I Had a Miscarriage

Trigger Warning: Pregnancy Loss, Miscarriage. I invite you to read this story, and I hope if you’re seeking support or connection, you find it here. But please feel free to step away, if you need to. Healing looks different for everyone. I needed stories like this, but my world isn’t the world. I just hope that if you’ve had a similar experience, you know that you are not alone, that you are loved, that your feelings are valid, that your loss is real, that it is not your fault, that your pain matters, that you weren’t foolish to be hopeful and excited, and that you deserve to be happy and whole again.  

I’ve gone back and forth about whether to tell this story.

I was pregnant.

Our positive pregnancy test.

I’m not anymore.

I had a miscarriage.

Every time I say it, every time I think about it, it hurts all over again.

This is not the news I was hoping to share. But I write stories, and so I’ll write this one.

Something More

I don’t remember ever really wanting to be a mother. I do like children. I just never wanted my own. Until I did.

My husband and I have been together for close to fourteen years. We have a good life. And for about thirteen of our years together, we felt like nothing was missing. We’ve traveled together. We’ve made lots of friends, and we’re involved in our community. We own an amazing, if needy, old house in a beautiful historic village. And we’ve got the two strangest, most wonderful pets in the world. We are happy. We usually spend our weekend days exploring the countryside, driving down dirt roads and finding new places to visit. It was on one such weekend, back in February, when things changed.

We’d spent a lovely, warm Saturday with one of our best friends. We visited a local distillery, had a drink in the sunshine sitting by a little river, and ate dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.

A photo of me, taken on the day things changed.

It was a good day. A great day, even. But when we got home in the evening, we both sort of paused walking up the stairs to our bedroom and looked at each other. In that moment, we felt the shift.  

I said, “I think I’m ready for something more.”

My husband said he was, too.

And that was that. We didn’t know what the journey might look like, but we knew that we’d be in it together, and we hoped that by the end, we’d be parents.

Was This Too Easy?

Things didn’t take long. By June, we were pregnant. The day I took the test, I wasn’t expecting a positive result. I’d been having some stomach pain, which I attributed to a busy weekend and a temporarily poor diet, and I thought it would be wise just to rule out that I might be pregnant before I took medicine or called the doctor.

The result: Two little lines.

So much hope and joy sitting in that space between two little lines.

But there was also fear.

I knew that things would be harder and more risky, given my age – 35, at the time. I’d read the statistics about chromosomal disorders and early miscarriage rates. My husband shared my anxiety, but we tried to stay positive. We got through the long days and nights together, dreaming of what our baby might look like, sound like, which of our quirks baby might share, and who this new little human would be. I was certain we were having a girl. My husband wasn’t so sure, but he was excited at the idea of tea parties and learning to braid hair. He’s a good man, and he felt so ready to be a dad.

And somehow, days turned into weeks. I was nauseous and exhausted all the time. I figured that was a good sign. But I couldn’t help feeling like it was all a little too easy. I’ve had so many friends struggle to conceive, and I felt guilty that our road had been so short. And the fear never left me.

The day of our first ultrasound, when we saw a tiny flicker, I felt relief and joy and hope like I’ve never felt before.

Our first ultrasound.

Baby was measuring exactly where it should be, with a strong, steady heart rate of 159 beats per minute. We finally felt okay to be excited and eager. It finally felt really, truly, tangibly real.

We left for a two-week vacation shortly after that first ultrasound, feeling like we could enjoy it. And we did. We visited family – my parents and my husband’s – spent time on the beach, shopped for small baby things because we felt like we finally could. And we came home the day before my 11-week ultrasound. We promised to update everyone after the appointment. In my head, I was already planning our announcement, and I was so looking forward to sharing our happy news.

The Worst Day

I couldn’t sleep the night before. I was anxious. I was excited. I knew that we’d learn the gender soon, and that the blood test we’d scheduled would tell us more about our baby. I was hoping for good results.

The morning of the appointment, I woke up early, wrote a note to our baby, and took several deep breaths. We drove to the doctor’s office, signed in, I got blood drawn, and then we waited to see the doctor.

I knew something was wrong when she couldn’t find a heartbeat with the doppler. She told me not to worry, and sent us back for an ultrasound. But I knew. I just knew.

The baby was too small. It had stopped growing at 8 weeks and 6 days. There was no heartbeat. I had miscarried, and my body hadn’t gotten the memo. I never realized anything was wrong.

They call it a missed miscarriage.

