I Need to Talk About My Miscarriage
ashley williams

Hi Ashley! I love your work, first off. You’re so. Damn. Likeable! Secondly, I’m so sorry for your loss. I had a miscarriage last December. Stars…they’re just like us. At my first 8-week appointment, I measured 6 weeks. I think that’s when I lost it, 6 weeks, but didn’t start bleeding until 10 weeks.

I have since been wondering why nobody talks about it unless prompted. I want people to know it happens, much more frequently than they realize. That it’s not just an emotional distress, but also incredibly physically painful. I opted to have a natural miscarriage and bled for 6 weeks. A daily reminder of what was no longer. But I just could not bring myself to get the d&c. For those who do not know, that’s the same procedure as an abortion. It wasn’t a choice for me, especially after hearing doctors refer to a miscarriage as “involuntary abortion”. Yup. That’s what they said. Knife twist.

I was walking home from work one night and I just felt incredibly heavy and exhausted. Feet hurt, everything hurt. I noticed that night I had started to bleed, slightly. By chance, I had an appointment with my OB/GYN the next day and she confirmed what I had felt in my gut. No more baby. Since it was December 23rd, she gave me a prescription for misoprostol, the pills you insert to make your uterus contract to expel everything. She knew I was going to attempt it naturally, but she gave them just in case…since the holidays were coming and the pharmacies might not be open if I changed my mind. All she told me was to go to the ER if I felt I was hemorrhaging.

The next day, my husband and I had tickets to see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center and since I expected nothing more than a heavy period, I didn’t think it would be much of an issue. Thankfully, I made it through the day with only some minor cramping, but as soon as the train pulled in to our suburban NJ town, I told my husband “I need a bathroom right now”. And I meant it. I rode home in the backseat of our car on all fours because I didn’t want to stain anything. I got home and I was covered in blood from pelvis to ankle.

I sat on the toilet all night. Our bathroom looked like a murder scene. I have never seen so much blood in real life. Finally it slowed enough to put in a heavy duty pad and sit on the couch. I thought everything had passed until the next day. Christmas Day. I spent 2 hours writhing in pain on my floor, having full on contractions, 3 minutes apart, before I decided it was time for the pills. In they went. Wait. Wait. Nothing. Ok, maybe it’s over.

I went back to the doctor a couple days later to make sure eveyrthing was gone, even though I was still bleeding a bit. Nope. She gave me another dose of pills, which I proceeded to take that night…New Year’s Eve. Still, nothing came out.

After 6 weeks, I finally stopped bleeding. A week later, I got a period. How there was anything in there is beyond me. And it was with that period that the sac and remaining tissue expelled.

After that, I needed some time to recover mentally before we started trying again. 9 months after the miscarriage, we’re still trying. I’m terrified to see a positive test again, because I can’t imagine having to go through that again. Ever.

Thank you for telling your story and for reminding all of us that we are not failures. It was nothing you did or didn’t do, nothing I did or didn’t do. It’s nature. And it can sometimes be evil. But sometimes it can be wonderful. And I know you recognize that each time you look at Gus.

Good luck to you!

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