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I haven’t talked about my miscarriage. I don’t know what to say about it. I was relieved when I knew the pregnancy wasn’t ectopic, and then I just wanted it to end so we could move forward. Then I was afraid – I never really thought about miscarrying – you know, the actual process of it. Like that it can take days, or even weeks. That there is actually tissue that you expel. What would it be like? Would I be able to recognized the tissue as the baby even though I was so early? How long would it last – the cramping, the bleeding, the clotting…and whatever else happens. Would it hurt? And of course then there was the sadness and the overwhelming sense of guilt and failure. Modern technology had managed to painstakingly create a life, and my body had quickly managed to kill it.

As it turns out it was awful, but not as awful as I had feared. If you’re squeamish stop reading now. If you are like me and just want to know what to expect, this was my experience.

I started cramping 2 days after stopping the progesterone support. A few hours after the cramping started I started bleeding. A lot. Or a lot more than usual (which for me isn’t very much). It was darker then usual and not very continuous – I would bleed for an hour and then stop for an hour. Bad cramping. About 3 hours after I started bleeding I wiped and (sorry, TMI) found a long and thick (~1.25 inches long and .25 inches thick) liver colored “clot”. I had read blogs where people said that was what the fetal tissue looked like but it wasn’t clear what it was. But, I have not ever seen anything like it despite menstruating for 25 years, so in hindsight I assume that was most of the “products of conception”. After that it was just bleeding and stringy dark clots (not too big or think, similar to the ones I used to get the first day of my cycle). The cramps stopped on the 2-3 day and I continued to bleed for about a week. My period these days is only 2 to 2.5 days so this was a lot for me.

I don’t think I’ve fully processed it yet, and I’m certainly still grieving. I’ll cry in the grocery store for no reason. I’ve shut down Facebook because it’s too painful to see all of the beautiful ultrasounds of healthy babies when all I’ve ever seen are follicles and an empty uterus. I’m avoiding my mother and mother-in-law because of my irrational, overwhelming sense of failure and isolation. They don’t understand – all their babies were healthy. I can’t see them and listen to their well-meaning reassurances and look them in the eyes and know that I’m reason they won’t have grandchildren. I’m trying to forgive myself. To not be angry. I’m trying to be gentle with myself. After all, in one weeks time I miscarried and was told that was likely the only pregnancy I’d ever have. It was a rough week.

If you’ve had a miscarriage (early or late) or are waiting for one to start (or finish), my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for your pain, and for your loss. There are not words to express the sense of loss, regardless of how long you were pregnant. Be brave, stay strong.