The Truth About Our Miscarriage: What I Gained from Our Loss



When we miscarried in early October I comforted myself by saying "well at least I'll be pregnant again by my due date". 

The calendar now tells me that's unlikely.  That bitch. Pardon my French.

May 2nd is just weeks away and despite the many online forums filled with people saying that just a couple months after their miscarriage they found themselves pregnant again, that just isn't me and that's okay. 

Now don't get me wrong. This post isn't to tell you all that I'm 100%. That we're completely healed, and that things are all sunshine and rainbows and unlimited boxes of Thin Mints. It's more about finally getting to a place of acceptance and how despite something truly devastating happening to us, I can see the good that's come from it.

33 weeks pregnant with Liv

Before I get to the healing, let's talk about the dealing. One of the most brutal aspects of my miscarriage has been watching other people grow their families. Friends, family, hell, even Doc McStuffins' mom and dad just adopted! It's where I'm at in life. At nearly thirty it's no surprise that the people around me are pulling the goalie and moving full steam ahead towards baby town. You can't really fault them for that. Just like I can't fault myself for flinching when I open Instagram or Facebook and am greeted with yet another pregnancy announcement. Sometimes it's more than a flinch. Sometimes it sends me right back to October when I was rocking myself in the corner over the loss of a child I'd never get to know. 

No matter when you miscarry, whether it's five weeks, eleven like us, or God forbid further into pregnancy, it's a loss. How it affects you, how painful it is, is personal. There's no expiration date on your grief and there's no wrong or right way to feel...but you have to feel. I'm someone who "pushes through". I have to, don't I? I have a child to care for and a business to run. Sitting in bed crying for days on end just isn't an option for me and I found it so tempting to just push through the pain and not feel it, which really didn't help at all. So I felt, and I felt some more. I let in the disbelief, the longing, the anger, and the crushing sadness. 

So where's the good that's come from it? What's the point in sharing? I guarantee if you ask a friend who's miscarried how much time they've spent on the internet reading about pregnancy loss, they'll tell you it's significant. I found blog posts from other women whose stories became a lifeline for me in those early days. Whether they had gone on to conceive again or not, I clung to their stories because the one commonality they all shared was this:

They all survived.

Melodramatic? Maybe. It's sort of my personality, but in the days after my miscarriage I felt swallowed by pain, grief, and true misery. Seeing that these women had gone on to find happiness, in any way, was a sort of salve for my soul. It gave me hope that things wouldn't always feel this way. I'm hopeful that this may help somebody, somewhere, who's looking for some comfort, some hope, something to look forward to.

When I lost our baby I knew exactly one other person who'd miscarried. Now I can't even count the number of people I consider friends who've miscarried on two hands. So there's your silver lining number one. I've met and developed relationships with the most amazing women throughout this process. Women who give me comfort, strength, perspective, and who really make me believe that this is all going to work out. Nothing cuts through the BS of competition and cattiness that women can sometimes create quite like mutual loss. Even women who've not miscarried have become friends I may not have made otherwise. In the months after my miscarriage I really put myself out there, trying to keep busy, and it paid off so much. Existing friendships were bettered and my appreciation for them deepened. Not too shabby.

Silver lining number two:

Personal growth. My experience with grief has been mercifully little. I suppose I never really had any practice dealing with the emotion. I've still got all four of my grandparents and the only time I've really had to say goodbye was to our family dog. 

I've learned that grief is a funny thing. It either breaks you or makes you and maybe even does a little of both. I felt so broken when we left the hospital, and while I'll never get that piece of myself back, it has really changed who I am for the better. I'm more compassionate, I'm more fiercely protective of my family, I'm finally able to stick up for myself,  I'm stronger, and I've learned that I can fight. Fight every day to find something positive, to focus on that goodness and to try to build on it. In an effort to distract myself I threw myself into my business and watched that grow much more rapidly than it would have otherwise. I've taken up new hobbies I've always wanted to try and enjoyed them immensely. I've taken the time to nurture relationships with my husband, friends, my mother, even my daughter. It has truly made my overall life more full.

As time passes, wounds heal and while I'll never forget this experience, I can feel myself moving on. I've accepted that this happened to us and that there are far worse things we could suffer. I have such a heightened appreciation for the good things in our life and I don't want to let this precious time with my daughter pass me by because I'm so focused on something I cannot change. I'm sure that someday we'll have another baby (though even if we don't) and I don't want to look back and regret that I squandered this time by obsessing over what was clearly not meant to be. I've grieved and will continue to as I find I need to, but that gripping sadness has faded. 

