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Pregnancy Lost

It has been a hard couple of weeks for me, even with all the warmth and joy of the holidays. On December 21, 10 weeks into pregnancy (as yet unannounced here), we watched as my OB scanned my uterus. We saw the dark gestational sac and a small clump of embryonic tissue. There was no heartbeat, and the embryo measured at about 5 weeks. It hadn’t developed beyond that. This pregnancy would not be ending with a baby.

I’m a very cautious person when it comes to celebrating pregnancy. I didn’t really relax into my pregnancy with Cee until I saw the normal fetus at our 20-week ultrasound. I have had several close friends suffer the loss of miscarriage (and go on to have beautiful, healthy babies, I will add). I know that among clinically recognizable pregnancies (not counting the 30-50% of conceptions that never implant), about 15-20% will not survive. Even as I shared our pregnancy news with our close family and friends, I reminded them of this fact.

Although a part of me was prepared for this outcome, there was really no way that I could prepare myself for how it would feel. I have a profound sense of losing something important. Tiny as it may have been, it was part of me and part of Husband, and it was growing inside of me, if only for a short time. The wonder of pregnancy has been replaced with the vision of that ultrasound: the gestational sac a gaping dark hole, what remains of the embryo little more than a smear. Empty, dead, inevitably transient.

This is the grief of pregnancy loss, something so many of us must face as we try to build our families. What it speaks to, more than anything, is the power of a parent’s love, even for an embryo whose heart never beats. For many parents, it is the struggle to conceive, and after that, it is the fragility of human life. And even as our healthy babies become children and our love grows beyond the bounds of what we thought was possible, we know we are vulnerable to loss. It is the reason that it felt unbearable to be a mother on the day of the Newtown school shooting. This is family. This miscarriage, it is a small loss, but it still sure hurts.

Even as I realize that to love is to be vulnerable, I am more grateful than ever for the family I have. My marriage feels stronger, maybe because we are sharing the same hurt. Cee’s wonder, humor, and empathy continue to amaze me, and I’m acutely aware of how lucky we are to have her. She fills me up, and that gives some perspective about the loss of this pregnancy. My mom cancelled her appointments, bought an expensive plane ticket, and flew across the country to be with us last week. She was an immense comfort. Our friends cried with us and then helped us laugh, too.

What is most strange about this process is that I have felt pregnant all along. There was the breast tenderness in the beginning and even now, occasionally. (This was such a distinct symptom of my pregnancy with Cee that when I sent Husband a photo of a second positive pregnancy test this time around, he replied, “You had me at sore boobs.”) There was the overwhelming fatigue. There was nausea and sensitivity to smells. Several weeks went by when I could hardly open the fridge without feeling nauseous. The smell of cheese or the mere thought of dark leafy greens nearly sent me over the edge. Two days before my ultrasound, I struggled to finish a perfectly prepared mushroom and polenta dish at a restaurant, even after asking the waiter to please hold the blue cheese. My vision is blurry. And just a few weeks ago, I noticed the reappearance of the linea nigra – that dark line running down my midline from my belly button.

Even though I knew that the rate of miscarriage during the first trimester is high, it was hard for me to believe that this pregnancy wasn’t viable since I felt so darn pregnant. There have been no signs of miscarriage, even now, seven weeks since the embryo stopped developing. The embryo successfully implanted, and a placenta was formed. The hormonal signals of pregnancy are likely all there. My body hasn’t yet received the message that we aren’t really growing a baby, not this time around.

We learned that this pregnancy wasn’t viable on the Friday afternoon before Christmas. My OB offered to come in for a D&C procedure on Saturday morning, but then she was headed out of town to celebrate the holiday with her family. I wasn’t ready for this. The thought of having this little being, alive in my mind just a few hours before, sucked out of me – it was just too traumatic and invasive. I needed more time to process what was happening. I actually really wanted the miscarriage to happen naturally. I wanted some physical pain to accompany my grief. I wanted to release the tissues, to see the pregnancy end.

My body, however, is stubbornly hanging onto this pregnancy. I’m glad that I’ve had these last couple of weeks to sit with this news and let go of the idea of a baby next summer, but now I’m ready to move on. I’ve read the limited research on this topic, and I know that it can take months for this type of miscarriage (technically a “missed abortion”) to happen on its own, and even then, surgical “cleanup” is often needed. I have a D&C scheduled for this morning to remove the tissues of this pregnancy. I scheduled this blog post to publish around the same time. It’s personal, but I also know that I’m not alone, and I want to share with you. I just might need general anesthesia to do it.

It is a bittersweet New Year. I’d like to be able to push a reset button for 2013 and leave the grief behind, but it’s still there. It’s still taking me off guard and washing over me in a hug with Husband or a moment when I get to sink my nose into Cee’s hair. It’s still a distraction at the dark edges of my mind.

But since it is the New Year, I have given some thought to how I’d like it to go. I’m resolving to take good care of myself these next few months. Truth is, I’ve been worn down for the last 6 months or more – between heavy marathon training, new jobs, and then pregnancy. My body could use a little break. Having felt this recent loss, I appreciate my family and friends more than ever, and I want to nurture those relationships. And then there’s that book I’m writing. This year will demand discipline, hard work, and yet, care for myself and those I hold dearest. Here’s to that.

120 Comments
  1. All I can say is I really, really sympathize, I am sorry for your pain, and hope the next stages are not too painful. I am glad that you have so many other good things in your life to contrast this with.

