Motherhood

“I Had a Miscarriage”

I Had a Miscarriage

I’ll get right to it…

I had a miscarriage. There I said it. The cat’s out of the bag.

I had taken the pregnancy test on a Saturday and spent time feeling totally pregnant. I had achey boobs, a spate of acne on my nose and a stronger than usual desire for chocolate-covered marshmallows. Then — while I was out in my neighborhood with my four-year-old son — I felt terrible back pain and cramping and knew right away that I was having a miscarriage.

It felt overwhelmingly sad. I had only been pregnant for a short while, but we were already brainstorming P names — we would name the kid after my late father. When I’d taken the test, I googled “five weeks pregnant” and discovered my baby was the size of a poppy seed. I put my hand on my stomach and said, “Hello, Poppy.”

And now, it was already “Goodbye, Poppy.”

At first, I thought I would keep the miscarriage a secret. It was a private matter that involved my private parts. There was no reason to tell anyone. Beyond my best friend and my husband, who were the only two people who had known I was pregnant, I would keep this under wraps.

Within an hour, I texted another friend, Sara, who was supposed to be coming over for dinner that night. I texted her: “I have to cancel dinner because I’m having a miscarriage.” She wrote back asking if she could still come over — but bring me dinner instead. I hemmed and hawed. On the one hand, it seemed preposterous to “entertain” while I was in the middle of a miscarriage. What would I wear? On the other hand, why be alone during a miscarriage? I texted her back and said, “Life is short, come over.” She asked if I wanted pastrami and, of course, I said yes.

Two hours later, Sara and her family arrived. From an armchair I had stationed myself in, I greeted Sara: “I’m totally having a miscarriage,” I said. “I know,” she said. “I brought you an olive oil cake.” Her husband, Ian, handed me a crisp French baguette and pastrami wrapped in brown paper.

Later my husband went out to get us ice cream. When he came back to the house, he brought me a straw purse I had been eyeing at a nearby boutique and laid it at my feet. I felt like the Godfather in that famous scene with Luka Brasi. “I am honored and grateful that you have invited me on the day of your miscarriage.”

In case you’re wondering, I wore a black tank top, baggy jeans and cowboy boots. To the outside world, I looked totally normal. No one would have guessed I was having a miscarriage. Except everyone in the house knew. And that felt easy.

That night as I got into bed I thought to myself: I won’t tell anyone else. I dreaded the thought of having to endure long hugs. You know the kind? When your dad dies or your cat dies and you tell people and they look at you with pity — they make a sad dog face and hold both of your hands and then they go in for the hug. Sometimes they even rock you from side to side. I wanted to avoid those hugs.

But also people don’t broadcast this kind of information. It’s just not done.

In the two weeks following my miscarriage, I found it impossible to suppress. I told people in person, over the phone, in emails, via text. “I had a miscarriage,” I said.

I was completely drained — physically and emotionally — due to a loss of blood and fluctuating hormones. I couldn’t rally for social engagements or making dinner or packing my kid’s lunch for school. I would wake up exhausted.

In a meeting with a male colleague, I tried at first to focus on our work, but I couldn’t. A task that would have been easy for my brain to parse normally felt impossibly difficult — like learning a new language or some kind of advanced math. When my colleague got up to make us tea, I found myself blurting out: “Hey, I just had a miscarriage and I’m totally pooped.” He offered me an Oreo cookie.

Every time I told anyone, it felt freeing. And not one person gave me a long hug. People were really cool about it actually. Some offered to do chores for me, some sent me Indian take-out, some provided me with facts (“one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage!”) and many shared their own experiences having miscarriages. This thing that felt like a loss was making me feel more whole. It was connecting me to people.

Why would I feel so reluctant to tell anyone? Just because it’s taboo?

Finally two weeks after the miscarriage, I felt well enough to attend a friend’s party. I was feeling more like myself. I put on lipstick and wore a burgundy jumpsuit and big earrings. My husband and I kissed under a puffy cloud hanging from the ceiling and I nursed a glass of lukewarm white wine. I didn’t feel the need to talk about it at the party because life was starting to feel normal again.

At the end of the night, we offered a woman a ride home. In the car she talked about her two kids. She had a boy and a girl. I told stories about my son, Monte. From the backseat she asked me if I had plans for a second kid. “Maybe,” I said. I felt a slight pang of sadness at my private knowledge. So far I was batting a zero when it came to providing my kid with a sibling. I let my ‘maybe’ hang there for a while and then said, “I just had a miscarriage.” And in an instant the sadness was replaced by a feeling of power. Sharing made me feel strong.

In bed that night I did my best Marlon Brando from The Godfather: “Forgive, forget, life is full of misfortune,” I told my husband. “Now come here and let me make you an offer you can’t refuse.”


Shaina Feinberg is a director and actress, who lives with her family in Brooklyn. Right now, she’s working with her friend Julia Rothman on a modern guide to real sex written by everybody, for everybody. (If you’d like to contribute a story, please go here.)

Sending a hug to those who have lost pregnancies and anyone who needs one today.

P.S. Three more women share their miscarriage stories, and a heartfelt comic about infertility.

(Photo by Marija Kovac/Stocksy.)

  1. Ida Lee says...

    Wow, I am so happy I discovered this blog. This article resonates with so many women. My sister had multiple miscarriages and she was determined not to give up. I could see the hurt in her eyes each time it happened she became more and more depressed. She tried every technique in the book ev, but her issue was never actually getting pregnant it was just that around week 6 something would go wrong. Thank God her body was able to hold on this time and last week she had a beautiful baby boy.

  2. M says...

    My friend had a miscarriage and just told me. I listened and told her I would be there for her. We live in different countries but I would like and try to send her a gift card or gift basket. Part of me wants to fly out and see her but I don’t know if that is what she wants or even if it is possible right now financially, etc. She lives very far away 14+ hour flight away far. I had a miscarriage 5 years ago but have since had a child. I don’t know if I should bring up my miscarriage with her. It didn’t feel right at the time she told me because I felt it was better to be there for her and not talk about myself at all. Especially now that I have a toddler I see she is hurting and struggling with infertility so I don’t mention him often and don’t want me talking about my miscarriage to be anything other than me sharing with her and letting her know she isn’t alone. (My miscarriage happened before I knew her). In your opinions would it be helpful or not to mention? I don’t want it to make her feel uncomfortable, but I also don’t want her to feel alone. Her family all lives in the States and she lives far away with her husband and he has no family there either. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Rachel says...

      You should tell her! It helps people to know that they aren’t alone.

    • Cris says...

      I would share yes – it’s been so helpful to hear of other stories of miscarriage for me. Only caveat – make sure the story is genuine and relatable i.e. my Mother in Law telling me she had a miscarriage when she was younger of a baby she did not want was not that comforting ;)

      I don’t think you need to fly out – my closest friends who live far away have made themselves very present to me while I am getting over the los by sending cards/gifts/texts/calls and by continuing to check in regularly beyond the initial news.

  3. This is beautiful and is so inspiring! I have personally gone through 3 miscarriages, and not a lot of people know. We don’t have any kids yet, so I don’t think people even know we have been trying to start a family. I love that you mentioned talking about it takes away from the sadness and replaces it with power. Thank you so much for sharing this story!!

  4. Cris says...

    I have been reading this blog for a while, and this is my first comment. I read this story when I was (or thought I was) 11 weeks pregnant. I remember thinking – I’m glad I’m past the ‘higher likelihood’ stage – and was calling my in-utero tiny person “Dino”. I had started telling people bit by bit. After seeing the heartbeat at 8 weeks, I thought Dino was good to go. Plus each week I would google the rate of miscarriage at X weeks, and kept seeing the percentage chance go down and down, especially for a healthy 30 year old’s first pregnancy. At my 12 week appointment, my NP wasn’t going to do an ultrasound. She seemed confident everything was normal. I asked if we could still do one since my husband hadn’t been there to see Dino at 8 weeks.

    That’s how we found out. No heartbeat – and we learned that sometime between 10 and 12 weeks, something went wrong. Maybe it was on the same day I read this post – little did I know that I too was having a miscarriage. I’m now 2 days post surgery and am writing this after waking up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep, feeling a paralyzing amount of sadness.

    If I hadn’t asked for the ultrasound, maybe I’d still think I was pregnant. Maybe I would have made my post first trimester announcement today. I would have kept adding items to my baby registry and dreaming up plans for the next year. I know we will get through this, I just hope we are able to conceive a healthy baby. If anyone has tips for getting around the mental and emotional barriers to trying again, I am all ears.

    • Ee says...

      In the same boat. 11 weeks, still healing from the d&c. Big hugs from my heart to yours.

    • Emily says...

      I am currently in your exact same situation – I just found out at 10.5 weeks that my baby has no heartbeat. It’s so heartwrenchingly sad but reading these comments makes me feel less alone. Thank you

  5. Katherine says...

    This timely article has been my friend over the past week, reminding me I am not alone. It was published just before my first OB appointment for my 6th pregnancy. My first, third and fourth pregnancy ended miscarriage. At my appointment, ultrasound measured the development 3 weeks behind my dates, and placed gestational age shorter than the weeks since my positive home pregnancy test. We waited the requisite week between appointments, monitored HCG and followed up with another ultrasound, which all concluded that this sixth pregnancy, was a silent miscarriage. I continued to have morning sickness and other classic first trimester symptoms for 3-4 weeks after development stopped. For a number of reasons, we have opted for surgical management later this week. To complicate things, I am moving out of the country this week. In the spirit of this article I have shared with many others, as I have with my previous losses. My final week in NYC has been a mix of emotions as I manage the farewells, the lunches, the epic to do list, while preparing for the management of my fourth miscarriage. Thanks for being there with me.

  6. Stephanie says...

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Love to you and your family.

  7. Nikki says...

    Thank you for this post. I had a miscarriage at 16 weeks last year. I developed Asherman’s (uterine scarring) from the D&C and was infertile for 8 months before realizing what was going on. I had to fly to an expert to have the surgery done to remove scarring. I’m finally pregnant again and 28 weeks along. Every week I am convinced that this is the last week I’ll get to be pregnant. I’m on a cocktail of drugs to prevent what happened last time and get frequent ultrasounds but it’s honestly just been months of fear. Anxiously awaiting October!

    • ez1019 says...

      With my third pregnancy, after having two miscarriages, I was terrified for the first twelve weeks (because twelve weeks was when we learned of our soul-crushing second miscarriage). I refused to even allow myself to believe I was pregnant the third time, and I put off a pregnancy test for way too long, even though I knew I had to be pregnant. I cried every day, convinced I was going to lose a third baby, afraid that my body was a failure, and I even had a massive melt-down in the driveway of a friend’s baby shower, rendering me unable to attend. I was a wreck.

      When I got beyond that twelve-week mark, though, I remember being overcome by gratitude somehow. I was 38 years old, and I thought, “Well, I’ve never been as pregnant as I am today, and… I may never be again.” So… I figured I better try to treasure it!

      I hope you your joy overcomes your anxiety, but… I totally get it, sweet momma. Love on your baby as best as you can. Whether on the inside or the outside, that’s the best any of us can do.

  8. K says...

    I had a miscarriage the same week that my father in law passed away. It was horrible, our family had so much grief that I felt like I couldn’t talk about it without feeling guilty. I got a lot of comfort reading articles written by women who had them, so thank you for putting this out there. I have a son now but still have a hard time talking about it.

  9. Courtney says...

    This resonated so much with me. I had a miscarriage last summer while hosting a celebration of life following my mother in law’s passing. It was hard to push through and act like it wasn’t happening, to be there for my husband’s family. I was silent about it at the time, aside from sharing with my husband (of course), my mom and sister and have slowly felt the freedom from sharing with close friends in the following weeks and months. I never quite felt right after the miscarriage, as I eventually learned I had Hashimoto’s and needed surgery to remove half of my thyroid, so my baby making dreams were put on pause as I went through the wait for surgery, the recovery, medication adjustments, the wait for my thyroid levels to normalize. I felt lost in those months without even the hope for a successful result. I do get bitter when I hear people talking about child spacing preferences and planning as if it is a complete choice, but I did that too before I knew better. I’m finally pregnant again now and am awaiting my 12 week appointment (Monday!) to confirm things are still progressing well, that my body hasn’t tricked itself to believe I’m still pregnant with a baby that has stopped growing. Being pregnant following a miscarriage is extra terrifying, but really all pregnancies regardless of the path are so consuming! Life is messy and I have found so much comfort in hearing so many stories, thank you all for sharing!

  10. Eleanor says...

    I’m having a miscarriage right now, at 9 weeks. This is (was?) my first pregnancy. I’m completely and utterly heartbroken; it feels as if I’m in a car with my husband and we’re lost – in the middle of nowhere in the dark. Not sure where to turn, not sure who to call. I’m so grateful to have him in the car. Sending love to all who need it.

    • E says...

      I am so sorry, Eleanor. Sending you and your husband hugs.

    • I’m sorry to hear this Eleanor… I cried reading your message, because when I had my miscarriage last winter it felt exactly like that, I couldn’t have described it better. I felt less alone reading your words. I’m sending you endless love and light xx

    • Lyndsey says...

      I had a miscarriage at the end of last month, I was 7 weeks. It was my first, and I had a D&C also. Someone mentioned this down thread, but it’s incredible how quickly we start imagining the future. To have that taken away so suddenly is absolutely gutting. I was thrown by how quickly I recovered from the procedure – it made me feel like the pregnancy wasn’t real, in a way. But it was. Sending love to you, too; if you want to connect I’m here.

  11. Natalie says...

    I had one at 5 weeks. Never told anyone nor that i was pregnant and neither i had a miscarriage except my husband and close friend. Just was at ultrasound to check the heartbeat but there was none. Was relieved that no one knew because i really dreaded the thought of all the condolences and questions and concerns and maybe even completely unnecessary advices. Year after gave birth to a sweet little lady.

  12. Shani says...

    I am totally having a miscarriage. Right now. So thank you, this couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment.
    We had just started trying for our second child, and everything seemed to fall in place this time, until it all fell apart.
    The similarities between Shaina’s story and mine are uncanny with pretty much the only difference being the ages of our sons.
    I’d had a miscarriage before my first born which was so incredibly devastating that I still well up thinking about it. We were lucky enough to get pregnant soon after, though the pregnancy itself was fraught with paranoia and anxiety.
    This miscarriage has been so much worse, symptom-wise compared to the first one. I’m still bleeding and cramping terribly. I know I am so blessed that I have a child, yet still find myself unable to control my tears.
    Sending so much love to everyone on here who has shared their stories as well as everyone who has not.

  13. Leigh says...

    I had a missed miscarriage at 7 weeks. I wasn’t quite sure when my last period was because they were kind of irregular so they sent me for a dating ultrasound and there was no heartbeat. It was so early on and I wanted to still have hope, so when they gave me my options, i decided to wait it out. But my body didn’t want to let go of the pregnancy and I ended up getting a d/c. I had a very clingy 18 month old daughter who was not sleeping through the night at the time, and I was worried and not excited about the pregnancy at first, so when I miscarried i felt really guilty. I became pregnant a year later and had my son this past January. Even though I had a healthy pregnancy and child, and the pregnancy wasn’t at quite the right time, i was so sad about it. I felt depressed for most of that summer. Lots of love to all who are sharing their stories, especially those who have suffered many miscarriages who are still waiting for their babies.

  14. In the past year, we lost a baby girl at 16 weeks, then were elated to find out I was pregnant with twins, but sadly lost our Baby B at 13 weeks. Both experiences were truly heartbreaking. Thankfully our surviving twin continues to do well and I’m due in September so I’m very anxious for his or her arrival!

    Thank you for sharing your story. I found that sharing mine was healing as well. I shared the story of our first miscarriage here: https://www.motherhoodherway.com/blog/2018/11/7/theres-always-a-silver-lining and my experience with losing one twin during pregnancy here: https://herviewfromhome.com/loss-one-twin/

  15. IC says...

    I’ve had one at 5 weeks and one at 8 weeks. Especially the second one was more difficult. Just physically, what came out of me. Also because it happened a few days before Christmas, which we celebrated with lots of family with very young children. That was hard, I wished I didn’t have to go then. I told very close family and now and then I tell people if the subject comes along.

