miscarriage coping

One more miscarriage

Managing with loss and well-meaning intentions

There is never a good time or a good way to miscarry. If you wanted your baby, or weren’t sure, or wanted to choose, then it is just pure garbage.

Very few circumstances where your body makes a decision for you are a cause for celebration. Most of the time we like to be in control of ourselves and our choices. Miscarriage takes choice away and it is fucking terrible.

But, every experience is different, so I in no way expect my experiences to be a match to anyone else’s. Writing this down is a way for me to remember and take back control of myself a little. I can’t control what happened but I can take ownership of what happened to me and reflect on it. And that makes me feel about 3% better.

Friends and family will often try and support you when you share your unfortunate news. I’m up for the sharing as it helps me normalise and accept what happened as part of who I am now. But, despite best efforts from loved ones, I’ve found a number of well-meaning phrases often arise, that are, quite frankly useless and upsetting.

If you are ever talking to someone who is grieving the loss of a child then try and avoid any phrases which start with “at least”. Here are a few to get you started:

At least…

… you know you can get pregnant

Yes, wonderful. But I also know I can get pregnant and not have a baby at the end of it.

So, being pregnant isn’t really that much of a bonus, is it? Unless you enjoy having sore boobs, a restricted diet, fatigue and nausea and then two weeks of bleeding? Nope! Didn’t think so.

… you already have children

Another gem. Perhaps ask them for one of theirs. After all, they already have one so they won’t miss the other. This also relates to pets/cars/jewelry.

Politely remind the well-wisher that a loss is a loss despite what you have already.

If they still don’t get it ask them for half their savings. As they will still have savings left and perhaps having less will help them appreciate it even more.

… it was early on

I understand why people say this. And in a way, they are right, it is on a balance of terrible things to happen, I imagine it’s easier to lose a baby sooner rather than later. The physical and emotional fallout are less severe.

But that doesn’t make the loss seem any easier in the moment. And we all know that things are relative. When you’ve injured yourself it, it doesn’t make the pain any less to know that someone else is probably involved in a fatal car crash. Your body still hurts just as much.

… you can try again

Again, full of great intention, but really not helpful at the time. Because we can try again, but that is, right now beside the point. The baby that is gone is the one we wanted. Also trying again after one, or several, miscarriages can be a loaded gun.

I’ve had alternate babies and miscarriages. But I don’t know what is next for me. There aren’t guarantees in the conceiving game. And whilst people know the odds, it’s harder to go in fully motivated when they are already against you.

Also, I’m not sure people think about the fact that after you’ve had a loss (from your own body) and your hormones are awol, that you aren’t exactly feeling your most attractive self.

… you know what to expect

Yes. But if I punched you in the face, would it hurt less the 2nd time because you’d experienced it before?

There was a slight administrative easing in miscarriage #2 for me. But this is mainly because I’ve had to navigate both in a foreign country. But I don’t think it really made it easier, in some ways it was worse because of how certain I was of what was happening.

… it probably won’t happen again

It probably won’t. But it might. And fear is a very unsexy emotion. I want a baby more than I want to be afraid of the consequences. Women who carry on trying after consecutive miscarriages are my heroes. The emotional strength that it must take as well as the determination is incredible. I honestly don’t know if I could do it, but I don’t think one can know until at that point. Theorizing is generally inaccurate.

Things I’ve found helped

The list above was the unhelpful words of support. Below are the things that have been working for me in terms of getting myself back together. I tried to describe this to my husband. I feel like I need to rebuild a little bit of myself that I’ve lost. He admits that he has no idea what I’m talking about but I can’t describe it in any other way. It is about trying to re-claim this life that now has a little bit of extra loss in it.


For me, this is the ultimate healer. When I’m pregnant I get sick fast so I’d already been throwing up whilst running. Running really helped me get through my miscarriage and it was a way for me to appreciate the strength of my body. I ran with friends, and whilst we didn’t talk about it, it was a way for me to be myself outside of what was happening.

Also, when I ran solo and was feeling sad I could literally feel the chocking sobs ebb away.

Eating cheese and making Negronis

This was about trying to find things that I could enjoy which were off the list. In a way eating an entire cheese platter, whilst delicious, felt like I was saying a big ‘fuck you’ to the universe. You took my baby, fine!! I’ll eat an entire plate of unpasteurized cheese.

It feels almost childish, spite against something that was no-ones fault. But not all actions have to be logical. Negronis fall into the same category as the cheese binge. I feel that they could be more damaging in the long-term but I’ve given myself a few weeks of increased boozing before I go back to taking care of my body.

Not hiding it

Part of this is about actively removing the stigma that is involved in a miscarriage. The other part as I mentioned before is about it being part of the dialogue of my life. I don’t want to push it away and dismiss it. I want to accept it and then carry on living.


There is probably a suite of books about why this helps. I don’t, for once, care about the why. It just worked for me. I’ve bought homeware (2nd hand) and given away bags of clothes.

Buying clothes

I don’t know how many women planning to get pregnant stop buying clothes because soon they won’t fit. I normally end up having a 12-month break (ish) on new purchases, just because there doesn’t seem much point in having lovely things I can’t wear.

So now the baby has gone, I’ve been hitting Vinted hard. Bit too hard, I was actually embarrassed when I picked up 10 packages from the same store. But I had made all that extra space after de-cluttering…

In conclusion

If a friend or family member has a miscarriage and is sad about it, don’t say a sentence starting with “at least”. Don’t try and make them feel better, talk to them about their loss and if that is how they see it, acknowledge it as such. Better to mirror what they are saying than to try and cheer them up.

Should you want to do something nice for the person, ask them what will help, and if they don’t know, ask them if they’d just like you to be around. We are all different and like support in different ways. The most helpful and supportive thing people did for me was check-in to see if I was ok. It just made me feel like I wasn’t alone. That really helped me focus (in an unpressured way) on all the great things I still have instead of the one thing I’d recently lost.



About Good Words Online

This blog was designed to be a home for all the content I’ve created over the years. It is a mix of book reviews, personal reflections and business learnings. There is no definitive way to live or work, we all make our own choices. I in no way think I am right about any particular subject. This is simply about sharing what I’ve learnt and creating an online reminder for myself.

The name, good words, has no religious references. We can’t be good all the time. Each of us will make mistakes. All we can do is try to learn from them and try and attempt to be a little better next time.

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