This Is What a Miscarriage Looks Like

If you’ve followed this blog for long, you’ll know it’s not a secret that I’ve had ten miscarriages in the space of six years. October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and I thought this might be a good time to remind people of what miscarriage looks like.

I dug a little into our photo archives and found pictures on the day (or day after) I started miscarrying each of my pregnancies. Can you tell?

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An Invitation to Grieve

So often, we keep our grief to ourselves. We keep it hidden behind a façade, veiled in secrecy and shame. Is it a lingering childhood memory of being told not to cry? Do we not want to burden our family and friends with our sadness? Are we afraid of appearing vulnerable? Or worried that if we allow ourselves to dip into that deep well of grief, we may never come back?

Whatever the reason, we keep our grief private.

The grief that surrounds infertility or miscarriage is even more private. Our attempts at pregnancy are shrouded in secrecy to begin with, the disappointments hidden away with each cycle, or with each premature end. It’s common practice to wait until the jeans begin to bulge to make our happy announcements, and yet, so often the sorrow arrives before we move into our new size, if we move at all. And so we grieve alone.

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A long way to enough


We never gave our babies names. In utero, I mean. We never called them peanut, or sweet pea, or bubby or anything remotely cutesy like that. Even when family members named them for us, we didn’t really play along. We thought it too dangerous. We hardly acknowledged the fruit we grew through along the way. We might raise an eyebrow in passing. “We’re a fig this week,” my husband might say. “Nice,” I’d reply, spitting out my toothpaste and reaching for the floss.

We might have actually done this the first time. I can’t remember now. But we’ve lost too many since then to allow ourselves to get attached. Last week we lost number seven. I was twelve weeks along, but the baby was only five. I like to think she stuck it out in there because she knew she’d be the last. Maybe she felt safe inside and just wanted to hang with her mom as long as possible. (no idea if it was actually a she, I just like the sound of that).

And this concludes our attempt at becoming a family of five. Or six. Or seven. Not officially, not drastically, no measures have been taken. But we’ve decided (kinda-sorta, 96%, probably most-likely, pretty-much) that we’ve had enough. Don’t quote me on that. But I’m still going to say it. I’m tired. My body is tired. Our spirits are tired. We’re just plain tired.

But I’ve also been reflecting a lot this week on ‘enough.’ Because in saying I’ve ‘had enough’ I am also saying that I ‘have enough.’ And I do. This week more than ever, I am so incredibly grateful for what I have. And in a strange way, this miscarriage has given me pause to take stock in what I do have, and for the first time in a long time, call that ‘enough.’

This is NOT to say I was not grateful before. But for the last six years (OK, really since we tied the knot as far as I’m concerned), we’ve been looking at what we can add to make a family. For the last six years, I have either been trying to conceive, pregnant, or breastfeeding. And there’s always been the desire for more on the horizon. I’ve never stopped taking prenatal vitamins, I’ve kept myself mostly-healthy, limited my alcohol intake, peed on countless sticks to get the timing right, and constantly visualized a big crazy family.

But now, I don’t have to do that anymore. I can just sit still. I can just surround myself with my incredible husband and two beautiful boys and call us a family. This is it. This is us. This is everything. No more, no less. Exactly as we are meant to be. From here until the end.

Don’t get me wrong, this is going to take a SERIOUS amount of meditating on, sitting with, crying over, talking about and will (very likely) involve copious amounts of wine in doing so. (Because, why not!?) But I’m going to go ahead and give myself permission to be content. It’s been a long time coming.


(This is a nicely wrapped up little reflection, I’m aware. Miscarriage is a LOT harder than this, it f*$King sucks, believe me. I’m writing the hard stuff too. Maybe for another time, it’s a little raw right now).