Miscarriages affect approximately 500,000 of the 4.4 million women who have confirmed pregnancies in the United States every year. A pregnancy loss is considered a miscarriage if it occurs before the 20th week of pregnancy. It is estimated that 1 in every 4 pregnancies will end in a miscarriage, but some experts believe the number is more like 1 in 3 due to the fact that very early miscarriages, that take place before a pregnancy has been confirmed, often go undetected. Women who suffer miscarriages should know that they are not alone.
Psychologist Jessica Zucker, is the creator of the popular Instagram account @IHadAMiscarriage. She told People magazine that she brought the account to life in an effort to “destigmatize, deshame, [and] desilence a very important, ubiquitous topic." Since Zucker created the account in October of 2015, it has garnered nearly 17,000 followers, and has helped many women to heal after painful pregnancy losses.
Zucker also shared, "It’s really been a community builder. It’s been really overwhelming in a positive way. It shows how hungry women are for connection when it comes to pregnancy loss. It would be great, in my lifetime, if culture changes around this topic,” she continued. “I don’t know what begets what. Is it the silence that begets the shame and stigma, or is it the stigma that begets the silence and the shame? These three things all impact each other. So my hope is this is a conversation that people can feel comfortable having without berating themselves or feeling a sense of shame.”
Let's end the silence. Read on for 15 real, raw confessions from women who were brave enough to share what having a miscarriage was like for them. We hope these heart wrenching stories will help those currently healing from a pregnancy loss to realize they are not alone.
15 3 Weeks
While many early miscarriages go undetected, as pregnancies are often not yet confirmed at the early stages of conception, testing after the fact can sometimes confirm that a woman has lost a pregnancy. How is an early miscarriage different from a regular period? One woman shares, "I had a miscarriage at about 3 1/2weeks. Its IS possible. I thought I was having just an extra heavy painful period when [my] doctor told me my blood work tested positive for HCG, and that I was actually having a miscarriage. Some people have miscarriages and don't even notice it. Miscarriages are very common."
Another women who experienced an early miscarriage at 3 weeks and 5 days shared of her experience, "I started spotting. As [the] day progressed, clots. At [my doctor appointment] that afternoon I was told my HCG number had dropped from 10,146 on Monday to 9,910 on Friday. I was having a miscarriage."
14 6 Weeks
Another woman describes the miscarriage she suffered at 6 weeks along. She shares, "I started spotting lightly shortly after I tested positive. I went to the doctor and had blood work drawn. The doctor ordered an ultrasound and we went in. The tech could only see a little something, but not what 5.5 weeks should look like. She said that we would look again in two weeks. Doctor said to call if bleeding turned bright red. A few days later it did, and I did have some bad cramping, For the record my period cramps are painful too."
She continues, "I called my doctor, we were visiting my in-laws. She told me to go to the ER. We did. The ultrasound tech said that he thought everything would be fine. They told me to follow up with my doctor on Monday. On Saturday, cramping really picked up, as did the spotting. That night I went to the bathroom, and wiped to find a "clot" about the shape of a jelly bean, just a little bigger and bright red. I continued to bleed through the weekend. I went in to the doctor on Monday, they did more blood work and confirmed that I had a miscarriage."
13 7 Weeks
A woman who suffered a miscarriage at 7 weeks advises others going through the same thing to be aware that the experience may be very painful, physically as well as emotionally. She shares, "Don't feel like a wimp about the pain. Even though my 'normal' miscarriage was at 7 weeks, I bled very heavily and had a lot of pain. It does pass, but I did bleed for quite a while."
Another woman who experienced a miscarriage at 7 weeks states, "I was only spotting that morning and now it's literally pouring blood when I go to the bathroom. Not sure how normal all this is but I hate this so bad. I'm reminded every time I go to the bathroom. I told my mom about the pregnancy before [the] miscarriage, and she told everyone after I specifically told her not to. I have no idea who is going to ask me questions about being pregnant now and it sucks because now I have to tell them I miscarried. I guess I should consider it just more prayers but, gosh, it still sucks."
12 8 Weeks
A woman who suffered a miscarriage at 8 weeks shares, "I was spotting for a few days, then started bleeding. I went to the ER and they did an ultrasound and looked at the cervix. It was still closed. We were told we were having a threatening miscarriage. I continued to bleed for about a week, mostly light. I got a bit achey and then the day of the miscarriage I just knew it was going to happen."
She continues, "I got bad cramps, like a period. Then, within a few minutes, I passed the baby. They had already given us a cup because I was so high risk for it anyway. As soon as I passed it the cramps stopped and then there was a lot of bleeding which eventually eased up when we got to the ER. You will know when something is wrong and if you are miscarrying. This was my first pregnancy and first miscarriage. I was about 8 weeks."
11 9 Weeks
A woman, who suffered a miscarriage at 9 weeks, shares, "I was 9 weeks pregnant and started bleeding on a Saturday. I was out of town so I called the doctor and they said to come in on Monday for an ultrasound. The baby was there but there was no heartbeat. My regular doctor wasn't there so they said they would have her call me [the next day]."