    For me, it impacted also my next pregnancies. I was never not-worried since. I’ve had fears all the time. And then I had bleedings at 13 weeks with my first (placenta praevia). I don’t know what it’s like to be happily pregnant, I was worried all the time I’d lose my baby. I am truly happy the pregnancy-chapter was closed with having my second baby this year because it wasn’t my happiest time of life. At the same time, I also feel sorry for myself because I never got to experience a normal, happy pregnancy. I so wished I could’ve gotten that.

    Maybe you should do an article on how to grief/cope with it when your pregnancies turn out different than you expected?

  16. It´s so good to see how other women have the same feelings I have. I had 5 miscarriages and I´m still trying to have my baby. Life is not exactly how we planned, but have some comfort in the bad moments is really good. I´m still don´t know how to deal with my lost, sometimes I want to talk, sometimes I made people comfortableness for making lot of questions. The only thing that I know is this pain will take with forever. Lots of love for all who are living this.

  17. Shiri says...

    Before falling pregnant with my third child, I had a miscarriage. Or a chemical pregnancy? I feel guilty calling it a miscarriage since I was so newly pregnant. I’m talking – I took the early pregnancy test and got a line and felt totally pregnant – over the following few days the line lightened, I didn’t feel pregnant – I got my period basically when I was due. Does that even count as a miscarriage? I’m not sure how to process it, even now, three years later, I 10000% felt pregnant and it was such a profoundly sad thing to experience as a mom.

    • Jennifer says...

      I had a very similar experience and the same feelings. But I also know that I felt pregnant. It’s hard for me to say “miscarriage” because it was all so brief and I have this idea that people don’t see it as “real”. It was though. I don’t want to project my feelings on to you as each experience is different. I fell into such grief and felt such a void. Just know that you are not alone. Contrary to google and societal norms, this can’t be reduced to textbook facts. ❤️

  18. Sarah says...

    Thank you for sharing this story. During my first pregnancy I had to tell my boss very early my job often had me traveling to countries with Zika. I also had to email him and tell him I was working from home and miscarrying. He responded immediately with take care of yourself, but turns out as English wasn’t his first language, when I returned to work he asked me something about my parents being escorted about the upcoming baby and I had to explain to him what miscarriage meant in English. Poor guy was so upset for not understanding.

  19. Megan Mcdonald says...

    Might I say….every single miscarriage under the sun is different. I’ve had three, ranging from feeling ok with having people over while it was passing, to an ambulance trip to the ER requiring surgery and a blood transfusion.
    They are all just different.
    Love to us all.

  20. Stephany Aulenback says...

    I had four miscarriages before I had my first child. (He’s 14 now, and I also have a 10-year-old daughter who was a complete surprise!) I talked about those miscarriages at the time and much as you did, Shaina. If I was talking to someone (pretty much anyone) and it came to mind, I wouldn’t suppress the thought. I knew it wasn’t really “done” to talk about them, but I resented the idea of trying to hide the pain I was in (both emotional and physical). Just talking about the experiences helped. And a lot of people shared their own stories and that really helped me to make me feel less alone, too.

  21. Sarah says...

    I didn’t have any problems getting pregnant with my daughter who is now 4. Then, I had three consecutive miscarriages when trying to have our second. My husband and I had all this testing done and everything came back normal. Only weeks after the 3rd, I got pregnant again and I was terrified. I just knew it would happen again. I didn’t want to be pregnant. The doctor put me on progesterone because sometimes the body doesn’t make enough to support the pregnancy, and that may have been all it was. One night early on I started spotting, thinking it was happening again, and prayed so fervently that the baby be healthy and normal, healthy and normal. And I’m happy to announce that he’s now a healthy and normal 7 month old, the sweetest little baby boy. I hope this gives someone hope!

  22. I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks, earlier this year. It was horrible, and I will remember it for the rest of my life, but talking about it and sharing stories with other people who I never realized had also had one until I told them about mine was comforting. There aren’t enough stories out there, and it still feels taboo, but hopefully that is changing. Thank you for sharing. x

  23. N says...

    I had a miscarriage whilst living on the other side of the world, away from my family. I found out, processed my emotions, told someone and lost it within 7 days. Following that, you then have to process even more emotions, emotions I had never experienced before. It was the first time I was aware I had been pregnant and the very first time I had to figure out what to do and then that decision was made for me. Its rough you know? Yes it wasn’t planned, yes I wasn’t ready, yes I was single but I wanted to decide what was next for myself.
    It’s something so many women go through (and sometimes multiple times) and I think it should be spoken about more. It’s a big deal, it’s a trauma, it’s a loss and it should be handled gently and openly.
    I hid it from my nearest and dearest for months, and I wasn’t myself for a long time and they noticed, but after discussing it in a safe space I found myself speaking with many more friends and family members that had experienced it but kept it quiet also. It was important to me that I could be there for them the way they were for me. It was freeing to speak out loud and not internalise every single emotion and suppress every tear. It made sense to talk and be heard.

  24. Amy says...

    I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks in 2014. We were devastated, but having been on the fence about having kids, it showed us that we really did want to fully commit to becoming parents. People sent flowers, a friend brought over a small paw paw tree for us to plant in our yard. Another friend sent this article, which I found immensely healing in my grief: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/21/magazine/mourning-my-miscarriage.html
    After waiting one cycle, we were so very lucky to conceive our wonderful oldest son, now four. His sweet baby brother is seven months. We feel like we won the lottery, especially with my “geriatric eggs” (thanks a lot western medicine, for that one). All my best to all the women “of childbearing age” (another good one…) on their journey through this challenging, bittersweet, and often beautiful season of life.

  25. Sophie says...

    This was such a beautiful story. Thank you for writing it. I have never had a miscarriage, but the tone of it struck a chord with me. A couple of years ago one of my children disclosed to me that she had been sexually abused by a family member. She was 4 years old at the time. We went to the police and removed this person from our lives. Lots of therapy later it still feels like a ‘private matter about private parts’. But the grief and pain of dislocation from the normalcy of the world around me has been so acute. I think this is partly because it is so hard to talk about, there is no one to share the grief with. I know it is a different kind of grief and pain from miscarriage (there are as many kinds of grief as there are kinds of love) — but this beautiful story is a reminder to me of all the secret grief and heartbreak that women experience and for various reasons often feel they need to hide from the wider community. I understand that kind of loneliness.

    • k says...

      Thank you for sharing your story Sophie.
      I’m not sure where you are from, but there is an excellent Canadian foundation called Breaking Free Foundation. I hope that you find all of the support that you need and deserve.

    • Sophie says...

      Thanks, K. I had a look at the website. It looks very good. It felt therapeutic to just say anything at all about it ‘out loud’ to an audience! I really appreciate your reply.

  26. Kelly says...

    Anne Hathaway is pregnant right now, and she posted that “it wasn’t a straight line to either of my pregnancies,” which made me tear up. https://www.instagram.com/p/B0T0qLHFWbR/

    Recently, my urologist noticed the changes to my chart (the miscarriage), and she came and just sat with me quietly for half an hour, and talked to me about her experiences with pregnancy, and with loss. I’ve always liked her, and it meant a lot to hear about her journey. She has two beautiful kids and has been hugely pregnant at every appointment I’ve ever had with her. It meant the world.

    • Leah says...

      Your urologist sounds like such a kind, compassionate doctor! Wow.

      And yes to the Anne Hathaway post – it made me tear up too and want to proclaim to the world that my pregnancies were not “straight lines” either.

      Sending you love!

    • Shiri says...

      Before falling pregnant with my third child, I had a miscarriage. Or a chemical pregnancy? I feel guilty calling it a miscarriage since I was so newly pregnant. I’m talking – I took the early pregnancy test and got a line and felt totally pregnant – over the following few days the line lightened, I didn’t feel pregnant – I got my period basically when I was due. Does that even count as a miscarriage? I’m not sure how to process it, even now, three years later, I 10000% felt pregnant and it was such a profoundly sad thing to experience as a mom.

  27. Anna says...

    My mom had a miscarriage between me and my younger sister. I knew about it for as long as I can remember and knew that it was hard for my mom. Her friend gave her a fern after it happened and I always thought of our unknown baby sibling whenever I saw the plant growing up. I’m now 9 weeks pregnant and beginning to understand the love mothers, even when the baby doesn’t make it to birth. Love and prayers to all the mamas out there.

  28. Es says...

    Me too. Both the miscarriage, and telling being freeing.

    I wound up inviting those who I had told, who were closest to me, to a small ritual to mark the loss: donating to organizations fighting against family separation at the border. It felt like a small way to put some good in the world in response to the sadness.

  29. ceridwen says...

    Than you for sharing. This was really lovely and true. I recently spoke to my children about my miscarriages. It was a formal, now I’m going to tell you this big serious thing, but it developed over conversation at the dinner table. I’m not even sure how it came up. I remember my youngest aying so ethnic about me being pregnant three times but there are only two of us talking about her and her sister. My daughters are 6 and 10 so they listened and asked if I was sad and I said yes I was and that I think about what the baby would have been like but sometimes they don’t make it. It was actually a lovely conversation and I thought, if this ever happens to them, they’ll know they aren’t alone and so many women will have felt what they feel. Does anyone else tell their children about miscarriage?

    • Teresa says...

      Yes! I was just talking to my two kids this morning about our 3rd pregnancy which we lost at 18 weeks. They knew I was pregnant so they also knew when we lost the baby. That was two years ago, but they still remember it (they are now 5 and 7) and we still talk about.

    • I plan on telling my kids about our miscarriages when they’re older, not only to help normalize it but also because I’m currently pregnant with what was initially twins but we lost one of the babies at 13 weeks. I want my kids, especially our would-be-twin, to know about their sibling

  30. A. G-S says...

    I had one recently too and I am so glad women are sharing their experiences more openly. It was raw and deeply sad, but i felt like I had a community of support. Thank you for sharing your story.

  31. Dee says...

    Oh my god that made me cry. And that’s probably why I would not tell people because then I would bawl in front of them which would make me feel pathetic and embarrassed but that’s just because I am not as awesomely comfortable with my feelings as this author. I wish I didn’t feel so ick about how emotional I get! Would love to read a post on this actually. What to do when you’re a cryer and have to for example cope at work and you’re having an intense moment. I try to pinch myself or go hide in the toilet and then not look at people after so they can’t see my red eyes. But nothing will stop the flood until I let myself have a good cry.

  32. Iris says...

    This is such a beautiful essay, and I’m so grateful to read it and the stories of so many other women on the topic of miscarriage. When my son was 2.5, I had a miscarriage at about 6.5 weeks and was devastated, locked up in my house all day long during the day that it was happening. My best friend asked if I’d like a break to get outside for some fresh air, so our families met at a local park with their two little kids and our son. They made dinner and brought it for everyone, picnic style. I thought I’d cry the whole time, but it was so nice to be around other people, have the news out in the open and to be with loved ones who knew. Even telling people at work in the days that followed was always easier, gentler and more empowering than I could’ve anticipated, no matter who I told.

    Sending love and light to everyone out there today. There’s no such thing as too much of it.

  33. RJ says...

    Becoming pregnant with my now 4 yo son was so easy for me, but then years later, when we were trying to get pregnant again, I had 2 lost pregnancies. I had a miscarriage at 7 weeks and a subsequent D&C. Really devastating.
    Attempting to get pregnant again was difficult and I had a chemical pregnancy as well. I couldn’t think or do anything else- it’s like what a previous commenter said- “a one-two punch”. I would spend all my time researching how common miscarriages were and to see if there was something that I could do. You just feel so helpless since much of it is all out of your hands.
    On one of the forums, I came across this recommendation: Sperm Meets Egg Plan- https://spermmeetseggplan.com/ and there’s a free amazon kindle book as well: https://www.amazon.com/Sperm-Meets-Egg-Plan-Pregnant-ebook/dp/B009O1ZYQG

    I thought, “what is there to loose, right?” Long story short, I followed it to a T and became pregnant again to my now 7 month old daughter. I’m sure it’s not for everybody, but this book specifically helps with those trying to get pregnant after a miscarriage.

    Just wanted to spread the word in the case it can help anyone else as well.

    Hugs to you all.

  34. Alie says...

    I’m currently awaiting my period after a chemical pregnancy, the first time we have been “successful” after miscarrying last November at 8 weeks. Seeing the teeny glimmer of a line for the past couple of days was enough to set my mind in motion for all the things that could be (April baby!) but just like that, the glimmer was gone and now we are back to square one. Months, weeks, days, hours – regardless of when you think you are pregnant and then learn you are not, it’s devastating. And nothing anybody can say will make it better. But I’m mentally enveloping everyone on this comment thread with love. We’re not alone and that makes it a little bit better 💗

    • CT says...

      I’m sorry for your loss.

  35. Lauren says...

    I had a miscarriage in April at 6.5 weeks, and sharing this with other women (and a few men) was enormously therapeutic for me. I became pregnant again much more quickly than I imagined I would, after only one period. I am now about 9 weeks along and have my first prenatal appointment in 2 hours. My husband and I are hopeful, but I’m so utterly terrified of what we’ll find (or not find, I guess). Not sure if I should have read ALL of the comments considering my anxiety level, but your stories help remind me that I’m not alone in all this, and that’s giving me some much needed comfort. Thank you, strong women of COJ, for sharing and supporting.

    • Kay says...

      Best of luck, Lauren!

    • Iris says...

      Wishing you so much love and luck. I SO remember where you are – sitting in the waiting room to be called and get that first scan. I had a miscarriage when trying for number two around 6.5 weeks, but then got pregnant again and I’m 23 weeks now. You are absolutely not alone, and what the future holds can be very exciting. Sending you good vibes!

  36. Karen Westerlund says...

    I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks. It’s hard. The moment you see the positive pregnancy test you start imagining your growing stomach, the cute baby clothes you’re going to buy, you think about baby names and all the things you will experience with your child. A miscarriage is not just losing a baby, it’s also losing all those dreams and hopes and future plans.
    Unlike Shaina I didn’t tell anyone I know (apart from my husband of course) about the miscariage and for me that was the right choice. I don’t think it’s taboo, to me it was just private. Since the miscarriage I have had three wonderful children and thankfully never experienced another miscarriage. Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories.

  37. Kelly says...

    I recently miscarried my first pregnancy at 8 weeks. I had to get a D&C, and I bled quite a bit more than they expected, really terrifying my husband. I feel like I’m mourning the hope we had at the start of the pregnancy. I’m still reeling. Hormones sure don’t help.

    I’m not in a place where I can really read the comments right now, but all you others out there, I see you and I love you.

    • Erica Reed says...

      I am so sorry you are going through this, Kelly. It is so hard. Sending you hugs.

    • Eleanor says...

      I am just a few days behind you, miscarrying right now at 9 weeks. D & C is this Monday morning. When and if you would like to connect, please let me know. Sending love.

  38. Andrea says...

    I am so glad this topic is being written about, it so rarely is. And the love, support and openness in the comments is so beautifully touching. I suffered two miscarriages in the late 80’s, one at 8 weeks on Christmas Eve, the other at just over 5 months at Easter. They were both devastating and each required surgeries. I was grieving, hormones all over the place but what was so difficult was telling people and the standard response, oh you’re young, you’ll have more. I know people meant well but it would upset me to no end. So from that point on when I know of someone who’s gone through this I always say I am so sorry, what can I do for you and I’m always here if you need to talk, need a pint of ice cream etc. And sometimes when you know this person well enough, just do it, just show up with the ice cream. And maybe to the outside world this wasn’t a person, but it was a special little person to US that we just hadn’t had the pleasure and honor of meeting yet! COJ readers, and writers, you are the best!!!!

  39. Elizabeth says...

    Thank you so much for this. I had a miscarriage in April and I felt very similar to you. Talking about it made me feel so much better. I feel less guilty because I’m not forgetting my desperately wanted and loved baby. And it seems that people like that I have told them- they like having the connection and knowing something so important. Thank you for sharing your story and making me feel less alone.

  40. Beth says...

    It took me a very long time to get pregnant with our first child. I had a great birth experience and a healthy baby boy. Following his birth, I experienced post-partum depression and anxiety although I didn’t know it at the time. I didn’t talk about it. I didn’t know how. I thought it was what all women experienced following birth. I was so ashamed since I had desperately wanted this baby for years. Two years later, I struggled, again, to get pregnant with another baby. When I learned of my second pregnancy, I panicked. I was terrified. In full disclosure, I also felt resentment. Shame washed over me again. I wanted another child and was actively trying to conceive. I couldn’t stop asking myself, “What if I experienced the same darkness following the child’s birth?” Then, I had a miscarriage. I was enveloped in shame again… and grief and confusion. This time, I talked about it. I talked about it with my doctor who guided me through the grief process and helped me name my post-partum depression. I talked about it with dear friends who shared their stories. I had no idea so many women in my world had struggled with the loss of a child through miscarriage. I had no idea so many women in my world struggled silently with post-partum depression and/or anxiety. In my sharing, I found healing. In my sharing, I found strength. In my sharing, I learned that my feelings were not wrong. In my sharing, I shed the shame. I struggled, again, to get pregnant with a third child. When I learned of the pregnancy, I was scared. I talked about it. I was excited and I talked about that, too. I made a plan with my OB-GYN to address possible post-partum depression and anxiety. My OB-GYN invited me to walk-in anytime I needed to hear my child’s heartbeat. I celebrate the baby my heart knew and loved. I celebrate the two boys that make my heart puddle to the ground on the daily. I accept the feelings of frustration, exhaustion, self-doubt and humility that comes with parenthood. I talk about it. I share. I unite with other mothers and women. I listen to their journeys. I mourn with them. I celebrate with them. I support them. I validate them. We are in this together.

    Thank you for posting this story. It was such a gift to read.

    • Kay says...

      Thank you for sharing, Beth. Big hugs from Canada.

  41. Hanna says...

    I’ll never forget the young resident OB-GYN looking down on me after I learned I was going to need an emergency D+C to remove an infection following the loss of my first pregnancy, at 14 weeks. She asked, “So, was this pregnancy intentional?” I was in awe, and I know my eyes were blasting a combination of shock and a steady stream of expletives in her direction. Intentional? How was the answer to that going to help her do her job (which was to save my life from a blood infection, I’d later learn) better?

    Intentional? A year of trying to get pregnant, countless acupunture needles, waiting rooms at fertility clinics, a positive test, exuberant friends and family, 14 weeks of hyperemesis, the sight of blood in the Airbnb bathroom, the feeling of my water breaking, hope vanishing when I realized what was happening – all of this flashed behind my eyes as I stared back at her.

    “Yes,” I answered. “It was.”

    Much love to each of you. xx

    • Wilma says...

      Wow, f**ck that doctor! So heartless. I’m so sorry Hanna. <3

    • Jen says...

      I’m so sorry to hear what you went through. I wanted to add some perspective though as a healthcare provider. The question is asked bc it helps providers get more information bc not every pregnancy is planned but even an unplanned pregnancy can still be desired. This can help guide ensuing discussions (so as not to appear tone deaf) and is always noted in medical notes for other providers to reference if need be as part of the patient history. There must be a better or more sensitive way to ask, nevertheless, and the timing couldn’t have been worse. Just saying that it’s possible the intention was not to be callous or insensitive…(although it’s the impact and not intention that matters most)

    • Megan says...

      Hanna, I also lost a baby after struggles with infertility AND hyperemesis. I’d had two miscarriages previously, both at 6 weeks, which I kept private. But I lost my baby girl at 21 weeks when I went into labor prematurely. It was horrible, I still don’t really have the words for all of it and even though it’s been two years since that lost I haven’t gotten the courage up to try again. Having hyperemesis once, having gone into labor in the second trimester (technical term: ‘cervical incompetence’ as if I didn’t already feel my body was incompetent enough), means there’s a high probability of going through it all again.

      Sending love back to you.

  42. I had a miscarriage almost a year ago. I am a teacher, and during a break in the morning I went to the bathroom and realized what was happening and had to walk home (I live in the same neighborhood as our school) to get a pad, then come back and keep going because I had a full day of class ahead. My husband works at the school also, but I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to tell him during the day (or be able to and be pulled together enough to keep teaching), so I waited til we got home. It was a Friday, and we also had people coming for dinner – which we soldiered through without mentioning anything, but it felt surreal. The whole thing felt surreal, and then odd to share with people because, at 6 weeks, no one knew I was pregnant anyway – but we did tell people, and felt a deep sense of community during that time.

    Now I’m sitting here next to my 8-week-old daughter, leaning over to replace her paci every two minutes :) Thank you for creating the space to share these stories – I’ve never written out those small details of the day before, just shared the aftermath.

  43. Fran says...

    Hugs to everyone going through this. My own miscarriage made me realise how massively my mental health can be affected by my reproductive choices. I had a missed miscarriage last year, and while it (and the following D&C) didn’t affect me that much, when I became pregnant again shortly afterwards I fell into a dark hole or anxiety that lasted the first 4 months of that pregnancy. I felt very alone, although I’m sure a lot of other women go through similar anxiety after losing a pregnancy. Because I had had cognitive behavioural therapy against my anxiety in the past, I recognised all the signs (unfortunately this didn’t help at all). The endless spiralling thoughts about bleeding and loosing the baby, of being trapped into the same thought patterns all over again, the loss of any rationality, the certainty to be the only one who knows what bad thing is about to happen. For months, every time used the toilet, I obsessively peeled the layers of toilet paper apart, just to find the blood that I was expecting. I legit felt like I was losing my mind during that time. Can’t imagine what women go through after fertility treatment, or who have had multiple miscarriages. It was so, so awful. Sending love to everyone!

    • Tara says...

      I’m so sorry you had to go through this, Fran. Sadly, I totally relate. I’ve had 4 miscarriages, 2 of which were after IVF. Every time I went to the bathroom, i was terrified of that pinkish tint, which quickly turned into lots of blood.

      Sorry if this is TMI, but I just started my first period after my most recent loss (over 4th of July). And even seeing that normal blood is traumatic, now.

      Sending love to you all out there. Forever grateful for this forum.

  44. K says...

    As someone who has gone through multiple miscarriages, this is a topic I’ve thought about a lot. After my first miscarriage at 12 weeks (after hearing the heartbeat at 8 weeks), I so wanted to be that transparent honest person who dispelled the taboo of miscarriages. To let people know the truth and that they were not alone. Unfortunately the responses I received were mostly hurtful and made it even more traumatizing, but I tried and tried again to be honest and perhaps educate, only to realize that although it can be good to share, it’s also okay to be private. Responses ranged from a friend equating my miscarriage to her recent breakup with her boyfriend (it just wasn’t meant to be and you have to let it go), people telling me I definitely will get pregnant again just like everyone else they knew after a miscarriage (which wasn’t true. I had another miscarriage and then it took a long time and visits to a REI doctor before I became pregnant with my son; you never know what one’s journey will be), being told that there was probably something wrong with the baby anyways so it’s good that it was a miscarriage, that this was an awkward topic to talk about, that at least I got pregnant and I should be happy about that (being pregnant doesn’t mean I will ever have a baby though), a friend telling me that she was the baby after a miscarriage and she wouldn’t be in this world if it wasn’t for a miscarriage (which I know is true, and I realize that my awesome son wouldnt exist either if not for the miscarriages, but it is still not helpful to hear when grieving the loss of another baby), the doctor who told me that he didn’t think this would be my next baby (even though it already was) when the 8 week ultrasound revealed a baby that seemed smaller than it should be…I so wish I received more helpful supportive responses and would be all for sharing openly, but unfortunately I didn’t and that is also the unfortunate reality of things. The most helpful thing people said were “I’m sorry…”

    It was also hurtful when all my close friends got pregnant quickly and then had a baby while I was going through multiple miscarriages, and were not sensitive at all about how it could be hard for me to hear all the exciting things about their pregnancy and eventually the birth of their child. They have a right to be excited I know, and I was happy they didn’t go through similar struggles, but I would’ve appreciated it if they were sensitive to what I was going through and talked to other people freely, instead of me. If my friend is going through a divorce, I’m not going to go on and on to that friend how my husband is awesome and my marriage is really great. I even had a pregnant friend tell me that she felt like a “real adult” now that she was going to have a kid, and that she was now having to do adult things. Does that mean she felt I wasn’t a real adult because I didn’t have a baby on the way? That people who don’t have kids aren’t real adults? (I mean, c’mon, that’s just insulting! We were in our early 30’s then. I felt like an adult a long time ago!) Or perhaps she wasn’t even thinking about me at all. Close friends who knew very well about our struggles and miscarriages, who were in frequent contact with us even up to a couple days before publicly announcing their pregnancies (after the first trimester) to 100’s of people before speaking to us about it privately. Not that it’s wrong to announce it that way, but it was hurtful that someone who we shared with in detail about our struggles did not have a conversation with us privately about it first. I know it’s a hard conversation to have, but I had ONE friend who I am so grateful for, who told me privately that she was pregnant but also acknowledged the miscarriages I had gone through and how they had friends who had struggles with infertility and how she could imagine how difficult it could be, etc. and offered support. I’m sure it was a challenging conversation for her to have, but I so appreciated that she was willing to bring it up and that she was sensitive about how it could affect our relationship…

    It seems in my experience that often times people don’t realize that a miscarriage is a death of a person. You don’t tell someone whose husband has passed away from an illness that it was good he died because there was something wrong with him anyways, or that if he didn’t die, you wouldn’t have met your second husband…

    All that being said, I offer the side that some people may not share due to the taboo of it, but some people may not share because they’ve had negative experiences. For some it is empowering to share, and for some it is traumatizing. I’ve seen people get upset or look down on those that don’t want to share about their miscarriages, and that’s not good either. It took me a lot of therapy and energy to not feel guilty about wanting to be private and NOT talk about it (I still talk about it with select people who are helpful to talk to), and to work through the hurtful comments. I got tired of dealing with the additional stress of others’ responses when I needed to grieve and heal. It does suck because I never know who will be helpful and who won’t ahead of time (I’ve been surprised by who ended up being empathetic). To each their own – hopefully we can all strive to be supportive of each person’s decision and not judge each other either way.

    • Jane says...

      I am so sorry you had to experience those awful responses! I have often wondered why people aren’t more thoughtful.
      When my husband’s best friend died in a car accident 18 yrs ago, my then best friend also compared it to her recent break-up with her partner, saying that she had it even worse because he was still out there, but she couldn’t talk to him.
      I have always found it helpful to just let some people go.

      All the best and many good thoughts for you from afar!

    • megs283 says...

      Hugs lady. I’ve had a lot of loss. People don’t get it. And I’ve mostly stopped sharing, because their well-meaning but ignorant comments cut me. Life is great NOW…but it doesn’t erase my losses or the children who I should have with me.

      I now have two beautiful girls, ages 3.5 and 16 months. I remember going through my years of loss and seeing moms with children…or women who were pregnant, and feeling SO BITTER. A small part of me knew that I didn’t know their story or what they had gone through to get there. But…that didn’t always help.

      Part of me would love to have another. But it is such a RELIEF to be off the rollercoaster of pregnancy. Because, for me, pregnancy means loss and ever-present fear of loss.

  45. Greta says...

    I too had a missed miscarriage last year – heard heartbeat at seven weeks then went back for the 11 week check up and scans and the little one had not grown and no more heartbeat. I had terrible nausea until I took the pills as my body would not admit I wasn’t pregnant. Seemed like a double whammy. I have told very few people – less than one hand – and now am 10 weeks with another little one. Can’t really relax until I get past that 12 week point – because who knows? Could happen again… thank you for writing this, best wishes to you.

    • Meaghan says...

      I had an MMC in January. Found out at 10 weeks but baby had probably stopped growing around 6-7 weeks. I’m currently 22 weeks pregnant with a baby boy. Borrowing a friend’s at-home fetal Doppler really helped ease my anxiety and give me confidence. I know doctors don’t usually want you to use one (bc it’s easy to miss the heartbeat and panic, so don’t do that!) but it has been very helpful for me. Just wanted to pass that along. Sending you positive thoughts.

  46. CY says...

    Wow, having just gone through a miscarriage earlier this month at 5.5 weeks (which we thought initially was an ectopic, and had a harrowing experience in the ER on 2 separate days, but now looks like it most likely wasn’t), this post and these stories are so affirming to read. While I already knew a number of friends who had suffered losses, I have definitely learned about more since sharing with others. However, as a fellow miscarriage mama articulated to me, the fact that it’s so common doesn’t make it suck less. We had been trying for a couple months for our second. Our first is almost 2.5 yo and it really does help a lot with going through each day to have her, but I’m really looking forward to hopefully one day giving her a sibling! Physically I’m fine now, but emotionally I still have days (like today), when I feel like a truck has run me over and am just weeping on and off all day. My husband is great but he can’t really fully understand why I feel this loss so deeply (definitely just one of the ways that being a woman is different from being a man). I also completely resonate with other comments that having gone through a miscarriage makes me even more pro-choice than I already was. I cannot fathom needing a drug or surgical intervention to complete the miscarriage, and not having ready access to safe medical help to make that happen. Much love to you all!

  47. Jessica says...

    I had a miscarriage last winter at 8 weeks, while my husband was away on a business trip. It was a surprise pregnancy (after 2 kids) that both my husband and I were facing with a bit of trepidation. Our families and some close friends know but we don’t really talk about it. We’re out of the baby stage and into elementary school with both kids so we don’t know that we’ll try again. Sometimes this feels okay and other times quite sad. Anyway, thank you for normalizing a topic that feels too heavy for everyday conversation!

  48. J says...

    Thank you for this extraordinary piece. I’ve had 4 miscarriages in a row after welcoming a daughter 5 years ago. It is such an incredibly lonely place to be. I mourn the losses for me and for my daughter who will never have a sibling. After the last one I just knew I didn’t want to go through anymore. I was done trying. I knew it was time to focus on myself and my existing family. I am beyond grateful to have that choice and I will never take it for granted.

  49. Mag says...

    Thank you for opening up a space to share our stories. 3 days ago I delivered my baby girl just shy of 18 weeks, though I’m told she stopped growing around 15.5 weeks. I haven’t found it in me to tell my 3 and 5 year old yet or to think beyond this and what comes next. The heartbreak is more then I expected it would be – but talking about it helps for sure.
    Thank you everyone for your stories, nice to read I’m not alone in this.

    • E says...

      I am so, so sorry, Mag. You are not alone.

    • Andrea says...

      oh Mag, I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Kara says...

      I’m so sorry Mag<3<3

    • I’m so sorry Mag. I can’t even imagine. Sending love. x

    • Amy says...

      I’m so, so sorry.

  50. Julie says...

    ❤️

  51. Yes to all of this. And to the brave and vulnerable community of women who gathers here. I am so grateful to hear your journey, Shaina. I had a miscarriage seven years ago, and I still bring it up in conversations whenever I can (I just wrote this post about it: https://feedingthesoil.com/2019/06/19/healing-from-miscarriage-ideas-and-strategies/). For me, it’s like radioactive decay (or at least what I remember from high school biology). It’s like each time I talk about it, the pain gets cut in half. It will never go away completely, but sharing it with others lessens the burden I carry on my own shoulders. Sending light and love your way, Shaina.

  52. Mary N says...

    Thank you for this article, and for talking about miscarriage openly. I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks, it was my first pregnancy after 9 years of trying, I had just had the blood test that tests for Downs and other issues as well as let’s you know the sex of the baby. I feel so lucky that I found out the Adam was a he, and a little about him, he had Downs, it was complications from it that caused him to be to weak to survive. Now, years on I feel peace knowing that and can imagine what he would be like more than some people. At the time I hadn’t told many people but complications and blood loss kept me hospitalized for a couple of days and on bedrest for a week. Unfortunately my male director found out and told the senior management of my company and it filtered down without my knowledge, so I did get those unwanted hugs, and turned down for a promotion soon after because he felt I was to fragile after such a loss… I was dreading Adam’s actual due date, but I ended up doing a round of IVF, failed out again and got bumped down to IUI as I only had 1 egg, they said this would be the last time I do IUI before moving to donor eggs, I was ready to be inseminated bang on what would have been Adam’s due date and it worked! I now have a wonderful 2 year boy, Elijah, who one day will hear about how his brother was looking out for him and helped him come into this world! I talk openly about Adam now and it has helped so much, my voice doesn’t break and crack any more and I can find peace through sharing rather than bottling it up.

  53. Robin says...

    Yes. Hugs to all those who live in the silence and those brave enough to share and those who bring dinner and cookies and listen.

    I’ve told people I barely know, but not my mother or my MIL. I have two beautiful boys now but still I’m not ready for their sadness.

    I had a missed miscarriage that wouldn’t clear. I bled for more than six months, through several rounds of drugs, two d&cs, and countless ultrasounds. It could have been much worse – I didn’t know I was pregnant before I started bleeding- but still. Maybe it would have been better if I’d said what was going on. I’m not sure. My own sadness was enough for me to carry. I felt like I couldn’t carry anyone else’s.

    Still I really admire and appreciate the bravery of sharing it. So many people who got pregnant easily or have never tried assume that anyone who wants a kid, has one. Often the only way I found out a friend had a miscarriage was to tell them about mine.

  54. Jess says...

    I had an abortion. Two, actually. I’ve told almost no one. Certainly no one I work with in my conservative town.

    The first one was my fault. His fault. Our fault. We had two beautiful children; one brand new. I was in graduate school. And our lazy family planning failed us. Just like it should have for the decade earlier, but miraculously didn’t. I felt devastated and unfailingly alone, responsible, guilty. I’m lucky I live somewhere where I only *felt* guilty and wasn’t made guilty under the law.

    Then, I got an IUD, and we went on. I felt safe to freely have sex. And then, there I was, pregnant again. I was 38. I had just started in on my new career. I had no job security. We had two amazing little kids under age 4. And I absolutely could not imagine having a third. Which is why I got the IUD. But there you are. It happens to a lucky 4% of women who have the IUD I had.

    After that, he got clipped. And I’m still afraid every single time we have sex. I think about each of those darling cheeks I stopped from growing, the kids I’ll never hug, the tushes I’ll never squeeze. I know it was my choice not to have them, and thank goodness for that choice. THANK GOODNESS. Thanks to all of us who keep fighting to keep it that way. But I can’t wish away the sadness.

    I know I didn’t have a miscarriage. Or two. Or a dozen. I know that. I’m not trying to equate my sorrow to yours. And yours. And yours. But there was something in your confessional that inspired mine. So there it is. It’s ugly and painful and sad and right and true. And life.

    • Krista says...

      Holding space for you, girl. A loss is a loss, regardless.

    • Donna Lewis says...

      Lately, with all the pain, sorrow, and sadness that I’ve heard from friends, all I can say to myself first is…the messy business of being human. Often I express that out loud when friends struggle through their grief, pain or sorrow. It effects us when we ourselves or our friends have something that has been deeply buried or still feel the burdened of and when they feel it’s time to share. What you can’t forgive your doomed to relive was my personal mantra so to speak in the 90’s. Here we are in a forum of a magnificent community and I bow to each of you and COJ for all that is brought forward for support, encouragement, enlightenment and discussing the messy business of being human. Signed, a very long time reader, who… has.never left, a comment.
      I love you all and especially what COJ continues to put forward. Bowing to all who represent this amazing place we can go to. Sincerely, Mama D.
      P.S. I’m certain I’m older than Joanna’s mother.
      Thank you again for this platform that I’ve loved for many, many years.

    • Stephanie says...

      Sending love and light to you Jess.

    • Jennifer says...

      Your story is so important. Reproductive health and choice is so often framed as a dichotomy. We need to make the choices that our best for us and our families. Those choices could be hard and easy, painful and a relief.

    • Steph says...

      Thank you so much for saying this Jess. Sometimes I feel guilty for having an abortion and feeling loss. Just like you I have wanted to shout it from the rooftops I did it! I am so happy I have autonomy and can decide what happens to my body, I feel empowered, and I know it is whole different dimension than a miscarriage, but damn does it me sad. Every time I think of it since I had it 2 years ago my eyes well up with tears. I can’t control what I feel and I shouldn’t have to. Reading your experience made me feel so connected to a random stranger and that is the beauty of sharing your truths.

      My story was very different. I was in my second year of medical school and in a very abusive relationship. But what I find so magical about human connection is that we can share in such a complicated feeling without our experiences bearing any resemblance.

    • J says...

      Thank you for sharing. You aren’t alone. It might feel ugly and painful and sad, but you survived. It’s what we do. And very often, like you said, the choices we make (thank goodness ARE ALLOWED TO MAKE) are right and true, and life. Hugs to you.

    • Mish says...

      Bless you Jess. You’re a good person and it was so kind of you to share. Have a lovely day.
      xxx

    • Hannah says...

      Thank you for sharing your story. My experience does not match yours, but the way you expressed it touched my heart. Sending you hugs.

    • AM says...

      You brave person. You’re my hero of the day.

    • Mamabird says...

      You are mighty strong. I really respect your honesty and in your shoes I’d have made the same choices.

    • Renee says...

      Love and hugs to you!

    • Kelly says...

      You’re valid! My friends who had abortions were the ones to hold my hand and help me through my miscarriage. It’s very different, sure. And yet, not so different. Still the hormones and the emotions and the same machines and often even the same doctors. I’m glad you were able to get good and safe and legal care. And I see your sadness, and it may not be the exact same as mine, but they’re sisters I think. I’m deep in the heart of Texas, and I will fight tooth and nail for my friends to get to make the choices they want for their bodies.

      So much love to you.

    • China says...

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I just had my extremely planned third child, but even as I am totally in love with my newborn I know unequivocally that if I got pregnant again in the future, or had gotten pregnant at an inopportune time in the past, I would have had an abortion and felt lucky for the option. They call it family planning for a reason!

  55. Margaret says...

    Thanks for writing this and sharing it. I’m so sorry about your miscarriage. This year we had an ectopic pregnancy after IVF, almost immediately followed by a spontaneous pregnancy that I miscarried. I’ve never done any boxing but this year made me understand the phrase “the old one-two punch.” I felt like I never stopped feeling. It was also strange how differently I felt when talking to people about each miscarriage. We’ve been open about our infertility and the IVF process, and many of our friends knew about my ectopic pregnancy and the loss of that baby. But when I lost the second baby, I felt much more shame and reticence. I felt like it must show some irresponsibility to lose TWO babies so close together. For the last two months I’ve gone in for weekly blood tests, waiting for my HCG to return to zero before we can move on. The whole experience feels like I haven’t been actually breathing since March, when we heard that the first pregnancy was not viable.

    • Lauren says...

      Thank you for sharing also. I’m terribly sorry to hear what you’ve been through and what you are going through. You’re so strong and so brave. And you will breathe again, you will get through this. Sending love xx

    • K says...

      I’m so sorry for your losses Margaret… I have had multiple miscarriages and feel similarly… the ones after the first was harder to talk about. The same feeling of maybe I am somewhat responsible or to blame (although every test I’ve taken does not reveal anything; and even if it did, it still wouldn’t mean I’d be responsible, but the ability to have a child can tap into one’s identity so much). I remember the year I had two miscarriages, telling my friend that this year just rocked me, really rocked me to the core. It was 6 years ago and I still remember every detail of when the ultrasound revealed my baby no longer had a heartbeat. There has been much healing along the way, but still sorrow when I think about it again, as death should bring. I started going to a therapist who told me that often times those who have multiple miscarriages feel the similar weight of shame. It’s so hard not to. Know that you’re not alone, and it’s not your fault. I’m so so sorry you’re going through this. Much love and wishes for healing your way… be easy on yourself…

    • Kelly says...

      I hear you. We’re waiting for my HCG to go down too. Bodies be bodies, none of this is your fault. Responsibility isn’t even part of the equation. I hope you get a chance to catch your breath soon.

      I felt ashamed for telling people and being excited. It felt like I had passed along bad information, somehow?

  56. Cate says...

    Like so many other commenters, I too had a missed (or silent) miscarriage a year and a half ago. It was devastating, going in for the first ultrasound and not finding a heartbeat. I still remember my D&C like it was yesterday. Not to mention the soul crushing 14 month long secondary infertility that followed. Every month a period greeted me. Last week, I miraculously found out I’m pregnant again (which I had essentially given up on), and I feel like I am walking on eggshells and absolutely dreading the ultrasound again, if I even make it that far. It really ruins any excitement you may have had otherwise. I just try to remember it is a huge blessing I was able to even get pregnant at all again, even if it took over a year. Reminding myself to breathe and live in the moment. One day at a time.

    • Melanie says...

      Cate, I wanted to wish you congratulations!

      I had a missed miscarriage 4 weeks ago (chromosome abnormality) and I just got my first period yesterday. I have mixed emotions having it back; sad that it’s a reminder of what I don’t have anymore but giddy and hopeful that we are closer to being able to try again (my wife and I did ivf). I know if I’m lucky enough to fall pregnant again I will be anxious, but I’m planning on doing some sort of meditation to help. Maybe it might help ease your mind, even just a little?

    • Jess says...

      It’s okay to feel two things at the same time: joy AND sadness, gratitude AND fear. And if you can’t, I, a stranger can do it for you from afar.

    • Kelly says...

      I’m cheering for you, Cate!

  57. Heather says...

    I miscarried early on and hadn’t told many people, but as you’ve all said – a loss is a loss. Coincidentally I had a doctors appointment so I was able to go in and get it confirmed.

    I remember going into a Walgreens to get pads and somehow thinking there should be special miscarriage pads – I walked around really dazed not knowing where to find them and actually ended up asking. I was, of course, referenced back to normal period pads, but it felt like there should have been something more official. Like that everything I did should have been branded ‘miscarriage x’.

    My good friend (hi Katie!) who I texted, then called, from my bathroom bleeding early that morning, sent me flowers that night. Then later came to see me (we lived in separate cities) that next month and it meant the world.

    It took a while, but eventually it just became something I told everyone. It’s different for everyone, but for myself, I completely agree that I felt a sense of power with doing so. And it opened up so much dialogue with other women – even ones who were seemingly strangers at first. We’ve all been through so much.

    • Kelly says...

      I wore Depends during my bleeding after the D&C, on advice from an internet friend. They hold so much, and really don’t leak, and they’re pretty comfortable. I didn’t know who to ask either! I asked Twitter.

      Depends and a heating pad and a bingeable TV show, if anyone’s going through it right now. Sweet friends. Love to you all.

  58. Katey says...

    Thank you for sharing with everyone. Truly, your decision to share with everyone is extremely important. It invites the wider world to consider the culture of women, the citizenry of women. So often we are told our experiences–from sexual harassment to miscarriages to success in the business world–is merely one woman’s private, personal, journey. It is not one woman’s journey. It is humanity’s journey carried, in the case of child-bearing, by womankind.

    In light of this essay I invite anyone who is open to it to share with whoever you see fit about all child-bearing issues: infertility, miscarriages, abortions, the status of pregnancy before 10 weeks (a relic of the notion pregnancy is a private situation), and postpartum experiences. By sharing the existence of these issues you illuminate a reality that ought never to have been kept in the dark. You testify about humanity’s journey; that’s powerful.

    • Karyn says...

      Love this ♥️

    • Jess says...

      Preach!

  59. Lesley says...

    In my state (Georgia), a new law will soon make abortion a criminal act. Women who experience a miscarriage may be criminally investigated to determine whether the miscarriage was “intentional” / “caused by the mother” and thus illegal, or “an act of God.” When I read stories such as this and comments such as these, I’m just so grateful that many of you live in places where you are safe while experiencing such sadness and heartbreak.

    Beautifully written piece. 💛

    • JB says...

      I had a miscarriage last week. Of a twin that I didn’t know existed until she was already gone. They call it a vanishing twin and when we went for our ultrasound my body had already rejected the embryo. All that was left was an empty gestational sack. But sure enough, weeks after we learned of our lost twin, at 13 weeks pregnant, I woke up in the middle of the night 100% certain I was miscarrying the lone survivor. Except for I wasn’t. An ultrasound showed a happy, healthy baby. My husband wept like I’ve never seen him cry.

      I was miscarrying whatever was left of the lost twin. It made that baby, the one I never even knew I had, real. And the aftermath has been rough. I’ve just stopped bleeding. I’m exhausted. Literally, I’ve never been more tired in my life.

      I have two other young children. This pregnancy was a complete shock and I know the two more would have been way too much too handle right now. I also know how incredibly lucky we are to have the one baby survive. But the miscarriage, the whole process has been so rough, tougher than I could have ever imagined. And buying pads while you’re still pregnant just feels so wrong. Given that we have two little ones and now a third, I felt like I wasn’t entitled to grieve emotionally. But there is no ignoring the physical toll this has taken on my body.

    • Mamabird says...

      I really hope your laws change fast. I can’t imagine living like that, so unjust.

  60. hali says...

    The tone of this essay is what felt so good to read.

    I feel both nonchalant (I had a miscarriage and wow that sucked but I’m fine!) and completely melodramatic (this urge to bring a life into the world feels like brand new clue in my undying quest to figure out why we’re all here… will I die without this human experience I so desperately want?) about my miscarriage.

    I know this all goes with out saying but what actual champions are women? “Hey, I just had a miscarriage and I’m totally pooped.” What a SOLDIER.

    also…

    “Women were born with pain built in. It’s our physical destiny.”
    *sniff sniff*

  61. sarah says...

    I miscarried my first baby at 13 weeks on a trip 537 miles from my husband. The recovery from hormonal and emotional devastation was incredibly hard. We’d told everyone we were pregnant. We then had to tell everyone about the loss. I burst into tears and fled rooms at the slightest sympathies or mention. We were encouraged to try again as soon as possible (first ovulation after first period back) . Something about better success chances, due to hormones. One day I drove under an overpass, and saw someone had spray painted, “It can get better.” On the side. The use of the word “can” instead of “will” was really meaningful to me.
    Our now 8 year old daughter was born 4 months after the due date of the lost baby. She’s amazing and I’m always reminded that she wouldn’t be here, if it weren’t for the loss. Thankfully, things got better.

  62. Alex says...

    I miscarried at 6 weeks. I already had a daughter and we’d just started trying for #2. We hadn’t heard the heartbeat yet – hadn’t even been to the OB, just the pee stick and that feeling of knowing… I woke up in the middle of the night with heaps of blood between my thighs and the most painful cramps i’ve ever felt. I knew what was happening but I still had that thought – maybe this is normal, maybe it’s fine. It wasn’t.
    Since then I’ve had a baby boy. He’s fabulous. We are so lucky.
    I didn’t tell anyone about my miscarriage except my husband. It didn’t seem worth it, it was so early on. Was I really even pregnant? But now if people tell me about their miscarriage or ask if I ever had one, I say “yes, i had one too.”

    • Christine says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss. While statistics say 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage, you never think it can happen to you until it does. I had one 25 yrs ago at 10 wks when no one spoke of such things. Even my mother said that’s why you don’t tell people your pregnant – argh. I’m so relieved that we’re talking about it now. Doesn’t make the experience any easier but there is strength and healing in telling the story.

  63. RHS says...

    I loved this piece so much. I had five mcs and they still weigh on my heart even though I have two great kids (and definitely don’t need any more!). Hearing other women talk about this in such a funny and beautiful way is really powerful. Thanks, Shaina and cup of Jo!

  64. Jenny Bulgrin Venkat says...

    Thank you so much for this post. I lost my baby boy at 20 weeks. Sharing and healing openly and with other women is so important. It astounds me how many of us go through this silently. Thank you for doing a part in helping to normalize the conversation. It’s so appreciated <3

  65. Sarah says...

    Very good and important post. After seven miscarriages, all uniquely stinging experiences, I have to agree that talking about miscarrying is so freeing. I didn’t even know what a miscarriage was when I had my first one and I was shocked to find out how common they are. The more I talked about it, the more I learned and the better I felt. There was something so bonding about sharing those tragic experiences with a friend, or even a stranger.

  66. Lucy says...

    How about a post from someone who has had an abortion? Not a late-stage abortion, but the kind that most people have, before 8-10 weeks or so? I haven’t had one, but I have friends who have and I’d like to know how to support them. I know it’s never an easy decision.

    • Kelly says...

      I would love a post to demystify the process, maybe with an OB. One of my dear friends had an abortion at 10 weeks, and it was remarkably similar to my d&c at 9 weeks, since it’s essentially the same procedure that early. Planned Parenthood’s learning section actually really helped me prepare for the procedure. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion

    • Lisa says...

      I had a miscarriage right before I got pregnant with my daughter. It was super earth-like 5 weeks-and I was so surprised at how painful it was. It actually woke me up in the middle of the night. I went and laid on the couch with a heating pad and my sweet dog got up and laid with me. Kind of a sweet memory since our dog died two years ago. She knew I needed her. Two days later my doctor called to congratulate my-my blood test had come back and I was indeed pregnant. I could barely choke out that no, I wasn’t anymore.

