I had a miscarriage, and I’m surprisingly ok

Guest post by Melissa Beck

I had a miscarriage in February. The pregnancy did not progress past the five week mark, but the sac had grown to about nine weeks. I was devastated.

The night after my sonogram when I found out there was no heartbeat, I stayed up until five in the morning writing about the sadness of the experience.

Cut to a month or so later. I’m surrounded by constant reminders that I’m not pregnant and yet, I’m walking around feeling healthy and normal and, well, not depressed at all. I am functional and happy, despite two of my friends being pregnant (and due when I would have been due) and two of their friends being pregnant as well. They don’t even act weird around me, meaning I must be sending normal energy out into the universe.

Based on all my highly sensitive reactions to all things TTC (trying to conceive), I assumed I would be a wreck after this miscarriage. If I broke out pie charts of my life’s traumas and the resulting coping mechanisms, you would safely predict that my miscarriage would be a major setback. You might predict that you’d find me for 12 days straight, showering only three of those days, ugly-crying on a cot, in a dark room, living off of strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups and Totino’s Pizza. Because that’s how I cope with trauma.

But no. After that first wave of sadness, I’m good.

It helped to learn that one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Medically speaking miscarriages are actually, dare I say, relatively normal occurrences. That helped me feel better about what had happened.

While I was trying to conceive, I didn’t know if my body knew how to get pregnant, which was emotionally draining for me. While my miscarriage was terrible, I figure I should be thankful that my body does, in fact, still know how to get pregnant. Now, can it stay pregnant? I will cross that bridge when it’s time. After I shared the story of my miscarriage, I got an email from a reader saying that “it’s all about the right soul at the right time.” And that really helped. This time wasn’t the time.

Also, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that I couldn’t really find many folks sharing my experience of recovering from my miscarriage… who’s really going to go on the Internet and say “I feel awesome!” after a miscarriage? No one would do that. (Ducks head behind laptop.) People who share their feelings of sadness are looking for others with a common experience. That is normal. That warrants a ton of Internet conversation — to relate to someone is huge part of the healing. So, when I did a search about not being depressed after a miscarriage, I shouldn’t have been surprised that I didn’t find much. But no one wants to be judged for not feeling the way she’s “supposed” to feel.

Sure, this “okayness” might be fleeting. I might feel totally devastated next week, next month, next year. Who could know? But for right now, I feel fine, and I don’t want to feel bad about this response. So if you’re reading this and you relate, well then, that’s great.

I will say it again so that it comes up in the search engine for anyone looking for validation like I was. I don’t feel that depressed after my miscarriage. And that’s okay, too.

Comments on I had a miscarriage, and I’m surprisingly ok

  1. We, as females are relatively resilient. Thankfully. I’ve had multiple miscarriages and right before our Daughter was born we dealt with the death of her sister who was born at 17 weeks gestation. Impossible to have survived. I shocked myself by how strong and healthy I dealt with my grief. I owe a lot of the support I received to my boyfriend Stanislav. We helped each other through it all, now we have a beautiful baby girl, who was a very unexpected but welcomed surprise. – Enjoyed your post.

    • I recently had a miscarriage also, little under a month ago. I was right at seven weeks along and was driving down the road and started having sharp pains and I lost the baby later that evening in the ER. I was the same way though, I kept bracing myself for the pain and depression but I have still not had any yet. I am okay 🙂

      • I also had the same happen to me, although some differences. I thought I may have had cervical cancer due to health problems and had even had Biopsies done weeks before. I was 7 weeks along when I miscarried but I was actually relieved in a few ways#1- It wasnt cancer! #2- I was actually pregnant after a year of trying 🙂 and #3 I had thought I miscarried before with the same symptoms months ago and now I know I did and I wasnt imagining things. So things are feeling better after 3 days after the loss and I know now I can get pregnant 🙂 Heres to trying again in 2 months!

  2. You’re definitely not alone.
    I’ve had 2 miscarriages. For the first one, I didn’t know I was pregnant until I lost it. The other, I’d just found out I was 7weeks pregnant the day prior to beginning the miscarriage and I went through the process of miscarrying for almost a week before it finally was over.

    I certainly don’t blame women for being emotionally torn up, but I wasn’t -at least not for an extended amount of time. I sort of adopted this “it wasn’t meant to be” attitude and although I was sad, particularly after the 2nd miscarriage because my husband and I had been trying for over a year to get pregnant, I didn’t dwell or do miscarriage remembrance tickers or ribbons or anything of the sort. I didn’t join support groups. And honestly, I almost felt like something was wrong with me that I wasn’t more distraught. So it’s good to read I wasn’t alone -not that I’d wish that anyone, gawd, but you know what I mean.
    I now have 2 wonderful kids and I can’t imagine my lives without them.

    I wish you all the best in sexy-time relations that lead you (when you’re ready) to another bun in the over that you’re able to bring into this world full of abundant love!

  3. i was never sad, but sometimes i think, well if it would have continued that person would have been… but i didn’t feel sad for very long either. i just wonder sometimes what it would have been like to have that baby. but i guess i always thought that if it didn’t happen, that is because it wasn’t time yet, and it would happen eventually (and boy, five kids later, it did!). i would try again in the near future! maybe this one was just to give your body a trial run.

  4. amen, sister. everyone is different.

    i had an ectopic pregnancy in early winter, and “losing the baby” wasn’t as hard on me as i thought it was supposed to be.

    i started bleeding the day my period was due, so i never assumed i was pregnant -although, we were trying. when my “period” went on much longer than normal, i knew something wasn’t right and was advised to take a home pregnancy test. i was about 3-4 weeks along when the pregnancy was first detected, and had to go through another 8 weeks of treatment/aftercare. *that* is what was awful. for whatever reason, if you go to hospital for tests (as i did 3 times per week) and they’re checking you for HCG levels, people (nurses, doctors, reception) think it’s a great idea to as about your “baby” and when you’re due and other idle baby chat. having to look at someone and say, “it’s an ectopic,” or “i’m not having a baby,” or “i’m having an induced miscarriage,” is an experience i’d rather not have ever again. and not for me, but for the awkward sadness and embarrassment on their faces.

    • it would be awful to have to let people know that 🙁 Its like being so excited to find out you are and then miscarry and dont even get to the exciting news part of it all. Not to mention to see all kinds of pregnant women and babies at all the appointments! Im happy to have my doc app. over with for another week! Hopefully soon it will be us with our huge belly and having a great doc app 🙂

  5. You’re not alone in this. I was sad when I miscarried, but only during the process. My doctor told me exactly what you said- 1 in 4 women miscarry and most don’t even know they’re pregnant when it happens. They think it’s a prolonged period.

    It took about a year to get pregnant after that happened. My daughter is now 15 months old and while I think about the miscarriage itself on occasion, I don’t think of a lost “person” and I don’t mourn.

    Once my body was done with the miscarriage and my doc pronounce me good to go, I was pretty much over it. Thanks for posting this.

  6. I had a miscarriage at the end of February, right before my wedding (March 19th). I also didn’t know I was pregnant until I was miscarrying. I’m not sure if it was because there was so much going on in my life at the time, or if I am just a strong person, but I dealt with the loss really REALLY well. So well actually, that I didn’t tell any of my close friends or family members until after our wedding, and once I did, they were all surprised. None of them even suspected anything was wrong. The weeks leading up to our wedding were filled with parties, dinners, celebrations, visiting family members, etc. and I managed to keep a stiff upper lip about the whole thing. I remember feeling guilty that I wasn’t more torn up about it. I was genuinely shocked that I could laugh and smile and feel pretty normal, even while I was actually miscarrying. I even debated not telling anyone because they would all be appauled that I was so happy and unaffected by the whole thing.

    Unfortunately, now that life is a little less hectic, and I have a little bit more time on my hands, the reality is really hitting me. I hope that you stay strong, happy and hopeful. Don’t feel ashamed if you are doing fine after something like this – its your life, and feel lucky that you’re a badass who can handle anything that comes your way. But also remember that you do have plenty of resources in case you find yourself in my situation- a grief late bloomer. Good luck & my thoughts are with you all.


  7. You seem to have the right idea. Feel the feelings and move on. I’ve had 2 miscarriages. The most recent was about two years ago. I didn’t know I was pregnant, and I was taking steroids for a lung infection. Lost it in the shower…. I didn’t have a chance to become attached to being pregnant which was lucky for me I guess. I have to believe that there is a light at the end of every tunnel, and that everything happens for a reason. My light came last year. If I was given another chance, then you will be given one also when the time is right. Somehow, you probably know deep in your soul that your time will come. Miscarriages happen alot with the women in my family, but so do babies. Seems the more you witness it, the more patient with the process you become. Keep trying love!

  8. I can’t believe the timing of this article. I am actually in the process of miscarrying – have been for about four days, and my feelings have been swinging wildly from being perfectly okay with it to being pretty devastated. I found out I was pregnant at just over four weeks, and was almost six weeks when I started bleeding and having sharp pains.

    Thank you for your post. It helps me to see that I’m not alone in my conflicting feelings, nor should I feel guilt for the moments that I really am at peace with what happened. Everyone reacts differently – no one person’s feelings on something so profoundly personal should be subjected to judgement.

  9. I miscarried at 10 weeks about a year ago. We were trying for our 4th baby. I had 3 healthy beautiful girls to be thankful for so it never really occurred to me to be sad. Then my sister admitted to me that she mourns the loss of her child that she miscarried at 4 weeks when she was 17. She’s 36 and she still marks the due date as a birthday. Sigh. I felt really confused and a little guilty that I wasn’t upset, but I just wasn’t. I trusted that my body knew that pregnancy wasn’t viable for some reason. I got pregnant again the next month and we now have 4 amazing and healthy girls! I feel so blessed that I can’t imagine being depressed about my miscarriage, but I know that everyone deals with unexpected, out of our control events like a miscarriage in different ways and that’s ok.

  10. I had a miscarriage in November, and I am also surprised by the lack of trauma. It was a shock when it happened, and I definitely had a lot of intense emotions, but six months later I find I have no problem thinking about it, talking about it, remembering it. Other people are tentative but I feel, in a weird way, proud of having had this experience — I feel like it’s prepared me for the physicality and unpredictability of pregnancy.

    Not to say that it wasn’t tough — it was — but most of the difficulty was because I had no idea what was going on, so I panicked and went to the emergency room (which was a bad idea — I wish at the time when I’d been scouring the internet in a late night haze that I’d come across something that had said, MISCARRIAGES ARE VERY COMMON AND UNLESS YOU’RE GOING THROUGH MORE THAN 2 PADS IN AN HOUR, YOU CAN WAIT IT OUT AT HOME).

    But now that I know, I feel better prepared for future pregnancies and, if they happen, miscarriages.

    • I don’t know if you’re still checking as it’s been a couple years since you wrote this comment, but today was the first truly warm day of spring where I am. I’m pretty sure I’m having a miscarriage, and I read this comment early in the morning. It stayed with me as people told me to go to the ER. I spent the first summery day outside instead.

      Thank you for putting this comment on the internet for future late night/early morning hazes. My bleeding is light, but there’s some tissue, and my gut is telling me it’s a miscarriage. My gut also told me that spending a beautiful day alone in a hospital just so they can do an ultrasound and tell me something that my body (or, failing that, my midwife appointment later this week) will tell me in a few days.

      Your comment really helped me. Thank you.

      • Oh my goodness — Megan, I am so glad! You know what’s crazy, I was just reading your post (http://offbeatfamilies.com/2013/05/talking-about-miscarriage) and thinking to myself, ‘I am so glad someone is writing this, I feel exactly the same way about my miscarriage.’ And then I got to the part where you mention this comment, and I thought, “that’s funny — I think I might have left that comment.’ And what do you know, I did! I am really, really glad it helped, and that you spent time recovering in a botanical garden instead of the bureaucratic nightmare of the ER. (I got the ‘2-pad’ rule from the doctor I met with a week later, by the way — I found myself wishing just one person from the many clinics and nurse hotlines I had called before heading to the ER had given me practical advice like this!)

        And by the way, the other thing that doctor told me which was very comforting was that just because you have one miscarriage doesn’t mean you’re prone to them — they’re very common, but having one doesn’t mean you’re more likely to have one if you get pregnant again. Which has turned out to be the case (so far) with me, since as I write this I am 7 months pregnant.

        Anyway — so good luck, and thanks again for writing about your experience!

    • but what the posts never go into detail is if it is more than two pads…..and it can be a LOT more! Thats what scared me I had to actually use a diaper to get to the hospital ! Thats was very embarrassing ! I had assumed it was a very strange period at first then I put two pads and a tampon in (just incase) and within 30 seconds all 3 didnt hold ! Things like this should be the things to warn us about , so we know if it happens!

  11. Good for you. I had a miscarriage at 16 weeks, over ten years ago now, and I have rarely thought much about it to be honest. I dealt with it at the time with a bad day when it happened, and then the hardest part for me was feeling like I should be more upset. I don’t remember dates at all anymore, and at the time figured that it just wasn’t meant to be at that time. We have since gone on to have 3 girls and a boy, and I remember all of their dates with ease!

  12. I felt, and still feel, awful about mine it was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. However I think its important to own that my feelings are my feelings and I’m not going to tell another woman how she *should* feel based on my own experience.

    Nevertheless, I’m sorry that you went through the experience but I’m happy that you’ve worked through your feelings.

  13. I’m wondering if we were more open about miscarriages if that would make it harder or easier to go through it? Related to many women not reveling their pregant until 12 weeks.