For the majority of the past few months I've been wanting a pregnancy to help punctuate this time. I felt that I couldn't move on from our loss without another pregnancy. While I do think another pregnancy will absolutely make us happy, it can't be the punctuation. That has to come from me. I have to decide that it's time to move from "post miscarriage" into "living life".  I hope that's what someone going through this will take away. That it really does get better. That the potential to turn things around is there and you're capable of it. 

So does that mean I'm not trying frantically for another baby? While I wouldn't say frantically, I'm going to continue to pee on all the ovulation sticks in the land because 1. we do want to grow our family and 2. it's just kind of fun. Yes, the disappointment with each successive "not pregnant" month is hard, but what are the options? Give up? Or keep going.

So while we wait for our time to come,  I'm going to say congratulations to the McStuffins family, accept the pain when it comes (because it will continue to come knocking from time to time), maybe pour a glass of wine, and then shift my thoughts to what's in front of me...and realize that while I've lost, I've certainly gained.

39 comments:

  1. So beautifully written. You are so inspiring and a wonderful woman! Thinking of you!

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  2. I can relate so much to your post. I, also, miscarried our second child at 11 weeks in May of last year and we are still trying to conceive. It's so hard to be positive sometimes, but like you said, we keep going. Thank you for putting yourself out there for people like me to relate to. It's comforting to know others are going through and feeling the same way. I understand the pain of seeing other families growing and it's not that you're not happy for them it's that their gain emphasizes your loss. I found the due date particularly difficult, but let yourself grieve. This too shall pass.

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    1. I am so so sorry for your loss! I never realized how many other people were dealing with this loss until I miscarried. I'm bracing myself for the due date and you're right, that will pass too!

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  3. So beautifully written. While I haven't experienced the loss of a miscarriage, I've had my fair share of emotions through many failed rounds of Ivf. While we have now accepted life and "given up", I am hoping you get your positive test very soon! Good luck!

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    1. Thank you so much, and I'm sure Noah is such a comfort to you, like Olivia is to us.

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  4. This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. I'm so sorry that this has to even be a part of your life. I can't relate to your loss via miscarriage, but as someone with an infertility diagnosis, I definitely can relate to the slap in the face that is Baby McStuffins. My daughter (conceived by some miracle right after we were told IVF was our only chance), is nearly 4. ALL of her friends have younger siblings now. Some have two! And daily my daughter flips through Land of Nod catalogues, daydreaming out loud of the bunk beds she'll share with a sibling, or puts outgrown toys in a bin for her someday brother or sister, or picks out some baby item at Target that she wants to buy for the him/her that may never be. It's a level of heartbreak I never imagined. No matter what stage of your family you're in, I think the pain of yearning for a baby you've lost, or may never have, is like no other.

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    1. You're so right, I think I feel like I've failed by not providing her with a sibling, but the reality is that she's just fine. I still do hope we can give her a brother or sister soon but the best we can do is love her and we definitely do that!

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  6. This is beautiful. I'm praying for you and your husband. Thank you so much for your openness.

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  7. Such a beautiful and well written post. While I haven't experienced this, I certainly feel for you and hope you get to grow your family soon!

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  8. While I haven't had a m/c, I've just found out that our beautiful baby daughter, (conceived after infertility and IVF) will have a lifelong medical condition in addition to the surgery that she went through. Your words really resonate with me. My thoughts are with you and good luck in your TTC process.

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    1. And mine are with you! I hope you'll find strength during this time and your daughter is so lucky to have parents who love her and wanted her so badly!

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  9. I miscarried a baby girl at 11 weeks last April. I completely understand all of your feelings. I thought I would be pregnant by my due date, but that day came and went. I actually felt more at piece after my due date, like it was something I needed to get past. The community of women I found who are also miscarriage survivors were what got me through my worst days.I'm pregnant now, it took 8 cycles to conceive again. I'm still in my first trimester and praying that the outcome is different. My thoughts are with you and I hope you have your rainbow baby soon.

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    1. I think I'll feel the same way...almost like the anticipation of the due date is worse than the date itself! I'm so excited for you to be pregnant again. Sending lots of positive vibes your way and praying for a healthy pregnancy for you!

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  10. Thank you so much for your post. We've been trying for a second baby for almost a year now, and while not a miscarriage, we've had "chemical pregnancies" and just no luck. It's hard because our first daughter came so easily, I just assumed the second would as well so we planned. 3 years apart, baby in February or March, it would be lovely! Now that imaginary due date has come and gone, and we're still chugging along. It's hard because we're testing and nothing is apparently wrong, so I try not to get discouraged but I almost hoped for a magical medicine to just make it happen.

    But this post reminds me to step back. I DO have a hilarious little daughter, I need to enjoy her. Sure, she'll unfortunately get dragged to a few appointments so that we can hopefully add a sibling to our mix, but I need to enjoy her precious stage. Because another baby WILL happen. Obviously not when we expected it, and maybe it's not in the way we thought it would happen, but you remind me I'm not alone. Hugs from Minnesota (-Eleanor-)

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    1. That's exactly how we feel! Olivia was so easy to conceive and carry and this really blindsided me. We've actually miscarried again since posting this and have begun testing as well, so I know exactly how you feel. I think we ABSOLUTELY have to step back and appreciate our fabulous little girls, they're what it's all about!

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  11. I love this post. You have been so strong throughout all of this especially with all you have on your plate. <3

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  12. Such a great read. I'm so sorry for your loss. I miscarried before Mykenzi and was so traumatized I swore I would never have kids. Eventually, I wondered if a life without kids was what I really wanted. Almost exactly 3 years to the day we found out we were expecting Mykenzi and it's been the most amazing ing thing. We announced our 2nd pregnancy shortly before you announced your loss and I felt like such an asshole. Surprise pregnancy announcements hurt when you are trying to comprehend what just happened to you. From my experience, time is your friend, and you'll always wonder about that baby and he/she will always be with you. I look forward to the day you and your little family get to surprise us with another baby announcement! Wishing you all the best!

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    1. You don't have to feel like that!!! These things happen and they make us stronger, right? And I know I have more appreciation than ever for Olivia and that's worth it. We'll get there someday!

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  13. What an inspirational window into your life. Thank you for this. While I don't know the pain of a miscarriage, it took us many months to conceive both of our children. Prayers for you and your family.

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  14. i wish i could reach through the screen and give you the biggest hug! i totally understand and have felt everything you just said. i have had two miscarriages and it has been almost 7 years since our first one and i don't think about it every day there are days where i think about those babies and miss them terribly even thought i didn't get to know them. when i got preg with kinsy i was terrified that it would happen for a third time and i know its easier said than done but have faith what ever that may be for you and don't let yourself be scarred. and if you find yourself getting to stressed out about it just relax and breathe and it will happen when you aren't even trying <3

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    1. Thank you so much, Shannon! It's definitely a comfort to hear from people who've experienced loss and gone on to grow their families!

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  15. You are such a beautiful soul and so brave to share your journey. I can imagine the pain would be beyond crushing but I am glad that you have been able to take away some good from the situation. And having just lost my only living grandparent left might I add you are so lucky! Give them a big hug!

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    1. We are so lucky and we try to focus on that! I'm so sorry for your loss and know these hard times just make us stronger!

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  16. You are one amazing lady. You could not sum up the experience more beautifully if you tried. It's so hard but it makes you appreciate things in a whole new way.

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    1. Thank you so much, Tori and you're absolutely right! It provides a new perspective that is important for us to hold on to!

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  17. This is my favorite post of yours. I read often, but am not a big commenter...I did email you after my miscarriage, and you were so kind and empathetic. It's a shitty "club" to be in, but you are right, women do survive after a miscarriage. Everything you wrote in this post resonated with me...so thank you for that!

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    1. Katie! Thank you so much. I hope you're doing well and please feel free to email anytime!

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  18. This was beautiful, Megan. You are one amazing, strong woman to be so open about this and share your story. I am rooting for you and know that you will kick ass and take names everywhere in life. Anytime you want to escape and meet in town for coffee or girls night, I'm totally down.

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    1. Thank you so much! Girls night ASAP please!

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  19. Thank you for sharing and am so sorry for you loss. We just found out about a week ago that I miscarried at 10 weeks. We have one daughter just a few months younger than yours and tried for a year and a half plus fertility treatments for this pregnancy. It was a huge slap in the face so to speak, but have found so much comfort in reading others similar stories (plus those that have gone on to have successful pregnancies afterwards) online like you said. So again, thank you for sharing as so much of your post resonates with me right now. Hope you have your rainbow baby soon <3

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    1. Oh Laura, I'm so so sorry. The disappointment (especially after all you've already gone through) is just crushing. I hope you stay hopeful because I know this will happen for you and you'll be amazingly strong when it does <3

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  20. Thank you so much for sharing this. I had my second miscarriage a month ago, this one at 11 weeks 5 days, and it was your story that has helped me through the most. I knew people who had miscarried, but not as late as I had and it is definitely a different crop of emotions from the first time around when I was just over 5 weeks. We have chosen to do some testing to see if there is a reason this has happened beyond bad luck, so we can't try again in the meantime. Watching how you have made such an effort to live your life with your husband and with Olivia while you wait has helped me so much. I've been wanting to write you a thank you, but if it was one of the (few, I'm sure) times you weren't thinking about your loss, I didn't want to bring up the emotions.

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    1. Amy, I can't tell you how sorry I am. We just miscarried again last week and we're in the same boat. Testing so waiting. I'm so glad this has been helpful and you should feel free to e-mail me anytime! We're all in this together <3

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