I haven’t seen my husband cry in years. He cried that day. I cried, too. I’m crying now. All that hope, all the dreams, the life we’d started planning, all of it, just gone, in the span of an hour. You have lots of time to get used to being pregnant, and to wrap your mind around being a mother. When you miscarry, you have no time at all.

August 15th.

I will remember that day forever, because it was the worst day of my life.

What Happens Next?

I am so grateful for my doctor. She is kind, casual, and easy to talk to. She told us our choices. She sent me home to think about it. She talked with us again later in the day, to answer our questions and help us choose our next step.

Because my body hadn’t registered the miscarriage, I had two options: a pill to help things along at home, or a D&C. I won’t go into details about how either one actually works, because I am not a doctor and I don’t want to share inaccurate information. I chose the D&C. I couldn’t imagine sitting at home, in pain, bleeding out my pregnancy. I just wanted things to be over.

It was scheduled for August 18th.

I am grateful to live in a time and in a state where treatment options are available to me without judgment or interference. I am grateful for the medical team that cared for me. I am grateful that the procedure was quick, and that my physical recovery has been easy so far.

My heart hasn’t healed. I know that it will, with time.

I am grateful for my husband, who has supported me and held me and walked this path with me. I hope that I have supported him, too.

Moving Forward

The only way out is through.

There is no cure for this kind of pain.

The latter half of August has been a blur. We have good moments and bad moments. At our worst, we are angry, sad, and hopeless. We are deeply, relentlessly worried about trying again and losing another pregnancy. At our best, we are hopeful, and we’ve been able to smile and laugh and be happy. And then we feel bad all over again, because being momentarily happy makes us feel like this experience wasn’t real, like we’re not treating this tragedy like we should, like we’re forgetting the two months that we spent loving the new, growing life we’d created together, and like we were foolish to even think this might happen for us.

I haven’t blamed myself. I know nothing I did caused this, and nothing I could have done would have prevented it. But in my darkest moments, I have struggled to see the way out of this grief. Before, I could visualize a future with our child. Now, that future is hazy, foggy, and wrapped up in a trauma I know I’ll be processing for a long time.

But there is a future.

There is.

I know that if we are meant to be parents, it will happen.

We’re going to try again.

I know we can’t control the outcome. It’s a risk we’re both willing to take, and we’ll take it together. I don’t know when we’ll feel ready, but I know that day will come.

In the meantime, I’m focusing on being kind to myself, on supporting my husband, on getting back to normal, on writing and reading and creating, and on giving myself grace and forgiveness when I slip into that dark, angry, hopeless place.  

I will heal. We will heal. There is light and joy at the end of this. It’s there waiting for us. I don’t know exactly what our future looks like, but I know that we’ll be happy again.

Why Did I Write This?

I write when I’m happy, and when I’m angry, and when I’m sad. I write to process my emotions, and to share my thoughts, and because I love stories. I write because putting words together in just the right way is its own kind of magic.

I wrote this because I needed to. I needed to get this down on paper. And I wanted to do that now, when these feelings are still fresh – painfully fresh – because I wanted to be as honest and as open as possible. It’s not the most eloquent thing I’ve ever written. I don’t care.

I also wrote this because I sought out stories like mine, and reading them made me feel less alone. It’s an isolating, terrifying, traumatic experience, losing a pregnancy. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. But it happened to me, and it’s happened to so many other women.

And I wrote this because we live in a time when the future of women’s reproductive care is frighteningly unclear, and I need people to understand that pregnancy is not health neutral, and it’s not certain, and positive outcomes are absolutely not guaranteed.

But more than anything, I wrote this because women deserve to tell our stories. What happened to me could happen to any woman. It’s not a shameful secret, though I don’t enjoy talking about it. I have been amazed at the number of women who’ve comforted me, and told me that they’ve gone through this, too, or worse, or that someone they love has had a similar experience. I had no idea there were so many of us. I hate that there are so many of us. But here we are, just taking one breath after another, living with this pain and not saying a word.

So, here are my words. I hope they help someone. I hope they reach you, if you need them.       