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    January 4, 2013
    • Thank you, Dorit. There’s not much else to say, I know, but I feel the support. And really, having Cee has been such a help. My life is already really really full, and I’m a lucky mama:)

      Like

      January 4, 2013
  2. Suzy #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I had a very similar experience, and am sending you thoughts of healing and love.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • Thanks, Suzy, it is helpful to hear from others who have had similar experiences. The thoughts of healing and love really make a difference!

      Like

      January 4, 2013
  3. I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Sending you love and hugs during this difficult time xx

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  4. Angie West #

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I was in this spot several years ago and it was aweful-mine was what they called molar preg-had to have a d and c procedure too. Sending good thoughts your way.

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    January 4, 2013
  5. Clay #

    Alice – you are in my thoughts! We went through a miscarriage prior to our 2nd daughter. Very tough – we told our close friends that we were pregnant as soon as we knew. We chose to tell people early because at the time we wanted our close friends to also be there with us if something did happen. It seems that it was the right thing to do? My wife thinks that if we go for a 3rd that she doesn’t want to let people know. I am of the Monterey, KY mindset of a community. I think it was easier for us to deal with the miscarriage knowing that many of our friends have gone through similar situations AND that they have gone on to have healthy babies. Our 2nd is now 3 1/2 and a blast.

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    January 4, 2013
    • Clay, thanks for your thoughts and it is nice to hear from you! I really didn’t want to tell many people with our first pregnancy, because I wasn’t sure if I would want to share the grief of a miscarriage. This time around, I was more relaxed about it. In a way, I feel like we should be more open with grief and the emotions around all the crazy life and death that comes with being human, because I do think it makes it easier and more real (in a good way) when we share it together. We don’t have to bear this alone, in silence, but then again, it is a very personal thing. When it first happened, I didn’t think I would write about in on the blog, but now I want to share what we have been through and what we have learned. Writing brings on a new flood of tears, but I always feel better afterwards. I also like to think that sharing our stories does help others who need to know that they are not alone. Thanks for sharing yours:) It is the Monterey way, and I’m happy to keep that spirit alive in my own way.

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      January 4, 2013
  6. While I have not experience the pain and grief of a miscarriage myself, I have supported many patients through it, as well as a few close friends. Thank you for sharing your story.

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    January 4, 2013
    • It has been interesting to see this other side of medicine. After having a normal pregnancy ending joyfully with a healthy baby, it is easy to forget that so much of medicine is about supporting patients and families when things don’t turn out well. I know that can be a heavy burden to carry, but I am grateful for the gentle doctor and kind nurses that have helped me these last couple of weeks.

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      January 4, 2013
  7. Laura #

    I too suffered a loss at 8 weeks, and I know well that feeling of profound grief and loss. Sending you peace and strength.

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    January 4, 2013
  8. B #

    I’m sorry for your loss. Be careful with yourself, especially as you start to heal and then run into a reminder of the birthday that didn’t happen and that hits you hard.

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    January 4, 2013
    • B #

      You may find sites like stillbirthday.com and facesofloss.com or a local group helpful. I know I found the first site helpful with my recent ectopic pregnancy.

      Like

      January 4, 2013
      • Thanks, I will check them out. I actually haven’t been interested yet in connecting with too many others experiencing this yet. I think a big part of that was that I was trying to figure out how to manage it – waiting it out or D&C. I was worried that reading too many stories would influence what felt right to me. I’m feeling a nice sense of community here right now though, so it could be good to look at some other sites.

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        January 4, 2013
  9. So sorry for your loss.

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    January 4, 2013
  10. alotonyourplate #

    I am so sorry for your loss ❤ Wishing you nothing but happiness in the New Year. Thank you for sharing your story, I am sure that wasn't to do so. You are definitely an inspiration.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  11. I’m so sorry for your loss! I have many family members who have been through this; stay strong!

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  12. Having been through this 4 times before a pregnancy that stick, and even though the wee guy is now 13 months I still find it hard to read this post. We never really forget these almost people that start to grow inside us, nor should we. I too felt the pregnancy symptoms so strongly, and felt betrayed by a body that continued to look after something that was no longer growing. You have great perspective on this, well done for focusing on family and the love you have in your life already, that is what will get you through this. The fact you feel the loss is a reminder of all that love you have to give, and that is a great thing in itself.

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    January 4, 2013
    • Betrayed… that is a good word for it. Such a strange feeling. My heart goes out for you having gone through this 4 times. That must have been incredibly hard, and I imagine that it must have made it hard to believe in the pregnancy that did stick. “The fact you feel the loss is a reminder of all that love you have to give, and that is a great thing in itself.” YES! Isn’t it?

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      January 4, 2013
  13. Julian #

    Oh, Alice. I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us all.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  14. Heidi Rabbach #

    So sorry to hear about your loss! Hoping all went well today and wishing you a speedy recovery physically and emotionally.
    I really found myself in what you said about the vulnerability of being a parent. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  15. I am so sorry for your loss. I had a spontaneous miscarriage at 8 weeks on my first pregnancy, then became pregnant with my 20 month old son just three months later. I was devastated at the time, and terrified by the intensely painful experience, but I agree that there was definite closure in passing the placenta naturally. It was absolutely worse than labor, not only because of the realization that the life you thought was thriving within you was gone, but also because I was lacking all those marvelous endorphins and hormones that later allowed me to have such a successful unmedicated labor. Later I learned about the 20% statistic, and when I posted about my experience on Facebook (I had already jumped the gun and posted the test results…I was so excited!) friends and family suddenly chimed in left, right, and center with their own miscarriage stories. This is no doubt devastating, but knowing how common it is made it so much easier for me. Also, in retrospect the term “blighted ovum”, horrid and antiquated as it sounds now, has actually helped me process the fact that the fertilized egg was never genetically viable. It never would have developed into a child. I wish you all the luck in your future attempts (we are trying right now as well!), and a bright and better 2013!

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    January 4, 2013
    • I find the term “missed abortion” hard to use, too, though I appreciate having a term that is specific to the type of miscarriage that I had. I just felt like most people wouldn’t know what that meant. I preferred to say that our pregnancy wasn’t viable, but I know that sounds rather techy too, so I had to save that for my nerdy friends. I have found a lot of solace in trying to understand the reasons why pregnancies aren’t successful, whether blighted ovum, failure to implant, or genetic disorders. It’s just such a darn delicate process – the development of a human being. So many checks and balances, which are ultimately a good thing, but we all wish that we could breeze through the checkpoints without the balances.

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      January 4, 2013
      • Laina #

        I have been through a similar experience in October – the U/S
        at 9 weeks with sac and small embryo without a heartbeat. The term in Australia is “missed miscarriage” – not sure if it’s kinder than “missed abortion”. The miscarriage felt very unexpected despite knowledge of statistics. Hopes and plans are what they are, thus the resulting sadness and feeling of being deceived for not knowing baby was already gone. My thoughts are with you, my friends and family have been a comfort – glad to hear of your mom’s support. Take care…

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        January 4, 2013
    • B #

      laziegler – I too found it helpful to think that my ectopic loss was almost a baby, and that I was technically pregnant instead of actually pregnant. But I knew something was wrong before getting a positive pregnancy test, so I think that made my experience different as well.

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      January 5, 2013
  16. Colleen #

    Thank you so much for writing about this; it happens so often, but is such a painful experience. I am so grateful to you for sharing your experience, and I’m so very sorry for your loss.

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    January 4, 2013
  17. Oh Alice. I’m so, so sorry.
    Thank you for sharing this. Even though it’s difficult, I hope others can find comfort in your words.
    Take care.

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    January 4, 2013
  18. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. I had to be induced to give birth to our first child at 25 weeks when he past early one morning. Felt his last kick at 12:02am no movement at 7am when I awoke. No loss of family is small no matter how small/young the baby is. I suggest giving a name it helps to morn a person with a name, it gives the whole thing reality. My son is partly named after our first child who we lost. You being open, honest, and talking about it help file away those sharp edges. *Hugs*

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • Oh gosh, I’m so very sorry. I think all of these losses hurt, but I have to say that a miscarriage later in pregnancy would be so much harder. I felt like I hadn’t yet missed many hopes on this pregnancy, and it still hurt to lose it. At 25 weeks – I would be truly devastated. Thanks for sharing your story, and I’m glad you have a little boy to bring you joy!

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      January 4, 2013
  19. bellissimom #

    I am so very sorry to hear this news. I hope you heal quickly both emotionally and physically.

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    January 4, 2013
  20. I’m so sorry to hear your sad news. We had a similar loss back in September and I was surprised by how upset I was as it happened so early on. It’s incredibly hard to deal with. I hope 2013 brings lots of good things to you and your family. And cuddle Cee often, it helps.

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    January 4, 2013
  21. Yin #

    Alice, I’m so sorry for your loss. Please take very good care of your body during this period.

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    January 4, 2013
  22. My deepest sympathies go with you and your family. Losing a pregnancy, especially after so many weeks is such a difficult thing to go through. We lost our first pregnancy about 6 weeks along. Our oldest daughter was conceived about 6 months later.
    I can tell you that your instincts to slow down and let yourself heal are spot on. Your mind, body, and soul need time to recover from this. I hope your 2013 begins with your full recovery.

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    January 4, 2013
  23. Alice, I’m so sorry. Like others who read your blog religiously, I feel like I know you and your family, and am extremely saddened by this news. Having gone through something similar, I know time and a great support network will help you heal. Wishing you and your family all the best. Big hug.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • Thanks Melissa. Reading these comments, I feel like I know you as well. Hug received:)

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      January 4, 2013
  24. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story.

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    January 4, 2013
  25. Jessica #

    Alice – I am so sorry for your loss. My very best friend suffered a miscarriage at 11 weeks on December 22nd and the grief has been overwhelming at times. I hope you find peace soon. Thank you for being so generous with your spirit and sharing this post with us. Your blog is a bright light in the world of nonsense out there.

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    January 4, 2013
  26. EFN #

    I just want to echo others sentiments and say that I’m so very sorry for your loss, and also thank you for being so brave as to share your story with all of us (many of whom have either lost a baby or know someone who has). May you continue to find comfort and peace from those around you.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  27. Heather Schumaker #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I had a miscarriage last month and know how devastating it is. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

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    January 4, 2013
  28. mt #

    Please accept my sincere sympathies for your loss. You’ve always been so generous with your knowledge, research, and especially, your experiences as a mother. You’ve never held back about the challenges and frustrations of parenting, but you’re especially brave to share this story. I know the feeling of being worn down; I really didn’t take care of myself the first several months after I gave birth. Like many a mama before me, I put myself last and I paid the price. I think you are so wise to slow down and give your body and mind the time to recover. You’ve often spoken of your love of writing; here’s hoping that this book will be a significant part of your healing. Hugs, mt

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • Thanks, mt. I’m hoping that this will be a good time to pour myself into the book.

      Like

      January 4, 2013
  29. So sorry to hear this news. I am sending up a prayer that the D&C goes well and your recovery (emotional and physical) is smooth and swift.

    You are brave in sharing. You are the 4th miscarriage amongst bloggers I follow in just a few short months. The reactions of each is very different. I hope that women looking can find comfort in how others cope with a loss- knowing they are not alone and however they feel of their experience, it is valid.

    Last year I came very close to miscarriage myself, and still I can only imagine your sorrow.

    All the best.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • I thought of your near-miss miscarriage posts when we were going through this process. I’m glad you wrote about your experience. It was clear that this pregnancy really wasn’t viable, but I think it helps to be able to read about the range of experiences we have during pregnancy. It’s a tough tough process, whatever the outcomes. I loved being pregnant with Cee, but there was a lot of anxiety tied up in it.

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      January 4, 2013
  30. im so sorry,
    three weeks ago i went through my first miscarriage with my first pregnancy.
    I didn’t have to have a D&C in my case, but in your situation i would have one. I hope you have a good precedure and everything goes smoothly from now on.
    My baby stopped growing at 8weeks. i miscarried and found out at 12 weeks.
    The full story is here: http://vanruiten.wordpress.com/category/my-thoughts/
    i hope posting about it online helps you through the emotional process…
    take it easy after your procedure. after my miscarriage it took several days to feel normal again.
    linda

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • Thanks for sharing this. I think it would be very hard to have this happen in a first pregnancy, but knowing how common it is and how many women go on to have healthy pregnancies the next time around – that helps.

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      January 4, 2013
      • Thats exactly right, im glad to hear the success stories after having miscarriages. It keeps the hope alive. I hope to be one of those soon… maybe in 2013 🙂
        Linda

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        January 4, 2013
    • Frances #

      I also had a missed miscarriage with my first pregnancy a few months ago. The US showed growth to about 9 weeks, but I never miscarried on my own and had a D&C at 14 weeks. My husband and I didn’t tell many people about it. Seeing everyone’s stories on here helps me realize that it is more common (though still painful) than most of us realize.

      Like

      January 5, 2013
  31. Thank you for sharing your story. I have not experienced this myself, you’ve given me some insight into what my friends who have may have been going through. Looking at the above comments, it’s been incredibly valuable to others who have miscarried also.

    I’m so very sorry for your loss and wish you all the best.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  32. Nikki #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I too have been through miscarriage and a D&C, and I struggled with the grief for a long time. So many people really don’t understand. I found solace and understanding online and I’m glad you’re finding the same. Later, I found comfort in writing a letter to my lost little one, naming him (I miscarried too early to know the sex but had strong ‘boy’ feelings), and buying an ornament for our Christmas tree in memory of him. Each of us grieves differently, but I thought I would tell you about those things in case any of them resonate with you. Lots of love to your and your family.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • I do like the Christmas tree ornament idea. I will keep my eyes out for something to remember this little one – a small and private way to commemorate this process that we worked through during this past Christmas.

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      January 4, 2013
  33. Thank you all SO much for your kind words. It was really nice to wake up from the procedure and then from my looooong morning nap and read all of your comments. You truly make me feel supported. The procedure went fine and I actually feel pretty good. It was a beautiful sunny day here, rare for Oregon in January, and I took a long slow walk with the dogs this afternoon. As horrible as it is that so many of us have experienced something like this, it is helpful to hear from those of you who have been through it and healed. That’s part of why I wanted to write more about it, too. I’m hoping to write a couple more posts on miscarriage with more of the science behind it. Learning more of the science has actually really helped me to make sense of it all.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  34. thoughtfulparent #

    So sorry to hear this. I’ll definitely be thinking of you and hoping for a smooth recovery.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  35. You are about to enter a very lonely world and the one thing to remember is that you are not alone. Those around you will move on and get over it and you’ll scream inside that you aren’t over it – the pain is still there! There are many that have experienced and are experiencing infertility and it’s something I don’t wish on my worst enemy. I am so sorry for your loss and I am sending you a great big hug. I went through a very similar experience. The awfulness of a blighted ovum. Also with my second pregnancy. Let your daughter heal the pain, smile with her and for her, and she will get that sibling soon. Have faith. We were blessed with twins and had I never suffered the loss I wouldn’t have expereienced the joy of them. You don’t forget the pain, but it’s a memory that makes you stronger. Great big ((hugs)).

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • Thank you for this comment. I found out on dec 18th that our baby had no heartbeat. I was 13 weeks and he measured 12 weeks. I had a d&c on the 19th and then traveled with my husband and two young sons to be with family for Christmas. Perhaps one of the hardest things is that for the entire week I was with my parents and six siblings and their spouses, and nobody talked about my loss or even asked how I was. Not once. My husband said they just didn’t want to make me sad, but it was horrible to be processing the loss in silence. I kept wanting to bring it up, but didn’t want to be the one to bring down everyone else’s Christmas. It was very hard. Blessings to the author, and to all who’ve also lost babies without getting to know them.

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      January 4, 2013
      • Sorry, Sarah, that IS hard. None of us know what to say. What I appreciated these last few weeks were long, knowing hugs. I didn’t always know what to say either, but getting a long hug from a loved one speaks everything. We are here for each other, we’re all hurting, we’re all looking for some way around it but we have to walk through it. I wish you lots of support and love as you heal.

