Miscarriage pants. I bought myself some today. I don't think it's a thing. But it should be, because they're wonderful. I went to my Kundalini yoga class and saw them out of the corner of my eye. Bright, floral, soft and exactly what I wanted. I also got a third eye bracelet to remind myself of our primal, yet finely honed, mind that has taken centuries to become what it is. What a beautiful thing.
I've been thinking about the term "miscarriage" and feel it's a complete misnomer. Miscarriage or miscarrying implies I didn't carry my baby correctly. It focuses on the pathology that happens with the ending of a pregnancy instead of the innate wisdom our bodies possess. I did nothing to cause the end of my pregnancy. There is no-one to blame for it not becoming a viable pregnancy. After my yoga class, I felt so much more trust in my body and in our zygote, the joined cells that were to be a new life. My body and little ziggy knew when to end. We weren't meant to be but for a few short weeks. It's heartbreaking, because you hope for what the future could be. But, I'm glad our biology has wisdom beyond what the neocortex and amygdala can think and feel.
Our zygote took us through our first positive pregnancy test, our first deep breaths and excited tears over realizing we would become a family. For those moments, I am thankful, even when it didn’t end as I expected. There's still something sweet about having this trial run, of digging even deeper into what we want as a family and honoring the goodness and intelligence our bodies carry. The meaning I want to give to this time isn't just one of ending and heartbreak, but one of trust and gratitude for what our future holds.
This description of my miscarriage is not prescriptive. It is simply my experience. Your miscarriage story belongs to you. A friend, who also experienced an early pregnancy loss, told me that she felt her body had failed her. Her body hadn’t registered that the pregnancy was not viable- it was hard for her to understand and relate to her body the way I was able to with my miscarriage because they happened so differently. We walk through loss in different ways.
Early pregnancy carries with it the fear of miscarriage. Understanding the signs and options can help you trust yourself and your body.
Around 10% of women will experience an early pregnancy loss, often within the first trimester. Most cases of early pregnancy loss are related to chromosomal abnormalities. There is nothing you did to cause it.
There are three different ways of managing early pregnancy loss: expectant management (wait and see), medical management (oral medication like cytotec) or surgical management (D&C or D&E). There are risks and benefits to each choice, but the best option is the one you feel most comfortable with. We will take the time you need as you seek to understand the treatments.
Common symptoms of pregnancy loss like vaginal bleeding or uterine cramping are also normal signs of pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, or molar pregnancy. It is important to distinguish early pregnancy loss from these other types of complications.
If you have bright red bleeding similar to a period, call your OB provider to discuss getting lab work and an ultrasound. Your serum B-hCG levels should be rising, but if they are trending downward, it is likely a miscarriage. An ultrasound can confirm whether you have a viable intrauterine pregnancy. If your bleeding is so heavy you fill up a pad in an hour, please go to the emergency room and notify your provider as soon as possible.
If you’re looking for resources to help you cope with your miscarriage here are a few women who have bravely documented and shared their stories.
Book recommendation: Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother