Miscarriage: It Happens To Lots Of Women But It Still Fucking Sucks

During my miscarriage, I read so many testimonials. It was the most helpful thing throughout the loss. To hear other women’s experiences made me feel less alone. Here’s my story.

The first ultrasound

When you pee on that stick and see two lines, you want to throw up and be excited. At only 29ish, I didn’t feel ready but then this rush of confidence and saying “ok, I am going to be a Mom. Time to pull my shit together” attitude took over.

The first ultrasound was so fun, because it made it more real. Actually, that’s bullshit, it was hell and I’ll tell you why. We sit down in the waiting room and get called to the ultrasound room after an hour wait. The woman has me undress and she makes small talk while she is all up in there. Then she finds the baby and she sees a heartbeat! My husband started tearing up hearing the strong 140 bpm heartbeat of our unborn child. As soon as we get excited, she asks me if I’m sure about the date of my last period. That’s when I got worried. Why wouldn’t I be?

She looks concerned, turns off the monitor, and then says it’s measuring two weeks behind and the doctor will tell me more. So I go outside into the waiting room and sit with my husband.

  1. Telling me that info was the worst thing she could do.
  2. Searching on Google during the waiting period was the worst thing I could do.

I started reading all the blogs about when your baby is measuring behind and it essentially says everything is OK or you’re going to miscarry. So I was freaking out as any normal, youngish, pregnant woman would.

You’re fine

The doctor told me I was fine. I was young, I was in good health. She sees this all of the time. There was a heartbeat. She sends me home and has me come back 2 weeks alter for a followup, but expects the baby to be fine.

Two nights before I go back in for my second ultrasound, I start to bleed. Super light and it stops after a day. I call the doctor. They tell me it’s totally normal and not to worry. So I was nervous for this ultrasound, but fully expecting the good news. As we get called back into the ultrasound room, I just knew everything would be ok.

The second ultrasound and you’re not fine

The woman starts to probe, doesn’t say anything. She keeps looking. She asks if there was a heartbeat last time. She looks sad. She turns off the machine. She looks at us and says “I’m sorry, there isn’t any blood flow. It’s not a viable pregnancy.” I was like, what? My husband starts crying. Then I realize, I had a missed miscarriage.

Next steps

Unfortunately it was a missed miscarriage and meant I needed a D&C (operation to actually remove “the tissue”) or two pills called Misoprostol. I chose the pills. I wanted to be in control of something and deal with it in the comfort of my home.

It would have to wait, because first I had to get to work.

Working, being a woman, and miscarrying

During my miscarriage, I was literally at work. I sat through meetings with glasses hoping they covered my red and puffy eyes. The best advice I got was from my manager. She said, be kind to yourself and there is only one option — get through this. So I got through it. So many people around me who knew what was going on were beyond supportive and I will never forget their kindness.

The mechanics of a miscarriage are rough, you kind of just wait for things to happen and have to wear a diaper. It feels like you’re wearing a diaper and then have to be productive in a meeting and be like “Yeah so I think those revenue numbers look off” when in the back of your head you’re thinking “I am currently miscarrying and bleeding everywhere and want to go crawl into a hole and never come out”.

It was oddly calming at work because all of those things seemed to lose priority. My priority became not bleeding out and dying and dealing with this miscarriage. When someone would come to my desk and say “I am so annoyed that ABC team did this!” on the inside I was thinking “I am wearing an adult diaper and bleeding like I’ve been shot like 50Cent and left for dead so maybe I’m not the right person for this”.

The whole physical process was over within days. If you’ve never been through it, it’s pretty gory. Don’t be scared, you will be fine. I was terrified and thought I might be bleeding out. It slows down after a day, but the first 24 hours are very intense. It is painful and it is horrible. The pain for me made it feel more real. I was able to grieve and experience the pain to help myself come to terms with what had happened.

Everyone gets a baby

The final part of miscarriage is the emotional. The physical piece was done within days, not counting the weight gain. Emotionally, the world is full of triggers for someone going through miscarriage and suffering through fertility. Facebook and Instagram (whoops, can’t avoid them) are the worst and most unsafe places for women going through infertility. After my miscarriage, I cringed looking at my news feed. EVERYONE was pregnant. And I was here throwing away my sonogram photos and hiding the baby planning books I had already bought. People suffer through miscarriage and infertility silently. If you also hate your feed because baby photos fly at you in between engagement and wedding announcement, you’re not alone.

Advice

If you’re going through this, the first thing is — I am so sorry. A few tips and things that helped me get through it:

  1. I opted for the medication because it was controlled by me, however be prepared for pain.
  2. Part of getting through miscarriage is dealing with the emotional. If you are going through it, the anger and sadness are natural but getting through those emotions is important for healing. I am reading and practicing mindful meditation techniques — highly recommend.
  3. You will spontaneously cry for a while. I hate not feeling in control of my emotions, but just be aware that it’s going to happen, don’t listen to Whitney Houston. I listened to a Linkin Park album on repeat.
  4. Get a heating pad, Pedialyte, and lots of advil.
  5. Cancel plans. You will want to get your mind off of things, but it’s ok to take it easy and just let your body and mind recover.
  6. Rely on your spouse. Also great advice from my manager at work. Rely on your significant other to support you, care for you, comfort you. I let my husband do all of the chores around the house, let him run to the grocery store for more diapers (really they’re pads but feel like diapers), etc.
  7. Pamper yourself. I gave a girlfriend similar advice. Book a spa day, splurge on a luxury clothing item that will make you feel good. Do nice things for yourself. Be good to you!
  8. Take it slow. It’s ok to feel off for a while. I still feel off. I still grieve. I still cry. I still hurt physically and mentally. My body is still out of whack. I still don’t feel as strong or as with it as I used to. But I know I’ll get back there and I’m staying patient.
  9. Let people comfort you. I went public about my miscarriage and the support from others, friends, family, acquaintances, strangers, etc. has been the most important and healing thing.
  10. If you’re supporting someone through this, don’t say the following: I think you’re too stressed, It happens to a lot of people, You’re young and have time.
  11. but what you can say is: I am sorry, We went through something…., I’d like to share with you…, How can I support you?

I am feeling so much better than I was after my miscarriage. I took it as an opportunity to slow down and be kinder. Looking back on my experience, I recognize I am sad but it feels like I’m standing on a mountain looking at those feelings — learned that from mindful meditation :)

Thank you to those of you who supported me through it and continue to support me — your strength and kindness shown to me is my inspiration.

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