24 thoughts on “I Had a Miscarriage

  1. Katie, I am so sorry that you lost the baby. I know that pain; I had a miscarriage, too, when my girls were 6 and 8. I had a D&C as well.
    Lizzy lost the twins a few years ago. They had stopped growing, too.
    All part of nature. But the emotional roller coaster is a hard one.
    I’m glad that you and Graham will try again.
    Sending love and a big hug your way…
    Love, Sally

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel with you in this loss. It has been 37 years since I miscarried. While I have never forgotten, I did heal. As you said, there is no way around it except through it. I have heard all my life during loss “a little bit of time helps a whole lot” and I have found that to be my experience. “Little bit” is relative so take all the time it takes. Your future self will thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Katie, you are brave to share your story. I believe, when ready, writing about pain can be incredibly healing and help others. I have had several friends and family members go through what you and your husband are going through. I have seen their pain. My heart goes out to you and your husband. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am sorry to hear of the miscarriage. The trauma is undeniably painful. I wish you well, Katie, and like you say there is that light that will illuminate your life in other ways. You can always try for a baby again. God bless and take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m soooo sorry Katie. Thanks for sharing this with us. It’s truly important to process. I had a miscarriage between my first and second and I have 4 children now… 3 girls and I boy. I think number 2 must have been a girl IDK these are the stories I tell myself. I was soooo devastated and I mourned and wrote for days.. I still remember. Now I look back and think I wouldn’t have this one or that if it didn’t happen.
    Don’t believe everything you hear either.
    When I taught birthing and pre/postnatal and went to births there were a lot of moms getting pregnant at 44 no problem. Now we test everything at nauseum which has more cons than pros IMHO. heal, take time and trust there is a plan and it will reveal itself. hugs and love 🤗🤗🙏🙏💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So very sorry for you and your husband’s loss, Katie. God bless you both. I share a similar story 35 years ago. We don’t understand why these things happen. Praying for you both to stay strong and positive, may the Lord bless you with another pregnancy that is healthy and strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Autumn is Coming | A Virginia Writer's Diary

  8. Oh Katie! I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes! I had no idea you were pregnant when we saw you in the mountains but I watched you and Graham with our kids and thought how fun it would be to see you with your own! You are both so wonderful and I hate that you are both suffering right now! But I truly believe that our soul’s beauty and goodness is refined by our suffering and there will be beauty at the end as you say! I remember the fears of being pregnant after 35 (twice! once at 39!) – and I remember how they discussed my “Advanced Maternal Age” and the tailspin and concern that designation created for me. I am so proud of ya’ll for being willing to take the risk of pain and heartbreak again even in these tenderest most painful moments! It is so worth it, but I know it isn’t easy! Sending you both lots of love and I will be keeping ya’ll in my prayers!! Love, Larkin

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage, Katie. When a miscarriage occurs, society’s attitude often is to not talk about it, for fear that it’s too upsetting, so thanks so much for sharing your story. Sending you lots of love xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Firstly, I am very glad you wrote this and shared your bittersweet, gut-wrenching experience, both because you have a whole host of love on here from your readers, and because it’s such an important thing to share. Like you did with seeking out experiences, so many want to find something to hold onto, to find what someone else went through, how they coped, how they survived it. Your story can do good.

    Secondly, I am so, so sorry, Katie. I haven’t got the words to adequately capture this moment in your lives, but I appreciate it must hurt like hell. I imagine it will for a long time yet. But still being able to feel some joy, to continue with your routines, to laugh, are all part of healing; there should be no guilt or second thoughts over any of it because you will forever honour the baby that you carried and loved just by keeping going each day.

    I’m really glad to hear you want to keep trying. Given my health, it seems motherhood is no longer on the cards for me, which is not something I ever talk about because it is so painful. You’re absolutely right about this whole reproductive thing isn’t straightforward, and nothing is guaranteed. Women need far more respect and support when it comes to their bodies and their choices, often made under the most difficult of circumstances. I’m glad you received good care, something which also isn’t guaranteed even though it absolutely should be. I can’t imagine what this must be like for you, I just sincerely hope there’s a brighter story to be told in the future.

    Sending my very best wishes and lots of love to both of you. And my love to the little one that will never be forgotten in your journey

    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. oh, dear Katie, i just read this with tears in my eyes, the sharp pang of this pain rushing back to full throttle. this is a heartbreak i know too too well. four times. “so much hope and joy sitting in that space between two lines.” and so much room for heartbreak of infinite dimension. i wish i could leap through this screen, sit beside you, squeeze your hand, and simply say nothing. for of course i can’t know all that that heartbreak holds for you, nor how long the pang will throb. but i can imagine. i lived through the longest night of my life. and i lived through the heartbreak when my doctor called a couple weeks later to tell me who i’d lost and why. my little girl. trisomy 13. it broke my heart all over again to know that my poor sweet girl had suffered something terrible and i hadn’t been able to do a single thing about it. and i know that might sound ridiculous, but a mother’s heart is a mysterious vessel and there is no dictating how or what it should do or be. i will hold onto faith for you. i will hold on so fiercely. my babies were born when i was 36 and nearly 45.

    Liked by 1 person

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