The Emptiness of an Early Miscarriage

Before You Read

Today’s post comes to you with a mixture of sadness and pride. I have had a writing piece published with a renowned website called The Mighty. It’s a great site that fights to spread awareness of and the stigmas surrounding mental illness, disease, illnesses, and issues that we all may face.

You can read my article straight away if you want to, right here: The Emptiness of an Early Miscarriage (you can dismiss any pop-ups asking you to create an account with The Mighty) but it would be great if you could read the rest of this post to understand my motivations for writing and sharing it before you do.

The link to the arfticle is at the bottom of this post also.


The Good Part

I have had my work published on a popular website. This is a great achievement for me, particularly as I’m looking to do more freelance writing work. I guess though with every success it comes at a price…

Here Comes the Sad Part…

My published piece is about the miscarriage my husband and I went through. The piece was originally written just for me. I wrote it the day after we were told that our child had died. I needed to do it to get my head straight and to spill all the hurt that was inside me out as much as possible.

I did not intend to share this piece or what has happened to us with anyone beyond those closest to us. Then I started interacting on social media with others who have been through this. I read other people’s stories about how miscarriages had affected them. We are the silent and largely silenced in the wider world.

Early miscarriage - emptyYou probably unwittingly know many people who have been through a miscarriage but they will never tell you. We all have our own reasons for our silence. I respect that many of us just can’t talk about it. Believe me, when this post gets published I will have wrangled and wrestled a hundred times with whether to make my situation public.

It’s hard when you’ve had an early miscarriage which happens in the first trimester, to tell people it’s happened. That’s because many of us stick to the keeping it secret until we’re three months pregnant rule. It’s a good enough rule in that we want to make sure that we get the scan and know the baby is well. It’s not so great when we haven’t told anyone we’re pregnant so therefore we often feel like we can’t say we’re not anymore either.

It’s also tough for those who are beyond the first trimester, have made the pregnancy announcements and then have to make the announcement they never thought they would have to make. I have heard these parents’ stories and it breaks my heart.

Many of us also don’t want the rush of condolences, sympathy and compassion that will come. However well-intentioned it is, it can be overwhelming. Our miscarriage was not that long ago. It’s still incredibly raw and always on my mind. You may think I’m an idiot then to share this openly. Maybe I am. However, maybe I’m not.

Maybe this piece that I wrote that was just for me, was meant to be shared. Maybe because I wrote it for me and thought that was how it would remain it’s searingly honest and true.

Maybe other women and men would gain some comfort or shared experience from it. Maybe it will help those who have fortunately never been in this position to understand more about what remains largely taboo.

I laugh at my life sometimes. It appears that I just have to be a poster girl for every sensitive subject going that is hard to talk about: severe depression, suicide, a mum who is dying of cancer and now a miscarriage.

I don’t want to represent any of it. I’d rather not have any of it. But I do, so I guess I either lie down and possibly literally die or I occasionally summon strength I don’t know I have and write the shit out of it and get it out there.

My Fears About Sharing This With You

I’m no warrior. I’m scared and worried.

I am concerned that you will think that I’m a hard-hearted bitch who is using a miscarriage to get herself published on a website. I’m fearful that you will think I should just shut up and get on with it. Maybe these things are true.

Early miscarriage - Maya Angelou quoteHowever, maybe it will do some good for someone who needs it. I tested out this piece with a group I’m part of on Facebook for women who’ve had miscarriages. So far the outpouring of love, empathy, and comments that they needed to read this spurs me on.

I sought my husband’s permission to share this piece. It is his story and life too, of course. He inspires me to be brave when he tells me that we have nothing to be ashamed of, we have not failed, and that he is proud of me for doing this to help others.

I also thought about leaving sharing this until we were pregnant again and I knew, as much as you can, that the child was healthy. However, there are no guarantees. That day may never come so now it will be.

I guess all I can do now is leave this piece with you. Please understand if I can’t answer any comments as fully as I’d usually like although I will try my best.

I also am not qualified to help you fully through your own individual pain. I’m not being selfish but I’m trying to get through mine. I am here though to hear your stories, stand alongside you, metaphorically hold your hand, and to know that it was worth doing.

I am concerned about publishing this on my blog as I know friends and family that did not know about this will find out what happened. I’m not ashamed. I just want anyone who knows my husband and I to be aware that we have been and are still grieving and we will continue to do that as privately as possible.

Please do not place us on ‘womb watch’ waiting for another child to appear or give us platitudes. We are really struggling with the standard ‘At least you can get pregnant’, ‘You can try again’ or ‘It wasn’t meant to be’ lines. They may be well-intentioned but they hurt and are empty.

I hope sharing this is wise and that it was the right thing to do. Beyond that, I just don’t know. Nothing is ever certain, certainly not anymore.

Link to the Article: The Emptiness of an Early Miscarriage

Thanks for reading the background to this article. Here again is the link: The Emptiness of an Early Miscarriage (you can dismiss any pop-ups asking you to create an account with The Mighty). Oh and by the way, we never intended to call our child Tarquin. It was our joke name. Apologies to all the Tarquins out there.


About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer. When she's not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, books, the cats, and the husband. Perhaps not in that order.

12 comments on “The Emptiness of an Early Miscarriage

  1. I hope writing about this has been even a little bit therapeutic for you, Lisa. I can identify with what you’ve experienced. Thankyou for being brave enough to share your story….

    1. It is a form of ongoing therapy. It’s a rollercoaster, particularly as I’ve now added making it public to the mix but I had a gnawing feeling inside that it was the right thing to do. Thank you for sharing with me and for your support Brydie. x

  2. You rock woman. I haven’t read the article just the background and still know that you rock and aren’t just a rock. Sending hugs and lots of love sarah xxx

  3. Lisa, I read this on my phone this morning, but have come onto the laptop to comment. I think this is a really brave, beautiful and important post. Like so many other issues you discuss on this blog, early miscarriage is not spoken about enough and so many people carry the pain alone. Our first pregnancy ended early, and I reacted by writing a letter to the baby which I still have. It helped me enormously to put all my thoughts, feelings and feelings of loss into words on paper. I know exactly what you mean about hurtful comments. I often heard ‘there must have been something wrong with it’ and ‘nature knows best’. Well, maybe she does, but that’s not exactly what you want to hear when it happens to you. I’m glad you’ve found a support group online. No such things existed when I had mine but I was very lucky to have my older sister who had also been through it, and we were able to talk and hug and cry openly about how we felt. I thank you for this post. It may be terribly common to lose a baby early on, but that does not lessen the pain or loss, and it really does need to be talked about more often. I am just about to read the article. Love and hugs

    1. Oh Chantelle I’m so sad to hear that you went through this too. It really does prove how people we know have been through this but we often don’t know. Not that I’m judging you by the way. It’s just a thing in life there’s pressure to keep it private, like we’ve done something wrong. Of course we haven’t. I’m genuinely pleased that you’ve been blessed with your children, not as replacements but because you’re obviously a great mother. