’s okay. Our family is just as it should be.

  113. Dana says...

    I also had 3 miscarriages before having my son, who is now a year and half. I still appreciate hearing other women’s stories, especially as we get ready to begin working with our infertility doctor to try again for a second child. It can be a devastating experience, and it is helpful to know that other people have been through it.

  114. Jodie says...

    I just had my second miscarriage 2 weeks ago. My first was in May of this year and both were missed miscarriages with growth ending at seven and a half weeks. They have both been devastating, but I’ve definitely found comfort reading about other women’s experiences. Thank you for this post.

  115. I remember when I thought I didn’t want any more children, 2 was perfect for us. Then I found out I was pregnant and at first I was dismayed, then I got excited, then I lost the baby. I look back on it and think how there was barely any time for each stage of emotions and how surprisingly devastated I was. How I had actually not stopped thinking every day about When the baby comes. And suddenly there was no baby.
    It still makes me cry. I never had another baby after that .

  116. i was so moved reading these stories. i’ve suffered two losses in the past 4 years and no one can imagine what you’re going through unless you’ve been there. gosh, it’s the strangest most awful feeling. i’m so happy that after every miscarriage, i’ve quickly been welcomed with a healthy pregnancy resulting in my son (now 3) and the tiny babe growing in my belly now (16 weeks). i’ll never forget those babies i lost but hearing other stories of loss makes it a little easier to deal with. knowing you’re not alone is huge.

  117. Bridget says...

    Thanks so very much for this post, and for breaking the silence on this subject. I have no doubt that many women who have had a miscarriage (myself included) were comforted by the stories that these women bravely shared, by Catherine’s advice, and by you reaching out with this post. I heard a lot of my own feelings in the stories that were shared, and it is a wonderful reminder that we often have a lot of company even in the experiences that feel most isolating.

  118. Claire says...

    My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Actually I never knew that I was pregnant (I rarely had periods to begin with and so missing a period was hard to spot). Both of us- my now husband and I, were shocked because in one terrible bloody (and VERY long) moment we realized we had a child and that person was gone before we had the chance to acknowledge them.

    We remember that first baby around what I believe my due date would have been (based on signs of pregnancy I had experienced and only recognized post-miscarriage) in late December. This is probably the most I’ve ever talked about it.

  119. Sarah says...

    This. So much this. I miscarried with my first pregnancy two months ago. I was just over 7 weeks. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about that baby and how far along I would be at this moment. Seeing other people announce their pregnancies and having healthy babies is terribly difficult for me because the pain and loss is so fresh. Some days, I just don’t know what to do with myself because my heart is breaking. I feel like I’ve been through hell but reading these comments is encouraging because at least I know I’m not alone (although this a club we would all opt out of if we could).

  120. Shaina says...

    My first pregnancy was a missed miscarriage Feburary 2012. I knew the fetus wasn’t viable eventhough the tech wouldn’t say it. We sat in the waiting room waiting for the doctor and I just knew. He wanted to give me one more week to see if I ovulated later than I thought so I went back a week later. A week after that I had my D&C in the midst of hosting a baby shower for a co-worker, my SIL getting pregnant, and my in laws asking us not to tell my SIL about the miscarriage with the fear it might make her miscarry (this was just a kick in the stomach while I was already down). My HCG levels were about 3-4 times higher than when most women miscarry and my hormones just crashed after the D&C. I was not prepared for the amount of blood you experience after a D&C and had a total panic attack at work a week after. I felt like the only one who ever had a miscarriage. It was very isolating. I felt like a was always looking through a fog. I remember feeling like I may never have a baby. I had to wait until my HCG levels were back down to normal to start trying to get pregnant. At my 4 week check up I had to take a pregnancy test to see if they were back down and it came back positive. That was a huge slap in the face. For the next 4-6 weeks I would take a pregnancy test every few days praying for it to be negative. Finally it it was and after my next period I was given the green light to try again. At that point it felt like I could try to move on from the miscarriage. I had felt like I was having a miscarriage for months. We started trying again but I stayed very detached. I made plans, bought non maternity clothes, had that glass of wine until I got a positive pregnancy test. It was my way of not getting my hopes up. I got pregnant again fairly quickly and everything went great. I remained pretty detached for the first half of the pregnancy until I could feel movement. Now my son is 2.5 and I also have a 7 month old girl. I know the miscarriage changed me and in a way I feel like I’m a better mom because of it. I look at my kids and remember a time I seriously doubted they would ever exist.

    One thing someone told me when I could not see anything clearly in those dark months after the miscarriage was “may this be the worst thing you experience as a parent”. I think it was the achnologment that I had alread become a parent by losing the pregnancy and also it helped put it in perspective. If this is the hardest thing, then I could consider myself lucky and I’m already suviving it. And that meant she truly believed I would be a mom one day. It’s hard to explain why it was comforting but it was. And so far, it was the worst thing I’ve experienced as a parent. I’ve been so very lucky with 2 healthy pregnancies and two healthy babies.

    It’s been a while since I thought hard about that time which is strange because used to think about it non stop. Thanks for reminding me how far I’ve come!

    • Jessica says...

      Wow. Thanks for sharing your story.

  121. Tara says...

    I just came back from an appointment at my doctors this morning to confirm my miscarriage. These stories were the first thing I found when I opened my computer at my office. Thank you for sharing them… Its so helpful to hear others stories when I’m not ready to have this conversation with friends, yet I need to know people understand. I’m not quite sure how to grieve right now. I don’t know how I’m supposed to participate in meetings at work, or chitchat with the neighbours, as though everything is okay. I have two beautiful children at home, and I know I should focus on them – but it doesn’t seem fair. I’m lost.

    • Hillary says...

      It is not fair. I am so sorry for your loss.

  122. anon says...

    I actually got pregnant at the age of 21 and, in the midst of trying to figure out what to do about it, miscarried. Only two of my similarly aged friends knew. It was painful, horrible and a scar I carried for many years after – counting how old the child would have been each time it crossed my mind (which was often).

    In the end I know it was for the better; I was not ready for a child. But the torture of going through it completely alone was one I won’t forget.

    In reading these comments, I am happy to have found community, albeit after the fact. It actually makes me wonder if abortion is too political a topic to discuss on the blog Jo? I wonder if it may provide a similar though radically different POV on pregnancy and children that others may be able to relate to.

    • Liza says...

      Anon, a very similar thing happened to me. I found out at 20 that I was pregnant. At the time I was in this awful relationship with a guy who I wouldn’t call abusive but who was absolutely terrible. I became depressed and was seriously considering terminating, but then before I made an appointment I miscarried. I didn’t expect to feel so sad about it since I didn’t really want it in the first place. It was a horrible experience all around, but it did cause me to wake up and end my relationship with the guy. I still think about that time.

    • anon says...

      liza – i’m with you 100% girl. though it sounds like it did lead to positive change (ending the relationship). sucks that sometimes that’s what it takes. i was actually quite a bit of a mess, and that prompted me to get my act together and go back to graduate school. while i no longer think about it much, at the age of 33, there’s always a lingering worry that i won’t be able to have kids when i do find a partner (but nyc dating is another topic altogether).

  123. anon says...

    Joanna, where do I even begin? Thank you again for this. These are one of the experiences that can feel so isolating and is not really talked about, but are apparently so common. I had a miscarriage a year ago and I’m still processing what it means for me – perhaps because I’m in my early 40s and that was the last chance I had to have children and the fact that the stress of the miscarriage was too much and was a major factor in my partner and I splitting. Confounding the stress were the upheaval in pregnancy hormones which can wreak even more havoc on your emotions. I also found that there is still a lot of medical knowledge that my female GP could not prepare me for. For example I experienced the worst back pain and spasms of my life in the weeks after, and my GP did not see this as related in way. Searching for some answers, I came across some pregnancy forums where women talked about their miscarriage experiences and it was validating to find that many other women had reported having similar back pain. At a time when I felt my world crumbling apart, it was heartening to be able to read others experiences – it helped me navigate the physical and emotional aspects. I am still working my way through it, day by day.

  124. janelle says...

    love what abbey said about the universe losing order…this is exactly how I feel after recently losing my parent. Thanks for sharing your stories. Great post.

  125. Kari says...

    This topic came up on npr a few months back, and when I heard the statistics my jaw dropped. When nearly 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage, this topic should be much less taboo! Shame on society for making women feel so guilty, and so alone, when it is so common. This quote really stuck with me,

    “I wish people understood that miscarriages are the flip side of the coin,” wrote one woman. “If you’ve had a healthy pregnancy that went full term — you won a lottery. Short of obvious substance abuse and bull riding — your healthy baby is not the result of anything you did or didn’t do. As much as you want to think you are in control — you aren’t.”

    Here’s the full article:
    http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/05/08/404913568/people-have-misconceptions-about-miscarriage-and-that-hurts

  126. Nomi says...

    Yeah, this is tough. In my family we don’t talk about our illnesses, so I didn’t tell anyone about my pregnancy or miscarriage (except my husband, naturally) until my mother scolded me for lying about and not helping out more when I visited her shortly after miscarrying. And within the marriage, well… I felt this pressure to be tough and nonchalant, I don’t know why, and I think my husband may have been a little shocked at how “unaffected” I was by the miscarriage, but we don’t talk about our feelings within the marriage either. It hurt, but I didn’t know what to do about it, and I still don’t. I’m done having kids though.

  127. Sian says...

    Thanks so much for posting this. I had a miscarriage a month ago and it really helps to know I’m not the only person who has had these feelings.

    I got really angry at my husband too; he was trying to be strong for me and look after me and I was getting really angry with him for not being sad enough.

    I was taken aback by how long it took and the painful contractions I had, nobody warned me of this including the nurses. When I first found out I thought I’d be in work the next day but I ended up needing a week off.

    I had to tell quite a few colleagues about my pregnancy in work for health and safety reasons and I actually found it to be a comfort that they knew when it happened so I can relate to the article linked to about telling people earlier.

  128. Peloin says...

    Thank you for writing this Joanna. It is such a lonely and private process and so much more physically and emotionally intense than I ever could have imagined. My heart started to heal before my body did, but because my body wasn’t fully healed it just made it so complicated emotionally. If you get bad news, you can deal with it. But getting bad news (that the baby had stopped growing) and that it would take up to a month to stop bleeding, was excruciating. A long slow process and a month of reminders.
    Although I never met them (I had two m/c) I loved and still love those babies and grieving was evidence of that. I believe in Heaven and that I will see my two sweet babies again and what a reunion that will be! I wonder if they will be babies or adults when I get there. Anyways, I now have a 5 year old, 3 year old and 4 month old. All you Mamas out there and women who want to be mamas…I’m thinking of you and saying a prayer today. I vividly remember what it was like.

  129. Alisa says...

    Thank you SO much for this Jo, Emma, Abbey, and Lucy. I am forever thankful for my sisterhood – both local and virtual! I would not have survived my miscarriages without it/them/you.
    I will be sharing this with all my people… SO glad to be talking about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Love and light to all of you!

  130. Julie says...

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! all of the stories were so meaningful and well-rounded and I appreciated each one. we had a miscarriage before we had any children and it was so sad and heartbreaking, mostly because of the fear that we would never have a baby. between the three of these stories, they echoed so many thoughts and feelings I’ve had myself, and it’s so helpful to hear of this and feel a sense of solidarity and community . I hate that women are afraid to talk about this subject, as it is so necessary for real recovery.

  131. I had a miscarriage this past July. I was five weeks along, and had only known I was pregnant for a week . I was amazed by how much the experience took out of me. I knew I wasn’t to blame, I knew the statistics on miscarriage, but I didn’t know how strongly I would feel an instant happiness and excitement for the future unlike any other upon finding out that I was pregnant. How suddenly all of that was gone a week later. Not that my life wasn’t full of happiness and my future bright before finding out that I was pregnant, but afterwards it wasn’t quite the same. A month later I found out I was pregnant again. I was happy, but it was a more cautious happiness a more cautious hope for the future. I’m 14 weeks now and only in the past few weeks have I started to feel like I’m not waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  132. My sister had two miscarriages and it was the most heartbreaking thing to see a person I love more than anything in this world hurting so much. I never felt like I had the right thing to say or do, but I wanted to envelope her in love and support. My heart goes out to every woman who has experienced a miscarriage. I’m thankful for posts like this, which help bear witness to the heartache that a miscarriage is and, hopefully, help chip away at the ridiculous misconception that if it happens early, it’s not as painful.

    Michelle

  133. Jen Noble says...

    I love these stories, especially the third one, as I too am on the tail end of my third pregnancy but only have one child. My first pregnancy ended at 7 weeks. I still remember starting to cramp while we were driving around looking at houses we were interested in. And it was even more devastating as we had literally just announced it to both of our families and close friends. I am so thankful for my thoughtful family who knew to give me the space I needed to grieve but still let me know they were there and loved me (and bless my angel sister who has had two and knew exactly what I needed to hear). I have since learned that I do not make enough Progesterone on my own to keep my pregnancies and have been able to take the appropriate actions that have led to the two healthy ones I have had.

    I am just so glad that the discussion and acknowledgement of miscarriages is becoming less and less taboo. It is so much more helpful to know you are not alone.

  134. Darcy says...

    Thank you for writing this article. I have had 2 miscarriages – my 1st, in July 2007, later that year, I got pregnant and had my 1st son in September 2009. Then I got pregnant the following year, and had my 2nd miscarriage, also in July of 2010. Then I had my 2nd son in 2012. Both of my miscarriages were early, 6 weeks and 8 weeks, respectively.

    After the 1st one, I was devastated. We had been trying to get pregnant about 6 months. I had just had my 1st drs appointment the day before. I had been soo excited, that I told my co-workers that day — I hadn’t even told my parents yet!! So, when I started to bleed and cramp the next morning, I couldn’t believe it. I went to the drs office and they told me I miscarried — I went back to work. I was so upset, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I told the co-workers, what happened and the support I got was unbelievable! 3 of my vp’s that I supported, all told me stories of how their wives had had miscarriages, and a few of the women, told me the same. I had never known how common it really is. It is just not something that comes up in conversation, on its own. But the support that I got that day, made it so much easier to understand and help to move on from that. It took us almost 1 1/2 years to get pregnant again, so that was even harder to deal with – I kept replaying it in my head — was that my one chance and I blew it kind of thinking!

  135. Rebecca says...

    I had a miscarriage in between my two daughters. It was heartbreaking. I’ve been through some tough things in life but the miscarriage has been the hardest. Even though it was 10 years ago, I still wonder what would have been. That was the hardest part of me- the loss of a dream. I had made plans for this baby. I felt like I was connected to it. And then without any sign, it was gone. I cried for days and mourned for a long time.

    I feel so blessed to have the two girls that are here. I would never take back my youngest. I sometimes wonder about the baby we lost and want could have been.

    Thank you for writing about this. Miscarriage is so more common than people think but yet there seems to be a quiet shame about it.

  136. Thank you for sharing these stories! I`m not pregnant and I won`t be until many years, but I`m sure these stories will help a lot of women out there! And I say thank you for that!

    http://www.carolinespassion.wordpress.com

  137. K says...

    I’ve had 3 m/c’s. 3 pregnancies – 8 weeks. 16 weeks (oh that was the worst hell of my life) and 8 weeks again. We are currently trying again after I had to take a year off from trying. We still have no idea what’s wrong with me and why this is happening, pprom & bad luck seems to be the doctor’s reasoning. I’m scared now of pregnancy and try not to resent friends and family who seem to sail through it. Babies I can deal with, no one resents a baby – I just need to get there. Right now it feels like I never will.

    • Tina says...

      I had three miscarriages at almost the same times as you. Have you seen an endocrinologist? Neither my fertility doctor or my OBGYN suggested it to me, but when two friends suggested it, they both were very excited when I mentioned it, which is frustrating to me.

  138. Guin says...

    Oh, this was so beautiful to read. I had three miscarriages last year and I still feel so sad. So ashamed, which is an odd emotion to feel, but I haven’t told many people because I feel like an enormous failure. The thing that helps the most is hearing that I’m not alone. I haven’t been emotionally ready to try again just yet, but I hope I can get back in that hopeful space soon.

    • Lisa says...

      We had one daughter after a while of trying and infertility intervention. When she was almost a year, we opted to try again in case the second time took a while as well. I got pregnant quickly, but started spotting at 6 weeks. I was sad, but my coping mechanism was simply to want to rush through all of the medical procedures so we could move on. While I was spared much of the physical pain, the process dragged on when it turned out that the miscarriage was a missed ectopic still hanging around. As we waited for my body to reset, I couldn’t help but say “I should be x weeks.” Four months later, I got pregnant again and had our wonderful son. I wished I’d let myself grieve a bit more than I do – rather than simply gritting my teeth and pushing forward. For all the mamas going through this now, I’m sorry and it really sucks.

    • S. says...

      I know what you mean about the difficult of getting back to that “hopeful place.” After 4 miscarriages my husband and I seriously began to consider what our lives would look like without children because we weren’t sure how many more times we could endure the heartache and physical trauma of it. We ended up doing IVF because it allowed for chromosomal testing of the embryos (thereby avoiding a miscarriage possibly caused by abnormality) and we’re now 13 weeks pregnant. I still feel nervous all the time, but wanted to let you know that it is possible to get through it, and also tell you please don’t feel shame!

  139. Thank you for posting this. I can relate to this so much, with my current pregnancy we had a threatened miscarriage early on, around 10 weeks. I was bleeding and cramping late a night – sure that it was a miscarriage. I was less surprised by how incredibly sad I was, and more distraught over how fine my husband was. He just kept telling me it was for the best, the egg must have had something wrong with it. His attempt to look for the positives was completely lost on me and I felt so alone in our relationship. Thankfully, our baby has gone on to progress normally and is due in early Jan, but I still remember that feeling so clearly. Miscarriage is so personal and different for everyone, thank you to these women who shared!

    http://www.touchofcurl.com

  140. Shirley says...

    Thank you for sharing these stories. We are all in this together, and we all need support, no matter what we are going through. I had a missed miscarriage in 2009, 2 years after going through infertility, and after our first treatment. I was 10 weeks pregnant but the baby had stopped developing 2 weeks earlier. To make matters worse, I still suffered morning sickness for a week before the D&C. So I had no baby but I still had to throw up every morning. It was one of the worst times in my life. My husband stayed up with me one night and we just cried and cried. Our dreams and hopes were dashed in an instant. I remember having to ride the train home by myself after I found out at the doctor’s office, and thinking, everyone else is just having a normal day while I just found out my baby died. The feeling of being alone and by yourself is what prompted me to leave my 16 year corporate career and to get a master’s degree in counseling. I want to help women going through infertility, miscarriage, loss and any type of grief. I want to be the hand that helps these women up. On a positive note, we conceived again a few months after our miscarriage, and now have a wonderful 5 year old girl and precious 2 year old boy. Our marriage grew as a result of this tragedy and so did our appreciation for life. Hang in there, all of you who have suffered, and know that I understand. Take the time you need and don’t let anyone tell you to do anything different.

  141. Marina says...

    I had an ectopic pregnancy four years ago, at 7 weeks. It was a surprise pregnancy, our third. Birth control failed big time. We were living abroad. And yet, we were thrilled, making plans.

    When I had the first ultrasound, I knew immediately. Because of the silence. Doctors will go silent when something is wrong, checking and cheking again.