    • This has never made much sense to me (not revealing the pregnancy until 12 wks), especially for those who would need to grieve openly about a miscarriage: if nobody knows you were pregnant, how do you get support? Obviously not every acquaintance needs to know, but still.

      • I have had multiple losses & I have to say I did not feel that I got support when I did have a miscarriage. People meant well but said stupid things (like “thank good ness it was a real baby yet”) – so after going through ti twice I learned it is far better to look to something like a support group for support & keep the relationships you have in your life from being vulnerable to stupid things said at a bad time that leaves damage. Who knows though – many of the women I met in support groups had similar experiences with lacking support IRL – but maybe that was a common factor as to how we all wandered into a support group in the first place, right? Maybe if we did have adequate support IRL we would have never sought it elsewhere.

        What I know for certain though through my own losses & through talking with many many other women is that there is no right way or wrong way to feel after a loss. There is no day that you are “out of teh woods” when it come sot feeling sad either. I have met women who showed up in group 5 yrs after the fact with sadness NOW about it that they didn’t feel before. Or women who thought they were “over it” and had it come back. I think grief is a crooked line & you deal with it as it comes. I feel I can unequivocally say I am totally healed from my losses. I spent a lot of time & energy in finding peace with it (I had to – it wasn’t not something that could be treated & I either faced future miscarriages OR would have to choose to give up on pregnancy). I now have two children & have been pregnant nine times to get here. I had to find a way to heal, to accept the past AND to embrace the future whatever it may bring. It took time & a lot of tears & talking – but I do feel I am there.

        When I was in the midst of the deepest parts of pain I would have never believed you could truly be okay with all – but then I found my peace & have been living with a full heart ever since (and that was before I had a single successful pregnancy). Even now, the idea of having another child doesn’t scare me. I know I would likely have more losses before I would have another healthy pregnancy, and I am not numb – I am just whole & at peace & am able to finally accept that I cannot control the outcome so I just have to embrace the unknown. I am able to be thankful for each day I am pregnant, even when not knowing what tomorrow is going to be. I am able to say goodbye if that is what is to be. I would have never ever believed that was possible when I was having a hard time getting up in the morning to just go to work. But we each walk our own journey & heal how we heal.

    • I just miscarried, and I’ve felt more compelled to tell people about the miscarriage than I have about the pregnancy.

      I was THE MOST comforted when I read stories written by women who had miscarried. It made me feel less alone, more in control, and assured me I wasn’t dying.

  14. I’m sorry for your loss. It’s so good people are talking about miscarriage more these days and acknowledging that there is no ‘correct’ or rather no ‘normal’ way to respond to loss. It certainly helps in the early days just not to feel alone.

    I lost one pregnancy before we conceived my daughter. I grieved terribly at the time and I do have some sadness occasionally even now, and that’s ok too. I was held together in the early days by people’s tales of their own losses and seeing that their lives had gone on and were fabulous and I’ve tried to pay that forward by letting people know how common it is but also that it’s ok to react however you instinctively do, and never mind how people think you ‘should’.

    Our policy on pregnancy since then has been ‘tell those you’d want to know if something went wrong’.

  15. Gosh, I was just the opposite. In fact, this is the first April in four years that I haven’t mourned. It feels as if I am finally moving past it now. I think, for me, the mourning had as much to do with it being my last chance at a baby (I was 44) as much as my having always wanted a passel (six). Plus, I have never experienced pregnancy and have been obsessed with the idea my whole life; I don’t remember a time when I didn’t fantasize about it. I do have one son, but he was born almost three months premature — when I was 25 — and I had no idea I was pregnant (yes, I was one of those). The saddest thing for me was never knowing what it actually felt like to be expecting a wee one as I had no symptoms at all, nor did I have any time to prepare or any of the attention (emotional and medical) that one equates with pregnancy. It was almost as if I woke up on a Friday and — without warning — someone walked into my room, handed me a baby, and skedaddled. Don’t get me wrong, he was — and is — the greatest gift of my life…. but I still miss having the pregnancy experience for myself… and I still miss having all the babies I was sure were coming my way.

    I envy your resilience!

  16. I completely share your feelings on this one! We “tried” for our third child for exactly one cycle and I got pregnant! I had never had a miscarriage before and my babies never had any issues, born homebirth. But I miscarried at 12 weeks! I couldn’t believe that I had such a late miscarriage, it wasn’t at a more common time like 8 weeks or something.

    After the pain of it, mild labor, I was fine. Once the bleeding stopped and I physically felt better, I was completely fine.

    The way I look at it is that my body knows what it is doing. When we get a miscarriage it is s sign that the baby wasn’t forming normally or that something went wrong and the body washes this out, ready to try again. I would have a different response to it if this happened a lot and I didn’t already have 2 healthy children.