She continues, "When I came home from the ultrasound appointment, I started cramping more and more. I felt something coming out, so I went to the toilet and my baby fell out of me. I picked it up and it was identical to the pictures on the internet of a baby of 9 weeks. I had so much trouble flushing the toilet but my husband reminded me that, that's what would happen at the doctor. Once I passed the baby some more tissue came out and now my cramping is getting lighter."
10 10 Weeks
A brave woman who suffered a traumatic miscarriage at 10 weeks shares, "I miscarried at 10 weeks, and I had minimal cramping and very very light spotting (almost non existent) just before. I wasn't ready for anything because I expected heavy bleeding and cramping. I went to pee and felt something large come out. It was big... maybe 8 inches long in all and without being more graphic... EVERYTHING passed at once. I could even see exactly where the embryo was forming. It was crushing because I expected a heavy period with just bloody tissue passing over time... not to see it all at once like that."
Another woman who lost a pregnancy at 10 weeks shares, "I bled small amounts for a few weeks and then finally went to ER where they ran an ultrasound and said I was having a miscarriage. I still only had small amounts of blood here and there and no pain. Finally, a week later, I started gushing and was in a lot of pain. At the [doctor's office, I started bleeding so much, my doctor sent me straight to the hospital where they had everything already set up to do a D and C."
9 11 Weeks
A woman who dealt with the loss of a pregnancy at 11 weeks shares of her experience, "I lost my first baby at 11 weeks. It started on an airplane back from a dream Caribbean holiday. It made us feel even more helpless being 30 thousand feet in the air. It's really frustrating waiting until you can try again. Trying again straight away was right for us. [My] doctor said [to] wait for one normal cycle, but I decided if my body was ready, I would fall [pregnant], if it wasn't, I wouldn't."
The woman continues with some wise advice for other women who may experience a miscarriage. She states, "You will be okay and you will never forget that little one. Also, don't forget your partner/husband. I didn't realize how upset [my] husband was till quite awhile afterwards. When I suggested moving houses a couple of times, and he kept saying no, I found out eventually it was because he didn't want to leave the tree we planted in [our] little one's memory."
8 12 Weeks
A brave woman shares of her experience with suffering a miscarriage at 12 weeks, "I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks, and was quite shocked at how violent it all seemed: huge amounts of pain and bleeding etc. This might be a bit graphic, but when I went to the hospital, they said that I was bleeding so much because I had a bit of tissue stuck in my cervix, and it was my body's way of trying to flush it out. It takes a huge amount out of you I think. I ended up swigging vitamin tonics for weeks afterwards. I felt completely washed out."
She continues, "Wanting to talk is normal, sadness is normal, and being incredibly shocked by that sort of physical pain is very-sanely-normal indeed. I was also glad to have been able to do my miscarriage at home. It's often better long term to go through the sad at the right time and just indulge it. It is a big deal, and 12 weeks is an awful time for it to happen - not that there's a good time, but - because you start thinking you're safe."
7 13 Weeks
A woman who miscarried at 13 weeks shares, "I'm still struggling to come to terms with it all. It was my first pregnancy after almost a year of trying and we were so excited. My first scan was booked for a Friday but on the Monday before, I started spotting, then it got heavier and it was bright red blood. Because my scan day was so close, my doctor told me there was nothing they could do until my scan and as long as the bleeding wasn't so heavy I was filling a pad in an hour I had to wait."
She continues, "That was the longest week of my life so far, fearing the worst but hoping for the best. I stayed off work, because activity made the bleeding worse, but deep down I think I knew. By then I wasn't even feeling pregnant anymore. The scan showed what we had been dreading. There was an empty sac and it was misshapen. I had to have a blood test to check my hormone levels and was asked to go back for another test on the Sunday."
She concludes, "I went back to work far too soon, I didn't realize that I wasn't okay. When the numbness wore off, I broke down at work and ended up being signed off sick. I was warned that the first period could be heavy, but I didn't expect it to feel as though I was miscarrying again. I still feel so angry and upset. At times I feel like the whole thing was a dream and I was never actually pregnant in the first place. My heart goes out to everyone who has gone through the pain of losing their child. No one should have to go through this."
6 14 Weeks
A woman who lost a baby to miscarriage at 14 weeks shares, "I went to the doctor because I had the nuchal translucency ultrasound (first trimester screening ultrasound) the previous day and began spotting shortly afterwards, so the doctor said to come in and get checked. I had an exam and an ultrasound again and the doctor said everything was fine, that the baby was strong and healthy and not to worry because everything was fine. I was 14 weeks along that day."
