What to expect when you miscarry / natural miscarriage stories

“What to expect when you miscarry” are not words anyone wants to type into Google. So firstly, I’m so so sorry that you’re even here.

One of the things I remember feeling when I first miscarried though was ‘why did no one tell me it was going to be like this?’ I’m sure they were just trying to spare me the fear of what was to come, but I really wish I’d been more prepared for what I was going to go through.

So if you too are looking to know what expect when you miscarry. I’ve asked other women in my community to share their experiences of miscarriage. In this post, specifically their natural miscarriage stories (the early loss of a pregnancy without intention or medical intervention).

No two miscarriages are the same. Your experience will vary depending on how far along you were, whether you’ve had babies before and other factors (that to be honest, no one really understands).

As well as preparing yourself mentally (and emotionally) for the experience of miscarriage, there are practical ways you can prepare yourself to reduce the physical pain.

Contents

How to prepare for a natural miscarriage

What to physically expect when you miscarry

What to emotionally expect when you miscarry

How long until you stopped bleeding?

How are you healing after a natural miscarriage?

What do you wish you’d known before having a miscarriage?

Where to go for support after miscarriage

How to prepare for a natural miscarriage

Find a calm and quiet place

Miscarriage can be quite similar to birth (as cruel as it is to draw that comparison right now). Your uterus will contract intermittently until the cervix opens, so that it can release your baby, placenta and lining of the uterus. Allowing your body to relax and breathing through these contractions can help to ease the pain and allow the process to happen more easily.

Even writing these words breaks my heart. Because I know the last thing you want to do is to relax and let your baby go. Instead you want to will your body to hold on. To will your baby to be okay. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to stop a miscarriage from happening.

Finding a calm and quiet place to miscarry can help your body to relax and let go more easily which can ultimately make the whole experience less physically painful.

Get comfortable.

You may want to bring some blankets or a small mattress into the bathroom so that you can lay down in between when you feel you need to sit on the toilet. You make even like to use a towel or waterproof cushion behind you while you sit on the toilet.

I think the main thing to know is that this is not a fun experience. While you’re struggling through it, try to make it as comfortable for yourself as possible. (Or give this article to your partner to read so that they can help prepare you in this way).

Look after yourself physically

While you may not feel like eating and drinking, it is important to keep sipping water and having small amounts of food so that you can keep up your strength. Miscarriages can be unpredictable and it may be over in a few hours or the whole experience may not complete for days or weeks.

I found the emotional rollercoaster slightly easier to deal with on days that I had given my body something nourishing to work with. Soups and stews are great because they deliver lots of nutrition without much digestion. But if you can’t manage that, juices and broths work well too.

Rest. Rest. Rest.

Rest is so important when you’re going through a miscarriage. Your body is going through a lot and needs time to recover. While you may feel like you want to keep busy to distract yourself from the pain, try to not push yourself to do too much. Watch trashy tv. Take naps. Lie in the sunshine and let it warm your belly. Do as little as you can get away with.

Make it sacred.

I questioned whether I should add this paragraph. I wonder whether a past version of me (while in the midst of anguish over losing my baby) would have scoffed at this idea. So if that’s your reaction too, that’s okay.

Miscarriages are messy. Painful. Sometimes scary. Heartbreaking. And can be really fucking lonely. Nothing we do during the process will change the fact that our baby is not going to make it. And that fact trumps everything.

But what if we tried to view the process as an opportunity to say goodbye. To let go. To scream and cry and let out all the anguish we are feeling over losing our baby? What if we treated ourselves with sacred tenderness while going through this loss? I wonder how much faster we would heal if we tried our best to be in this process rather than denying it was happening or internally fighting against it.

If you feel able to let yourself grieve through this process here are a few ideas for you.

  • Light a candle for your baby and focus on the flame as you breathe through the contractions
  • Simply let yourself feel all of it. Cry. Scream. Punch things. Dance. Laugh. Yell. All of it. Without judgement.
  • Play some relaxing music while you miscarry. Let yourself sway and rock your baby as you say goodbye.
  • You might like to look at your baby once you have passed them. Some women find this helpful to connect with their loss, others find this too sad. You could wrap your baby so that you can have a ceremony to say goodbye properly when you feel physically ready.
  • Use an affirmation when it all feels too much. “I let my baby go with love.”
  • When the worst of the miscarriage is over (this is usually when the majority of pregnancy tissue and your baby has passed) consider having a ceremony to signal its end. Take a shower. Cover yourself in oil. Wrap yourself up warm. Sit in meditation. Say your goodbye in whichever way feels right for you. Let yourself rest. You are so brave Mama. x

What to physically expect when you miscarry?

Not knowing what to expect when you miscarry can make it feel even scarier than it needs to be. So much unknown and uncertainty feels overwhelming. The following stories are shared with the hope that some of the shock can be taken out of it for you. Knowledge can help us to prepare for what is to come.

It started with spotting for 2 days. I could feel already that the cervix has started to dilate. On day 2 in the evening, the spotting was getting more and then in the night I started to have contractions. It was not painful, but a clear sensation. I also started to bleed, little bit less than menstruation. The next morning I was bleeding more and the contractions got more intense. Intense contraction, but still not pain.

Then I decided to go to the hospital to check it. I was already totally aware that I will lose that pregnancy, but I was afraid of how much it would bleed and if my circulation will stand it, because I am dealing with lightheadedness all the time.

In the hospital they did an ultrasound and could see the amniotic sac, but no embryo inside (it was the first ultrasound in that pregnancy). Fifteen minutes later the amniotic sac was already collapsed and it continued to bleed little more than menstruation and the contractions stayed the same.

This was around 11am on day 3. I went back home but then decided to go back to the hospital and stay there, because I was still afraid that I might collapse and having my first child around was stressing me out.

Then at 2-3pm the contractions suddenly stopped. I was a little bit irritated. I was afraid that I will need medication or d&c after all. But then I went to the toilete for urination around 3:30pm and I sniffed while I was sitting on the toilette and then it made a „blobb“ and some tissue like blood clumps were lying in the toilette. I was not sure if it was the pregnancy tissue, because I was told that it will bleed a lot and I would have a lot of pain, but that wasn’t it at all.

But inside myself I knew that it was it, because I felt different afterwards, the bleeding was less than menstruation and no contractions anymore. So in the evening they made another ultrasound and saw that the uterus was empty, despite the normal lining. I stayed one night in hospital for recovering and then I went home. Bleeding was less then menstruation for the next days, perhaps around one week and then it turned it little brown bleeding like at the end of menstruation for another week or so, then it was only light yellow/white discharge.

Isabel, Mogelsberg, Switzerland

The first time round, I started bleeding and having cramping – really like a heavier than normal period.  I think the bleeding continued for around a week.

Second time round I was busy at work (on my birthday!) and noticed bleeding at 9 weeks pregnant.  I noticed bleeding and arranged to attend the early pregnancy assessment area.  I had a scan done (needed an internal scan) and that showed no heartbeat, but there was also concern that it looked like a molar pregnancy. 

I had some bloods taken to check my HCG levels and then waited for results.  I then saw a consultant who said my HCG levels were very high and so could well be a molar pregnancy.  I needed to attend again in 48 hours to see if levels falling, and then might need surgery. 

The level had fallen a bit but was still high so I was advised to attend the next day for a surgical suction removal which was done under awake with local anaesthetic and with gas and air.  I had quite a lot of waiting around for results and then the procedure, and for most of that I was on my own due to Covid restrictions. 

Over those 3 days waiting for the procedure I had quite heavy bleeding/cramps – similar to period pain but stronger.  The procedure itself was okay – a bit uncomfortable/sore but not severe pain and the gas and air was helpful.  I have had previous vaginal deliveries so I think that probably made it easier.  Afterwards the bleeding wasn’t as heavy but I continued to have mild bleeding for about 2 weeks.

Judy, Scotland.

I experienced a missed miscarriage at 10 weeks. At 8 weeks I had an ultrasound and it was showing baby was 6 weeks and I was told there looked like there was a heartbeat (later told there was not). My midwife said to wait till 10 weeks and do another as baby may have just been too far back in my uterus.

When I went into the 10 week ultrasound I knew something was wrong as the tech who had said she would print pictures wouldn’t even show me the screen, barely talked to me and didn’t print pictures.

After talking with my midwife I went back for an internal ultrasound that same day to confirm a miscarriage, this time the tech was incredibly kind. My midwife was the most incredible person and was so kind to me through such a hard time.

I remember sitting in bed with my husband crying that same day after we got back, I was waiting for confirmation from my midwife but I had seen the baby at the last ultrasound and knew it wasn’t alive anymore. The next day when I got the confirmation I just felt numb.

My midwife told me to wait a few days and see if it would pass on its own before she would give me anything. I was scared about what I would see when it finally passed so I was okay with waiting. I started bleeding off and on several days later and then at what would have been 12 weeks I passed placenta. After talking with my midwife we believed that was the end, she said I could continue to get positive pregnancy tests for 6 weeks and we didn’t have to wait if we wanted to try again.

My body seemed to get back to cycling normally right away I was just have lighter periods then about 8 weeks I was still getting positive tests and called her back and was told to come in for a blood test but she thought I may be pregnant again. I wasn’t pregnant again – I was just still pregnant. My HCG was at a 34 and at this point I lost it. I didn’t know why after the hell of losing a baby and thinking it was over it wasn’t.

Just before I was going to go for a D&C I passed the rest and another blood test confirmed it was all over. I bled for about another week and then it was through.

Lauren, Nashville, TN

I was sitting on the toilet at 8 weeks pregnant when I saw the dreaded red spot of blood. My heart sank. This was not my first early miscarriage. I have had 2 before I had my 2 healthy children. Could this be happening again? I went in for another scan and later that day the dr confirmed that I had a missed miscarriage.

I had a scan 2 weeks before that and the doctor didn’t say anything was wrong and because we are in a pandemic no one followed up with me. I went home from work afterwards it was confirmed over the phone and cried.

Now I had to sit and wait! Wait to lose my baby. The next day the bleeding started. It was heavy and remained heavy all day long. I stayed in bed and tried to rest. All day blood gushed. This one was way worse then I remembered with the other ones.

Later that night I got up to use the washroom and walking back I blacked out and hit the floor. My husband jumped out of bed and turned on the light. I was in and out of consciousness. He called 911. I remember laying on the floor shaking and scared. Was I having a heart attack?

I remember telling myself if I’m breathing I’m still here, so I was trying to stay with my breath. I was so scared I was going to leave my babies.

My mother in law rushed over to watch the kids while they took me in the ambulance. I had to ride alone because of covid. My husband drove behind the ambulance, unsure if they would even let him in the hospital with me because of the rules.

When I got to the hospital the nurses were very nice. They gave me a private room and eventually they let my husband come in to see me (whether he was allowed or not they let him in.) I told him to leave after a while because I didn’t want my other kids to wake up with neither of us there and to be scared. So he left.

I lay there listening to all the beeping all night. The next morning the obgyn saw me. I didn’t need a d&c but she did say that my cervix was still open. She fixed everything for me and the bleeding slowed down. She told me that this miscarriage would hit me differently because I already have children and man was she right. When I got home it hit me like a ton of bricks! I came home from the hospital empty without a baby. I sobbed uncontrollably the moment I got in the door.

LeeAnne, Nova Scotia, Canada.

I had started spotting around 8 weeks and of course I feared the worst, but was reassured after an ultrasound showed a healthy, happy baby with a strong heartbeat. I told myself I was just one of those people who spotted in early pregnancy but went on to have a healthy baby as I knew this was sometimes the case.

I felt constantly on edge and had to make a conscious effort to stay positive. I created beautiful affirmations to display in our bedroom about how my body knew how to grow a healthy baby and that we were both getting stronger every day.

I made a list of all the reasons why my baby would be fine. I was so healthy. I exercised. We had no risk factors. Our family’s histories were normal. I was still experiencing pregnancy symptoms. The spotting wasn’t blood. I wasn’t cramping… etc

Then one night before bed I wiped after doing a wee and there was a tiny streak of blood.


My heart absolutely sank and I wailed to my husband who came rushing in and knelt down to cuddle me while I sat on the toilet.

I called my midwife and she offered another scan, or a quantitative hCG blood test. I didn’t want to have an ultrasound every time something unexpected happened during my pregnancy, so I opted for the bloods. I had the first one the following morning and had to wait another two days for the next one to check my levels were increasing as expected. We never made it to the second one.

Throughout the day the bleeding got increasingly worse. At this point I was wearing panty liners every day because of the spotting, but I remember refusing to wear a pad because I didn’t want to admit that I needed to. If I could just wear a liner then the bleeding wasn’t really that bad.

I was still in denial. But when I began to experience period-like cramping, I knew I was losing my baby. 


I remembered my list and slowly watched each point move from the ‘reassuring’ column to the ‘non-reassuring’ column. The spotting had turned to blood. I was cramping. I had definitely overdone it with the exercising. I wasn’t that healthy, I could have been better.