      I haven’t thought about this in a while. My pregnancy and birth with my daughter were so traumatic that the miscarriage kind of got forgotten. That’s also sad. My husband totally forgot I had one. That’s how awful the next year of our life was.

  67. Katia says...

    Best. Post. Ever. Having had quite a few myself, I committed to talking about it so nobody I knew would have to experience the loneliness during my first one. Why should women have to hold on to yet one more thing to feel bad about?!? And it was an opportunity to educate people on what not to say. Thank you again for sharing!

  68. Dannii says...

    I just had a miscarriage about 10 days ago. Aaaand I don’t really feel upset about it – something no one else in these comments seems to have said! Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to be pregnant but I am also excited not to be pregnant quite yet…I almost feel like the miscarriage has given me a kick up the butt to get my life in order and do a bunch of stuff in the next few months before we try again.

    My sister miscarried 2 years ago and when she told me she was very blasé about it and I thought at the time it was just for everyone elses sake but now I kinda get it.

    First pregnancy, not expecting things to happen so soon, and you only knew about these potential changes for a couple weeks, it kind of makes sense if you don’t feel terrible about it.

    For me … the worst bit was the waiting for confirmation. It didn’t feel any worse than a bad period, and the other downside was wearing sanitary pads for a fricken week (since my doctor said tampons weren’t a great idea) which made me itchy af!

    • Courtney says...

      I get this – particularly as a dear friend of mine recently miscarried, and the sentiment around it is different than what the writer experienced. I completely empathize with the sorrow of carrying a baby and experiencing the loss, but my friend’s experience also brought new light to it for me. She wants children, and is looking forward to being pregnant. But she had not intended pregnancy in this moment, and this unplanned thing was not a baby for her. She and her husband will be fantastic parents when they do have children, but this was not the time. Up until now, I had thought that when someone miscarries, you offer condolences but can’t understand their sorrow unless you’ve been through the same. This friend, however, told me she does not like telling people, because they are overly sympathetic about something that was not a loss to her, because it was not yet a part of her life. I realize this may sound cold. I don’t mean to discount the writer’s very meaningful and delicate experience. I just am so suddenly aware that there are a variety of sentiments surrounding such a thing that I had not previously been aware of.

      I do sincerely appreciate the way the writer was able to express herself, to share with those around her a quite significant thing in a very real way. I hope she has all the support and love in the world surrounding her.

    • Fran says...

      I commented above – I also didn’t feel that upset about my (missed) miscarriage. Not even the D&C, tbh. It happened so quickly, and was so overwhelming, I somehow managed to see it with a good amount of rational “that’s just what happens to some women”. Buutttt…. fast forward a couple weeks to being pregnant again, I went absolutely insane with anxiety. Having shared both experiences openly, people were generally really lovely and empathetic about the miscarriage but didn’t know how to cope *at all* with the anxiety/depression part.

  69. Laura says...

    Brilliant.

  70. Erica says...

    I am 35 and had a miscarriage early this year, my first pregnancy. It was so hard for may reasons – I felt like I was briefly part of that special sisterhood of moms, and then all of a sudden I wasn’t any more. I had another negative pregnancy test this morning and am feeling so discouraged and afraid, but have found so much comfort from this article and the comments. As a daily Cup of Jo reader for more than 10 years, I have felt such support and gratitude from this online community, and feel it again today. Thank you.

    • Nicole says...

      I am so sorry you are going through this… sending hugs your way! <3

    • megs283 says...

      My first pregnancy was a miscarriage as well. Sending you love.

  71. The authenticity of this post is so moving and comforting. Thank you for shining light on what tends to stay in the dark for so many!

  72. Becky says...

    Thank your for sharing this story. I surprised my shy, introverted self about being open about my miscarriage but it was honestly the best therapy for me.

    I had a missed miscarriage at 8 weeks discovered around 10 weeks (who knew that was a thing?! Not me.). It was devastating, especially because I continued to experience nausea up until my D&C a couple weeks later. (I tried to wait to miscarry on my own but ended up with severe anxiety and panic attacks, nearly putting me in the hospital). I later found out it was a partial molar pregnancy (there is some embryonic development but mostly the placenta is just growing uncontrollably). The diagnosis came 3 weeks after I thought I was done grieving and working my way through the emotional rollercoaster of miscarriage. Only to be hit again with a scary diagnosis. I had to wait until my HCG was down to zero for 3 consecutive weeks before trying again. It took almost a year of regular blood testing to finally get the go ahead. In some ways, it was helpful to know the cause of my miscarriage but the anxiety of monitoring my HCG and recurrence rates of molar pregnancies and the (minuscule) chance of cancer really rocked my world. I got pregnant the following year and now have a beautiful two year old boy but pregnancy after miscarriage was terrifying.

  73. Janine says...

    This was so, so amazing to read. I miscarried at 7 weeks. The loss was devastating, but I almost felt guilty that I was so sad when other women had endured losses much farther along in their pregnancy. A loss is a loss, and we should honor those losses by allowing ourselves to be sad or angry or numb. Thank you for this.

    And for the record, I miscarried in Disneyland. On my husband’s birthday. Which felt like a particularly cruel joke.

  74. Lauren says...

    This post (and the amazing comments) really hit home for me. I had a miscarriage in April, and it was the toughest thing I’ve even gone through. At my 8 week ultrasound, we were told that our baby’s heartbeat was “irregular,” and were instructed to come in for another ultrasound in a week. The 9 week ultrasound showed that our baby no longer had a heartbeat and hadn’t grown. My body had not yet realized I’d had a miscarriage, so, rather than wait, I opted to take the medications to induce a miscarriage. The actual miscarriage was the most physically painful and emotionally scary experience of my life.

    At first, I didn’t plan on telling anyone (especially not co-workers), but then I decided to tell all my good friends and the people I worked with on a regular basis. The support and love they showed me was incredible. My husband and I also decided to book a last minute trip to Paris for a couple weeks after the miscarriage, which was exactly what I needed. Going about normal life was just so hard, so the trip gave me a much-needed distraction. And I could partake in all the delicious wine, soft cheese, and shell fish :) #miscarriagemoon

    Now we are trying again, which is terrifying and exciting at the same time. And when people ask if kids are in our future, I openly talk about the fact we had a miscarriage and that we are trying again. It catches some people off guard, but I have found it is easier for me than to give the very painful “maybe” response.

    On a side note, this experience gave me yet another reason to staunchly support the protection of women’s reproductive rights. The drugs my doctor gave me to induce the miscarriage were mifepristone and misoprostol. Misoprostol alone only has a 60% chance of completing the miscarriage, creating a risk for a drawn-out miscarriage or for the need for a D&C. With mifepristone, the success rate is closer to 90%. But mifepristone is the “abortion pill,” so it can be really hard for people in conservative states to get. It infuriates me that some women cannot access necessary drugs because they happen to live in the wrong state.

    • Kelly says...

      My body still thought I was pregnant too, though mine was anembryonic: just a little empty sac on the ultrasound. I couldn’t get mifepristone in my state, and my HCG was so high that my doctor thought misoprostol wouldn’t work for me, so I want straight to a D&C. I”m angry that I had to be in a hospital instead of at home.

      Your “miscarriagemoon” sounds very cathartic. My husband drove me straight from the clinic when we got the news, sobbing, to my favorite hoagie place, and I had a large Italian sub and a cold beer in front of me within minutes. I have to say, it helped.

  75. tara says...

    Sending you so much love. I had a mc on my birthday two years ago and last week I had to have an ultrasound because I had an ovarian cyst. It was the exact same sonographer. I put off getting a sonogram for two weeks because I didn’t want to feel that trauma again. Blighted ovum. No heartbeat.

    As I walked in, she remembered me. She hugged me. I told her my marriage ended shortly after, and I won’t be having a baby for a while. She told me she will be here, ready to hear my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. The odds of getting her as a sonographer on this specific day and time are slim. Hold on to quiet moments of connection. They will keep you.

    • Kelly says...

      Tara, my “blighted ovum” miscarriage was on my 27th birthday this year. You’re not alone and I’m sending you lots of love.

    • megs283 says...

      oh ladies. We’re in a club, aren’t we.
      I had a miscarriage on my 32nd birthday.
      And then I had a baby on my 33rd.
      I was in such a low place on my 32nd birthday…I never could have predicted the following one.

  76. Julie says...

    My husband and I found out we were pregnant on Christmas Eve and miscarried on January 3rd. It is incredible what our minds can build in 10 days. I shared with close friends and I felt overwhelmingly silly for being so upset. How could I be so sad after just a few days? I started questioning myself – Was I really even pregnant?

    We had a trip planned to London 2 weeks after, and it was such a relief to get my mind off of it. The last day of the trip, we started to feel sad and we leaned into it. We got massages, had a lavish high tea, and ordered take out from a place we had dinner at the night before (the familiarity was comforting). It was my favorite day of the trip. If we miscarry again, we will make it a priority to get out of town as part of our healing.
    We’re trying again now, but it’s hard to wait. The first hour after getting my period each month is devastating. I cry, and I talk to my husband a lot about it. A friend commented that even with all the sadness and pain, I’ll be able to look back on this and see how my husband and I weathered and fought through it together. We’ll be able to draw strength from it later in life.

    • hali says...

      Oh hi from the first hours of my period over here!

      The monthly “can we get sushi for dinner” text has been sent to my husband and I’m dragging my misleading achey boobs to a spin class to try and give my brain a break from thinking about it. I’ll probs cry tonight too.

      I saw in another comment the idea of a miscarriagemoon and it made so much sense to me. I wish we had done that… even just a quick trip somewhere close to feel like a time stamp on the event to process everything.

      Best of luck and lots of love to you- I hope there’s a way to draw strength from this weird in between phase phase. Maybe next month! x

  77. Katie says...

    This story was so beautiful and honest and brought tears to my eyes. I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks pregnant and, even though it was several years ago and I have since had a successful pregnancy that brought my amazing and feisty daughter into my life, I still carry the sadness from that loss.

    I too debated telling my family and friends when it happened. I hadn’t told anyone we were trying for a baby and I didn’t want anyone to start asking questions about how it was going or if we were pregnant. But I finally told my best friend because I couldn’t keep the pain or sadness just between me and my husband any longer. That same day a box of a dozen of my favorite chocolate cupcakes showed up at my door. My best friend doesn’t live close to me, but she knew how to reach across the distance when I needed it most. I ate three while sitting on the floor crying my eyes out. But it also made me feel like I could breathe again. It made me realize that the pain was so much worse when I held it inside and the relief I felt once I opened up helped my heart heal faster than I thought possible. I finally ended up tell a few select other friends and family members about my miscarriage and it was the best decision for me. Not only did their support and love help me heal, but they proved me wrong and never asked me about whether I was pregnant or how it was going. (Although I found out later that anytime I didn’t drink or called them out of the blue they would get secretly hopeful!) And having their support when the fear of loss crept back in was like the warm hug I needed to keep the fear at bay once I became pregnant again.

    I think the most important thing for all women to remember, whether dealing with a current or past miscarriage or facing the uphill battle of infertility or other loss and, based on what is the best for your heart at the time, whether you choose to share your story or keep it private, is that you are not alone. And for those who have a loved one that is going through a miscarriage (or any other type of loss), the best thing you can do is just be present and open to whatever your loved one is willing to share and give but never ask them to give or share more than they can in the moment. And often a simple act like bring them a favorite food, a book, an extra cookie, or anything that shows your love in even the smallest way goes so incredibly far in helping them feel a little less lonely.

  78. KC says...

    This resonates with me so much! Thank you, and thanks to all the commenters for sharing. My husband and I started trying for a child for the first time this January, and as someone who has struggled with hormonal issues and thought I’d have problems getting pregnant, I could not believe it when I saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test that first month. I was absolutely elated, but found out only a few days later that we were experiencing a chemical pregnancy. It took me weeks to feel right physically, which I had not expected, and months to feel even the slightest bit better emotionally. I began to share after a little bit of time, and it helped me immensely.

    We actually got pregnant again a few months later, and now I am 17 weeks along with a really difficult pregnancy. I’ve had a threatened miscarriage, off and on bleeding, and still don’t know that I’ll be able to carry to term sue to complications. I have been unable to be fully happy or entirely bond with this little life inside me that I’ve wanted so dearly. One of the only things that helps is talking to others and hearing what they’ve been through — miscarriages, pregnancy complications, etc. It is so easy to look around and feel like you are the only one going through these things, especially when people have healthy children, and you’d just never know what they went through to get to that point. I’m so glad some people are beginning to open up and speak about all of this — becoming a parent, no matter how you get there, isn’t easy.

    • Angela says...

      Good luck KC, hang in there, I’ll be thinking of you! It took me four pregnancies to end up with two awesome kids, I have been where you are are it is so tough. I’ll be thinking of you <3

  79. Ramona says...

    I am so sorry this has happened to you. Your words are honest and raw. Poppy is a beautiful name. God comfort you.

  80. K says...

    “In case you were wondering, i wore a back tank top, baggy jeans and cowboy boots”. Damnit, I was wondering!
    It’s nothing I have previously experienced but now I feel more comfortable listening to someone who has.

  81. Michaela says...

    Communication is so healing. I wish it were easier to communicate about having an abortion at 20 weeks because of a medical issue. Somehow abortion just doesn’t cover it. It makes it seem like the baby wasn’t wanted. Neither does saying I lost the baby. He wasn’t lost. I had to make a choice. The action changes it. And it’s so hard because everyone (hello nosy neighbor) can tell you’ve been pregnant. You say something but nothing seems to be right.

    • Anne says...

      My heart is with you as my story is similar. For us it was 21 weeks and a frightening discovery during an ultra sound. I share openly that we “lost a child” I only share my true story with those I trust whole heartedly.

    • Emma says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss michaela, and Anne. I’m a member of this ‘club’ too. We lost our sweet girl at 19 weeks. Where I live, 19 weeks is considered a miscarriage , and 20 weeks considered a still birth. It was over a year ago , and we have since welcome a much longed for and adored son, and our eldest daughter has turned 3. But I stumble when people ask how many children I have. Do I say 2 , keep it simple , and deny my second daughters existence and importance to me ? She remains the singular most transformative experience of my life. If I say I lost a daughter , I too feel this is false. I did not ‘lose’ her. I know exactly where she is. Her ashes in my nightstand. If I say I miscarried a daughter I feel this undermines my experience , and in no way communicates the agonising decision , the tears, and ultimately enduring induced labour and birth of her tiny , to me perfect , body. But if I say I had a stillbirth, I feel people visualise a term, otherwise healthy baby, which she was not, so this does not cover my experience either , and I feel I am falsely claiming sympathy for a different (also awful) experience , which is not mine to claim. My go to response now , is I have three children. A 3 year old daughter , a baby girl we lost , and a son. Those closest to me know the full and raw truth. I wish these issues were addressed more frequently.
      Termination for medical reasons is not an uncommon issue facing parents. I was 30 and it was a complete bolt from the blue. Hugs. Thanks for giving me a safe space to share. I still love to talk about her , but people no longer ask.

  82. Katrina says...

    In January I had a positive pregnancy test around 4 weeks. I was so excited that to tell my husband, I made a sperm shape out of leftover cookie dough, covered it with icing, and wrote ‘We Did It!’ in marshmallows on the plate. He was so excited. The next day, I got my period and was absolutely devastated. We were both discouraged and heartbroken.

    Now I’m 13 weeks pregnant and starting to tell more people. When they ask how I told my husband, I tell them that because of my initial chemical pregnancy, there was definitely less showmanship in the telling. This time I just… told him. We’ve been cautiously excited ever since. I wish I could tap back into the pure joy that I felt with the first pregnancy. I hope I’ll feel less worried after my next ultrasound appointment.

  83. Allison says...

    I was really compelled to talk about my miscarriage too. I ‘m usually really private, I hadn’t even told many people about the pregnancy, but I just wanted to blurt it out everywhere. It was so painful and so present for me, I needed people around me to know. I’m 29 weeks pregnant now, I can’t wait to meet him. And yes, pregnancy after miscarriage is different.

  84. Katie says...

    I’ve had 8 miscarriages. I could relate to this article after my first loss, and even after my second and third. I have to say that after my 8th, which just finished a couple of days ago, I just feel numb and completely disconnected from everyone. It doesn’t seem like anyone can understand, provide support, or give me any answers. I’ve had every test come back normal; I’ve sent the lost babies (or as the medical industry calls them, specimens) in for testing, and they’ve all come back normal as well. I’m now looking at ideas for a tattoo to at least physically mark my body with the loss of my babies because it seems like an invisible loss to everyone else. Hope everyone else can find some comfort or at least acceptance in this very difficult experience.