    The procedure itself was very simple (a shot of a medicine to kill the embrio and the body re-absorbs it), but I was devastated. I had trouble signing the consent forms. It took me half an hour, until an old nurse said “child, if you don’t sign and we don’t treat you, you might die. Death is forever, and you have two other children to think about”.

    I cried my eyes out that night. I was in a shared room with a young girl in labour. I was so mad at her, because she was complaining about the pain. How could she complain when she was having a living baby?

    The biggest comfort came from the girl’s grandmother, who I didn’t know and never saw again. She sat with me for some minutes and said: is this your first? I said no, she answered: than, I am not going to say it will be OK. It will not be OK, because no child can substitute a sibling. But it will hurt less, over time.

    I think about that baby often. I will certainly remember this in 30 years.

    I got pregnant 2 years later, with twins. The best comment was from my own grandmother, when we told her we were having two boys: he came back. The baby you lost. His soul was lost and he came back, and brought a brother. I don’t even believe this kind of thing, but it felt right.

  142. Thank you thank you thank you for the post. I just got off the phone (in tears again) with my infertility doctor. Having suffered 2 miscarriages myself, it’s tough but encouraging to read the stories of others, because I feel less alone! Thank you ladies for sharing. The physical toil is bad, the emotional toil is almost unbearable. It’s like, just torture me, but don’t let me loose my baby! The second miscarriage was really tough because the doctor called it just a biochemical oops. It’s like no, that was my baby you’re talking about!! Thank you again ladies for sharing.

  143. Awads says...

    Thank you for this. I had 3 miscarriages, all in the first trimester, before I finally had my son (now a thriving 8 year old). I will never forget those dark days. Very few people even knew I was pregnant, so we grieved alone. My husband and I grew closer, which is a blessing. I still think of those lost babies, and i always will. One thing I learned: the moment you get that positive on the pee stick, you become a mama. So no matter how early you miscarry, allow yourself to grieve.

  144. Allyn says...

    I just had a “missed miscarriage” and D&C a few weeks ago, so there are tears streaming down my face. This was my first pregnancy, and my heart breaks at the thought of never holding my sweet first baby.
    This is advice is all so great. Reach out to your friends when you find out that they’re going through this. Tell them it sucks. Tell them you’re crying with them. Tell them you’re praying for them. Offer your help. Offer an ear. Even if they don’t walk to talk about it, especially at first, it still means the world. We live far from our close friends, and my husband had to travel for work the week between finding out that the baby died and the procedure. I had so many friends offer to drop everything and come stay with me. I said no, because I’m an introvert and process internally and privately, but I felt so loved. Flowers help too.
    Also, I will say, please make sure to reach out to the father, too. Our society has made being an emotional man a negative thing, but the father is hurting every bit as much as the wife and needs to hear from friends as well.

    • Kay says...

      Yes, so true. I miscarried my first pregnancy 5 years ago at 13 weeks. I had only told a handful of people but the pain (both emotional and physical) and shock of losing the pregnancy caused me to retreat into myself. I felt so, so isolated from the world. Having just one person reach out and acknowledge the pain helps beyond words.

  145. Ana says...

    I really appreciate this post. Being mad at your husband because he doesn’t feel the loss so deeply; being really upset that everyone keeps telling you that it happens for a reason; being so confused because you’ve done everything right, you waited for the right time, with the right person, you planned your career to arrive at this point able to have a baby… and then it just doesn’t happen. I felt so lonely and angry at my body. I declined a medical procedure and just started running like a madwoman, to accelerate the process. It was very painful and lasted the whole night. In the end, the person who truly helped me was one of the doctors. She told me it was the first try my body was making in 33 years. Had I ever done something right for the first time? Didn’t I also need some tries to get things right? So that helped. And the fact that she also told me I would experience a mini-labour and that it would be very upsetting. The truth helped a lot. Knowing what to expect. I have a healthy toddler now and I was able to reconcile with my body, but it sure took a long time. (And I never believed I would get through with the second pregnancy. I only started to make any plans without fear well after the 12-week-mark)