What to Expect When You’re Expecting… a Miscarriage

A miscarriage is never welcome in any woman’s life, but it can also be a relief. It means that you are not pregnant with an unwanted child. You are not carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders for nine months, counting down to the delivery day and then having to deal with all of the responsibilities that come after. Your body doesn’t have to endure pain or discomfort during pregnancy, nor does it have to go through labor pains if you miscarry early enough in your pregnancy. And there is no risk of complications during childbirth when your baby dies before birth because they never existed at all.

 The thing about miscarriages

Though, is that they can still cause incredible emotional trauma even if they don’t carry all of the physical symptoms of pregnancy. You might not miscarry early enough where your body is able to rid itself of the dead embryo through natural means; you might have to go through surgery (D&C) or take medication (pill, shot) to expel the fetus and placenta from your uterus. There’s also the possibility that you might not even know that the dead fetus is in your uterus until after it has passed. You go into early labor, or you start bleeding for reasons other than menstruation and discover the broken pieces of what was your baby. No matter how far along you were in your pregnancy, no matter what happens during or after the miscarriage, and no matter how much you try to rationalize your baby’s death as a good thing, it will still feel like the most life-crushingly painful thing that has ever happened to you. You will cry yourself raw and relive these moments over and over in your head for years to come.

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 Even if you miscarry early in your pregnancy

You might not be able to miss the symptoms:

  •         Fatigue and nausea almost immediately after conception. The tiredness and fatigue will continue through most of your first trimester, and nausea will go on even longer if you don’t treat it with medication or natural remedies.
  •         Missed menstrual cycle. You will know that you are pregnant because your period will be late. While this might not seem like a big deal at first, you should never ignore the signs of pregnancy and try to miscarry on your own. If you do, you open yourself up to massive complications such as incomplete miscarriage or even a full-blown uterine infection.
  •         Cramping and bleeding. Just like every other woman who has ever been pregnant, you will know that there is something wrong with your body when it starts cramping and spotting or bleeding during the first trimester. This might mean nothing at all – minor cramps and light bleeding that comes and goes, or it might mean that you are miscarrying.
  •         Constant fatigue even when you have been sleeping for hours because your body is expending so much energy keeping this pregnancy going.

You should never try to force a miscarriage

Whether by yourself or with the help of others. Trying to force a miscarriage is dangerous and it can result in complications, infections, even death. Have an open and honest conversation with your doctor about what you’re feeling and exactly what you want to do.

Even if you don’t have the symptoms of pregnancy at all but find out that you are miscarrying anyway, your emotions will be just as strong. You might even feel guiltier about this miscarriage because you have no way of knowing how far along you actually were. Miscarriage is a tragedy, and it doesn’t matter if your baby was three days old or three months old – the loss of life is still tragic.

You will need time to grieve for your loss

You might even need to take time off of work or school because you simply can’t function when you are in so much emotional pain. Miscarriage is comparable to the death of a child, and it takes just as long to heal.

You should never feel guilty about miscarrying

Your body does not have an on/off switch when it comes to pregnancy. You can’t just get pregnant or stop being pregnant. Miscarriage is the way that your body’s natural defense system rids itself of a pregnancy that will never turn into a baby, and it isn’t something you should feel ashamed about or guilty about.

Miscarriage causes a wide range of emotions, from anger to sadness to guilt. There might be days when you don’t know what you feel because everything hurts so much. Talk to your doctor about the best way to take care of your mental health while going through this process and what you can expect emotionally in the days and weeks after your miscarriage.

The physical recovery from a miscarriage is not easy, but it is relatively straightforward. You will have to go through some type of procedure or wait for your body to clean itself out, and you might suffer complications that require further procedures in the future. Miscarriage is physically taxing on your body in numerous ways, so you should expect to feel tired, sore, and in pain.


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