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My Miscarriage Story: Sad, but Not Devastating

I had a miscarriage and you know what, the experience wasn’t even half as devastating to me as I thought it might be. If you had talked to me about what I thought it would be like before I would only be able to bring up the portrayals I’d seen on TV and in movies of completely distraught women barely able to go on. It wasn’t like that at all.

I want to share what happened to me, how I felt about it, and most importantly that the experience was like many things in life – it sucks and then you get over it and move on. Be forewarned I may mention blood and “female” things. 

About 5 ½ - 6 weeks into my pregnancy I started spotting (seeing blood when I went to the bathroom). Not a lot, certainly not a period, but definitely enough to cause me to worry. I called the doctor and got many assurances that this happens all the time, most likely nothing to worry about, and ultimately there was nothing that could be done anyway. So sit tight and let us know if it gets worse. Unfortunately, it did get worse.

I was doing a bitters demo at the Eat Real Festival. We had just parked the car, and as I got out I felt a rush of blood soak my underwear. Waiting in line for 10 minutes to get into the bathroom I just keep hoping I was mistaken. I was actually wishing I had wet my pants. But no, I still had complete control over my bladder and instead saw enough blood to know things weren’t good, but not enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room.

It was possible things could still be fine from here, but I was finding it hard to be positive. However, there was little I could do at that moment, so I decided to go through with the demo. At the very least it would distract me. I didn’t bleed the rest of the day, but that wasn’t at all reassuring.

The next morning I made an appointment to see the doctor and have an ultra sound. The few days in between I had some spotting, but nothing like that Saturday. I tried to be positive, take it easy, and not stress out.

The visit to the doctor was anything but reassuring. The egg sack couldn’t be seen on the ultra sound, yet I had plenty of pregnancy hormones in my blood. So it meant either the embryo never implanted or I had an ectopic pregnancy – an even scarier possibility. We headed straight for the lab to get blood tests that would help to determine one scenario over the other. They would test for levels of hormones in my blood then test again in a few days. If there was a decrease it would mean the pregnancy never took and if there was an increase I was in trouble. In the meantime I had to sit and wait.

But before I even got my results I lost the baby for sure. I passed what looked like a huge blood clot while going to the bathroom. I felt it slip out of me, but there was no cramping, no incidence at all really. In that moment I felt more relief than sadness. I finally knew something for certain. I went back to work and didn’t say anything to anyone till I saw Dan that evening. 

I do not want to underplay the emotional impact experiencing a miscarriage has on women, for some it is truly devastating. However, I believe my experience is more the norm for most women. I went home that day and cried a lot. I had one truly rough week full of tears and genuine heartache. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about what had happened. I didn’t want to think about it or be reminded, my mind was doing enough lingering on it’s own.

But eventually the tears lessened and the sadness lessened. I learned how common it actually was, that it also didn’t mean I couldn’t get pregnant again or that I wouldn’t have a perfectly normal pregnancy the second time. Now, more than a month later it still weighs heavy on me at times, but it’s momentary. I have tears in my eyes as I write this, but I don’t have the same sadness and I also know it’s momentary. Dan and I will try again and if I have another miscarriage I know I will get through it.

The hardest part hasn’t been the experience itself, but instead other people’s reactions. I want to talk about the miscarriage now. Not to everyone, not all the time, but I want to be able to say I had a miscarriage without the crushing look of pity that often follows. I want to say it like someone would say my grandfather passed. Yes it’s sad, but not only will I get over it as most everyone does, it’s a part of life.

There are a lot of societal conditions behind that look of pity that I really don’t care to get into. I just want there to be more conversation and less mystery. I found that many of my friends had experienced a miscarriage, maybe even several, but I didn’t know till I brought up my own. I also learned that roughly 1 in 5 women experience a miscarriage. That’s a lot of women. That’s actually higher than your risk of getting breast cancer (1 in 8), yet we hear about breast cancer all the time and celebrate the stories of women who have survived it. 

I feel a bit like my miscarriage is my dirty little secret. I’m sharing my story so it’s no longer a secret. I’m sharing in the hopes that more women will talk about it. I’m sharing so that maybe one woman will read this before she has a miscarriage and know she’s not alone, it sucks, but she’ll get over it.