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[Comments] (6) [Trackback URL for this entry] Miscarriage: Let's Talk About it: Women don't talk about miscarriage. They don't! Well, I'm going to.

I had a miscarriage. There, I said it. (Well, wrote it.) The first time in my life I can recall hearing those words was when I called my doctor with a question the day after we discovered our baby no longer had a heartbeat. The nurse I talked to told me her personal experience. The second time I heard it? From the anesthesiologist prepping me for a D&C. The third time? The nurse in the surgery center. And yet, 15% of documented pregnancies end in miscarriage - that's pregnant women who have already been to the doctor! Here's our story.

My first doctor appointment was at 10 weeks. Everything looked great. At 14 weeks, the nurse was unable to find a heartbeat with the monitor so she tried on the ultrasound, then called in the doctor. Obviously, by then, I suspected something was up. The doctor was able to find the baby's heart - not beating. The measurements indicated the miscarriage happened very shortly after my first appointment. This type of miscarriage - where your body doesn't immediately abort - is called a missed miscarriage. I had no idea that could even happen! Not only that, I spent another FOUR WEEKS waiting to miscarry naturally. I should have known; neither of my other babies came out on their own. During this time I continued to deal with morning sickness and none of my clothes fitting. Eventually I could tell I wasn't growing, and stopped "feeling" pregnant.

Since we are going on vacation this weekend (and I have good health insurance now), I finally scheduled a D&C (a surgical procedure to clean everything out of the uterus). Days before, I finally noticed a little bleeding and cramping, but not much. On Monday, my doctor performed a D&C. I'm still very tired, but I haven't really had any pain. This seems to be the way to go.

On to the emotional aspect of this. Things you shouldn't say to people who are grieving (and I'm not just talking about miscarriage):
You can always try again.
There must be something wrong with it.
It's part of the plan.
Your baby's smiling down on you.
You'll see her again.

The only thing worth saying is "I'm sorry." I may think those things. John and I may even say those things to each other. But don't impose beliefs or possibilities or happy thoughts on me. Just say you're sorry. (John talked about this also)

I actually laughed at Leonard when he called. He said he was sorry and then there was silence. I told him it was perfect. There's nothing else to say. We chatted about it a few days later.

Leonard: who thinks saying that kind of thing will make you feel better?
but they keep doing it. when dad died and then again with mom
me: people who haven't experienced loss I guess
Leonard: maybe
people who say what they think they're expected to say

Now, let me clarify that if you have had a miscarriage and are willing to share your experience, feel free to mention that. But don't launch into your horror story without permission.

I'm one of those people who likes to keep pregnancy to myself (and my hubby of course). I waited for 12 weeks, and after my first doctor appointment before I told anyone, other than our family. And it didn't do any good! Sneaky.

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Tue Jan 24 2012 15:59: parenting from parenting

Miscarriage: Let's Talk About it


Posted by Leonard at Wed Jan 11 2012 20:01


Posted by adele at Thu Jan 12 2012 06:12

Ah, I'm sorry to hear your news, Susie. (And that's truly what I meant to say the minute I saw your topic).

Posted by Susie at Thu Jan 12 2012 07:57

Thank you, Adele. (And thanks, Leonard!)

Posted by John at Thu Jan 12 2012 08:08

I think most people mean well, but are uncomfortable with silence, so they fill the silence with silly words like "you are young" or "you can have more" or "you already have two kids" or "your baby is in heaven waiting for you", the former which, are all true, don't comfort me still and the latter will never comfort me because it's not as factual as the former statements. I know a lot of people believe it, and sometimes I'd like to, but sometimes I just don't know. And, really, neither do they.

If people really want to fill the void of silence, they should ask how you are or if you would like or require assistance of some sort. But then those types of words require follow up, which, our experience taught us, some people, even family, are sometimes just not willing to give.

A particular no-no, in my mind, is to NEVER ask how the actual physical miscarriage went. It happened, and it rather upset us. But again I think it was mostly meant innocently so I'm trying to overlook it.

In some ways I'm glad to have had some of the experiences I've had recently, including the death of my MIL, this miscarriage, our experiences overseas, because I certainly do feel much more equipped to appropriately mourn with those that mourn, among other things.

Good post sweetie!

Posted by Brendan at Thu Jan 12 2012 17:50

I think you're right, that people who haven't experienced loss--or at least not close, significant loss--have no idea what to say, and try to fill the space with words. (Those who have just lost for the first time are often the same way: I remember uncomfortably responding to "I'm sorry" with "well, it's not your fault" when my dad died.)

I'm sorry about your miscarriage; thanks for writing this.

Posted by Sumana at Thu Jan 12 2012 19:48

I thank you for writing and sharing this, Susie.

I'm grateful that you are healthy, and that you have good health insurance, and that you and your family and your doctor were able to resolve the situation in the way that was best for your health and that has caused you very little physical pain. Thank you for reassuring us about those things.

You are in my thoughts often.

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