    • Julie says...

      Holding you in the light. <3

    • Cecile says...

      Hi Katie, I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re not alone in this strange, silent experience of motherhood. After seven miscarriages, I feel very close to your story – I considered the tattoo, then settled on a ring with seven stones. It doesn’t really make my story more visible to other people, but it validates its meaning for myself. And that’s something. Sending you lots of love. (Sorry for my English – not my first language)

    • Sarz says...

      Much respect to you, sister. Your strength is remarkable.

    • AD says...

      Katie, you are a warrior. I am routing for you!

    • Rachelle says...

      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Someone else I know has had five miscarriages, and has a tattoo that she can add to (I’ll link her instagram). Sending you so much love.
      https://www.instagram.com/p/BylvYrJg3dA/

    • Laura says...

      I’m so sorry for all of your losses. Recurrent miscarriage is terrible. I had 4 consecutive losses before my current pregnancy (nothing compared to 8, I know). The first was sad but almost felt like a rite of passage because it happened really early. The 2nd and 3rd were the hardest by far. By the 4th one, I felt a little bit like, whatever, this again? Which was depressing in a different way.

    • Shannon says...

      Katie, I am so very sorry for your losses. Please know that you are not alone. I’ve had 12 miscarriages (farthest along was 18 weeks) and the doctors could never explain why it was happening. My tests always came back normal too and so did the babies’ chromosomes. It can feel very lonely, but I promise you’re not alone. Sending love and hugs to you. Hang in there.

  85. Kassidy says...

    Thank you for using the phrase silent miscarriage. I’ve never heard the term before, but that is what happened to me. Saw a viable pregnancy at 7 weeks, and went back at 13 weeks to discover no heartbeat was present. I never had any pain or bleeding and still had all the typical pregnancy symptoms, so it was very shocking. I think the shock of it made grieving even harder. I also had a D&C and had to wait over a week for the procedure. So I had this weird in between time of knowing it was over, but it not being over and just waiting to maybe start miscarrying naturally at any moment.

    And I think you’re on to something when you talk about feeling embarrassed. We are never more vulnerable than when we are deeply longing for something. Sharing the wanting, facing that we can’t control if we will get it or not opens us up to enormous risk.

    The silliest thing that helped me when I was healing was thinking, “This happened to Beyonce.” When I would start feeling like my body had failed, or that I was some how less of a woman, I would think, “Well, no one would say that about Beyonce.”

    • Shay says...

      Umm yes to the waiting. I found out on a Friday I had a missed miscarriage and was scheduled to get on a plane Monday morning for a week in my office. I couldn’t risk spontaneously miscarrying on the plane or in the middle of my office! It was awful because I was an emotional wreck (we waited 2 years for that baby and paid a heck of a lot of money) but I physically felt fine. I ended up taking Misoprostol a week later (body was still holding on a month later) to help my body along on the actual expulsion so there I was sitting on a shower curtain all day waiting. Now another week later I’m just waiting to stop bleeding. WAITING for this to be over so we can move on. It’s such a horrible part of life but it’s the path for so many of us.

    • J says...

      I also had a silent miscarriage…identical twin girls, 14 weeks. It was a devastating shock to me, and it didn’t help to walk around in the world while waiting for the D&E, which was a week later. All the blogs and articles I read online helped me feel less alone, and I totally appreciate your “This happened to Beyonce” mantra. Thanks for sharing..

    • Jess says...

      I have had 3 miscarriages and never really felt comfortable sharing with many people as they were happening. I feared the dreaded sympathy hug and uncomfortable silence. After the fact, I’ve started sharing with more people, & I’ve been surprised by the kindness I’ve been shown. A work colleague even went so far as to put a card and plant on my desk on the week of what would’ve been my due date this past spring. It was a special gesture that meant the world to me, thinking that I wasn’t alone in remembering that special date.

      Thanks to the COJ team for continuing to open the conversation about miscarriage and loss. It has been a comfort to me and many others!

  86. Emily says...

    Thank you! We need more people to write about/talk about miscarriage. I was pretty quiet (cause I’m a fairly private person) when I went through mine but since then I’ve brought it up so many times because, even over 2 years later, it’s still on my mind and I still want to talk about it. I remember reading as many accounts of miscarriage as I could because it just felt so good to know I wasn’t alone and to know how normal it was.

  87. Laura C. says...

    So beautifully written indeed. Thanks for sharing.

  88. J says...

    I suffered a miscarriage at 9 weeks, after an IUI. At the time, I had only experienced such utter devastation once before, when my mother passed away from cancer. It took a while (and switch to IVF) for me to successfully get pregnant again. The worst was when my MIL told me to “be careful” during that second pregnancy, the implication being that I had previously miscarried because I hadn’t been careful enough. Ugh.

    The most healing thing shortly after the miscarriage was an unexpected trip abroad (my husband was going for work, and I immediately bought tickets for myself and our then 3 year old to tag along.) During the days while my husband was working, my daughter and I explored the city, chased birds, visited parks and museums. It was a much needed break from my work, the daily grind, and my lingering grief. Much love to anyone experiencing loss.

  89. Elle says...

    Thank you so much for sharing. I had a missed miscarriage over a year ago and honestly it took me the full 12 months to be able to talk or think about it without crying. Unfortunately there will be no rainbow baby for us, we talked about trying for such a long time (I’m blessed with two young boys but both were scary emergency c sections and one had to have surgery at a few moths old so we didn’t want to push our luck) and really feel like it wasn’t meant to be for our family. (Not that I would ever use that phrase about other people’s losses). The best thing for me was sharing my story, and in doing so I not only felt so much closer to other women, many of whom had gone through similar and I had never known, but I also gained a new best friend – someone I knew to say hi to, but who reached out for a coffee and a chat when she heard my news. I still grieve my baby, and the family of five that I had in my mind, but I am thankful for what I gained. Appreciation, gratitude and friendship.

  90. JDS says...

    The timing of this article feels so appropriate…I just miscarried a few days ago. It was my first pregnancy and as someone who has always had an irregular cycle and worried about getting pregnant, I felt such extreme joy and relief when I saw the positive pregnancy test. I was thrilled when I felt nauseous or exhausted because it meant that my body was creating that new little life I’ve dreamed of my whole life. I knew something was off when I woke up one day and felt “normal”. I started spotting that day and then the next day it happened. I know it wasn’t my fault but I’m desperate for answers that I’ll probably never get. I’ve been surprised by how relieving it’s felt to share the devastating news with people and have found comfort from most of the conversations I’ve had. I read somewhere that the spirit of the lost baby doesn’t just go away but that it’s waiting and will come back when there’s a healthy fetus to live in. It seems silly but gives me comfort thinking that I’ll still get to meet that same sweet soul someday.

    • Ree says...

      I also miscarried a couple wks ago, exact same story as it was my 1st pregnancy, irregular cycles.. I found out a week prior then I started spotting the day before my birthday (ironically) and it happened on my birthday. Went through lots of tears and self doubt – was it because I worked out, had a sip of champagne at my best friend’s wedding, didn’t get enough sleep, didn’t take my vitamins? But you are 100% right, it wasn’t your fault. My doctor noted this means that you can conceive! Many struggle to even get to that point. and there could have been a chromosomal abnormality that would be devastating if resulted in a live birth.

      I talked to several friends/coworkers and a surprising number of them had also experienced it. Fortunately, all went on to have healthy babies. I hope you will when you are ready to try again <3

      I have gained more compassion for those who are struggling to get pregnant, had miscarriages, loss of a child after birth.. This experience has taught me that if I am ready for the joys and hopes of a pregnancy and parenthood, then I need to have courage to accept the risk that there may be just as much disappointment and pain that accompany it.

  91. Mara says...

    I had a miscarriage about two years ago. It was a “missed” one, so I went on for nearly 12 weeks believing I was pregnant but in fact had only been for about 6-7 weeks. What happened was uncomfortable and painful, but I told quite a lot of people as I’m a pretty open person.
    Since it happened right before Thanksgiving I wanted everyone to know in case I wasn’t acting like my normal self, so I told my parents to tell my siblings and a few closer family members.
    Everyone was supportive – the only thing I found it very odd was that my brother kept it a secret from his now wife. It made me feel like he was somehow ashamed of what had happened to me, and didn’t want her to think there was something wrong with our family. Looking back now I think he was probably just worried he would say something wrong and that he might upset me, but it made me feel so bad at the time.
    I’ve found it therapeutic talking about it since it happened and think it would be a lot easier for people if the whole thing wasn’t so secretive. Sending positive vibes to anyone reading this now going through it.

  92. Roxanne says...

    I’ve had two miscarriages before having my son, one at 12 weeks and one at 5 weeks. Posts like this and accounts like I Had A Miscarriage on Instagram are and were so helpful to remind me I was not alone in this journey.

  93. BWGMom says...

    I have had two miscarriages between three pregnancies (three boys). I talked pretty openly about them at the time. By talking about it, I found out that a majority of my friends had miscarriages also. Miscarriage is so common. We all cope with them differently. I remember watching a lot of Long Island Medium at the time, and I would think of my lost babies as little souls that stayed with me for the weeks that I carried them, but then their time with me ended. It was a privilege to carry them when I did.

  94. Amelia says...

    I miscarried at 6 weeks. I had dinner plans that evening with two of my closest friends, and considered canceling, but decided to show up and tell them. Both were incredibly kind, and one said something to me that I found shocking but so helpful. She said, “Every mother I know, every single one, has had at least one miscarriage.” I thought about all of her girlfriends I’d met who had kids, and her own mom who’d had four kids, and it just made me feel such solidarity and hope to be in this large community.

  95. Krista Estell says...

    I’ve had three miscarriages in the past year, all early at 6-7 weeks. I am a veterinarian and need to take precautions at work even in early pregnancy, so everyone at my clinic knows right away. I love my work colleagues for not talking about it or commenting on it and just being supportive. One of them secretly brings me my favorite chocolate and leaves it on my desk. No note, just a single gold wrapped hazelnut Ferrero Rocher that let’s me know I’m loved and seen.

  96. Shay says...

    Ugh, so timely. I am on the tail-end of what feels like a long drawn out miscarriage. I thought as long as I wasn’t bleeding, I was okay. Boy was I wrong. I went blissfully into my 8-week ultrasound only to find out there was no more heartbeat and we had lost the baby not long after my 6-week ultrasound when we saw the heart beating. I’m not sure what’s worse, spontaneously miscarrying or having to know you’re baby has been gone for a week and a half and your body isn’t letting it go. I ended up taking the Misoprostol to get my body to let it go and it was scary and so so painful but I had an ultrasound and my little embryo was gone. I recalled Julie O’Rourk’s interview when she mentioned her missed miscarriage and felt a little less alone. We had been trying for 2 years and had success with IUI. I’m just hoping so hard for a rainbow baby now.

    • Nathalie says...

      I felt this too. I took my then 4yo daughter with me to the 12 week ultrasound . . . only to find out the heartbeat had stopped at 9 weeks. No blood, no cramps, no signs of a miscarriage; it was such a shock.
      You are not alone. All the best to you on your journey.

  97. lk says...

    I too have dealt with miscarriages- now 16 and 17 years in the past. And I do not always think about them. But I think that my body knows and carries the memory deep within. I did have a beautiful baby afterwards but was told that there would be no more after her. She is a delight at age 15! I did not know that I had an autoimmune condition and that clotting was common with it. A baby aspirin daily has been my companion since.

    When I found out I was pregnant the first time I decided that I was pregnant with a dream- of being a mom, of hosting birthday parties, of teaching a child to ride a bike and drive a car, of a prom, of a wedding, of a scraped knee that I would bandage….. and that dream was lost and grief was real. I had the dream the second time too- believing that having the dream was worth the potential loss, even knowing what I knew. The third pregnancy, my daughter, I still clung to it – and have been very appreciative each day.

    I felt for my husband, who had no support group, no actual symptoms to make either the pregnancy or the loss real, no close circle of friends to shore him up. Being a woman can be so hard. But being a woman seems to allow for connection with others- and for that I am forever grateful.

  98. Rachel says...

    Yes and yes. I had a miscarriage pretty early, but I was so excited. I was SO excited. I ended up working from home through most of my miscarriage, because I didn’t know how to talk about it. We don’t talk about this!

    It was absolutely heartbreaking—a type of loss I’ve never experienced before. But telling people has been so freeing. I tell whomever I want now and it feels good. Hell, I’m part of a HUGE club of amazing women. Let’s talk about it more. Because it hurts so bad to loose a pregnancy, but it feels good to talk about it.

    Also, secret… I’m pregnant again!!! Only seven weeks—trying not to get too excited. This article is pretty spot on for what I’ve been going through: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pregnancy-after-a-miscarriage-is-different_b_5974856?guccounter=1

    • Sarah says...

      Congratulations!

    • Rebecca says...

      Congratulations!!!

  99. Bec says...

    I can’t tell you how seen this makes me feel. As a woman who has had three miscarriages so far this year, this was a (joy? joy doesn’t feel right, but there it is) joy to read. It weighs so heavy and feels so personal but at the same time feels a little freeing to tell people. Thank you for sharing.

  100. Meg says...

    Thank you so much for this story, Shaina, and thank you, COJ, for sharing it. Not sure if others saw Meghan McCain’s opinion piece about miscarriage in the NYT a couple of weeks back…First I was first thrilled to see that the NYT was covering such an important issue that continues to carry so much stigma for women, and then very quickly disappointed upon reading and finding that (in my opinion) it was a very thinly disguised political piece. Of course I do not doubt that the feelings Meghan had about her miscarriage were very real, but given the current political climate around reproductive rights, it made me both angry and sad that she chose to write about miscarriage the way she did. Did others read it? Thoughts?

    • Marie says...

      I read the article, and I am confused by what would make you angry or sad? Meghan shared her story, her pain, and how she is coping with her loss. Can you be explain specifically what angered you? I don’t think it is a thinly disguised political piece. She doesn’t seem like one to beat around the bush, and has been open about her views, but this piece doesn’t focus on that. Personally I do think there is an inconsistency in the way we talk about miscarriages being a loss of a human being, but talk about abortions as just a glob of cells. There is a dissonance.

  101. Jen says...

    Thank you for sharing. The more people are open about miscarriages, I think the better for all. However, please pause and consider the flip-side. Openness can sometimes bring the expectation of openness. I have had three miscarriages, all three following heartbeats, two of those pregnancies were twins. While I am private, I have shared what I could when I could. And I am still shocked at the reproach loved ones had for not knowing sooner, or not knowing more, or anything. While many of those comments came from a genuine desire to have given help sooner, many were also selfish -kind of like they hated that they missed out on gossip.

    Just remember for all the people who share their story of any kind of grief, there are those who simply cannot utter the words. Neither one is better than the other.

    • Robin says...

      I had a similar experience to you, where people were upset at me for not sharing as much as they wanted me to. They definitely expected openness, and I’m a private person. I’ve had a few people condescendingly tell me that it’s important to talk about my miscarriage as a way of healing. What they were really saying is that they wanted me to talk about my miscarriage to them. Some of my friends and family took it personally that I didn’t want to tell them all the details. It’s a deeply personal, private, sexual matter that involves two people (mother and father). Thanks for sharing your take on this.

    • Laura says...

      I had a similar experience after one of my miscarriages. I wasn’t ready to tell people right away, but I told 3 of my closest friends a couple of weeks after we found out. And one of my friends said that she was “devastated” I hadn’t told her sooner because she would have wanted to be supportive. I know it came from a good place, but I felt like, “devastated”? Really? It felt like she was saying I had done something wrong.

  102. Jessica says...

    This made me really happy to read. I experienced two miscarriages before having my daughter and at the time, I kept them secret from all but a select few people. I think I did this because I was worried that since we didn’t yet have children and I was in my mid 30s, it might turn out that we weren’t able, and some how it seemed important to not let people know we were trying if ultimately we weren’t successful. It was some weird psychology. But so much of fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood is a mind fuck anyways, I don’t know why I wanted to control this information so much. Because in hind sight I know it would have been so healthy to talk to other people about what we were going through. Especially the first one, I ended up on the hospital and it was traumatizing. I would now strongly encourage other women to talk about your experience. I felt so isolated at the time, but now that I understand how common my experience was, it somehow helps.

