‘I felt like I was walking back into my life with no skin on. Even the most basic question would crack me open.’: Woman shares ‘secret’ burden of grieving miscarriage

More Stories like:

Disclaimer: This story includes details of pregnancy loss that may be triggering for some.

“This is for you, the woman who may need to hear my story.

This is for you, the women who shared your stories with me.

And this is for me, the woman who needs to release her story.

This is not for condolences or pity, but for the power that is held in a story. The healing that comes from sharing our truth, our love, our pain. The healing that comes from listening. The healing that comes from being heard.

This is the story of my miscarriage.

Man, woman and child smiling
Courtesy of Margot Broom

Snapshots of a Miscarriage

July journal entry: (The raw notes that came through at that time…)

These last 3 months. I don’t know how else to describe it but in snapshots:

I just know. I feel everything is changing.

Finding out. Shock. Excitement. Wonder.

The settling in of the idea. The starting to plan/dream. The stress from work. The trying to control.

The tonsillitis returns.

No heartbeat. ‘Just wait. Come back in a few days’

I just know.

The bleeding begins. ‘You have to wait and see.’

To my Moms. Reiki. Sleep. Uncertainty. Deep sadness. Sleepless sleep.

Ripped awake with intensity. This is happening.

Pain. Grief. Fear. Debilitating sensation.

On the floor in my childhood bedroom. Brought to my knees over and over and over. Will it stop? The most primal I have ever known myself to be. Thrusting in the body I feel forsaken by.

It’s all temporary. This can’t last forever.

All fours. Movement. Shifting. My body takes over. Blinded by pain.

I feel it. I see it. I hold it. I know. It’s done. It’s gone.

The pain gets worse. My body won’t let up until it’s fully expelled. A cruel game, it feels. Hours more of this.

It’s all temporary. It can’t last forever.

Thank god I’m with my mother, in this place. She holds me. Rocks me. Cries with me.

Hospital? No, I can’t.

Sunrise.

Debilitating. Can’t walk. Can’t stand. Can’t sit or lie down. Only hang to keep myself from collapsing.

And then I do.

Eyes open: blood. Eyes close.

Eyes open: He is here, my love. Thank god. I can’t move. Eyes close.

Open: so much blood. Eyes close.

Open: soup. Can’t. Close.

Open: He hasn’t left my side. Close.

Open: Aching. My heart. My body. My eyes. Can’t breathe. My soul aches. So much moving through me. Out of me. Close.

Open: I look in the mirror. At my body. My belly. I can’t see out of these new eyes yet. Clouded by it all. The pain. The hormones. The frailty of my once strong being. Of it all. Close.

A pregnant woman's belly with two hands resting on it
Courtesy of Margot Broom

Open. Close.

Open. Close.

Open. What day is it.

Open: blood work. ‘I’m so sorry.’ Close.

Open: Pelvic exam. ‘I’m so sorry.’ Close.

Open: Swollen face. Swollen heart. Close.

Open: Sister savior. Close.

Open: More blood. Surgery? Close.

Open: Ultrasound. Being in the cold room. Blood. Nothing. Empty. ‘I’m so sorry.’ Close.

Open: No surgery. Just rest. Close.

Open. No. close.

Okay. Trying to stay open.

A woman places her hand on her stomach near her pierced belly button
Courtesy of Margot Broom

Silent Grief

Days after this traumatic experience we sat together, my love and I, on the grass behind our house and talked about how estranged we felt. Not from each other—if anything this experience brought us closer than we even knew was possible—but from the outside world. Within moments, days, our entire world had changed. At first in the most beautiful way. We were going to be parents. To start a new life together, to be new at something together again.

The excitement that came in those few months, the joy, the doubt, the wonder. And then again, in a matter of moments, days, our world changed again. And what we had been secretly basking in together was ripped from us. Leaving us with a war-torn body of hormones and doubt and an emptiness of a fullness we thought we were sure of but did not yet know…And yet here we were. No one knew. Trying to exist in the world as new versions of ourselves to no one’s knowledge but our own. My love expected to go back to work like he was unchanged. Me to return to my community of eyes and teachings a stripped version of myself not knowing how or who to be.

It was so foreign to us. We were sad, angry, depleted. We were out of our depth. We were upset and disturbed that this is how it is. That in this society we keep pregnancy secret so if this happens, if the pregnancy is lost, we don’t have to tell anyone. But instead, you must sit in your grief, try to hide, try to go back to ‘normal,’ alone. Sit in ourselves feeling inadequately prepared to survive in this new place of unknowing.

One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. One in four. And when I did hear this? It wasn’t until after I had gotten pregnant. Of course, as an expecting mother, I did not want to know this was a possibility. Did not want to admit it could happen. But it does. And always has. And still, we don’t talk about it. Don’t normalize these experiences. So there is shame. There is repressed emotion, repressed acknowledgment.

