I had a miscarriage, and I’m surprisingly ok

Guest post by Melissa Beck
miscarriage

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. Its funny , I usually read Melissa’s blog , and when I saw the title , I thought , I bet she would like to read this and then kabam , I read the author!

  2. I just had a D&C today and my miscarriage was very similar to yours and I was sick, sick , sick from the high HCG levels. I was relieved to be feeling better this evening and I thank you for writing an honest post. I was looking online for people like you and me because I was hoping I wasn’t a cold, unemotional woman. I will try to conceive again in the future, but in the meantime, I’m thankful I have a palette for more than the 2-week nausea-induced cottage cheese and Top Ramen diet. More than anything, I’m thankful I will have my energy back so I can focus on my 15 month old son. Great blog!

  3. Thank you for this.

    My husband and I tried to conceive for a few months, and last month the day we were leaving for a family wedding out of state, I got a positive test. We were thrilled, and spent the whole weekend with family keeping it a secret between just us, sharing looks whenever people would hound us about when we were going to have kids. The day we got back, I had an early miscarriage. The fifteen days I spent bleeding were the hardest — we mourned, we told family what was going on. Incidentally, this is very difficult emotionally when your conservative parents view it as “losing your first child” and not an unviable pregnancy sort of miscarriage…my mom asked if I was going to name it, join a support group, etc.. I think that’s when I slipped out of grief and into “No, *no* I’m not going to name the bag of bloody pads in my bathroom corner.”

    It’s not that I wasn’t still grieving over a lost potential baby (the way my husband and I viewed it), but now, a little over a month out…I’m okay. Not fantastic. But okay. We got the go-ahead from my doctor to continue trying, and we’re busily sorting through names together and at this point…I’m not grieving anymore. And that’s okay. I don’t feel depressed. I feel a little cranky about it every so often, but it’s a quick pang, and that’s it. I’ve been clinically depressed before so I know my own differences, and I know I’m okay. Some of the more difficult things have been conveying this to my parents, though! But at this point, a month out, my husband and I can shrug and say, “Well, that sucked,” and continue on.

    Everybody deals with grief in their own ways — some people find comfort in giving their loss a name. And that’s okay too. I think I might feel differently if it weren’t such an early miscarriage, but for me, I don’t feel like this is something that’s going to haunt me. And in a way, that was always my biggest fear about pregnancy: the possibility of miscarriage. I saw friends go through it before and I always thought that I didn’t know if I could stand that. And now I know. (Not that I wanted to know, but still.)

    • Name a bag of bloody pads…. can’t stop laughing (by the way am miscarrying right now myself)

  4. Melissa, thanks so much for writing this! I found your article by doing exactly the type of Google search you describe, and was extra excited to see that you wrote it because I’ve been a long-time fan of your blog. But I guess I haven’t been keeping up with reading it lately, otherwise I wouldn’t have been completely mystified and confused when I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum earlier this week. I totally did not know this was possible. I would have been thirteen weeks along yesterday and thought everything was going along swimmingly.

    The weird thing is, after a bit of sadness immediately following the diagnosis, I’m seriously fine. I feel strange about that, even though my midwife keeps assuring me that everyone reacts differently and my feelings are totally normal and acceptable. If anything, my bouts of teariness this week are mostly related to waves of gratitude for my amazing two-year old daughter (she’s just a bit younger than your Shalom), and my awesome husband. This is making me appreciate them and all that I have even more, but it’s strange to have such positive emotions in light of what I could be feeling right now. Maybe this will hit me more later, but I really don’t think so. I’m not the type of person to suppress my feelings; if anything I’m usually the opposite. So we’ll see.

    You’re right that knowing that miscarriage is so common is really helpful. I think I’ve had it in the back of my mind since I found out I was pregnant. I’m in my late 30s and although my daughter was ridiculously healthy and strong from conception, I really wondered if I would luck out and dodge this bullet twice.

    Is it lame that my strongest reaction to this is that I’m super-pissed I’ll probably have to go through all that first trimester misery at least one more time? I was totally counting down the weeks and so excited to be done once and for all.

  5. I’m so glad I found this!! I’m took a home preg test last weekend (positive) and last night started cramping and bleeding. I’ve been sad and had my moments of tears today but overall I just feel like it wasn’t meant to be. It’s God’s will and now I know I can get pregnant!!! (I’m 35 and this is the first we are trying) I’ve been looking online and was really starting to feel like something was wrong with me because I was not devastated. I’m normally a very even keel anyway, but I was feeling a little heartless. Thank you ladies.