    We are trying again now, first cycle, and I am REALLY hoping that I am pregnant this time. Wish me luck!

  17. Thank you, thank you THANK YOU for writing this! I am 4 weeks post M/C and I have been feeling very “normal” for weeks. We were TTC for only once cycle and BANG, I was preggo. When we found out about the m/c @ 13 weeks I was devastated. But after 7 days, treatment and lots of down time I started to feel bad that I was not feeling bad enough. I hated to admit it and that really my biggest worry was now having to share the sad news and deal with all the comments that would bring . Now at 4 weeks post m/c, am still dealing with the some issues and complications, but I am OK and managing this better than I ever thought I would be, and with my amazing partner at my side I know that this will be taken in stride and when the universe is ready, I will be a Mommy

  18. I had/am having a similar reaction. I also miscarried in February after being diagnosed with a blighted ovum (and it was most likely a no progression past 5 weeks, 9 week gestational sac as well). I mourned a LOT at the beginning, particularly around the diagnosis. (The diagnosis was a month before the actual miscarriage happened, FYI)

    Now I’m pretty much ok. I decided not to join the miscarriage support group that friends kept telling me about. Mainly because for me, it felt more like the loss of a dream rather than the loss of a baby. I had never seen a heartbeat, didn’t know the sex, hadn’t started nesting…

    Every once in a while I’ll feel a twinge of something -I don’t know what though, jealousy?- when yet another friend announces some new milestone in her pregnancy. I’ve got about 3 or 4 friends due this August when I would have been due. But I’m not sad, anymore.

    (Aside to the Offbeat folks – THANK YOU for bringing Melissa Beck to write on here!)

  19. Thank you for sharing your story, i’ll be trying to concieve my first baby later this year and as i suffer from Graves Disease which causes your thyroid to become overactive i will be going into pregnancy knowing i have a much higher chance of miscarriage and i would like to try to prepare myself in case it does happen and alot of these comments are just what i needed to hear.

  20. Thank you for this. After my miscarriage I was sad, cried a little but most of the more serious emotional pain came from feeling guilty over what I thought I “should” feel. I “should” have known I was a mom. I “should” have protected my zygote thingy. I “shouldn’t” have spent the 8 hours I knew I was pregnant (I miscarried shortly after finding out I was even pregnant) thinking about how to have an abortion (it wasn’t planned). But my organic feelings were sad.. but only mildly so, which didn’t help the guilt! lol. Thank you, again.

  21. I went through a miscarriage at 8 wks, not heartbeat to be seen. It was devastating. The pain and confusion was like nothing I had ever experienced. I hovered in that feeling for months. I got a second job to distract me, and then after months and months of working, working out, avoiding people. I realized I was doing myself a dis-service to not enjoy the moments and excitement we had. Miscarriages are very common, not making it less sad but rather more understandable. But was truly unique and special were the moments of hope and happiness my husband and I experienced. We are happy with the experience as it is now, we are happy we had what we had when we had it. And someday, there will be more moments to come which will be equally amazing. xoxo

  22. There’s no wrong way to deal with loss. My first response to this was anger because my miscarriages were so devastating. However, I’m probably just jealous that you bounced back so quickly. I still have moments, 2 and 8 years after the fact. If someone doesn’t have to go through that, all the better! I think miscarriage needs to be discussed more openly and more often. All too often women feel alone and isolated when it happens in their lives. So thanks.

  23. I had a miscarriage about 5 weeks ago. It was my first pregnancy, I was 9.5 weeks long, and on top of that we’d seen the proto-baby with a healthy heartbeat at 6 weeks. I had no idea anything was wrong, so it was a shock.

    I cried on and off for a few days, but since then I have been surprisingly ok. I’m sad, and anything to do with babies still makes me think of what we lost…but yeah, I’m surprisingly ok. Like others have said, I almost felt guilty for NOT being more upset.

    The positive is that now I know I’m able to get pregnant, at least. We plan to start trying again next month and hopefully things will go better this time!

  24. I guess I’m different from everyone else here, as I viewed my miscarriage with nothing but relief. My husband and I had only been together for a few months at the time, and I actually miscarried the day before I was scheduled for a surgical abortion. I had spent the past few weeks mentally telling my baby that then was not the right time and that we would be together sometime later, and they listened, seemingly. So yeah, when I miscarried I was just really relieved that I didn’t need to abort.

    Now that we’re ready for procreation I’m sure we’d have a different reaction, but I’d like to think that my earlier experiences will make it easier whatever happens.

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