I had a hard time reacclimating to my former life. I felt like I was walking back into my life, my business, my daily life, with no skin on. I could see that people saw. And the most basic question—’How are you?’—would crack me open. Knowing that women have to hold this pain, this secret. That another one in four was in my midst and we just keep it in. What is it as a society that makes us so afraid of each other’s pain? Of each other’s grief? Why is it that we can put so much emphasis on our accomplishments, our gains, and our triumphs, but we have to shame and hide the challenges, and the pain that comes along the way?

Healing Through Others’ Stories

When I finally began to emerge from my hormone-soaked sorrow and was able to sit with the baseline depression of loss, that’s when the stories began to come to me. The first one was at the dentist. ‘Oh, the last time you were here we did X-rays in case you were pregnant the next time you came. How is that going?’

(By the way, in case this hasn’t happened to you, women of a certain age get these questions all the time, allllll the time. It can be incredibly triggering for so many different reasons which is why truly we should never ask a woman about her reproductive plans or state unless she offers it freely.)

I told the hygienist what had happened — and then she shared her story with me. I couldn’t believe how much lighter I felt. She saw me. She was me. And then it kept on happening. Someone would ask, I would tell, and they would share their story. My aesthetician, my lawyer, my coach, my doctor, a cousin, another cousin, a friend’s sister…And I began to heal from these stories, and I could see the healing, along with the pain, emerge as they were being shared with me. I could see the life beyond the story. I could see the hope. I could feel the love.

man and woman with baby
Courtesy of Margot Broom

And so, this story from my heart, from my womb, began to emerge. This story has become the greatest teacher, the strongest life-altering experience of my life. And not just because we lost what we thought would be our new life, but because we lost the old sense of self and way of being.

This experience created an opportunity for a hard reset. In those days when all I could do was open and close my eyes, I saw myself, my life, my actions, and my motivations from the place of the observer. I witnessed a woman striving to have it all, know it all, be it all, and keep it all together. I watched her habits of pleasing, of taking care of others, of ignoring her own needs and truths to be seen in certain ways of success and service. And I watched as this slowly ate away at her own ability to nourish herself.

It was in that time of opening and closing that I came to realize this experience was my inner self beginning to be taken care of first. And that the greatest gift and lesson that my first child could have ever given me was to show me this. To show me I will never truly be able to nourish and grow another until I nourish and give space for my own growth. Until I stand with no excuses, no explanations, and no regrets for myself. Until I love myself fully for all my mistakes, griefs, and perceived flaws as well as strengths and accomplishments and realize that they are one and the same.

As women, we have been taught and conditioned in so many ways to be strong, to be soft, to be caretakers, to be quiet. And these many hats we wear have made us resilient. Yet, we have in some ways shadowed the very parts of ourselves that have given us our greatest lessons and wisdom. It is our nature to nurture and the best way we can do that is to trust in ourselves, our bodies, and the stories that come forth from them.

I share this story with you because I truly know that we need our stories to be heard, to be shared. That the healing that comes from our stories can raise the awareness of how enclosed we allow ourselves to become, not even by fault of our own, but by what we have allowed to become our normal. How unfortunately easy it is for us to fall into the habit of shame and hiding ourselves. But together our stories heal, together we see ourselves in each other. And together we can open our new selves to each other with support and vulnerability to create a new normal of openness and truth.

Final notes from July journal entry:

I guess the only thing I didn’t know was possible is that I love him that much more. It’s the only thing that keeps reminding me it’s all going to be okay. Love.

This is also for my love. Who encouraged me to share my story, our story.

And now I encourage you. If you have a story, if it feels right for you to share it please do. Or share this story. Share your date. Share out loud, share privately. Share here or in a direct message to me. Share to a friend, to a family member…Share your pain, your shame, the loss. Share what came next for you, the beautiful babies that followed, the awareness and strength that came through. Share your life beyond the story. Share if you don’t have a story but you think it could help another. Let our stories do what so many stories did for me, let them help us recognize we are not alone. I support you. The women and men who have shared in this loss support you. Please know you are not alone.”

man and woman standing in front of field
Courtesy of Margot Broom

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Margot Broom. You can follow her journey on Instagram and her blog. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories from Margot here:

‘Nobody tells you how hard it is.’ I realized I am not alone in this experience, in these feelings.’: Mom opens up about postpartum mental health journey

Read more stories about miscarriage here:

51-Year-Old Was Asked To Adopt Cousin’s Daughter After 2 Miscarriages, Doctor’s Warn They’d ‘Never Have A Child’

‘I’ve been seeing phrases like, ‘At least it happened early’ or ‘One miscarriage doesn’t compare to multiple’ a lot lately.’: Woman battling infertility urges ‘a loss is a loss and they all matter’

No One Talks About The Messy Parts Of Miscarriage, So I’m Standing Up

Provide hope for someone struggling. SHARE this story on Facebook to let others know a community of support is available.

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: