That little plant is going to make it: making it through a miscarriage

Guest post by Hadley

Poinsettia Festival JC Raulston Arboretum  Raleigh NC3687The week before last Christmas, a friend of mine from work asked me to take care of her Poinsetta plant while she was away from the office. I don’t have the greenest thumb in the world, but of course, I agreed to help out. After all, how much damage could I do in a week, right?

That week, I had my miscarriage.

Needless to say, I forgot about my promise to water my friend’s plant and e-mailed her as soon as I remembered my mistake. My note said something like, “Sorry I forgot to water your plant… but I had a miscarriage.”

In retrospect, I feel a little sorry for sending that note. I mean, I really don’t know her all that well. A simple e-mail conveying a change in plans and a heartfelt apology would have been more than enough. But I was feeling sad. I didn’t have my sense of tact. I wanted her to know there were worse things in life than a friend who doesn’t follow through on a promise.

Bless my friend’s heart, she took it in stride. The note she sent back was more than appropriate. A few lines about how sorry she was, a few saying she hoped I was feeling ok and then, almost as an afterthought, this: “Our Poinsettia is a little worse for the wear, but with some TLC I think it should perk right back up.”

When I finally made my way back into the office, it was clear my friend had been slightly less than truthful about the state of our plant. “A little worse for the wear” was a flat-out lie. That thing was not worse for the wear. It was dead. Or basically dead. It was four sticks poking out from the festive red pot and then eight brown leaves and two green ones hanging on for dear life. Sitting right there in the window by my desk.

I hated that stupid plant.

Probably for the same reason I hated it, my friend made it her mission to revive it. She pruned it on a regular basis. She hummed a little while she watered it. She rotated it in the window and said things like, “I think it’s looking better today, don’t you?”


I knew with my whole heart that thing would never survive. It would die. And until it died, it would sit there looking ridiculous. Sit there and insist on being a hateful reminder of all the pretty, fragile things I was incapable of caring for.

Several months later, I was going about my workday when I noticed something small but very important. A few, no several, new green leaves growing out from the sticks in the pot. They were by no means prolific and it’s still hard to say if the Poinsettia will make a full recovery, but there is one thing I know for sure…

That little plant is going to make it.

Comments on That little plant is going to make it: making it through a miscarriage

  1. Thank you for sharing this, I had a miscarriage in August and am currently on my fourth two week wait since and an trying hard to hold onto hope. The more I read of brave women putting their stories and thoughts and feelings out there makes me feel less alone.

  2. I love this. And it is true. I had a miscarriage back in April and after many seemingly never-ending months, I just found out that I am pregnant again. It’s hard to shake the fear and worry that things will go wrong again, but whatever happens, good or bad, I have to believe that I’ll get through it. Plants are resilient. And so are people.

  3. This was a completely beautiful way to communicate your sad experience. You are clearly a strong, thoughtful and resilient woman. It gets better, it really does. Thank you you for sharing your story.

  4. Well, this just made me cry. Lovely post – thank you. I had a miscarriage back in ’04, and am now 7 and a half months pregnant. Stay strong; you never forget, but it does get better.

  5. Thanks for sharing that. It was over 11 years ago that I had a miscarriage, and struggled a bit to get pregnant after that. I’ve had three kids since, and everything is OK now, but at the time I felt like it was the end of the world. I could have used a poinsettia story then.

  6. Hey you guys! I thought you’d all like to know that Hadley actually sent us this post in April — we held it so it could run around the holidays. When I emailed her to tell her that the post was going live (finally!), she told me that she was in the hospital getting ready to deliver their new baby! I thought that was so incredible. 🙂

  7. I’m so glad to read your comment Stephanie.

    I’m also really happy you posted this – I’ve nursed plants back to health after nearly killing them. I’ve also had to nurse myself after loosing a baby.


  8. Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve had 4 miscarriages since I had my youngest daughter (who is now 3 years old), two of those miscarriages being in August and November of 2010. After deciding with my husband that my body was obviously trying to tell me something and that we shouldn’t try anymore, I surprisingly ended up pregnant again this fall. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of worry I’ve had (and still have) on my mind, but this story is so true…you can, and will, heal. I never thought I would be strong enough to cope with the loss of one, much less five, pregnancies…but I did, and my experiences have given me the opportunity to help so many others. I’m hoping for the best this time around…and we just entered the second trimester, so things are definitely looking up!

    • I too have just entered my second trimester! I had a miscarriage in July, at which point we decided to stop trying until next year. We booked an o/s holiday to Thailand, and were a week from it when we found out we were pregnant again! We cancelled the holiday (we are being SUPER cautious) and have been in a state of blissed out shock ever since! I am finding hard to comprehend though, which might have to do with my paranoia that I will find blood every time I go to the toilet or feel a twinge. It’s hard to believe that this time will work out, when last time it didn’t. I can’t wait to be a mum!

  9. Your thoughts are heartbreaking and yet beautiful. After five miscarriages, I now have six gorgeous children. Three I gave birth to and three I adopted. My life is a beautiful mess, and the tragedies have made my life that much sweeter. Thank you for this…it reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for after all the struggle.

  10. Thank you for sharing this. I miscarried my first pregnancy on Christmas morning. I am having a hard time coping and having hope. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Bless you.

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