Miscarriages aren’t widely discussed, yet it’s estimated by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that about 20% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. Of course the emotional pain and feelings of guilt are probably reasons behind the silence. Yet, silence doesn’t help as surveys have showed that many people consider miscarriages to be rare and are linked to something that the woman has done. What does help are women standing up and sharing their experiences about the devastation of not only losing a child, but also almost losing their own lives.
According to Dr. Zev Williams, director of the Program for Early and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System, “People feel really isolated and alone when it happens to them,” and the only way of changing misconceptions is being vocal and letting other women know that they are not alone.
Some women have taken that advice to heart to share the story of their miscarriage and how sometimes it can be life-threatening. In the scariest cases, some of these women didn’t even know that they were pregnant to begin with. Other scenarios saw women in and out of the hospital for weeks before they had to undergo emergency surgeries. Some women even passed out from the pain and blood loss. Read on to hear these women recount their story of loss, heartache, and how they got past one of the most difficult times in their lives.
15 Gwyneth Paltrow - Fighting For Three
Striving for the perfect 3 nearly took Gwyneth Paltrow’s life. “I had a really bad experience when I was pregnant with my third. It didn’t work out. I nearly died.” In a candid interview with ‘The Mail’, the actress and entrepreneur spoke about the loss and regret of having ‘missed the window’ of having a third child. Yet, the health of trying to conceive in her forties makes her weary of trying to expand her family again.
“I was vitamin D-deficient, I had anaemia, I had thyroid issues, my liver was congested, and a benign tumour on my ovary had to be removed.” There was also pain that left Paltrow believing that she was having a stroke. These days the actress is glowing and a health guru. As to expanding her family, she prefers not to use ‘never’, expect when to say, ‘you never know.’
14 Lily Allen - Life-Threatening Infection
“It was horrendous and something I would not wish on my worst enemy,” Lily Allen told ‘The Sun on Sunday’ about her painful miscarriage. “I held my child and it was really horrific and painful- one of the hardest things.” The emotional pain left the 32-year old feeling ‘numb’ to the fact that she almost lost her life when she was admitted to the hospital a few days later for blood poisoning. “I didn’t care. I just lost my baby and that is a reflection of how numb I was.”
Allen was diagnosed with septicaemia, a life-threatening bacterial infection that attacks the bloodstream. According to Dr. David Cohen, chief of reproductive medicine at the University of Chicago, “Mothers die from this around the world all the time.” However, Lily Allen recovered and is now a musician, entrepreneur, and mother of two.
13 Sharon Stone - RH Positive
These days, Sharon Stone is a mother to four boys, Ronan, Bronstein, Laird, and Quinn. All are adopted as Stone suffered several miscarriages over the course of five years. It was due to having a Rh-positive blood type. The condition causes the mother’s body to make antibodies that attack the fetus resulting in bleeding, breech positioning, and blunt trauma to the abdomen. For Stone, there was emotional pain as well. “I had two pregnancies that I lost in the late fifth month. And, this is so awful, because I had to go have surgery when my children died. This is a trauma that you just cannot bear.”
She also told ‘AARP The Magazine’, “The last time I lost the baby… I went into 36 hours of labour. While we were at the hospital, our adoption attorney called. I thought, ‘This is such a godsend. This is so right.'”
12 Anonymous - The Thought Catalog
One woman anonymously detailed the emotional experience of an unexpected pregnancy and miscarriage that almost took her life. At the time she was 24-years old and admitted to the hospital for a stabbing pain in her lower abdomen. That’s when the shocking news came that what she thought had been her period was actually her body experiencing a miscarriage. However, when visiting her gynaecologist, she was given even more shocking news that she might still be pregnant.
Several days later the abdominal pain worsened and she was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening case when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the fallopian tube. With a low heartbeat and bleeding in her abdomen, her miscarriage had turned into the worst possible scenario. Her surgery was right away and thankfully; she recovered a month later with only two small incisions on her abdomen.
