Health Parenting

A Seat at the Miscarriage Table

By Jocelyn

Miscarriage is a real bitch. However, recurrent miscarriage is the Regina George of all bitches. One minute you’re sitting at the cool kid lunch table with all the other moms-to-be, flashing your positive pregnancy test and designing your dream nurseries on Pinterest. The next day, you’re drowning in tears from devastating ultrasound results and eating your lunch alone in a desolate bathroom stall.

That’s the thing about miscarriage – especially for those of us who have suffered from frequent ones. The emotional turmoil that occurs throughout the process is overwhelming and it forever changes you. Getting a positive pregnancy test result is only a short-lived high for families who have suffered through one miscarriage, let alone multiple losses.  As soon as the excitement hits you, it is soon pummeled by crashing waves of anxiety. Miscarriage will rob you continuously of things most parents take for granted.

For couples that struggle with miscarriage, that ultrasound appointment is equivalent to the feeling you get when riding a roller coaster as it takes its first 100 ft drop. Whether it’s morning sickness or anxiety, you will be vomiting all over your partner in the process.

Lying on the bed in the ultrasound room, you will suddenly become an overzealous detective as you analyze every move the ultrasound technician makes.  If they don’t smile enough, if their breathing pattern wavers, if they don’t talk enough or maybe they talk too much – either way you will be convincing yourself that any or all of these moments will clue you in on the health of your baby.

If you are lucky enough to catch the beautiful grainy image of a flickering heartbeat on the technician’s screen, you get to breathe a momentary sigh of relief. However, the anxiety doesn’t end there. Every uncomfortable pregnancy cramp will send you running to the internet to make sure that everything is, in a sense, normal. Even something as simple as making your 900th trip to the bathroom will be marked with terror as you constantly check for tinges of blood. You may not even want to talk about the pregnancy with others for fear of making it somehow disappear.

Pregnancy loss carves out a part of your soul that will forever change who you are.  Not a day will go by that you won’t think about how old your children would be if they were alive.

Miscarriage can tie your stomach in knots at baby shower invitations, social media pregnancy announcements, and even the sight of pregnant women. It’s like being constantly reminded that you are not invited to a club that you so desperately want to be a part of.

Unfortunately, because pregnancy loss is so infrequently discussed, we are often left alone in our struggles. We often feel isolated and can be especially defensive if someone inquires about our fertility.

For those of us enduring the battlefield that is miscarriage or infertility of any sort, know that you are, in fact, not alone. Whether you were lucky enough to finally have your rainbow baby or are still in the trenches of despair, please reach out.

I promise you there is a lunch table full of women who are currently in or have been in your shoes and are eager to have you sit with them.


About the Author

Jocelyn lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and 2 kids. As a high school teacher, she spends time Googling the meaning to rap lyrics and Urban Dictionarying slang terms so that she can appear cooler than she really is. She enjoys running, drinking copious amounts of white wine, and pretending that she cooks for her family.