Miscarriage Can Be So Lonely

They say that one in four women have experienced a pregnancy loss, so in a way, I guess I've thought of miscarriage as something “normal.” Not as in something that should happen to you, but as in something that if it does happen to you, you wouldn't wonder if there was something wrong with you or think the world was ending or wonder if you could ever survive, because hey, it's common, right?

I've always felt badly for women who have had a miscarriage, of course, but I never tried to pretend like I knew what it was like or say anything more than, “I'm sorry,” because I realized that there is a line between those who have had a loss and those who have not. I didn't try to cross it when I couldn't, but I still thought that deep down, a miscarriage would be hard, but still a pretty common experience. 

I've heard so many stories of women who have had a loss that I thought if it ever happened to me, I would know exactly how to cope and what to do and how to make it through. 

But oh my gosh, I couldn't have been more wrong. 

{ MORE: How Common Are Miscarriages After 12 Weeks? }

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Image via Chaunie Brusie

When I found out I was pregnant with my fifth baby, I was actually secretly incredibly excited. I probably shouldn't have been, it being my fifth baby and all, but I was. I was thrilled to complete our family and excited for the chance to have a healthy pregnancy after a somewhat difficult and complicated fourth pregnancy. 

{ MORE: These Pregnancy Loss Cards Say Exactly the Right Things When You Don't Know What to Say }

So when I started bleeding one day around 7 weeks, I told myself it was nothing, despite the fear that gripped my stomach. And when the bleeding got worse and I made the hour-long drive to my midwife and she asked me if I was ready to look at the ultrasound screen, I told myself that I was, that I could do this, that I was strong. 

But I wasn't. 

I wasn't ready or strong or prepared at all for the complete devastation of looking at that completely still and empty ultrasound screen. I wasn't prepared for how complex a miscarriage can be. I wasn't prepared for the type of loss I had — what do you call a miscarriage that takes two months? What do you call a pregnancy that never saw a baby but had rising hCG levels that continued to go up? What do you tell people when they ask you how far along you were when you honestly have no idea if what's growing inside of you is still alive or dead? 

During and after my miscarriage, I was surrounded by love and support. I've never felt so much support from women who have lost a pregnancy, but I've also never felt so alone in my life. 

No one can walk that journey of grief with you. No one can make you take your hands off your face to look at the ultrasound screen. No one can talk you into facing your first pregnant woman after you are no longer pregnant. No one can help you when you hold your first baby after yours has been drained from your body. 

Miscarriage can be so, so lonely. 

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It's so hard, because now that I know what life is like on the other side, I wish I could walk that journey with the mothers who will join us here. I wish I could take away their pain and prepare them for what's coming and share some of their sorrow. 

But I can't. I can only stand here, on the other side, with open arms, loving them as they make that journey only they can make – alone – knowing that they will feel so lonely, even though they are never truly alone. Because we are here, all of us, who have walked before them, alone, but together at the same time. 

Have you experienced a miscarriage?

What do you think?

Miscarriage Can Be So Lonely

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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2 comments

  1. Profile photo of Kari Kari says:

    Was hoping for a miscarriage article not written by someone with already 4 children. That is beyond the amount of children most women even want. I sympathize with you as I am going through it myself, but it is like a happily married woman telling her 35 year old single friend how hard and lonely it was that her husband was gone for 2 weeks (I am just using an example). Or telling your friend whose Mom died when she was young just how frustrating life can be with your mother. This story is just not relatable for me, but maybe useful for others.

    • Profile photo of Megan KlayEditor Megan Klay says:

      Hi Kari – As someone who miscarried my first pregnancy, I can understand why you would feel this way. We do have a lot of very helpful content on this difficult subject on our site, which I sincerely hope you will find more helpful: http://www.everydayfamily.com/preconception-dealing-with-grief-loss/. Most is written by mothers who have miscarried after having more than one child, hopefully you are able to look past this and find the support in their words, as loss is still loss.

      Best wishes to you in this time. I know first-hand it can feel very lonely and painful, but with the support of loved ones and possibly some grief counseling, hopefully you can heal too.

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