Reclaiming my body: the story of a miscarriage

How do you write about something sad? Something personal. Something taboo? I guess most people don't. Most people do not talk about loss in an open forum. But I guess I have never processed things like most people, so I needed to write an open post about what happened to me and to my husband this past month.

A few days after we made a happy, arty, joyful announcement on Facebook and Instagram about expecting a baby in June, we lost the baby. I had a very painful miscarriage, and I guess I thought I would have to bear this loss alone, with my man and my family. Because that is what women do. We look good on the outside and present a strong front and mostly hide what is painful or shameful or sad, especially when it has to do with our bodies. Our bodies are public and praised when they are attractive, or round with child, or on display some how, being pretty. But if our bodies represent something different, something having to do with loss or pain, we hide. We go under the covers and bear this pain in private. But I'm not going to do that.

I had a miscarriage. And I think you all should know about it.

When I was young, I dreamed of the day I would get pregnant. I imagined a big round belly, glowing skin, and little kicks and hiccups from within. I imagined feeling joyful and full of hope at the prospect of being a mommie. And I never dreamed of it ending, or not having a baby at the end of 9 months. But what I've learned in the past few weeks, is that miscarriage is much more common than we are all lead to believe. It happens 40% of the time with new mommies. 40-fucking-percent. That is a lot! That is almost half the pie. So why was I so naive? I guess I thought that even thinking about miscarriage would be to curse the pregnancy. That to prepare for something so awful would somehow put a black cloud over the experience. But now I know that it is just a part of nature. Some pregnancies produce a baby, and many do not. Mine didn't. Not this time.

I also didn't know that when you get pregnant, your entire body changes. Your mind, your belly, your appetite, your chemical make-up, your moods, your digestive system, your skin and nails, absolutely everything. So for 3 months, I changed. I gave my entire body and life over to this process. To this spiritual, physical and emotional upheaval - to becoming a mother and a host for a little life inside me. It was...really fucking hard. I puked and cried and yelled and ate nothing but ramen noodles and bean burritos and even lost my job. We changed our entire financial plan and lifestyle to prepare. I changed my identity in a way - to become. Something else. And I felt life growing inside me. A new life and all of a sudden every single one of my instincts as a human were focused on keeping this baby safe.

And then one day, it just stopped. We went to the hospital and there was no more heartbeat. No more life. And we passed the pregnancy at home, together. And cried and cried. And clung to each other for dear life. And I thought I was not strong enough to bear something so painful. And I was. We were.

And now I'm not pregnant any more. My body still thinks I am. For weeks - my hormone levels are still reading pregnant, by belly is still rounder, my boobs are still huge, my heart is still broken. It takes a while for the body to get the picture. And yet I am not pregnant, and I will not have a baby, and I will not be a mother. Not yet.

How do I reclaim my body? How do I go back to before? To eating and drinking and living for one, not two. I'm really not sure. It's a process. Some days I'm grateful to have my body back, to have my brain back, firing on 100% - able to focus on creative projects and other things, other than baby. But some days I'm just sad thinking of what could have been.

I was back at the gym this morning, hoping to feel some sort of connection to my body again. Hoping to lose some of the pounds I have gained. And as I laid on my mat to do sit-ups, I started to cry. Because there is nothing in my belly anymore. Just guts and muscles and fat. And it hurts. It feels empty. But I did 100 sit ups anyway - and went home.

As women, our bodies are incredible. We can create life within. And we can also bounce back when we lose life within. Our bodies change and grow and shrink and stick by us through tragedy. And I want women to know that sometimes you may not have the baby after you get pregnant. And just like with me, it's not your fault. And it's not your body's fault.

I'm grateful for my body. And I'm grateful to be a woman. Because I know that my body will regenerate cells, and eventually host new life again one day. And maybe even give birth. My body is stronger than I am sometimes. Because it is connected to the natural heartbeat of the universe. It knows best. And sometimes a woman's body will reject a fetus. Because it knows. It just knows. And I have to trust that. I have to be grateful for that. Because my body is smarter than I am.

I've talked to lots of women who have gone through this. And the story is always sad. Sometimes it was quick and physically painless in a surgery. Sometimes it was long and brutal. But we all are connected through our experience of what it feels like to host a life, and lose it. It is the most natural and the most painful experience of my life so far. And I am not ashamed. I am proud that I am a woman, and I stand by every woman who has ever experienced a miscarriage. We are not alone. And we go on, like mother-fucking-amazons, and create life, life and more life forever and always.

PS. A sidenote. Because I was not able to do this alone. Having a strong MAN by your side is about the best thing in the entire world. My husband deserves all the love and hugs in the world, because he was my rock during this experience. He still is. And his loss is just as deep and important as mine. I love him.

Thanks for reading, if you did. And if you have a shared experience, I hope you will share it with other women. Because this is part of our story and part of our universal body. We are in it together.



  1. This is a brave, brilliant, and life-affirming tribute, Fran. Thank you for your courage and huge heart. No one who reads these words will ever forget them.


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