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The truth about having a miscarriage, this is my story.
Finding out you had an early miscarriage is… there are actually no words for it.
I know because I've been there… twice.
Once at 13 weeks and again at 6 weeks.
I found so much comfort in reading other people's stories about their miscarriages or watching their videos.
So, two years later, I'm ready to share my story of miscarriage.
There are so many emotions that come up during a miscarriage.
You immediately play the blame game, how could I have prevented this miscarriage? Googling “what causes miscarriages?” Maybe you're Googling different types of miscarriages. No matter what, Google is not your friend; but maybe a blog post or a video gives you some comfort, it did for me.
This post is all about my early miscarriages. I hope my story can give you, or someone else, comfort in this impossible time.
First, I'm sorry that you're experiencing this.
However you feel is exactly right. Some women feel completely wrecked and grieve hard, if that's you, let yourself. Some women feel okay and wonder why it's not bothering them more, it may come later, it may not, that's okay. Give yourself the space to feel WHATEVER you feel and don't question it.
I'm going to share with you the stories of my miscarriages in hopes that it makes you feel less alone.
It's such a complicated thing, often miscarriages happen in the first trimester WHEN NO ONE EVEN KNOWS YOU'RE PREGNANT! So now, you need to tell them first, you were pregnant and also, now you're not.
Or informing everyone that already knows, “Hey actually, nevermind”.
I remember my text looking something like, “We found out that I'm having a miscarriage, I don't really want to talk about it, but I wanted to let you know”.
That was that.
People were very respectful and it was a great way to get the message out without pouring energy I didn't have into conversations.
I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks pregnant.
The first happened when we moved from Minnesota to Washington state for the summer. We had gone to one appointment in MN at week 8 and we were so excited about our next appointment in Washington at 11 weeks.
When we went to the appointment, the midwife couldn't find a heartbeat.
She told me my uterus was the size it should be at 11 weeks, and my hormones were elevated but… no heartbeat. They don't do ultrasounds at this center so they got me into the hospital the same day for one. I wasn't worried, I don't know why, I just didn't think that it would happen.
If you have had the unfortunate experience of going to an ultrasound to look for a potential problem, you know the ultrasound tech is not allowed to tell you anything. Then the doctor came in she told us my uterus was empty… EMPTY. What kind of mind fackery is this!
Apparently, it's called a Blighted Ovum and at some point in the pregnancy there is a problem and it stops growing or self-terminates.
The worst part was my body didn't know it yet.
I had a HUUUUGE mind-body disconnect.
At first, I was actually mad at my body,
“NO, you don't need to pee AGAIN tonight.”
“This craving ISN'T EVEN REAL!”
But I did, and they were.
My hormones were elevated and my body wanted to keep creating a space for the baby, it thought it was growing.
The Doctor told me I had 3 options:
1. Get a D&C (surgery to empty out my uterus)
2. Take a pill that would cause my uterus to expel all the tissue inside
3. Wait until my body realized it and miscarry naturally
Obviously, (granola here) I chose #3.
And it took an entire week and a half for my body to figure it out.
That week and a half was torture.
However, I'm glad I chose to do it naturally. That week and a half gave me, my mind, AND my body time to understand what was going on, process it, and begin to accept it.
I was afraid to miscarry.
I didn't know what to expect, was it going to be painful? How much blood? How long would it last? Can I even call this a ‘miscarriage' if there is nothing inside? Am I allowed to be upset? Other people have had it much worse than me. We never saw a heartbeat. It was still in the first trimester, we knew this could happen. It's not like we lost a BABY just an embryo… right?
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.
I've talked to a lot of women who have experienced what we have and their emotions are just as unique as all of us.
YES you can be upset, or feel okay.
YES you may grieve, or you might not.
YES, there are different degrees of miscarriages but it's your experience that you're feeling.
YES, this is your permission to feel exactly how you feel without questioning it or feeling bad about it.
What is it like when you actually miscarry?
For me, it was like a bad period and the early stages of labor.
After speaking to several women, I knew I'd be spending several hours on or near the toilet, so I created a space. There were towels on the floor so I could be relatively comfortable laying on the floor and staying close to the toilet. I set up a diffuser in an attempt to help me relax, a bucket in case I got nauseous, and lots of heavy pads.
Friday I was spotting, and on Sunday I got really bad cramps and started to bleed. I walked up and down the stairs to get things moving (I literally made this up, I have no idea if this does anything). Eventually it got to a point where I just wanted to lay down because I was in so much pain from the cramps. Seth put oils in the diffuser for me and put a wet rag on my forehead. During the pregnancy, I used a meditation app called Headspace and listened to their pregnancy program. I turned on Headspace and listened to their pain management to help with the discomfort and I almost fell asleep!
The cramps turned into little contractions, and after every ‘contraction', I would pass a clot either on the toilet or into the pad.
Something that really helped me during the “contraction” part was to try and relax. I let the pain flow in, and flow out instead of being tense through it. Seth would remind me when I would start to tense up to just breathe and try and relax and go limp almost.
I continued to have contractions and went to the toilet for about 3-4 hours until about midnight, I was thankfully able to rest.
I wish that was the end of it.
After you have a miscarriage there is always a potential for infection.
After that day I continued to bleed for over 2 weeks. They told me that with a miscarriage there is a chance of infection and to watch for a few symptoms: foul smell, pain in my abdomen, and fever.
Well, the smell changed, which is gross to even write, but it did. When I called my Midwife she said smell is subjective and if I didn't have the other symptoms I should be fine.
Well, a couple of nights later I had the chills ALL NIGHT. Apparently, I never learned that chills and fever go hand in hand. Two days later I had a fever of 100 degrees.
They recommended I go into the ER.
We went to the ER I was quickly told my uterus was septic and I needed to have surgery asap (a D&C).
However, I had eaten lentil soup on the way to the hospital. Which is apparently not a good move when you're on your way to the ER.
SO they had to wait until morning to do my surgery! Seth was with me through the whole thing and my mom flew out the next day to come to be with me.
I was in the hospital for about 3 days while I recovered and they pumped me with antibiotics. Physical recovery was fairly easy, mental recovery took a couple of months.
Once I was home I continued to take the antibiotics they'd given me but I broke out in a rash all over my body… this was the cherry on top.
I had another miscarriage at 6 weeks.
We were so upset when the miscarriage happened, it was certainly a surprise but we were so excited. So we decided to actually give it a go, like on purpose. So we tried again a few months later. (for reference my D&C was September 10th and I got a second positive test on December 8th). We were surprised and sooo excited!
Then, one week later I got my period (Day 35 of my cycle). A miscarriage this early is called a chemical pregnancy… I hate that name.
I feel like our grandmothers were having these early miscarriages (chemical pregnancies) and just assuming their period was late because they didn't have the super-sensitive tests that we have now! Such a blessing and a curse.
My second miscarriage was upsetting but it didn't hit me as hard as the first one. I think because I had fewer people to tell, less time thinking about being pregnant, no pregnancy symptoms, and no crazy infections.
Please know, everyone who has ever gone through a miscarriage is holding you through it.
So what I want to tell you is, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry we can relate on this.
We know how painful it can be to see everyone else announcing their pregnancies.
We know how painful it can be that our partner doesn't fully understand (how could they) and is more or less back to normal after a month.
We know how hard our bodies shake at night when we cry.
When I had my miscarriage I fell into a deep depression, as someone who is more prone to being anxious, this was a new one for me, and I respect depression much more now.
It is hard to get yourself outside even when you don't want to but know you should, or eat when you're not hungry.
I meditated a lot, I tried to stay busy and I just tried to feel and sit with my feelings. No one will ever understand fully because we all experience miscarriage differently but we all respect each other because we understand the deep feeling of loss.
For me, I wanted to talk about it, I didn't want to pretend to be okay when inside I was dark and heavy. Seth did not feel comfortable sharing the information and it was just as much his information as it was mine. So we decided that we would consider sharing the information once we eventually had a baby.
So, here we are 4 years later in 2022 with a 20 month old daughter and a second babe on the way!
But, as stoked as we are, pregnancy after loss is different. You're constantly worrying about miscarrying and desperate to make sure it doesn't happen again. I have a video about that here, which I hope will be helpful if you're pregnant after experiencing a miscarriage.
I hope that this story brings you comfort. I am truly sorry for what you are experience and the best advice I can give is to give yourself time, give yourself grace, and feel. Don't feel ashamed of anything you feel or don't feel.
Process how you need to.
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I wish you nothing but healing in the heart and body and that you get your baby soon.