Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A miscarriage

My period was a little late, I felt dreadful and I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that there was something different.

“I’m going to do a pregnancy test” I told my husband (then boyfriend).

I really didn’t think much of it. There were lots of other explanations. I’ll do the test, it will be negative and then I can forget about it.

But it wasn’t negative.


Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

My husband stood beside me. I didn’t need to tell him. We had witnessed the two lines emerging on the stick together.

Although we had discussed marriage and babies our relationship was still fairly new. We lived together. We’d met each others families. We were going in that general direction… it was just a little sooner than expected.

It was a shock. But as the shock wore off we started to get excited. We talked and talked and talked some more.

I didn’t know much about pregnancy. Only one of my close friends had a baby and she lived on the other side of the world. There were lots of surprises, like achy boobs and incessant weeing. I was constantly hungry, but couldn’t stomach food. I vomited. A lot.

My GP talked me through the scans and the paperwork. I made notes. During my lunch breaks I devoured the internet. I was scared. But I was happy. There was a time in my life that I didn’t want children. Babies made me nervous. But when I met my husband my feelings changed. I wanted to build a life with the wonderful man who made my heart sing.

I remember the moment I saw the blood with totally clarity. My stomach lurched, panic raced through my veins. At first it was light spotting, but by the following morning I knew for sure – something was very wrong.

My wonderful, kind, compassionate GP was unavailable. Her colleague was detached. She ignored my sobs as she handed me a referral 

“Yes, you’ve had a miscarriage, you’ll need a scan to determine whether or not you need a D&C”

I went straight to bed. My husband lay with me. We both cried. Eventually we got up. We sat on our balcony playing backgammon – the contrast of normality gave us a break from our grief.

I was only seven weeks, and had only known for one of them. But in that brief time I had become a mother.

In those early days we walked a lot, it hurt less while we moved. Distracted, busy. But whenever we stopped the pain would catch up with me. I knew the hard facts, I understood that miscarriage is common, the doctor informed me that as many as 1 in 3 pregnancies end in miscarriage. It didn’t stop me blaming myself. It didn’t stop me wondering if there was something wrong.

At first my friends were amazing. But, there is something about watching grief, or pain or misery. It’s uncomfortable. It’s better all round if you recover quickly, go back to your old self… Move on. Get over it. One friend said ‘It’s for the best’….

It was a dark time. My grief consumed me. I could think of nothing else. Talk of nothing else... but I quickly ran out of people who would listen. I didn’t know where to turn. I drank heavily. I stayed in bed. My head told me that I hadn’t really lost anything… just a ball of cells. My heart told me otherwise.

My husband and I dealt with our emotions differently. It was make or break… 

We had a weekend away. Leaving the experience behind us. We decided to let nature take its course… no more contraceptives, but not actively ‘trying’ either. We assumed it would take a while. I was pregnant again by the end of the month. 

I can’t imagine the enormous pain of a stillbirth, or of a miscarriage at 10 weeks, or 14… I know women who live with this grief. They say miscarriage is the last taboo, but I think it’s ridiculous to sweep something that affects so many under the carpet. Through speaking up and sharing stories we can support each other and let the healing begin.


  1. This is such a moving post. I experienced one at five and a half weeks. My circumstances were different to yours - it was between Miss E and Miss L - but I think the grief never truly leaves you.

  2. Catherine, this is such a heartfelt post and all i want to do is give you a hug. I had a related experience, only i still dont know til today if i actually miscarried. The doctor said probably but never can be sure because i didnt test further. It wasnt confirmed with a pregnancy test but my instincts told me i was pregnant and i had missed my period for 3 weeks. Then suddenly i was passing out bright pink and red stuff. So they guessed its a miscarriage. I cried shtloads, was so dvastated, only to have people say oh its just cells anyway or who knows if u were even pregnant? It was a terrible experience,. Women definitely need more support n understanding with this issue xxxxxxxx

  3. How strange that you post this today, I shared my story of watching a stillbirth occur only last night.
    I have experienced two miscarriages in my life and both times people reacted the same as they did you. But you and I both know, that the loss of a baby is so real. So raw and so confronting and so confusing. How to grieve something you have only held with your heart?