  103. L says...

    I didn’t tell anyone when I was going through it and regret it to this day. It made it so much harder for me and for my husband. I am currently supporting a colleague going through her own miscarriage and she texted me, “Talking with you…has been so helpful and has made me feel much less alone.” I’m glad that I was able to do for someone else what I could not for myself.

  104. Kat says...

    I had a miscarriage two years ago. I found out I was miscarrying on my birthday (what timing!). It was a silent miscarriage (i.e. my body didn’t know that the fetus had stopped developing and was still producing pregnancy hormones) and so I had to have a D&C. I didn’t talk about it (except with my husband and close friends) for about a year, but once I did, I felt better. I had a miscarriage. It sucks, but it happened. Why don’t we talk about miscarriages? Is it shame? I never felt like it was my fault, but there was a sense of embarrassment. It’s like showcasing that I wanted something badly, had it, and then lost it. Is it the wanting that’s embarrassing or the losing? There’s also so much embarrassment/shame surrounding infertility. We’ve been trying for the two years since my miscarriage, and are about to start IUI. It’s fine, we’re taking it one step at a time, but I’m reluctant to tell anyone lest they do the sad-face-hug thing. Please don’t pity me! It’s a frustrating process and I’m perfectly able to feel sorry for myself, but I can’t stand someone else feeling sorry for me. Especially since fertile couples don’t know the first thing about infertility. Like, it’s not always the woman! Even though I’m nearly 40. Sometimes it’s the man. Sometimes it’s (apparently) neither. I hate to turn down hugs, but it’s so hard to feel someone else’s sadness when I’m trying to fight my own.

  105. Rachel Hobbs says...

    This. I had a miscarriage in April at 8 weeks. Above all else, I felt an overwhelming need to talk about it, and to hear other’s stories. I told many more people that I had a miscarriage than I had told I was pregnant. I haven’t regretted telling any of them about it. The best was when people thanked me for sharing my story with them. It made me feel closer to everyone I told. Three months on, I am feeling better. But the whole experience opened my eyes to the pain and trauma that are bedfellows for every woman during pregnancy, childbirth, and the months after. Many women have experienced much worse than what I went through. It made me realize that we HAVE to talk about it. We have to share. We have to help each other. We have to help other women and men to understand our experience.

  106. Eva says...

    God I loved this

  107. Elisabeth says...

    I haven’t miscarried, but after 2 years of trying for a second, had a pretty significant hemorrhage at 8 weeks pregnant, on New Years Eve, on a flight home from a dear friend’s wedding, no less. I remember feeling like… I just couldn’t. My mom came over and made soup. My then three-year-old spent days snuggling and napping with me. My husband snuck worried looks my direction and did all the chores. Now at almost 38 weeks, with a healthy boy about to join our family, the pain of those long days still makes me want to cry. And it was a happy ending! Love to all the mamas with different endings.

    • Adina Wadsworth says...

      that is actually the definition of a miscarriage. i’m sorry. but happy for your family that you are in a good place now.

    • Clara says...

      @ Adina – no it isn’t! You can hemorrhage while pregnant and have significant bleeding but not loose the baby, which is what Elisabeth is saying has happened since she is now 38 weeks along.

    • Elisabeth says...

      @Adina – I hemorrhaged, but didn’t lose the pregnancy! I had no idea it was possible, but apparently lots of women have what are termed subchorionic hemorrhages (many don’t even know because they don’t bleed externally). Super scary, though.

  108. Robin says...

    I regret speaking about my miscarriage in many ways. I’ve received enough pitying hugs, unwanted advice and personal questions that whenever someone brings it up, I get defensive and angry. My family and friends helped me through the miscarriage because my husband was out of the country. I’m grateful to them, but now they feel entitled to know exactly what’s happening with my fertility. In the months since my miscarriage, they’ve asked repeatedly if we’re trying for a baby again, if I’m pregnant, if I’m ovulating, if I’m bleeding, how often I have sex, what my husband’s sperm count is, if I’m taking medication. I’ve been told it wasn’t a real baby (just an embryo), at least I can get pregnant, and that I look “mature” (old) after the loss. My parents were upset that I didn’t tell them about my pregnancy until I was miscarrying. They said they deserve to share the joy of my pregnancy, as well as the grief of a miscarriage. Now I wonder, do I owe it to them to tell them immediately if I get pregnant again?

    Six months post-miscarriage, I’ve learned to say “I’m feeling private about it”, or “I’d rather not talk about it now”. This is always followed by awkwardness, but generally the conversation recovers. Choosing to talk about your miscarriage is a double-edged sword. If I get pregnant and miscarry again, I’ll think very carefully before sharing it with anyone other than my husband.

    • Emma says...

      Robin, I am so sorry! This sounds so painful. It sounds like you’ve landed on exactly the right response to all of their queries. I hope they understand to give you the privacy you need.

    • Alissa M says...

      What’s empowering for some would be exhausting for others. The most important thing is knowing how sharing makes you feel, and it sounds like you know, and you are taking good care of yourself. “I’m feeling private about it,” is the perfect response.

      I’m sending you hugs… distant hugs from a stranger who understands.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m so sorry, Robin. I think, knowing my family, that I will keep things between my husband and myself as well. They sound similar to your family – once the gates are open to having these types of conversations, they won’t understand if we decide we don’t feel like sharing everything, after all.

    • Liz says...

      I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this – what unbelievably invasive questions!

      I had a somewhat mixed experience – we shared our pregnancy news with close family and friends, and since my miscarriage 3 weeks ago I have experienced a range of reactions from people. From very supportive to invasive to completely absent.

      I think you are entitled to tell whoever you want about your pregnancy. My mother was incredibly helpful throughout my pregnancy and miscarriage, whereas my mother-in-law told many people about the pregnancy without consulting us and shared our miscarriage news to some family who I would have rather told. I worry it might be unfair, but I will probably just tell my parents and those who actually supported us about another pregnancy, if god willing it ever happens for us again.

    • K says...

      Robin, I’m glad you’re speaking to this side of things. I’m so sorry you had to experience this. I too regret telling people about my miscarriages. I had some helpful “I’m sorry”s but most of the responses were hurtful and self-centered, giving me unwanted advice and telling me it was good it happened because there was probably something wrong with the baby anyways, or that this was awkward to talk about. Although I’m all for being transparent and honest and getting rid of taboos, it took me a long time to let myself feel okay if I wanted to be private about it and to do what’s best for me. In my experience talking about it has led to even more trauma that I’ve had to work through. Whatever’s best for each person…

  109. Jillian says...

    I had a miscarriage shortly after my husband and I started trying. I found out on our dating anniversary, 11/21, and ran out excitedly to tell my husband and was so bewildered (because I didn’t expect the positive) that I had forgotten to pull my pants up.

    Less than a week later, I started spotting and just instinctively knew. The doctors confirmed it the following day and I was remember feeling so utterly broken, especially since everywhere I turned I saw people announcing their own pregnancies.

    Then 6 months to the exact day, 6/21, I took a test and found out our son was on his way. I woke up my husband up at 7am by literally jumping on him in bed and he was startled, but said yay and went back to sleep.

    I thought the fear would end there, but for every single appt, every ultrasound, etc, I expected not to hear a heartbeat. I was terrified for most of my pregnancy and only let out a deep breath once he slide from my body and was placed on my chest.

    The biggest thing for me was how amazing people were when I told them. I made it a point to share because I knew that I didn’t have anything to be ashamed of and I knew that they happened, my mother had had two, my grandmother as well. People sent so much love my way, it brought me to tears. I think my favorite memory was going back to work (all of my coworkers knew-we are a tight knit bunch) and one of my coworkers held out his arms and asked if I was ok to get hugs.

    • Airlie says...

      We have such similar stories. With my first pregnancy, I also found out on our dating anniversary. I was so shocked that the test was positive since we had not been trying for very long. I miscarried the next week.

      18 months later I was pregnant with our son. Those nine months of pregnancy were so long and terrifying. I expected the worst at every single appointment. It wasn’t until the doctor pulled him out (c-section) and I heard him cry that I finally took a deep breath.

      Now that I’m on the other side I have an easier time talking about my three losses. It’s just so damn hard to go through.

  110. Wendela says...

    What a perfect piece. I loved this. Won’t send “hugs” to the writer, but instead sending all good wishes for future family building. I hope some day a second lucky kid gets to have you for a mother!

  111. J says...

    <3

  112. MK says...

    I was just shy of six weeks pregnant when my period unceremoniously showed up. I was shocked. To make things worse, the nurse on the phone at my GYN’s office told me with exasperation that it was “not technically a miscarriage.” I have never felt so slapped in the face.
    Perhaps she was right- it does seem like what happened to me was a chemical pregnancy, but JESUS LADY. Get a fucking bedside manner. I still lost a pregnancy and felt it deeply. I still carry anger over this incident and have since shied away from calling in as I used to.
    I am still mourning that loss and I’m still trying to get pregnant. Big hugs to everyone who is going through something difficult.

    • Anne says...

      Oh I feel this! I am in the same boat with unsympathetic providers. I get that they see chemical pregnancies (and probably much later miscarriages) every day and are a bit desensitized to it but seriously, choose a different job if you can’t understand that a “chemical pregnancy” to you is a future the patient has spent weeks (and months, and years) dreaming about. I hope you have friends and family who can share the burden of anxiety that comes with all of this <3

    • Krista Estell says...

      You are right, that is a miscarriage. It is a child of your heart. Mourn as long as you need to.

    • Adina Wadsworth says...

      i’m sorry that happened to you. a chemical miscarriage IS a miscarriage! the minute you pee on a stick and see the positive lines, you are a mama! it took me 3 years to get pregnant, with multiple miscarriages at different stages. my son is 12 now. good luck to you.

    • Emma says...

      I work in public health and, in my field, your experience would absolutely be counted as a miscarriage. I’m so sorry for your loss and the way you were treated.

    • Caroline says...

      I miscarried at around six weeks last week. I didn’t bother calling my GYN because I didn’t think it would register as a big deal to them – I’m sad to learn from your story that my fears weren’t crazy. So sorry for your loss and for the way you were treated.

  113. taja says...

    My Argentinian friend told me a long time ago (when I wasn’t even considering having children) in her opinion it’s best to tell friends and family early on that you’re pregnant, so that if you have a miscarriage, they also know what is going on with you and can be there for you if you need them.
    So when i got pregnant for the second time, i shared it with everyone i met. And then in the 9th week i had a miscarriage (had to go to the hospital, lost SO much blood, it was physically and emotionally exhausting) and everyone knew. And i felt so free and empowered. This was mine, i had endured it and it helped me so much that people knew. When I was a bit depressed a month later and told one of my friends how things are so crappy, she said: “of course you feel that way – it’s like you’re having pms this last month, your body needs to let go of all the hormones that build up in those 9weeks.” And i was like: YES!! thank you! i haven’t thought about it… it helped me put things in perspective.
    Also this last spring two of my good friends came to me (the same day!) and said “i had a miscarriage, it was the same time you did. I need to talk about it”. it felt nice to be able to help.
    I know everybody’s not happy to share so openly and it’s ok. But i encourage women who don’t have a problem sharing these stories to do so, it is so common and you don’t feel alone, when you know others have had it…
    pregnant the fourth time (8w) with my third child right now, so keeping my fingers crossed!

  114. Jakia says...

    Thank you for sharing. I especially appreciated your colleague gifting you Oreos.

  115. LM says...

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have had two miscarriages – one before I had my 3-year old son, and one before my current pregnancy that (fingers crossed) seems to be going well so far. The two miscarriages were very different experiences. The first one I miscarried at home at 11 weeks, which was painful and scary. The second time, I opted to have a MVA procedure in my doctor’s office after finding out at 9 weeks that there was no heartbeat . Both experiences were sad and isolating in different ways but in both situations, the kindness and empathy of the various nurses and doctors involved really touched my heart. Also good friends who just showed up with food and who were willing to listen as I processed the experience. Being pregnant again, now, after having miscarriages, is a humbling experience with a lot of worry, but I’m trying to take it a step at a time. Sending love to everyone who has been through pregnancy loss – you are certainly not alone.

    • Eve says...

      Same in so many ways! Home miscarriage at 10 weeks (well, on work travel actually, so it was a hotel miscarriage), healthy baby, scheduled D&C miscarriage at 11 weeks, and now a “fingers crossed” pregnancy. When I tell people the new due date I can’t help but add, “if all goes well.” Best of luck, LM.

  116. Anne says...

    I literally just came to COJ to distract myself from Googling “miscarriage rates by week” for the millionth time today. I’m seven weeks pregnant for the first time and the emotional roller coaster of the last two weeks has really been taking a toll on me. When I saw this headline, I thought “give me a freaking break, universe” but as always, there was comfort, community and humor tucked into a difficult topic. Thanks for always serving up exactly what I need <3

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, anne, that means so much to us! thank you so much, and sending you and your growing little one love today xoxo

  117. Meagan says...

    I love this – I had a miscarriage several years ago after trying to get pregnant for years, it was heart shattering and I was not okay for quite awhile, but tried putting on a happy face and it was just a mess. I look back at that period in my life now with so much sadness, not just for losing the baby but for losing myself for so long. I wish I had shared what I was going through instead of acting like I was fine and doing things like crying alone in the bathroom or drinking way too much at our company holiday party after a coworker announced her pregnancy.

  118. Nicole says...

    Thanks for this story, and for the others you have posted that bring attention to women’s (and human, really) issues that are not often discussed (fertility, surrogacy, etc.). I think the biggest take-away from hearing from more women on these issues is that although sadness/heartbreak is universal, reactions are not- some feel relief from sharing, some don’t. Some need a hug, some need a pastrami:) I didn’t want to talk about my miscarriage AT ALL until I had some distance from it. It’s a good reminder that just being there for a person and hearing from them what they need is the most important thing of all.

  119. rose says...

    What a beautiful turn to an often sad occasion. You have such good friends and a wise head on your shoulders!

  120. Liz says...

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I just had a missed-miscarriage three weeks ago. I went to my 11 month appointment and my doctor wasn’t able to find a heartbeat. Since then, in addition to grief and trying to process everything, I’ve been dealing with the aftermath – bleeding, pain, monitoring HCG levels. Some moments I feel hopeful about trying again and others I’m still so sad and angry about this loss, jealous at pregnancy announcements etc. Grief is such a roller coaster. After taking quite a while to even get pregnant, the uncertainty and lack of control over this whole process has been very hard for me to deal with.

    I love that you felt empowered to share your story with others. I’ve also been sharing my sad news with some people who didn’t know that I was initially pregnant and it has been very freeing. I’m glad that some people know what I’m going through, even if we didn’t have the chance to share our happy news with them first. Wishing you healing and many happy days to come <3

    • Liz says...

      11 week appointment*

  121. Britt says...

    Thank you for being open about this and sharing. After one miscarriage at 12 weeks, a year and a half of trying to become pregnant, I gave birth to our daughter, Alexandra, prematurely at 26 weeks and 3 days. She lived strong and growing until her 25th day when a terrible, invasive bacteria sent her into septic shock and she died in January. I’m heart broken. And I always want to talk about her but…talking about dead babies is never something people want to do. Just wanted to share this challenges.
    Also, I wanted to say I appreciate the articles and people sharing motherhood in other ways here on Cup of Jo. One comment though – I’ll speak for myself – particularly when the article is about wanting and not being able to have a child, the pictures of small babies on the side bar that show up EVERY Monday are so difficult to see – I’ve heard this from other women who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. As a blog that is so supportive of all different challenges and needs, I wanted to let you know though not expecting you to change anything in particular.

    • Jessica says...

      I feel you so strongly Britt. I lost my son at 27 weeks pregnancy. It was devastating. People don’t understand how the grief can pop up in random ways through seemingly harmless conversations. People would often ask me after if I had kids, and this is such a tricky question to answer, because, as you said, people don’t like talking about dead kids. Almost any answer, truthful or not, leads to awkwardness or unwanted follow up questions, or unnecessary platitudes. There’s no way to avoid this, it’s just one of the grief burdens parents who’ve experienced loss carry every day.

    • Kelsey says...

      Dear Britt,

      I am so, so sorry for your loss. And I’m also devastated for you that you haven’t found anyone (many people?) who will listen to you talk about your sweet daughter. It makes me wish it weren’t creepy to ask if you’re local to me so I could take you out for coffee. Everyone deserves a sympathetic ear, especially for the hardest stuff.