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        January 4, 2013
  36. *hugs*

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    January 4, 2013
  37. Crystal K #

    Thank you so much for finding the courage and strength to share this. I am so sorry for your loss and will be saying an extra prayer for you and your sweet family. You have done so much and touched the lives of so many through your words and all you share. I pray that you will feel some measure of peace, joy, and grace through your pain.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  38. M #

    Thank you for posting this. We are going through this with you right now. I found Iam even more grsteful as well for my jncredible 2yr old, that he is healthy and growing big and strong. We found out the day before my birthday that the fetal hb was very low and likely the baby wouldn’t make it. But we were ‘cautiously optimtimistic’, as we called it (super hopeful), I felt pregnant, too. Then on the 2nd, at 10 weeks, there was no hb and baby measured just 6 weeks. My body hasn’t wanted to let go either, though I think it started today. It’s been hard and sad (definitely consoled myself via retail therapy), until I came across your post (I can’t believe was random) just now. I’m grieving with you for your loss, and celebrating getting life, body and soul in line in 2013. Hug on your sweet kiddo and eat some sushi!

    Again, thank you for writing this post. You made this a little easier.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • M #

      Please excuse my typos… I am writing on my phone. Sheesh!

      Like

      January 4, 2013
      • Oh, big hugs to you, too! I hope that you are able to miscarry without much pain and grieve the loss in a way that works for you. I HAVE enjoyed sushi, alcohol, and soft cheeses these last few weeks – plus a little retail therapy as well (OK, so I really needed new jeans but had been putting it off thinking that my body would be growing in a few weeks. Now I need some new skinny jeans:). Might as well embrace the benefits, right? I admit that it only helps a little, but it does put a smile on my face.

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        January 4, 2013
  39. I’m so sorry about your loss. My tummy is flipping in hurt for you. After having 2 beautifully normal pregnancies and girls I too experienced a miscarriage just this September. My water broke at home just 3 days before I was scheduled for the 10 week ultrasound. I went into ER and stared at the blank screen. Nothing. Nothing there. I labored 2 days later – felt just like laboring with my girls. Only alone. And without a baby to hold onto in the end. The pain is devastating you are going through right now. Just know that it really gets so much better. It took about a month for my hormones to balance out and I started cycling right away. I just found out before Christmas that I’m pregnant again – I’m so scared. I am 7 weeks now and am scheduled for an ultrasound this Wed..I have only told my parents because I just can’t stand to have to tell people if it is bad news again. Anyway….it is healing to write 🙂 I blogged about how to help someone in a season of miscarriage about a month after mine and it was incredibly healing. Praying you feel some healing and good come from something so horrible.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • Fingers crossed for you in this pregnancy. It must be scary to know that anything is possible at this stage, but then again, lots of wonderful things are possible too! Best wishes to you:)

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      January 4, 2013
  40. EC #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I was in a nearly identical situation three years ago, just a little further along. I also found out just before Christmas that year. It is a difficult thing to understand and come to terms with, and it takes time and patience to heal. Even now, I occasionally feel waves of sadness that come out of nowhere. But I found a great deal of solace in my son who was two at the time, as you are finding with your Cee. Thank you for sharing your story. I was never able to talk much about my experience, but have found your blog and all the responses comforting even after so much time has passed. I wish you all the best.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • Yes, Cee has been wonderful. I think she saw my sadness, and I told her I was feeling sad but didn’t try to explain why. She gave me extra snuggles and then ran off to get into some kind of trouble. Between her joy and her keeping me running, she’s been wonderful. So blessed to have her – I think she really helps.

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      January 4, 2013
  41. Erica #

    I am so sorry to hear this heartbreaking news. Please know that you are not alone. I suffered a second trimester loss four years ago, and it was completely devastating. Take time to grieve and be incredibly kind to yourself. You will always hold your precious baby in your heart.

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    January 4, 2013
  42. Kim Burlingham, MD #

    There is not much that I can add, though I wish that all this collective empathy could go through the cosmos and reach your family and comfort you.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  43. Heather #

    Oh my gosh your story is almost identical to mine =( I found out in October that I was pregnant and expecting a baby late June/early July. Exactly as we had planned. I went through all the pregnancy symptoms. I suffered a previous m/c before my son but refused to allow myself to get down like I did with him and permitted myself to attach and grow to love this baby before the 2nd trimester. I went in for my 8 week appointment and the m/w said my uterus was tilted so it was difficult to see baby. She called in an OB to see if we could find the baby to reassure me there was a heartbeat. The OB insisted they found it but one of their heads blocked the screen so I couldn’t see anything. I never got a picture since it was so difficult finding the baby. We announced 2 days later at Thanksgiving. The following Friday, 11/30, I woke up and went to the bathroom and was spotting. I lost it. After 10 min of complete and utter bawling, I pulled myself together for my son and called my husband to take me to the ER. At the ER, they said it looked like baby stopped growing at 6 weeks. With my previous m/c I found out at 5 week and lost the baby 6 days later. This was news to me, missed miscarriage. They couldn’t detect a heartbeat in the hospital but insisted everything else looked fine. I know my body, I chart, I knew there was no possible way that my dates were off. I waited 4 days and got another ultrasound. Baby was measuring slightly smaller. The next day (12/6/12) I passed baby and 1/2 the placenta. 30 minutes before my appointment with the midwife. We decided to hold off and see if my body would process the miscarriage properly. That weekend I had contractions. I came back in a few days and did another ultrasound hoping I had passed everything. We discovered I still had a bit of the placenta. The midwife was okay with me waiting still as long as the bleeding didn’t get bad. I passed the last piece the following day. I managed to avoid a d&c thankfully. I knew I had to do this naturally. The holidays are a blur. It wasn’t until the day after Christmas that I was actually ‘ready’ for Christmas mentally. We took our tree down early this year. I’m already ready for another pregnancy. I think that’s the only way I can let go of this one fully. Cause mentally, I still feel pregnant. Today, I would be 15 weeks.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • So sorry, Heather. It’s so heart-wrenching, especially the thought that something might be wrong but the uncertainty that it really is. That sounds horrible. I wish I had been able to pass everything naturally, but there were no signs that would happen anytime soon. I couldn’t bear the thought of this taking months. I’m glad I had the D&C today, but it was a hard decision to make. I know we’ll both heal in time. Take care.