She continues, "That evening, I had a lot of discomfort and back pain. I thought it was due to the fact I hadn't had a bowel movement in quite a while. I was still spotting, but the doctor had said that was normal since I'd had an internal ultrasound and an exam, and not to worry unless it was heavy like a period. At 10:30 at night, I woke up and felt wrong. I went to the bathroom and there was a lot of blood. I immediately called the doctor and went straight to the ER. On my way, I felt a gushing of blood and was terrified."
She concludes, "When I got to the ER, I felt a gushing of water and realized my water broke and I was losing my baby. After giving birth, I proceeded to try and deliver the remaining placenta but after 3 hours they finally said I needed a D&C because I was losing too much blood. I am so lost and alone, and I can't stop grieving for my son."
5 15 Weeks
Another woman shares of her heartbreaking experience of losing a baby at 15 weeks, "I woke up feeling really rubbish with pains in [my] back and side. It started to sting a bit when I was going for a wee. [Later], I felt a bit of a trickle. I went into immediate panic, fearing the worst. The pains were getting worse, and I was having to breathe through them a bit like contractions. I went to go to the toilet and when I wiped there was a lot of blood on the tissue. I got myself ready and we left to go to the hospital."
She continues, "We got to the ward, and they took me and my husband into the treatment room. The pains were getting worse, and I got on the bed to have a speculum examination. The consultant came and gave an ultrasound and we saw our little baby on the screen. They left us in the waiting room. I was still getting the pains really strong. We came home, and I was still bleeding. I didn't know what to think. I woke up at midnight and the pains in my stomach were horrendous. I was literally rolling around the floor in pain. I sat on the toilet and when I sat down there were some thick heavy clots. I couldn't cope with the pain and was sobbing because I knew what I had been dreading was happening."
4 16 Weeks
A woman who lost her baby at 16 weeks due to miscarriage shares, "I recently suffered a miscarriage at 16 weeks. [I] went for my checkup, and the doctor couldn't find the heartbeat. We were devastated because we saw a healthy baby at 13 weeks. I was put into [the] hospital and given medication to pass [the baby], but also needed a D and C because the placenta didn't come."
She continues, "It has been 3.5 weeks now, and I am dying to get my period so I can feel like my body is back to normal and so we can try again. I desperately want to be pregnant again. The doctor said my blood tests and the tests came back okay, so at least we don't have anything to worry about there. I did have a subchorionic bleed noted at my 13 week scan so the doctor said it possibly was in the wrong spot and that's what cause me to miscarry. I just wish it didn't happen at all. I wish it didn't happen to anyone."
3 17 Weeks
Another woman brave enough to share her story, who suffered a miscarriage at 17 weeks shares, "At 16 weeks I went to the maternity hospital emergency room because I had a bit of spotting and was feeling pressure in my abdomen. I wasn't too worried initially, but after an internal examination where the membrane could be seen I was told I was miscarrying and admitted to the hospital."
She continues, "At 12:30 that night my water broke. After a long week where we thought that our baby might be okay, we lost our little boy. We had prepared ourselves for a losing the baby, but when it actually happens, it's hard to say the least. His heartbeat was there at 4:30 that afternoon but at 10:30 that night we lost him, almost exactly a week after my water broke. It's just so hard to come to terms with something like this."
2 18 Weeks
A woman who bravely opened up about her experience with losing a baby to miscarriage at 18 weeks shares, "I went to the toilet and felt a pop. Fifteen minutes later, I felt a gush of fluid. I managed to take a deep breath, then I called an ambulance. I knew that my little baby, who had been so active inside me just the night before, was too young to survive. They did the ultrasound and we saw a little heartbeat flashing away on the screen...We had the briefest moment of hope, then my doctor informed us that my waters were completely gone, I was 4 centimeters dilated and that there was nothing they could do to keep [my baby] alive. The grief was horrible."
She shares of how she is coping with the loss of her child, "Right now, my life feels cr**, days feel hollow and long, my breasts ache, I can't sleep, I can't eat and my arms feel so empty, but I know my son was loved by so many people. My partner and I are more in love than ever, we respect each other more and we know one day we will try again, when we heal, to have a sibling for our angel son. Surround yourself with supportive loved ones, allow yourself to cry, or swear, or smile, make sure you force yourself to eat, or sleep, and know you're not alone."
1 19 Weeks
When babies arrive just shy of 20 weeks, they are so fully developed, they are just days away from being considered stillborn instead of miscarriages. Although suffering a miscarriage this far into a pregnancy is physically painful, the emotional wounds pregnancy losses cause are often the ones women struggle with the most.
A woman who lost her precious baby at 19 weeks shares, "I lost my baby girl, Angel Grace Ann, at 19 weeks. I delivered her naturally and had her cremated. It's been very difficult. This is a tough journey and, I'll be honest, it's complicated by the reactions of people. They don't seem to 'get it.' I have had really stupid comments made to me. Things that really hurt."
She continues, "But, there have also been people who have been amazing and supportive. I go to a grief group for perinatal loss once in awhile. It's very helpful because everybody understands. In the 'real world', it's hard for people to understand. Take things one day at a time."