    I am sorry that you had to experience such grief but I am so glad that it made your relationship with your husband

  4. What an emotional post Catherine. I too miscarried, a few months ago, at 12 weeks - just after we were in the "safe zone".
    Monday 15th October is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I thank you for writing about your experience, more people need to start talking about this. It isn't a taboo subject. It happens to more women than we know about. You are not alone in your experience.
    Mel xx

  5. Thank you for sharing this. Your story brings me back to my own experience. I had a miscarriage a little over 11 weeks and obviously it was devastating! I was amazed at how many people started telling me about their own miscarriages. I had no idea how common it was! I understand what you mean about people wanting you just to get over it and move on. Ha! Easier said than done!
    I agree though, healing helps with sharing! :)

  6. This is an amazing post Thankyou for having the courage to write this. I am going through a miscarriage right now. Sometimes the grief is overwhelming.
    But I know soon I will be out from under this horrid black cloud.

  7. I am so sorry you've had to go through this too.

    Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. Also, allow yourself to feel and say everything that comes to mind. Write it down or scream internally if need me. It all has to come out and the sooner the better. And at the end you will be stronger and calmer for it.

    SSG xxx

  8. That is so sad and so lovely, you expressed your pain so well. I've never had a confirmed miscarriage, but I suspect I had one a month before I got pregnant with my eldest. I was two weeks late and felt so different - strange taste in my mouth, changes in my boobs... I never had a positive test, but I felt sure it was real. I cried buckets when it wasn't. Like you, I was pregnant a month later :)

  9. Catherine thank you for sharing your story. I think early miscarriages are often swept under the carpet - placed into the too hard basket. I have not had one - but I know a lot of girls who have, so I have a tiny idea of what you went through. Hopefully bringing this out into the open more, might help other girls understand that it is OK to greive. It is OK to be sad. It is a painful experience. You are brave to share you story,I hope it helps the countless others that have shared your experience......**HUGS**** Melissa

  10. I know the pain. Before my first daughter I had 2 miscarriages. Then another right before I got pregnant with the last little darling. It is a painful experience.

  11. I m glad you spoke up Catherine and sorry you had to experience losing your baby. No one can judge another's grief and pain. Every loss matters to the ones who have to go through it. Xox

  12. I'm so sorry. Such a sad thing to go through. My friend had three miscarriages before she had her son. Such a terrible loss. xx

  13. This is a beautiful post. It is something so many of us have experienced and we so rarely talk about. I think especially if you are able to go on to have other children, the sadness of a lost pregnancy is rarely spoken of again - although it never truly leaves you. It's so strange that while it's not necessarily 'taboo', we still don't talk about it openly enough to make people feel less alone when it happens to them. Thanks for sharing your story.

  14. You spoke my words catherine. I had a miscarriage at 9 weeks. I was working at the time in a child care centre and blamed myself for keeping on working. As soon as I was pregnant again which took us another 6mths i quit my job and sat at home. Didn't have support around me as the inlaws were all overseas at the time and well mum would come and go but I had work to do.

  15. A very moving post in this month when we remember all babies lost. Hugs to you and sympathy for the baby you never got to know and hold.

    I had a scare with my first pregnancy and it was absolutely terrifying - it happened on the day of my sister's wedding so inbetween church and reception and calls to the wonderful nurses at the hospital, my husband and I kept it to ourselves throughout the day - although my mum could tell something wasn't right. Luckily, it was just a scare but it was a long couple of days to wait for confirmation that all was okay.

    One of my best friends lost her baby girl after 12 hours of having her due to complications during the birth (the rest of the pregnancy was perfect).She would have been 2 this month :( I just think of her as a perfect little angel, called straight to heaven.

    Blessings and prayers to all who have known such loss xxx

  16. Lovely post. My hubby (then boyfriend) and I shared a similar experience in 2005, I was 5-6 weeks! I had a D&C, wasn't pleasant, but not as bad as I thought. However we did not try again straightaway, it was actually 5 years later, and this time planned. However even though in 2005 we were not trying to get pregnant, it happened, and it will always stay with me knowing I could have had a 7 year old now.