      Wishing you much strength…

    • Cecile says...

      Sending you so much love, Britt. After seven miscarriages I know it’s true: quite a lot of people just don’t like to talk about these things. But then one friend does, and sits with me, and helps me share. And then one colleague lets me know he still thinks about my loss, even though he doesn’t know what to say. And it makes all the awkwardness and vulnerability worth it, to me. Because the loneliness is as afwul as the loss itself.

    • Emily says...

      Britt, thanks for sharing your experiences with miscarriage and the loss of your daughter Alexandra. Sending you hugs.
      I hear you on the sidebar photos and have noticed this too. It’s a tough juxaposition.

    • Lisa says...

      So sorry for your loss Britt. You sound like an amazingly strong woman. Thank you for sharing your story, and even if in real life people don’t want to talk you can always count on CoJ readers to be there for you. Xx

    • K says...

      I wish I knew something better to say, but I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

    • Anne U says...

      Oh Britt. We had a miscarriage before welcoming our firstborn daughter, Ava, at 38 weeks…only to have to say goodbye a day later. We then lost two more before opening our arms to three healthy children…all now under the age of four. As I read your words, my eyes filled because it just doesn’t seem like that long ago that your words were my own. Empty-armed and aching for our Ava girl. Though the ache has not lessened, I could never have imagined five years ago that slowly, deep joy would return, as well. I so vividly remember feeling like life was forever going to be lived in black and white after Ava died…I just couldn’t believe that color would slowly, but surely return. Not without scars. But somehow, in ways I can’t articulate, I promise those scars will become the most beautiful parts of you. I wish so badly that I could simply sit on your floor and listen to you talk about every little bit of your precious girl. To cry, to laugh, to question…as we poured over pictures of your beautiful Alexandra. Though we don’t know one another, know that I am holding you close and whispering prayers for you, brave mama. One step, one breath at a time as you learn to walk with a limp. You are so loved. And your precious girl is, too.

    • Yulia says...

      Hi Britt. What was Alexandra like? I would love to hear all about her and the time you had together. Much love.

  122. Marie says...

    I also had a miscarriage. We went for our first ultrasound on December 24th, thinking we were going to announce our first pregnancy to the whole family later that day when hosting a Christmas eve dinner. Unfortunately, the ultrasound showed the baby had no heartbeat. We were devastated. We canceled Christmas, and I had surgery on Christmas day.

    I was terribly depressed for the next three months. One of my greatest fears in life was to not be able to become a mom. That miscarriage hit hard. Talking about it with the women in my life made me realize that it happens so much more than we think or know.

    One thing that helped me was to keep a list of all the women who told me they had a miscarriage, and of the names of the children they had after that. I kept that list with me at all times to remind me this wasn’t the end.

    I was lucky to get pregnant again three months later, and then three years after that. I now have two beautiful, healthy children of my own.

  123. A says...

    Thank you for sharing. I find it really healing to hear that other women are going through the same thing. Stories are just so much better than the statistic.

    I miscarried in April at 10 weeks and then again earlier this month at 6 weeks. I’m trying to get pregnant again but am so nervous.. I’m not sure if I can handle another loss.

    • Lauren says...

      What a beautiful line (and could by COJ motto): Stories are so much better than the Statistic.
      Keeping you in my thoughts xo

  124. Alice says...

    I’ve never read a miscarriage story like this, but it mirrors my own miscarriage experience exactly. Thank you for writing and posting. Feeling seen and in solidarity.

  125. Allison says...

    This story was heartbreakingly beautiful and incredibly well written. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for allowing me the privilege to read it. You are strong.

  126. Britt Taverner says...

    There is a really great movement on Instagram, called @ihadamiscarriage, that addresses the silence and trauma that women (and men!) go through when they suffer a miscarriage or other pregnancy loss. We lost our daughter at 5 1/2 months pregnant, and I never thought I’d be able to move forward again, much less even out of my own bed. In addition, we suffered two first term losses, and one full-term pregnancy which resulted in the birth of our beautiful son. Seeing so many people being so supportive of one another, and sharing their loss stories on @ihadamiscarriage has been exceptionally helpful. Dr. Jessica Zucker is the founder behind the instagram handle, and she has done a lot of really important work. I highly recommend for anyone struggling, throughout whatever part of your life and loss story you are on.

  127. Josie says...

    I’d been in my 5th month of fertility treatments with my second child when I got pregnant. I was so happy – for the new baby and for the hell of fertility treatments (appointments, needles, 7am transvaginal ultrasounds, oh my!) to be over. And then at a day shy of the 6-week mark, I had my miscarriage. I was actually at work when it happened…and me being me, I just stayed at work. I figured I’d do better to tough it out than go be sad at home alone (maybe not my best decision). I didn’t talk about it much after – not really because I don’t like talking about taboo subjects (I do, I’m very vocal about infertility and about post partum depression), but I guess I felt like a barely 6-week pregnancy didn’t warrant me calling it a miscarriage – even though I truly felt that it was.
    So thank you for writing this and validating my feelings that a miscarriage, at any week, is a miscarriage. And we’re all allowed to mourn it as we feel.

  128. elizabeth says...

    This is so relatable! I also had an early miscarriage back in December and once I got over the immediate sadness and confusion, I could not keep it secret. Talking about it, even when it felt like it didn’t ‘count’ because it was so early, made me feel so much better. Did it make a few people uncomfortable because it’s a taboo topic? Yes. But it did it help me heal? Yes x 100. Thank you for this article it rings so true and close to my heart.

  129. Megan Ruth Rowlinson says...

    This is so beautiful. Although miscarriage is so common, it still remains to be a taboo subject in our society. Sharing stories like yours helps remove the stigma. Thank you. Wilmington, DE

  130. Abby says...

    This piece is beautiful. I am moved. Thank you, thank you!

    My only thought, at the end of this particular story, the signoff is *sending hugs*? Really? I’ll be sticking with supportive vibes & pastrami ;-)

  131. Emma says...

    Thanks for this beautiful piece, Shaina! I had a miscarriage last spring, and felt so guilty about it at the time. Even though I knew the facts about miscarriage (how common it is, how most of the time it’s caused by fetal abnormalities), some part of me felt like I must have done something to cause it, like I had hurt this tiny growing being inside me. I felt like I had been irresponsible and like I wasn’t caring or gentle enough to be a mom. I still sometimes feel that way when I think about it, to be honest. But each miscarriage story I read, and each person I talk to who shares their story with me, makes me feel a little bit better. One image in particular stuck with me. Someone told me that maybe that tiny spark hadn’t been able to survive in me, because maybe it wasn’t really meant to be a person — maybe it was meant to be a garden rose, or a butterfly, or something else, and after my miscarriage it grew into one of those instead. Sometimes knowing the facts isn’t enough, but connecting with other people, learning about their experiences, and reframing our own experiences in a new way is.

    • Nicole says...

      This is a really beautiful thought, Emma! Perhaps the baby that I lost has come back as a flower or something similarly beautiful.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s really beautiful, emma. i’m so sorry for your loss.

  132. Toni says...

    YES! THIS.

    I recently went through a gnarly miscarriage after a blissful 9 weeks of pregnancy. I’m so grateful not to have hidden it because I received heaps of support from all sorts of unexpected sources. I don’t have any kids yet and whenever people ask if little ones are in my future, the “maybe” hurts so much.

    Thank you COJ for giving voice to this common and heartbreaking thing that happens to so many of us.

    A piece of advice when offering support to women going through a miscarriage: Never say “it was nature’s way” or “it wasn’t meant to be” or “there will be other pregnancies in your future” or something to that effect. To me these sentiments felt incredibly demeaning. And, sadly, there very well may not be another pregnancy in my future. Grief is what follows a miscarriage so try to look through that lens as you comfort your loved one. They will need a lot of comfort.

    • Karen says...

      100x yes to the last bits of advice here. I had three consecutive losses before what is now my fourth pregnancy, currently 22 weeks, and people don’t realize how each baby is unique to my husband and me. Beyond just saying it wasn’t meant to be about the babies we’ve lost, there are people in my life who’ve said this is the baby we were meant to have, not the others. Which feels to me like a way for them to wash away the babies, Avery, Robin, and Shea, that we lost and the struggle we’ve gone through over the past two years. I understand the impulse, but this sort of thing isn’t something that’s fixed with a replacement. And that line of thought shuts down any conversation of the real challenges that loss and pregnancy after loss presents to families.

    • Ingrid says...

      This is what I wanted to say. Don’t try to make someone feel better about a miscarriage. It’s sad. Say you’re sorry. Offer condolences. Never say it was for the best, or you’ll have another child. Please. You don’t know how much it hurts.

  133. Mara says...

    Thank you for sharing this story. I had a miscarriage a few years ago while visiting family over Thanksgiving break. I was fortunate not to have a lot of pain, and because I don’t travel home very often, I kept all the plans I had made for the day and just went about business as usual. It felt sort of perverse to be sitting in the homes of my childhood friends while actively having a miscarriage and not mentioning it to anyone. By the end of the day I was totally wiped out and bled into the very expensive brand-new jumpsuit I was wearing, which was weirdly what made me most upset about the whole experience. All of this is to say that miscarriages are not all the same, and that people respond differently than how we are socialized to think we ought to respond. This is what I loved about your story.

  134. H says...

    Thank you for sharing this story! It’s nice to see how different women cope with a miscarriage. I had one while going through IVF treatments, and I wasn’t prepared for how devastating it would be. Objectively, I knew the statistics (even more so because I went through IVF- I knew our chances of pregnancy, chances of the embryo splitting into twins, chances of miscarriage, etc.), but even that knowledge didn’t protect my heart when it happened. Only our immediate family knew about the fertility treatments, and we were waiting to announce our pregnancy at an upcoming family dinner where both sides would be there. Instead, we had to call to tell them we lost our baby. Much like the people in this article’s story, our families did not know how to react or what to say. Many of their reactions were unintentionally hurtful- a hearty “well at least you got pregnant! The next transfer could work!” was the opposite of what I needed to hear at the time. I went to work the next day and nobody knew anything was wrong. It was so brave of the author to share with people and I hope miscarriage becomes a more normal part of our conversations (along with helpful things to say when someone you know goes through one)!

    • ‘even that knowledge didn’t protect my heart…’
      the knowledge never does, does it? So beautiful.

  135. Kahani says...

    Last year, something happened to me that I’d never even heard was possible. It’s called a “missed miscarriage” in the UK and it means that you miscarried but your body had no idea.

    I was prepared for the possibility of an early miscarriage. I kept my pregnancy largely secret, did everything right and held my breath until we’d made it past the 12th week and all seemed well. My belly was just that tiniest bit bigger, the first trimester symptoms were fading as they were meant to do. I was happy and glowing when I lay back for my 13th week ultrasound.

    That’s when I learnt that my baby had stopped growing in the 7th week and my body had no idea. I felt incredibly betrayed, uncertain and just going from happy fog to complete devastation was so so hard. I had to have surgery in the end because my body was not giving up this pregnancy willingly. I’d wake up at 4am, hungry and just feel like screaming at the lies my body was telling me.

    I’m now pregnant again and 5 months along. Everything is going well and I couldn’t be happier. But I grieve so much for that first baby at times I can barely breathe.

    This time I told everyone I came into daily contact with that I was pregnant and it was early days. Because if the miscarriage should happen, they would need to know anyway. And it was a relief both to talk about my early pregnancy and about my past miscarriage.

    • Toni says...

      Oh Kahani, I’m so sorry. I just went through the same thing and, like you, I learned about it as I was going through it. It’s totally heartbreaking and I think a piece of me will always grieve that first little bean. I’m praying for a rainbow baby and I am so happy you got yours. Sending all good vibes your way.

    • Carolyn says...

      I had such a similar experience, a long awaited pregnancy after almost giving up, and blindsided at the 12 week ultrasound. No heartbeat, fetal demise at 8 weeks. My body gave no sign and held on for weeks until I had to have a D&C. Utter heartbreak. We had not shared the pregnancy news with anyone yet, waiting until after the ultrasound, so I felt so completely alone. It’s so hard to talk about, let alone reveal your pregnancy & miscarriage all at once. The grief is real and it will always be there, a tiny little blueberry sized space in my heart reserved for all the love that was already there for the little one that never was.

      I write this while nursing my “rainbow baby”, a gift I do not take for granted after such a loss.

      Yes to talking about these experiences, to lessen the feeling that we have to hide them away, to help make us feel less alone. The knowledge that miscarriages are so common certainly doesn’t lessen the pain of them, but can help us to share the burden of it.

    • Erica says...

      I had a missed miscarriage at 9 weeks last summer, and then got pregnant very quickly with my son who is now 3 weeks old. I didn’t really ever relax into the pregnancy, although things got easier once I could feel him moving around a lot which (of course) didn’t happen until almost 30 weeks because I had anterior placenta. I’ve described it as Schrodinger’s uterus – unless I had JUST had an ultrasound or a midwife appointment with Doppler, I assumed there was at least a 50-50 shot that he was gone. I just didn’t trust my body to carry the pregnancy after that experience. It’s so hard. I agree with the need to talk about both the pregnancy and the miscarriage, and so, so very often when I shared with other women their response was a heartfelt “I’m sorry. And me too.”

    • Eli says...

      I am so incredibly sorry. I went through the same thing at 12 weeks back in February – I was beyond devastated and felt I had let my body down. And I didn’t share this with anyone – I’m now wising I had.

      We are trying again now (and trying not to lose hope). Sending you the happiest and healthiest wishes. Just reading all these comments makes me feel less alone.

    • Emily says...

      I’ve also had two “missed” miscarriages, and just like the other commenters here, I was totally blindsided, even the second time. I’ll never forget seeing each baby on the ultrasound screen and the technician quietly searching for a heartbeat. The first time I was 17 weeks along and assumed I was past the point of miscarriage.
      I’m now 21 weeks along with another pregnancy, and like Erica, the farther I get from each ultrasound appointment, the more I start to assume the worst. I’m feeling movement now but I still don’t quite trust that all is ok.
      Anyway, what I’ve learned through all of this is to be completely open about my pregnancy and miscarriages. My husband and I felt so supported by friends and family, especially after the 2nd trimester miscarriage and I can’t imagine going through that and feeling like we needed to keep it a secret. And now when people ask me how this pregnancy compares to my first (I have a 4 year old), I tell them that it’s actually my 4th pregnancy. I try to take the opportunity to make it a subject that we all feel more open talking about. I know it’s a personal decision, but I do think that the more people talk about miscarriage the less taboo and more understood it will become.
      Sending lots of love to all that have experienced this type of loss. The most helpful thing in processing the grief for me was going to a support group and talking with others that had a similar experience.

    • Kahani says...

      Thank you all of you for such lovely responses. You’ve totally made me tear up but in a good way. Hugs to all and “rainbow baby” is such a beautiful name. I really think we should be open about this to our friends and family whose support you need. The only people I shielded were other new mums who were either carrying or having babies around the time. In no way did I want my pain to take away their joy. But everyone else, from my supervisor, to neighbours and friends were wonderful and I needed that so much at the time.

  136. samantha says...

    Thank you so much for sharing–it does indeed feel empowering to hear other stories about strong women who’ve endured the same sadness. I had a miscarriage last fall after knowing I was pregnant for only a week. Then it took an entire month for the pregnancy to completely disappear. It was a grueling month of blood draws and shots and hoping my HCG would drop back down to zero. A whole month of confusion and frustration. Then my HCG hit zero and I felt free.

    Again, thank you for sharing and thank you for letting me share. Sending you lots of love!

    • Laura says...

      This was the same process my miscarriage was and it was devastating. We had been trying for a baby for over a year. My sister-in-law and my best friend also got pregnant in the same month as I had, and that was bittersweet.
      I didn’t know anyone who had been though a miscarriage (or so I thought) until mine. The most healing was when people shared their story with me. I didn’t feel so alone. This was 11 years ago and I still feel sad about it sometimes, though I do have a wonderful 10 year old boy now.

    • samantha says...

      Laura – I had no idea a miscarriage could be long and drawn out like that. It’s silly now, looking back, to think I felt so alone when it is so common and so many women I know can commiserate. Thank you for sharing! Each story I hear makes me feel more and more like I will get through this and we will come out on the other side as a family of 3 (eventually)!

  137. Molly G says...

    Beautiful story and beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing.