only in refusing to acknowledge how it changes us.
~~Jenni Brighton, 10-15-07
I have miscarried at least four times, perhaps as many as seven. The first three certain ones were in the 11-15 week range, which is on the late side for miscarriages. The others were very early. Early miscarriages are often hard to identify because they get mistaken for a regular period that is just a few days late. I practice fertility awareness however, so I am more in tune with whether being “three days late” was because of a late ovulation or if it was an early miscarriage, even if I never had a pregnancy test.
If you have never been through a miscarriage, then you cannot really understand what it’s like. If you have never lost a child, you cannot understand what it is like to lose one. The only people who can really understand us are those who have been where we are, and we will never find each other if we all remain silent. Death and loss are taboo in our culture, but they should not be so. They are a natural part of the cycle of life, if a difficult one, but they will not be accepted or acceptable until we make them so.
When I began miscarrying in 2004, I only knew one person who had miscarried, and that was my mother. After I miscarried, and started talking about it, I found that women all around me had miscarried too, but just never talked about it. The truth is that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, so roughly 1 in 4 childbearing women has had one. That is a lot of women. As one of them, I have felt called to share my stories, to reach out to other women and let them know that they are not alone, and that they do not need to keep silent.
I have written a number of posts on these issues, and there are enough of them now that I felt it warranted an index of sorts…so here it is.
- Empty Bellies, Empty Arms (why I feel so strongly about speaking out on this topic) If you do not read anything else here, please at least read this one post.
- When Someone Miscarries (what to say/do to help, and also what not to say/do—written with the input of several other women who have miscarried)
- Dealing with Miscarriage (ideas that may help in getting through your own loss)
- Threatened, Incomplete, and Missed Miscarriages (what it all means, what the options are)
- The Stages of Grief in Miscarriage (the Kubler-Ross stages of grief, and how they commonly manifest with miscarriage)
- NOT just "like a heavy period"
- Herbs used for Miscarriage
- Common causes, possible preventions
- Thomas—miscarried 4/04 at 15 weeks
- Kjersti—miscarried 2/05 at 12 weeks
- my third miscarriage--8/05 at 11ish weeks
- #4 (what it feels like in the moment, without the damper of time)--2/09 at 5 weeks
- Amethyst—my little sister who died of SIDS (I was 8)
- Hymns that have helped me
The Amethyst Network
a nonprofit organization that I help found for miscarriage support and advocacy, especially in the form of networking doulas to attend miscarrying women