  6. I miscarried in October and found myself, after the first waves of shock and loss and grief passed (it was unplanned and I was still in high school) completely and totally okay. As a teenager, it’s probably expected of me that I should not be upset about not being pregnant; my therapist told me point blank “I don’t know what you’re upset about, this is a big fat blessing in disguise” which was totally inappropriate at the time, but now, is exactly how I see it

  7. You are not alone and it is good to read that I am not either. I was not TTC, the pregnancy was a shock, the miscarriage that began 2 days later and was originally diagnosed as normal spotting while I went about think I was still pregnant for another month was not a shock. It was actually a bit of a relief. What was hard was my fiancee telling everyone I was pregnant and then telling everyone I had miscarried. The “you know you really shouldn’t have been riding a bike, doing your job as a ship’s engineer, drinking coffee, etc etc etc from friends and family made me feel violated and judged. I also made me reconsider who I want in my life. Fast forward 8 weeks and I got pregnant again, this time deliberately. The miscarriage made my fiancee and I have a serious talk about becoming parents, and plan something more concrete than just a “when it works with my career timing”. The miscarriage was not traumatic, I do not want to bring a life into this world that will suffer and I believe wholly that nature does these things for a reason, what was traumatic was dealing my family being judgmental and peoples expectations that I be sad. And yes at now 20 pregnant weeks I still bike, sail, swim, ride horses, and do all things that people told me probably caused the miscarriage.

  8. Last time there was an article on OBM about miscarriage, I had a miscarriage two days later. If that happens again (10 weeks along here!), I am going to have to stop reading this blog 🙁

  9. I miscarried about 3 months ago. I can’t even remember now how far along I was. It was a very wanted pregnancy. But the most traumatic part for me was the 24 hours I spent sitting in various waiting areas in ER waiting to find out whether or not I was or was not miscarrying. It was that bouncing between planning for the future of “Hey won’t this be a funny story to tell baby when they are older? How worried we were, but then everything was ok?” and “Ok, so it’s over. Now what do we do to move on.”
    I went into the hospital on a Tuesday night and didn’t come out with a straight answer until the following evening. Even when the doctor told me he said “Oh I don’t know if these are your results…but if they are then you miscarried!” (Thanks jerk…generally you should be 100% sure before telling someone something like that) Then he disappeared for an HOUR before coming back to confirm.

    The next day I allowed myself to mourn fully. It was still hard for a couple weeks, but not as hard as I expected. I started thinking about all the things I could do now that I couldnt do before. Like, maybe going to college again. And I started working out like mad, and really focusing on my ‘whole food plant based diet’ – and I felt FAAANTASTIC!

    Then last week at work I answered the phone, and it was an old co-worker. She asked me how my baby bump was, and I told her (as she had apparently forgotten) that it was gone. She then went on to make a HUGE fuss out of forgetting and how sorry she was and blah blah blah. And I just stood there with the phone in my hand feeling incredibly awkward. Because…I’m fine! Seriously, literally, honestly. I’m fine. It happened, it’s over and I’ve moved on. But I almost feel a little bit of guilt because people expect me to be devastated.

    It honestly made me feel better about my guilt after reading your post though 🙂

  10. I’m just about finished miscarrying (been bleeding forever it feels like) and for me the most upsetting parts were sitting around waiting for ultrasounds and blood work, worrying about developing antibodies (first pregnancy, rh negative) and whether I was going to need a D&C. Just came home from the early pregnancy clinic: no antibodies, and no further treatment needed. Yay! I’ve had moments of intense sadness, but generally I feel fine, aside from the sudden intense fatigue and the bleeding for days on end. I’m so glad to hear so many other people felt sad, but moved on without massive depression and grief. I think I can sum up my pregnancy experience with two words: biology sucks.

  11. I know this is an old post, but thank you for writing it. I was starting to think I was the strangest woman in the world for not being completely devastated.

  12. I’d like to thank you all, both Melissa and all those who’ve commented about their own experiences, for the hope you’ve given me. I miscarried 2 weeks ago; I’m 40 and this would have been my first child. I just never met anyone I wanted to bring a child into the world with before now. My miscarriage hasn’t quite finished, and I think it’ll be hard to get over it emotionally until the physical reminders have stopped. I’ve been more sad about it than I’d ever have thought possible…but I don’t want to drag it around with me for the rest of my life. I want to move on, once I’m okay physically, and you’ve all shown me that that’s possible (everything else I’ve read online is about months and years of grief and sadness and not forgetting).
    A huge thank you to you all.