      Like

      January 4, 2013
  44. Sarah #

    So sorry to hear your news. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family – and we do hope that you will go on to have more children when the right time comes. May the rest of 2013 bring you health and happiness.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  45. Your comments have absolutely overwhelmed me. I wish I could respond to them all, but at least know that each and every one of them is a comfort to me today.
    Love to you all,
    Alice

    Like

    January 4, 2013
    • I am so impressed at your ability to articulate your own thoughts/emotions while in the midst of healing, and also your ability to reach beyond yourself to comfort others. Thank you. May you be at peace while you heal.

      Like

      January 4, 2013
  46. Oh Alice… I wish you didn’t have to join this absolutely shitty club. I’m a two-time member (one I lost between 5-6 weeks, and the other one a chemical pregnancy), and I know firsthand how complex and bizarre and constant and conflicted the grief is, and how nothing anyone can say will make it better. So all I will say is that I am sending you wishes of healing, in every sense. Much love to you and your family during this difficult time.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  47. It saddens me to read about your loss and you’re in my thoughts. I wish you the best. Thank you for being so open & for sharing this.

    Like

    January 4, 2013
  48. No words. I am very sorry for your loss. Love from Belgium.

    Like

    January 5, 2013
  49. jayhox #

    Sorry for your loss😔. My prayers are with you.

    Like

    January 5, 2013
  50. famela #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I had an ectopic pregnancy 4 years ago and had to undergo surgery for it. I remember how surreal everything felt fr the moment the scanned showed my empty uterus and how completely unprepared I was for the grief. And the magnitude and extent of that grief. This is a difficult time for you and family. I’m glad you’re choosing to remain positive.

    Take care of yourself.. Do allow yourself a little time to grieve too. Sending you lots of love!

    Like

    January 5, 2013
  51. Holly #

    Alice, so sorry for your loss. It is really nice to hear you get to focus your energy on such an exciting and optimistic year ahead. Thank you again for sharing your experiences. I learn so much from you.

    Like

    January 5, 2013
  52. Im so sorry for your loss. Be kind to yourself

    Like

    January 5, 2013
  53. Jem #

    My first pregnancy was a missed miscarriage; 8 week old twins. Removed via D&C too.

    I have so many regrets. Not taking it easier, “allowing” myself to be so sick (turns out I suffer hyperemesis with all my babies, so irrelevant really); not demanding a second, third, fourth scan (however many it would take to make them magically OK). I go weeks without thinking about it, and then other times all I can think of is what I’m missing.

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Like

    January 5, 2013
  54. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, especially at a time when everyone is constantly shouting at us to “BE JOYFUL!” I’m glad that you had and still have a lot of support. I found that my marriage was considerably stronger after my miscarriage as well. My husband’s constant support helped me heal much faster than I think I would have otherwise. I hope that the new year brings you health and success on your book!

    Like

    January 5, 2013
  55. Alison Merlo #

    I am so sorry to hear this Alice. Like so many others, I have had a similar experience. With my first pregnancy I started bleeding at 11 weeks, the US showed nothing, just an empty sac. That haunted me the most. I had a D&C…just wanted it to be done with. It takes a long time to get over, so let yourself be sad and cry or do whatever you need to do. I took no solace in the fact that it is so common, but I am so glad you wrote about this because I think it is helpful for all who have suffered through this to hear others’ stories. I am now 24 weeks pregnant, the first trimester I was a nervous wreck! I am hoping all goes well. I will be thinking of you.

    Like

    January 5, 2013
  56. Leanne #

    I am so terribly sorry for your loss; I don’t have the words I wish I had. Nothing will do in such a moment, but I wish you the best– a restful year, and health for your family. I hope you and your husband can grieve together … you are all in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing such a personal story, and I hope the procedure went as well as could be hoped for.

    Like

    January 5, 2013
  57. Kelly Shoesmith #

    We have been going through this too. Spotting at 10.5 weeks ultrasound at 11 weeks “blighted ovum 5.5 weeks est”, 3 trips to emergency in brutal pain / contractions, sent home to “let it happen naturally”… Till last visit when they did D&C. Bleeding for two weeks after, but no more pain. Then stomach flu for Christmas day and lost 9 pounds. We had started telling friends / family / work as GP said reaching 10 weeks was sufficient. Amazed to find out how common early loss is. While common, it is still very sad. All I wanted for my 40th birthday (in November) was to be pregnant with our 2nd and last child. I was pregnant, with morning sickness and all. GP says the placenta triggers pregnancy symptoms, not the ovum / zygote. Many of the doctors & nurses I saw said they had been through the same experience and went on to have children.

    Thank you for your honest sharing of your experiences. I send you compassion and empathy as you and your family grieve this loss. And best wishes to concieve again, if that is your hope.

    Like

    January 6, 2013
  58. Love and light to you. I am just about to go in for my 10 week visit and these thoughts have been resting in the back of my mind, as well. Do take care of yourself and allow others to care for you as well.

    Like

    January 6, 2013
  59. Alice, the most important person to take care of is yourself. Baby Cee what have you otherwise. I can’t say I understand but I really hope you and your family are given the time to heal and to grieve this hard time in your lives. Take the time and make the time, the world can wait for you to heal.

    Like

    January 6, 2013
  60. I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re going through a lot. Give yourself a lot of time to heal physically and emotionally. I know several people who’s gone through this, and they were so shocked and felt alone. I know it helps to hear what others have felt.

    Like

    January 6, 2013
  61. This touched my heart. Thank you for sharing so beautifully.

    Like

    January 6, 2013
  62. Larah #

    You are so beautifully and wonderfully made, as is your daughter, husband, and was your baby. Although I have not yet experienced this type of loss, I feel deeply with and for you as a mother. I will pray that you and your husband find peace in time. You are not to grieve alone as I’m sure you know by now that your readers (along with friends and family) are thinking about and grieving with you. Take care

    Like

    January 6, 2013
  63. Hugs to you; thanks for sharing.

    Like

    January 7, 2013
  64. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this event in your life, so many people keep early pregnancy loss to themselves. I read and share your blog posts often. I have experienced 2 miscarriages, the first was spontaneous at 8 weeks and then a twin molar pregnancy at 16 weeks removed by D & C. Both were devastating in their own way. What amazes me is the deep feeling of loss, no matter what the circumstance surrounding the pregnancy. I have had 2 healthy boys since then, but I continue to feel the presence of the missing children in our family. I hope you have a fast recovery and Cee helps you smile everyday.
    Heather

    Like

    January 7, 2013
  65. There’s nothing I could say to make this easier, but I’m sending thoughts of rest and peace your way! I can’t imagine experiencing all the symptoms, and then getting that news. I’m so sorry. Very well written post… and thank you for sharing your deeply personal thoughts.

    Like

    January 8, 2013
  66. Kristin #

    You are so brave! I had this happen to me between my two daughters and I didn’t tell anyone but my mom, just for there to be another person to acknowledge my loss. A few years later I was able to share about it, but the memory is still raw sometimes. I’m truly sorry for your loss.

    Like

    January 9, 2013
  67. enkidu97 #

    So very sorry for your loss. Many condolensces. 😦

    All the ladies that have shared their personal stories are right in that you are not alone. I had a miscarriage at 18 weeks that was a stillbirth all but in name. We already knew the sex, he had a name, and up until the moment my water broke life was good. It was an infection of the womb, and he was gone by the time I got to the hospital. I was offered a D&C (which would have been performed a day or two later) but chose instead to be induced on the spot. Several hours later I was able to hold my baby boy in my arms for the only time.

    Pregnancy loss can be earth-shattering. I went through profound grief that lasted about 2 months before I turned a corner and didn’t cry daily. There is a wierd “taboo” our society has on talking about pregnancy loss/ stillbirth, and many people just don’t know what to say when they find out. You will get some awful things said to you (most unintentional, but still….), and people might be awkward around you for a while. Just remember it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be upset, it’s okay to grieve for the loss of this little one. Take care.

    Like

    January 9, 2013
  68. amy #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I miscarried in June at almost 11 weeks. January 4th was my due date. I too had pregnancy symptoms/feelings until about a month after my miscarriage. It took that long for the HCG to leave my body. Yesterday I found out that I am pregnant again. I am overjoyed, yet constantly thinking about the number of days/weeks until the end of my first trimester.

    I wish you and your family all the best in your recovery.

    Like

    January 9, 2013
  69. Gwyn #

    Funny, this is almost the same thing during the same time period that has happened to me (least the amount of weeks) and I am now on my way to an appt to see if a D&C is necessary. The difference is that I had had miscarriages also a few years before my children. Therefore, I thought I knew how to approach this one.

    Thank you for your words and your honesty.

    And I am so happy to hear your final words to take care of yourself. They are the exact words that came to mind for myself as I have daily reflected on this journey. In the end our bodies are so often the final calling to shout out “Be Good to Yourself!”

    Many blessings and honored to have been able to read your story.

    Like

    January 10, 2013
  70. Alice, I am so very sorry for your loss. No doubt you have experienced so many painful feelings and continue to experience them as you mourn and grieve. My belief is that we never really know what it’s like for another to experience anything – even if we’ve had a similar experience, though we can have tender compassion and understanding and be there with love.
    19 years ago at 26 weeks pregnant, my baby girl Leilani Katherine’s heart stopped. Through much grieving, healing and growth I am now working with a wonderful organization that helps bereaved families honor the life of their child. I share this with hopes of offering support to you and others. The organization is called The TEARS Foundation.
    http://www.thetearsfoundation.org
    https://www.facebook.com/tearsfoundation?fref=ts
    Many blessings to you and to all who have posted here with their loss.

    Like

    January 10, 2013
  71. Abigail Greene #

    I think you are very brave. I have never read your blog until this evening when I saw that my Grandson’s wife had posted it on FB. Oh, how I wish there had been a network of support that is so obvious in the outpourings from the women who have sent you their heartfelt, and very personal, comments. It has been 53 years since my “spontaneous abortion” and I have only come to terms with it in the last 8 years. Nobody talked about “those things” back then. It isn’t like I didn’t have two children under 3 already but this little one had been in my body for over 5 months and was very much a part of us. I will tell you that 2 years later we had another little girl (who is now 50) and she experienced what you are going through about 7 years ago. Alas, she has not been able to conceive. One of the things that has helped me is the poem I wrote and I will share that with you….

    “dear llittle baby,
    you had only just begun,
    we named you Martha,
    there is a hole without you,
    I wonder what you’d be like”

    I hope you are feeling all the warmth that is surrounding you at this time. Take time to heal and do talk about what has and is happening. You never know who you are helping by being open and vulnerable. Look forward to tomorrow and really know how many folks are caring about you, especially now.

    Like

    January 10, 2013
  72. Vasudha #

    I’m so sorry. My heart ached so much as I read this..

    Like

    January 11, 2013
  73. tarasuetx #

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss, but I want to also thank you so much for writing about it here. Miscarriage seems to be part of a mysterious and unfortunate “code of silence” thing that I don’t feel helps us women when we experience such a deeply personal tragedy. While it is difficult to talk about, and while we think no one wants to hear it, I see a great deal of value in sharing the experience. Still, you are brave for sharing it, and I commend you. You are in my thoughts as you recover, both physically and emotionally.

    Like

    January 11, 2013
  74. I am so sorry.

    Like

    January 11, 2013
  75. Ro #

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Like

    January 14, 2013
  76. Oh, Alice – I missed this. I’m so sorry for your loss. I haven’t experienced what you describe myself, but am a member of an online support group of scientist women who have had trouble getting (or staying) pregnant, and I know how hard it is to deal with. I hope you’re recovering as well as can be expected.

    Like

    January 15, 2013
  77. Beanie #

    I am so sorry!

    Like

    January 17, 2013
  78. I am so very sorry for you pain, my thoughts and prayers are with you xx
    Victoria xx

    Like

    January 22, 2013
  79. LC #

    My friend Sarah, one of your friends, sent along your blog to me tonight and I’m so thankful she did. I am having a D&C tomorrow morning and it was therapeutic and comforting to read your writing and the many comments. May you continue to heal your body and heart. Thank you.

    Like

    February 10, 2013
    • I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, and I’m glad you’ve found this helpful. I too have found it really healing to read the stories if other women. I hope things go well for you tomorrow and you find your way to healing as you are ready. It gets better:) Hugs to you!

      Like

      February 10, 2013
  80. Although this happened in December 2012, I am now referencing this post because I am too currently losing a pregnancy and can painfully relate. I have a 1 1/2 year old daughter who does bring me solace and comfort with her hugs, kisses, and just wonderful self. She is helpful in this healing process, although still not easy. Thank you for sharing your story; I felt inspired to do the same. Please read if you would like.

    Like

    September 17, 2013
    • Dear Jenna,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. It’s so hard. One thing is for certain, though – you are not alone. Hang in there, give yourself time to grieve, and love that little girl of yours:)
      Big hug,
      Alice

      Like

      September 17, 2013
  81. I have been reading your blog for several years and remember feeling great sadness for your loss the first time I read this post.

    This time is more bitter sweet. I have greater understanding. Your words could be mine as I had a similar experience a week before Mothers Day.

    I wrote of my experience after the fact and it was so therapeutic to share. I was shocked at how many had been through similar things. I truly believe talking about it allows us to heal in a way that keeping it never can.

    My story is here: http://chereemoore.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-miscarriage.html?m=1

    Like

    October 16, 2014
    • I’m so sorry, Cheree. This miscarriage, and the 18 months that followed (with a few more early losses), were really one of the most trying times of my life, and I still can’t really explain why. It’s so hard, and as many others told me in the comments here, the grief sneaks up on you long after the miscarriage is over, in ways that surprise you. I’m glad you were able to share your story and find support. I really think it helps a lot. Big hug to you!

      Like

      October 16, 2014
  82. Erin Penhall #

    Having had 7 pregnancies, & 3 live births my heart will always feel some confusion. During my last and final pregnancy we got the news that we had been pregnant with twins but that there was only 1 heartbeat. Oddest feeling of loss and relief that our 3rd child wasn’t twins. To this day I have the happiest and heaviest of hearts.

    Like

    October 18, 2014
  83. Elizabeth #

    I understand what you mean about wanting to have the miscarriage naturally. My first miscarriage (of 2) happened at a hospital, I was in pain (like labour but not in the extreme) crouching on the floor in a waiting room with other people around until a doctor could see me. It felt invasive, impersonal, all of that. When I knew I was having my second miscarriage, I stayed home. I moved around the house with the pain, and the grief, and it was much better that way (if you can say that about a miscarriage). I felt it come out naturally and the pain subsided. I was able to just cry and do my own thing to deal with the situation.

    Like

    February 8, 2015
  84. RE #

    Hey/
    Im sorry to you, and all fellow mamas in the world, who have lost their babies. This was my 2nd miscarriage. I went with the gynecologist to do a basic ultrasound. Blighted ovum. The doc sent me to do bloodwork. Test results good. I went with a clinic to do a more advanced ultrasound. Lots of pics of empty sacs. Yesterday I cried in public and private. Today, I hardly wept. My husband and best bud were supportive. My mom just said my new pet peeve: God meant for your baby to die, mija (my daughter). My brother was a typical caveman who said: You’re not special. It happened, so tough.
    Yeah…I also just learned that my brother is cheating on his wife with a facebook tramp. Anyways, part of my body feels pregnant. The other part feels like the titanic about to sink into the ocean. Sigh…I saw a family with an adoreable baby girl…and I cried hysterically. Never again! Thank God I have my toddler son.

    Like

    August 18, 2015
  85. I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. It’s so hard, and can be so hard to talk about. Thank you for sharing your story. All the (very) best to you and yours. ♡

    Thank you also for this truly fabulous site. As a physician scientist, a lover of language, and a consummate curious girl, it excites every fiber of my being. 🙂 Well done you.

    Like

    October 16, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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