11 Antonia Malchik - Pay Close Attention
"When I wasn’t paying attention, my pregnancy almost killed me," is what Buzzfeed contributor Antonia Malchik wrote in 2014. Her son was born with failing lungs and a hole in his heart and the writer was overcome with guilt, because she had dismissed earlier signs. When she was 33-weeks pregnant she was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening liver disorder. Unfortunately, for Antonia she had put off the abominable pains before visiting her doctor and lost excess amounts of blood.
By the time she consulted her obstetrician, she had to give birth early via a Caesarean or else she would die. “It’s rare. It’s caused by pregnancy…and the only treatment is delivery,” Antonia’s doctor told her that she would have to deliver the baby early to save her life as her liver was failing. Antonia later spoke about it being a learning experience to play closer attention to her health.
10 Jessica Barraco - Ectopic Pregnancy
"I’d dreamed of having a baby since my mother died. Then my body betrayed me," is what Jessica Barraco wrote on the website the ‘Modern Loss’. The author of the book, ‘The Butterfly Groove,’ also wrote about having her left ovary and Fallopian tube removed at the age of 27 to prevent a borderline cancerous tumour. Although, it limited her chance of having a child she did eventually go on to become pregnant.
Unfortunately, it was an interstitial ectopic pregnancy where her life was threatened from internal rupturing. Jessica underwent chemotherapy treatments. The pregnancy was too high in her body to respond to abortion and for two weeks she lived in fear until one day it did rupture and she passed out waking up at the hospital after surgery. While Jessica was robbed of one of the greatest joys of life, she wrote about her thankfulness for being alive and believing in miracles.
9 Rebekah Henderson - Missed Miscarriage
Sometimes emotional healing can happen by opening up about a traumatic experience. Rebekah Henderson found comfort in writing about her miscarriage and D&C (dilation and curettage) on Facebook and blogs. According to American Pregnancy, D&C is a procedure where tissue is removed from the uterus. Rebekah suffered a missed miscarriage; a term used to describe what happens when the body ‘doesn’t know’ that the baby is gone and acts as though you’re still pregnant.
The placenta can still release hormones and often times women don’t know that they had a miscarriage as they still experience pregnancy symptoms. For Rebekah, the realization didn’t come until an ultrasound didn’t detect a heartbeat. And, then she had to undergo D&C to remove small pieces of the placenta to prevent infection or heavy bleeding.
8 Meghan Tyrell - Transfusion To Save Her
Miscarriages can be life threatening and sometimes it can all happen in an instant, without you even knowing that you’re pregnant to begin with. Meghan Tyrell was one of those women. She thought she was having a heavy period yet, when she arrived at the hospital, the 3rd-grad teacher found out she was haemorrhaging from a miscarriage. At the time she didn’t even know that she was pregnant. “I was close to the sepsis and if I hadn’t gone to the hospital, I would have bled to death,” she told NBC News.
It turns out that Tyrell’s complication was the result of polycystic ovary syndrome that caused a cyst to burst resulting in two blood transfusions. In the end, she made it out of the hospital with her life, but was left infertile.
7 Shayne Lamas - Almost Lost It All
Shayne Lamas, a former Bachelor star was rushed to the hospital when she was 16 week pregnant. As if the devastation of losing her son wasn’t bad enough, Shayne and her husband, blogger Nik Richie, endured the next several days battling for her life. The son was growing outside the uterus attached to the womb and bladder causing her placenta to be punctured and Lamas to haemorrhage. She lost 15 pints of blood and her husband said, “She died on the table and they brought her back.”
It truly was a miracle as doctors stated that she lost oxygen to her brain for two whole minutes! After the incident Lamas donated her eggs to a surrogate, valuing her life and family too much to put herself back into that position.
6 Carrie Burdy - Pain Lives On
For some women, the only way to fulfil their dream of having children is through in vitro fertilization (IVF). It’s a process where the eggs are fertilized outside the body and then transferred back into the woman’s body. It took three tries with IVF until Carrie Burdy was able to conceive. Unfortunately, three months later she suffered cramping and an ultrasound that showed no heartbeat. The fetus was removed by D&C and Carri went home to emotionally heal.
Her time at home was short lived as Burdy experienced haemorrhaging five days later and was rushed to the hospital for another emergency D&C. For Carrie Burdy and her husband Matthew, the pain still lives on, partly because of society’s silence about the potentially life threatening even. “Miscarriage is inherently private, and so we never talk about, and so the stigma persists.”
5 Suzi Perry - The Loss Almost Took Her With It
Suzi Perry is another public voice discussing her miscarriage. In 2009, the TV presenter who is married to the Dutch businessman Bastian Boosten, opened up suffering from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. “It nearly killed me, I have desperately tried, but failed to conceive,” she has said. “I didn’t meet Bastian, my now husband… until I WAS 36, and we didn’t start trying to have a baby until I was 38.” The first pregnancy brought about stabbing abdominal pains and resulted in her being whisked away in an ambulance for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.
At the hospital she collapsed from losing 3 pints of blood and underwent surgery and a blood transfusion. Perry needed six months to recover both physically and emotionally. “The main thing is that Bastian and I spend as much time as possible together so we can maximize our chances,” Perry has said.
4 Lacey Martin - XOJane
Lacey Martin wrote an article for XOJane in 2014 with the headline, ‘My IUD failed spectacularly and nearly killed me.’ Yikes. In the essay she related how after two children, she got an IUD to maintain her family size. However, one December morning she felt cramping so intense she had to leave work for the ER. It was followed by blood loss soaking her pants all the way to her knees. Later she found out she was suffering from a miscarriage. She had been two months pregnant. Over the next month, Lacey was in and out of the hospital for pain, infernal rupturing, and more bleeding that resulted in surgery removing one of her fallopian tubes. She wrote that it was the most painful event in her life. Yet, she also wrote that she was thankful for having gotten to the hospital before it cost her life.
3 Channon Rose - Vlogged Everything
With her otherworldly good looks and beauty tips, Channon Rose ‘rose’ to amass 1,000,000 subscribers on YouTube. It’s also where the vlogger has openly shared her difficulty having children with husband Travis Dean. After two years of surgeries and IVF treatments the couple were finally expecting. Unfortunately, it was shorted lived excitement as Channon experienced an ectopic pregnancy that resulted in having surgery to remove her Fallopian tubes.
Yet, even after the surgery, Channon had to undergo chemotherapy treatments to ensure that the fetuses were properly removed. And, just when she thought she was all better, she was rushed to the ER for internal bleeding and raised hormonal levels. Channon shared the horrific experience on YouTube with her fans with clips of her in the ER. She survived and has proven just how strong she is.
2 Charlotte Crosby - Almost A Minute Too Late
Charlotte Crosby, former star of the hit MTV series ‘Geordie Shore’ opened up to ‘Heat Magazine’ about the traumatic experience of nearly loosing her life to an ectopic pregnancy. She was 25 at the time and hadn’t even known that she was pregnant until she was rushed to St. John and Elizabeth Hospital in London. “I didn’t know what the hell was going on and I was in so much pain,” she said. X-rays showed that her fallopian tube was torn open and there was bleeding internally.
Doctors told her that if she had gone to the hospital a minute later she would have died. She underwent emergency surgery to remove the damaged tube to save her life. Charlotte has since recovered and these days is focusing on her multiple lines and TV projects.
1 Natasha Shishmanian - A Serious Health Scare
Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans spoke about the experience of nearly losing his wife Nastasha Shishmanian from an ectopic pregnancy. The BBC star has said, “If they hadn’t have operated on her, she would have been dead, guaranteed, because she had internal bleeding.” During the end of her 2nd moth of pregnancy, Natasha experienced stomach pains that sent her to the hospital. She was told that she had suffered a miscarriage, but the baby was stuck in the Fallopian tube.
"The Fallopian tube expanded as the baby continued to grow and then it burst!” He spoke about the health scare with the ‘The Times Magazine’. It was a terrifying moment, but the couple were not deterred from having a child. Natasha and Chris have since gone on to expand their family by welcoming their son Noah.
Sources: HelloMagazine.com, NYDailyNews.com, ACCOG.com, TheSydneyMorningHerald.com, AmericanPregnancy.org, AmericanPregnancy.org, ThoughtCatalog.com, Buzzfeed.com, NBCNews.com, Mirror.co.uk,