  13. We’ve been trying since Christmas for our first, (I have PCOS) and I’ve been religiously reading OBM. We got our first positive test a few nights ago, and after we laughed and cried and jumped around, we called our parents and told them the good news. I couldn’t believe it… I kept saying, “But I don’t feel pregnant!” The next morning, I started bleeding. By noon, I was in the ER, and had the most traumatic hospital experience of my life. By the end of it, I was left saying, “I get it, no baby, can I go home now?” Don’t get me wrong, while it was happening I cried hysterically, begging and pleading for everything to be ok, but once it was done, it was done. We went home and had a long talk, made a plan, and went to bed secure in our relationship and the fact that we will in fact be parents one day.

    Imagine my surprise when Mom called the next day and said she hadn’t been able to do anything all day, she’d been crying non-stop and was just brokenhearted. I felt like an ass. I thought, “Oh! Really? I’ve been doing laundry and watching TV.”

    3 days post miscarriage now, and we’re pretty much back to life as normal. My husband asked today if something was wrong with us, why everyone expected us to just fall apart and we’re just cruising along. I was so freaking happy to be able to find this article, and it’s comments, and be able to show him that we’re not freaks, and that we’re doing just fine.

    Thanks, everyone.

  14. This really hits home today. I had a miscarriage last week. I was at 8.5 weeks. After the inital shock and sadness, I feel fine. I’ve rationalized the loss, I don’t feel like it’s my fault. The only thing I still have to get over is the hormonal imbalance in my body right now. And that is a really weird thing. I’m crying all over the place, but I keep repeating that I’m actually fine. And I’m drained physically. I was feeling physically better last week, less tired, more upbeat. One of my friend’s mother warned me about this. You still get a post-partum when you miscarry and your hormones do have to rebalance, so you still do have the tiredness and the mood swings. At least I’m normal!

    Thanks for the story, it really helped today. I was starting to feel weird about not being that sad that I lost the baby, even though it was my first pregnancy!

  15. Your post has encouraged me so much, I miscarried on Friday, I had never been pregnant before being only 19. I was so broken up that day but I’m feeling fine now and have been beating my self up thinking i should be of a wreck and been afraid to admit that I’m okay. So thank you for speaking up!

  16. I’m so glad I found this post. I have two beautiful little girls and found out in May that I was pregnant with #3. For various reasons, it was a terrible time to become pregnant, but I just took a deep breath, prayed a lot, and entrusted it all to God. I started miscarrying yesterday, at 12 weeks. The ultrasound revealed a blighted ovum – meaning that the fertilized egg implanted in the uterus, but didn’t develop any further. Perhaps it is because I never saw a little person on the US (I never even saw a blob) or perhaps it is because I feel a bit relieved that I don’t have to prepare for #3 now, or perhaps it is just because I already have a 3 yr old and 2 yr old to take care of, but I’m ok. Sad, but ok. My husband, however, is devastated and really mourning. Worse, he is angry at me for not being as upset as he is. Anyone out there with a similar scenario?

  17. I too had a miscarriage this year. In March, my husband and I lost our first child together. Tuesday I was numb, worked Wednesday, Thursday was the D&C it sucked. Monday I was biting at the bit to go back to work. I needed NORMAL! Wanted NORMAL, heck I craved it. The following week I was… Okay… He was Okay… We were Okay. I wasn’t curled up in bed with chocolate ice-cream, squeezing the life out of my pillow and watching life time. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t ready to fall into my bed with the ice-cream but I was extremely relieved not to be in that state. I actually worried that I was, okay. Now I just know I am okay.

    It was baby time in my family and with friends… My sister-in-laws daughter, sister-in-law, our good friends and my best friend all had MOM-TO-BE labels.

    We are not planning to try the children thing for a while. We decided to have fun for a few more years, not that children aren’t fun… but I want to enjoy my husband, just him and I (and the two dogs & three cats).

    I am glad your ok. I am glad we are ok… I don’t know how or why, but I’m okay with ok.

  18. I was glad to find this because I too am ok. I had this overwhelming sense of doom from the moment I found out I was pregnant like I knew something wasn’t right. At 8 weeks I had an ultrasound and was told baby was measuring six weeks with no heartbeat. They told me to return in a week to see if anything had changed. I agonized for the week wondering if my baby was alive or dead. When they told me I would miscarry I actually felt relieved. Not that I didn’t want the baby because I did but because I finally had an answer to what I had expected all along. A few days later I miscarried naturally at home, it was extremely painful and much like a murder scene. This was quite traumatic but I was proud I was strong enough to survive without medical intervention or pain meds. Since I have been sore and tender but emotionally I’m fine. It’s almost like I was living a nightmare and finally woke up, of course close family and friends are waiting for the breakdown but I don’t foresee it happening. My baby was chosen to be an angel so it never made it to earth or was mine to begin with.

    • I also allowed mines to happen naturally. No painkillers. A few moments where I felt like just going to the hospital because the pain was so unbearable but I stuck it out kept telling myself if I still felt bad in 2 minutes I would go and keep telling myself that lie lol. I felt like I accomplished something I felt a bit proud of myself to be honest. 🙂

  19. I am going through a miscarriage right now, after TTC with my husband for a year and some change, going on fertility drugs then going off them, i was in complete shock when i found out I was pregnant because we weren’t actively trying. I was taking diet pills, working out like a maniac and eating the absolute minimum because we had just decided to dedicate ourselves to fitness and each other. So again shock and awe hit when I saw the multiple pregnancy tests come up positive. It was short lived joy (as my female intuition was having me think from the get go, well with all the diet drugs in my system) I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant and at 6 weeeks i found out i was miscarrying(and still am hcg is at 54 now and going dow) I was angry sad and confused the weekend I found out, but after prayer and googling stories and coming across this one it hit me like a ton of bricks, i’m okay with this because at least i know (without fertility drugs) that my body knows how to get pregnant. It is just a matter of getting pregnant again and staying pregnant. I believe now more than ever surprisingly that it will happen for me, and that this time for whatever reason just wasn’t right. I’m turning over a new leaf of positivity. I can’t wait to go thru a full term pregnancy with a healthy baby, until that time I will rest easy in knowing it’s possible and that I’m not alone and that there are amazing women like myself who are picking theirselves up by the boot straps and carrying on (i’m in the military sorry) and sorry for the typos…but thank you for this post, it just put my heart at ease and gave me so much comfort. May the good Lord bless you all 🙂

  20. I know this post is old & the thread has been quiet for ages, but I wanted to share my thanks. I originally came across this post long before my husband and I were trying to conceive. I began to miscarry yesterday at 7 weeks into our first pregnancy. I have had some quiet moments of sadness, but overall have been surprisingly at peace with the process. Today I remembered this post and came back to it. I have found a lot of comfort in the stories everyone has shared here. Knowing I am not alone, and that miscarriage is a real and normal (1 in 4) part reproduction, makes this process feel less isolating. I know I will be OK. So, thank you.

  21. I miscarried about 4 years ago at 8 weeks. The hardest part was it happened at work (at a daycare) and just in a bathroom stall. I had nightmares of and on for weeks because I had flushed my baby. But overall I was fine. I was trying to be angry because i thought that was what i was supposed to do. I had two coworkers that were pregnant the same time and they were the ones to bring me the flowers and candy from work, and i thought that was odd, but i would say i was “over it” in a few weeks.
    We go to doctors appointments now and I have to look up the date because it’s not set in my mind anymore. I want to have another baby, but I know it’ll happen when it happens. I believe I’ll see that baby again in heaven, and I hope he isn’t upset in how I’ve reacted. But I think my faith is why I’m OK?

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  23. You are not alone. I had 2 miscarriage, I must admit, I was sad on the day it happened and may be a little sadden for a week or so. I am quite a highly emotional person so I thought I would be devastated but in fact, I took the news relatively well. I have always thought, it’s part of nature, it’s a natural selection. I am now 13 weeks pregnant. The baby is fine. I suppose every women is different, as much as I can understand someone to be depressed after a miscarriage, it just wasn’t the case for me.

  24. I’ve just miscarried and feel so much better, the foetus clearly wasn’t compatible with my body and I felt awful. Itsounds bad because I know I have lost the opportunity of having a child but in so happy to have my body back to normal that I know it was clearly not the right time. It is not always meant to be and it happens so much more often than you realise!

  25. Thank you so much for this post Melissa! It might be an old one, but just what I needed to read today. Thank you for validating my feelings about my miscarriage, I was beginning to feel weird and abnormal about my attitude towards my miscarriage that happened 3 months ago.

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