  17. Lovely post. My hubby (then boyfriend) and I shared a similar experience in 2005, I was 5-6 weeks! I had a D&C, wasn't pleasant, but not as bad as I thought. However we did not try again straightaway, it was actually 5 years later, and this time planned. However even though in 2005 we were not trying to get pregnant, it happened, and it will always stay with me knowing I could have had a 7 year old now.

  18. Loved your post, Catherine, and I am of course so sorry for the pain and loss you had to suffer.

    And of course, I completely agree with you regarding your sentiments about the ridiculousness of sweeping this taboo subject under the rug. It's pretty much the sole reason that I blog! As a 'survivor' of 11 miscarriages and the death of my firstborn when she was only a month old, I've heard pretty much all of the reassurances that "next time" it will be different. The more we speak, the more we teach. And the more we can find acceptance within ourselves too (as has been the case in my journey, anyway). xx

  19. What a courageous post... My good friend had a miscarriage not long ago and, even though I never faced this type of ordeal, I can feel the pain of loosing a child. She's now pregnant again which is a beautiful news but you can feel that she's scared...

  20. Aha! So you are a rocker mom! I’m just joking! There are so many diverse opinions on tattoos that I have long ago (okay mine are less than a decade old but still) given up on defending them! Each tattoo I have meant something when I got it and therefore it means something now. I didn’t just pop into a parlor drunk and go for it! I have a Chinese symbol on my wrist that reminds me to reach out in hope for others. I have a water symbol and the Arabic word for peace on my foot that reminds me I walk in peace with my past, present, and future. I have the name and a heart of the best friend who passed away when I was sixteen on my hip because she will forever be by my side! And on my back is two angel wings that take up over half my back (and still aren’t completely finished!) This was from a time in my life that I just wanted to fly away from everything and ‘soar above my troubles.’ Every morning they remind me how far I have flown in life! I was 16 when I got my first and after the wings when tattoos were becoming ‘fun’ for me I made a vow to stop until I got the feeling again that there was something I needed to carry to my grave! If you’re happy then it’s good!

  21. Oh, Catherine. So beautifully written and it is never, ever "for the best".

    Because my twins, of which I miscarried one about 9 weeks, were ICSI, I knew almost from day dot that I was pregnant. The hormone suppositories to encourage the pregnancy to take had the side benefit of heightened emotions too. Knowing for a week or a month doesn't matter though - it was still your baby.

    A few weeks later, just into the second trimester, I haemorrhaged and nearly lost Puggle, because of complications from my Little Lost Twin. It was so difficult, still in deep grief for the lost baby, yet feeling so cross with it. Completely irrational.

    Luckily, we made it and here I am, the very proud mother of Puggle, who grew up into my beautiful Boyo.

    All my love, Catherine.

  22. Beautiful and moving post, Catherine. And yes, even at an early stage of pregnancy, you know in your heart you're a mother.
    I haven't experienced miscarriage but I have family and friends who have. Each time it's broken my heart but you're so right that we need to share the stories. To allow the grieving and to acknowledge the pain of losing.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  23. I've read this post and come back to it a couple of times but I still don't really know what to say. I never do. I can't imagine the feeling and the sadness. Thank you for sharing this and I am so sorry for your loss.

  24. I'm so sorry to hear this Cath. I feel myself blessed to have come through two pregnancies with no real issues, except for slight pre-eclampsia.
    Big hugs

  25. Sorry to hear about your experience, it is difficult to comprehend. I lost a pregnancy at 6.5-7 weeks but didn't find out until the 12 week scan, such a horrible time for me and hubby. Funny thing everyone kept asking if I was excited and I said I wasnt letting myself get excited til after that 1st scan, perhaps deep down I knew. I have many regrets including having a termination 16 years before and always wondering what if. I do already have 1 beautiful daughter so should count my blessings. I know a lot of couples that are not so blessed.