I kept soaking through liners and my undies and the time that elapsed between needing to change them got shorter and shorter until I eventually gave in and put on a pad.

The cramping got so intense I could no longer ignore it and I had to use a heat pack, which felt like another admission of reality.


One of the worst parts of the whole experience was the uncertainty. Not knowing whether or not it was happening. Desperately clutching onto hope that my baby would survive but being faced with the evidence that she wouldn’t. It was gut-wrenching.

I had been fighting back tears all day but I knew it was time to release. I sat on our bed with my hands on my belly and sobbed through a meditation, begging her to stay with us. I told her how much we loved her and how badly I needed her. But it wasn’t enough.


When I stood up I felt her just slip out. I pulled down my pants and saw a large mass of red jelly in my pad and I knew she was gone. My husband supported me to the bathroom and we sat on the edge of the bath, crying. It didn’t escape me that this was the exact same spot I had collapsed onto a few months prior when I saw the two blue lines for the first time – the best moment of my life, and now the worst.

I was bleeding all over the floor and down the bath but I didn’t care. I pulled the pad off so I could look at her more closely but she didn’t look like a baby at all. I scooped her up into my bare hands and felt her, turned her over, squished her, dug through her remains for something recognisable but it was just a mess. My husband really struggled with that but I knew I had to see every inch of her right now or I would always regret now knowing what she looked like. I felt a weird sense of peace as the uncertainty of what was happening completely disappeared and I now knew exactly what I was dealing with. I just had a miscarraige. It was over. Or so I thought.


We drove to the beach to watch the sunset and called our families to break their hearts too. We were both physically and emotionally exhausted so we went to bed. The cramping was still quite intense, and I figured it would go on all night, maybe even for days as my body expelled the remaining blood so I took some ibuprofen (which felt like a surprising kick in the guts because I knew to avoid it in pregnancy but my baby was dead now so it didn’t matter anymore).

The pain was worse when I was laying down, and my body was telling me to be upright. I turned the lamp on and tried just sitting up in bed as I was so tired and wanted the nightmare to end. But despite my utter exhaustion I found myself getting out of bed and walking up and down the hallway. My entire pelvis was throbbing, and I noticed rocking my hips and making large circles felt really good. I continued in this way, breathing deeply through the waves of pain. I was on all fours in our bedroom by the lamp light, swaying back and forth and pumping my hips – whatever eased the pain. Suddenly I felt a warm, heavy mass ease through my vagina and land in my underwear. The pain immediately disappeared, and I came back to my senses. I realised that I must have looked like a woman in labour, and I guess in a way I was a woman in labour: my cervix was opening, and my uterus was contracting… just 30 weeks earlier than we would have liked.


I sat on the toilet and inspected this smooth, pink, ovular mass the size of my palm, very confused as I was certain I had already passed our baby. I fingered it quite firmly to investigate what was inside – were there bones and organs? Was this actually our baby? It didn’t look like a baby. The outer layer split open and it was hollow inside. I realised this was the sac our baby lived inside, and the bumpy portion was the maternal side of her placenta. This was our baby’s home for 10 short but wonderful weeks. This is where she grew, and was nourished, protected and loved for her entire life. I felt sad that her sac was so perfectly formed but she was unrecognisable.

To this day, I still have questions about what I saw. If that was her sac, why wasn’t she inside it? How did she come out first without breaking the membranes? Was it even her that I was looking at that first time or was it just blood clots? But I had seen little organs inside, there’s no way it was just blood. But there were no bones or a skull or anything. Maybe it wasn’t her. Maybe she was in the sac and I had just completely pulverised her while I was squishing it trying to understand what it was. I felt awful that I didn’t know where she was. I still do. 

Sari, Melbourne, VIC. 

I had a spontaneous loss at home at 6 weeks (well work actually). I think having to experience a loss in an unseen way and attempt to act normal is awful. (Yet this was expected of me as long as it wasn’t ‘complicated’.)

I noticed bleeding but only a very small amount. This increased through the day and turned into something just like a period. There was very little pain, just the usual tummy ache and it lasted around the same amount of time. I also noticed that my pregnancy symptoms faded over the first few days. My boobs were no longer sore etc.

I had a GP who didn’t refer me to investigate the bleeding. When I presented at a walk in centre was simply prodded a bit and told I should just hope it’s not ectopic and to go for a scan in two days. Those two days were horrendous and by then I felt I knew it was a loss. The most confusing thing was I was never ever told I’d had a miscarriage. It was suggested as a chance but also might be fine.

This was really tough in terms of closure as I was scanned and told they couldnt see anything there. Another completely life changing moment which gave me that fear of scan rooms. I was sent home and told to take a pregnancy test in a week because on their test I was still showing as pregnant. That’s it. So I just said to myself well it’s a miscarriage.

It turned out it was because I had a negative test a week later, but it was such a lonely experience.

Alice.

With my 1st miscarriage I started spotting at 11 weeks. I managed to get a scan and showed that baby was only measuring 5 weeks.  Due to it being so small they had to book me in for another scan a week later to see whether the baby would grow. I knew it wouldn’t as I knew I was 11 weeks pregnant but it meant they couldn’t offer any treatment.  I was sent home and started bleeding heavily 2 days later. I passed the baby in the sac at home.  It was a lot of blood and painful, but not horrendous physically, more the emotional side.

My 2nd miscarriage was just like a heavy period. I was so upset because I knew there was just too much blood.  We were on holiday abroad so I couldn’t go for a scan till 5 days later, by which time there was nothing left.  This was much lighter bleeding and less pain than the first time.

With my 3rd miscarriage I had been for a scan at 7 weeks and had seen baby’s heartbeat.  I went to my 12 week scan and was told there was no heartbeat and that the baby had stopped growing at 9 weeks.  I was alone due to covid restrictions. My partner wasn’t even waiting outside as he was looking after my little girl because we couldn’t even ask my mum to look after her due to strict covid rules.  It was devastating.  I asked for a D&C because I couldn’t bear to pass the baby at home (after my first miscarriage was very traumatic emotionally.)  I just couldn’t go through that again with this baby that I’d seen the heart beating, so I asked for surgery.  Despite covid, they let me have the surgery and I was so grateful.  

My 4th miscarriage was at 7 weeks. I went for a scan at 6 weeks and they said baby was measuring small, so I just knew it was going wrong. I booked in for another scan a week later, but I started bleeding 6 days later.  Again this was just like a heavy period.  

I had a chemical pregnancy, where I got a positive pregnancy test, then each day the lines were getting fainter, then it turned to negative, then my period arrived.

My 5th miscarriage was at 6 weeks, the pregnancy tests were getting lighter again but still positive, I went for a scan and there was nothing there, then a few days later I started bleeding, just like a period.

Sarah, Sheffield, UK





What to emotionally expect when you miscarry?

Many of the women I work with say that the emotional side of miscarriage can often be the most confronting part of this whole experience. These women share their experience emotionally to help you to know what to expect when you miscarry.

From the first day of this pregnancy my intuition told me that there is something different with this pregnancy. I totally felt pregnant, my body, my uterus; but I could not say I have a baby in my womb. I couldn’t feel the energy of a soul in my womb.

It felt like the soul was still somewhere between the worlds, not fully incarnated. As it is almost impossible for us to conceive because of my husband’s sperm quality, I knew that perhaps I will be never be pregnant again.

Strangely enough I had no anxiety or fear during the pregnancy. I was so happy and centered and connected to my body and that pregnancy, like I have never experienced in my life before.

Every day I was so thankful for this moment being pregnant, despite what will be tomorrow. I lived in the moment, what I could never before. I prayed every day, I meditated or did asana for the pregnancy everyday and I was just happy and grateful for having this moment. But still I was hoping that my feeling is wrong and everything will turn out great.

When I started to bleed I was very sad. I was doing meditation during the 2 days spotting, already for saying goodbye and sending good wishes for the death and rebirth. But on the other hand it was like a confirmation of what my intuition had told me.

When I went to the hospital, that ultrasound with the empty amniotic sac was exactly what I had felt like.

Pregnant but no baby. So I focused on the “birth“ process.

Knowing that the soul already has passed the days before. I focused on birthing naturally. I wanted in no way to have a d&c. The next days I rest a lot, not doing meditation or anything like that. It felt not necessary. I just cried when I had to.

I knew I had done anything I could for that soul, all meditations I had already done and the soul was already on its way.

But after one week I started to do meditation again to heal myself. As sad as it was and as exhausting, it was also a magical, a magical experience. A visit from the universe. I felt that this soul was not meant to be rebirthed here.

With all these special feelings and knowings and the natural birth (for me it really felt like a little birth, in a good way), when I just consider the miscarriage, it was not only sad or terrible, it also was so wonderful.

I am grateful that I had the opportunity to feel this happiness of being pregnant once more in my life, even if it was just for few weeks. I had more beautiful, fulfilling moments with it than sad ones.

Isabel, Mogelsberg, Switzerland

Emotionally I was devastated. It wasn’t planned and I’d only found out a few days before so it was a complete whirlwind but I was excited and emotional and then scared and then distraught. 

Alice.

It has been very traumatic and drawn out. After my first miscarriage I felt shocked and so upset. Having to pass the baby at home was very traumatic.  I don’t know how I would have got through it without my little girl. I can’t imagine what it’s like for women who are trying for their first baby.  But I was told that statistically it was very likely that next time would be fine.

After my 2nd miscarriage, I felt defeated and so upset, but again I was told that they don’t do any testing after 2 miscarriages because most likely you’ll go on to have a healthy baby.

My 3rd miscarriage was the worst by far. I saw the baby’s heartbeat at 7 weeks and then was told at the 12 week scan that the baby had died. The shock was immense. I was alone. None of the staff were allowed to hug me due to covid. It was so lonely and heartbreaking.  I felt very broken and defeated after this.  I managed to have time off work with my little girl, which I found very healing.  My friends were very supportive and looked after me.

The next 2 miscarriages and chemical pregnancy weren’t as bad physically and emotionally I think I just accepted them.  No one brought me flowers or made meals.  I don’t know if that’s because I didn’t cry as much, or because I didn’t talk as much.  In some ways I didn’t feel I could talk about it as much. It was yet another miscarriage and there’s only so much sympathy that people can give.  But maybe people just thought I was fine.  I don’t know.  I think I closed up a bit.

Sarah, Sheffield, UK




How long until you stopped bleeding?

It can be helpful to know how long bleeding it “meant to last” after a miscarriage so that you can seek help if your bleeding continues longer.

Around 2 weeks

Isabel, Mogelsberg, Switzerland

About 1 week first time (at 7 weeks), and 2 weeks second time (9 weeks, after having surgical suction procedure).

Judy, Scotland.

I bled for about 6 weeks after my miscarriage at 12 weeks. I kept telling myself it was normal but then I had a really big bleed that bled through a super pad and my pants, so I knew I needed to get checked out. I went to hospital where they scanned me and found that I had a very small amount of retained tissue that was producing the bleed. I was given a two doses of misoprostol to take over the next two nights. I was very scared because I’d used this before for a miscarriage at 6 weeks. I was worried it would be like going through the whole miscarriage all over again. But in the end it felt like it did nothing. A few days afterwards the bleeding stopped so it had obviously helped my body pass whatever was left.

Sam, Sydney, Australia

I continued to bleed for 2 weeks, and it surprised me how much this upset me. I have never been bothered by my periods, in fact I revel in the power of being a woman when I bleed, but this just felt like a constant, cruel reminder: You aren’t pregnant anymore. Your baby is dead. You are empty. I kept an eye on my blood loss for any signs of infection or retained products – the colour, amount, consistency, smell. I took my temperature twice a day and kept my midwives informed. Luckily I managed to avoid having to go to the hospital at all. It took another 6 weeks for my period to return, and it was quite clotty and fibrous. My periods are usually completely smooth blood. 

Sari, Melbourne, VIC. 

How are you healing after natural miscarriage?

Meditation, my yoga practice, journaling, reading a book about dealing with miscarriage, time for myself to grieve, to cry. Reading stories from other women who have experienced the same. We made a goodbye ritual with our family.

Isabel, Mogelsberg, Switzerland

Healing was long and messy. It really sent me into a bad place and I wish I’d reached out for help sooner (and known about you Bettina!) It did push me to really grow and work on myself but that took time and a lot of pain.

Alice.

I have always had quite bad nausea in pregnancy, and something I found hard and hadn’t expected was that I continued to feel sick for about 2 weeks after my miscarriage.

Physically I felt fine after about 2 weeks but emotionally took longer.  Doing yoga for miscarriage classes really helped, and allowed me to feel connected to other women going through this.

Judy, Scotland.

My iron ended up being very low but it was my mental health that I was struggling with. My husband saw that I was not okay and asked for a counsellor to talk to me. I still talk to this counselor and she has been an amazing help. The loss has been hard on our marriage. It’s very hard when two people grieve the same loss so differently but I also couldn’t have gotten through it without him. 

Lauren, Nashville, TN

I felt generally depleted so I allowed myself all the rest I needed. I stayed in bed most days, sometimes sleeping, sometimes watching Netflix, always crying. I took a week and a half off work because I couldn’t afford any longer but I wish I took more time. I was feeling sorry for myself so I ate junk and allowed myself all the things I had been avoiding in pregnancy – coffee, alcohol, chocolate. My vulva was tender, my body ached, and I was very tired.

Sari, Melbourne, VIC. 

Physically I bounced back very fast.  Emotionally it has been a long journey.  I think also I just get on with things and try to be grateful for what I’ve got.  Having time with my little girl was such a big part of my emotional healing.  But I still think about all my babies that didn’t live. It makes me sad when I see my friends’ little ones who would have been the same age as mine.

Sarah, Sheffield, UK

What do you wish you had known prior to having a miscarriage?

I wish somebody told me that after a loss you are actually in the postpartum period, and that it can be just as taxing as giving birth to a term baby. Looking back I wish I was kinder to my body during this time when it needed me to help it heal.

I wish I ate more nourishing foods and took more time to rest and recover. I really don’t think there is anything that anybody could have said or done to prepare me for the pain of losing my baby. I am studying midwifery and am very familiar with the physical and emotional process as well as support strategies, resources and expectations around pregnancy loss…. and my world still turned completely upside down when I went through it myself. It was a thousand times harder, scarier, lonelier, sadder, more painful and beautiful than I could have ever imagined.  

Reach out for support as soon as you feel able. Sooner even! Tell your loved ones how you are feeling, and how they can help. Even if you can’t find the right words. Don’t try to put on a brave face. Allow yourself to crumble.

Sari, Melbourne, VIC. 

What I would like to tell others is to first consider taking the medicine to speed it up;. I wish I had. Also, God has a plan (I really believe that) but you can trust his plan and still hate it. He knows you’re angry and he can take your anger. These are thing I heard from others or read and they made a lot of difference for me. My last thing to say would be that I don’t believe that you can ever put the pieces back. This will always hurt, but your life will grow around the hole and you will feel happy again without forgetting your child. And also I’m sorry. So sorry that you are walking through this.  

Lauren, Nashville, TN

I wish more people would share their miscarriage. When I told people of my miscarriages, I was really surprised by how many women I knew had also been through this but not spoken about it.  I think probably recognition that miscarriage is a real loss and grief reaction is normal.

Judy, Scotland.

If you have had 2 or more miscarriages – push your GP for testing.  Ask for referral and ask your doctor to do whatever testing he/she can do.  I’ve found facebook groups helpful, being able to talk to other women who have experienced the same losses – to ask them what is normal (it is ALL normal!) and to feel a bit less alone.

Sarah, Sheffield, UK

I wish someone would have told me that a loss is a loss. It feels like grief because it is. I wish I’d have known how common it is and that it’s so normal to feel guilt and depression and envy and every messy emotion under the sun. I wish I’d have understood that sometimes time is the healer we need. I wish someone would have warned me that the due date and the anniversary of the loss were going to be so hard and that there’s no time limit on how long it is okay to feel bad. Some days it just hits you hard in the gut and others do feel okay.

Find someone who understands. Whether that’s an existing friend or online like the yoga circle. Read other women’s stories (not necessarily of the actual loss which can be very triggering) but their feelings about it and struggles felt like I could have written them myself and that was an amazing healer. When you feel ready to I’d encourage you to really focus on self care and self love. I know that’s hard. I did the opposite. Surround yourself with those who are kind and understanding and patient and empathetic. This is such a cruel thing to go through and try not to use the dreaded scale of weeks pregnant or complications to validate how much you’re ‘allowed’ to feel bad. The healing happens, I wouldn’t have believed it but it does.

Alice.

Where to go for support after a miscarriage

Read my book. – Watering the Flowers – A guide to find healing and hope after losing a baby

Support Networks

Sands – miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death support

The Pink Elephants Support Network

COPE – Centre of perinatal loss

If you’ve made it all the way through this post I hope it has made you feel a little more confident knowing what to expect when you miscarry. I hope the process is as painless as possible and that you never need to read this post ever again. Sending you love and strength. x

If you would like to add your story to this post. Please add your responses to the questions in this post or send me an email at bettina@bettinarae.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.