It’s been about five years since I had a miscarriage. When I found out I was pregnant with my first, I was scared, excited, and a little worried—just like any woman is when they find out they’re pregnant. However, two weeks later, everything changed.
My Miscarriage Experience
The moment I saw blood, I panicked. My husband and I went to the ER where we were sent to wait in a sterile room. An hour later, a hospital volunteer, no older than 16, came to take us to an ultrasound.
As I stood up from the hospital bed and saw a bright red stain, I knew something was wrong. We got to the ultrasound and the hospital volunteer stayed in the room. The doctor quickly pulled up the sonogram and said, “Oh, look! There’s Baby!”
It was my first and last ultrasound of that pregnancy.
A few moments later, the doctor got quiet, left the room, and came back minutes later with the news of, “I’m sorry, Baby isn’t going to make it.”
And the only thing I could think was, “Why is the hospital volunteer still here?”
I made it down the hallway and back into our ER room without saying a word. The second the young volunteer closed the door, I barreled into my husband’s chest and bawled. Two male doctors came in, apologized for my loss, told me it wasn’t my fault, then gave me options to wait out the miscarriage, take a pill to help it along, or get a D&C. They handed me some paperwork and sent me on my way.
On the way home from the hospital, I read the same two words over and over: Fetal demise.
As someone who was excited to be pregnant, I lost it. The next three days, all I could do was sob. My husband woke me up in the middle of the night because I was crying in my sleep.
The cramps, the passing of tissue, the bleeding, everything no one tells you about miscarriage was my reality. It was messy, painful, and heart-wrenching. I bled for six weeks. My doctor had me take weekly at-home pregnancy tests until they finally came back negative. Because apparently, that was the best way to know my hCG levels were back to normal. No one thought about how taking pregnancy test after pregnancy test would be traumatizing to someone who just had a miscarriage. It’s still one of the worst things I have ever been through.
Those six weeks during my miscarriage were when the regrets started. I should’ve never eaten sushi on the business trip the week before the miscarriage. I should’ve taken a pregnancy test earlier and refused all non-pregnancy safe foods. Then, I told myself I should’ve had the D&C. But the worst regret I had was not asking the hospital to print out the picture of my ultrasound.
A few months later, I got pregnant again. It was exciting, but also completely frightening. I latched onto everything during this pregnancy—all the parenting/pregnancy books I could find, I totally stopped eating deli meat and soft cheeses, and I never went into a hot shower or bath. I was a little paranoid.
But, something else besides paranoia set in.
I forgot things.
I couldn’t remember the day my miscarriage happened. I forgot what that baby’s due date was supposed to be, and the dark, depressing pain fell away. It wasn’t because I got pregnant again. It was because during those few months, something in me healed.
Then, I felt bad. I felt like a terrible person for not remembering the dates of one of the toughest experiences in my life. I’d often see women posting about their own miscarriages and how they’d remember the date it occurred. I admired these women for speaking out, and I felt seen for the first time. Miscarriage is something so lonely and agonizingly painful, so to know someone else out there had experienced the same hurt as I did was sort of a relief.
Still… I knew my experience was different because all miscarriages are deeply personal. I also felt like my miscarriage wasn’t as valid because I’d forgotten some of the details. Was there something wrong with me because I couldn’t remember the exact month or day?
It took a bit of time for me to, in a way, forgive myself.
But then I learned the thing is, there’s no right way to react to a miscarriage. Some women are devastated, rightfully so. Some women are relieved, and I can understand that too. For some, it may not be a big deal. For others, it could lead to a heartbreaking depression.
Every Experience Is Personal
A miscarriage happens in up to 25% of pregnancies, but even then, it’s a very personal experience. The guilt, shame, or sadness one person may feel isn’t going to be the same for another. And maybe that’s okay.
We don’t need people telling us how to respond to our miscarriages. As hard as my miscarriage was, I’m glad I don’t remember when it occurred. But I also don’t blame the women who do remember when their miscarriages happened. A loss is a loss, but everyone views it differently.
Miscarriage should be talked about openly.
People should be able to share what they’re going through to help others. But I also think it’s okay for those women who want to keep it private to do so. It’s been five years since my miscarriage, and I’m just now opening up about it.
To the women struggling, I understand you.
Miscarriages are lonely and hard. Just know, you’re not alone. Days, weeks, months, or years later, maybe you’ll share your story. Or maybe, you won’t.
Many people out there say you will forever remember that loss, and some of you will. It’s also true some of us will see that pain fade with time, and maybe that’s okay too. Healing isn’t going to be a linear process. Neither will the journey to becoming a mom.
One day, you may feel completely fine with your miscarriage. Then, something reminds you. It’s okay to be sad, hurt, angry, and frustrated. Actually, I encourage it! Miscarriage is a life-changing experience no matter how we react to it. Either way, remember: Even if your miscarriage experience doesn’t look like everyone else’s, it’s still valid.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jess Carpenter. You can follow her journey on Instagram, TikTok, and on her website. You can visit Jess’ author page here and buy her new book here. 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.
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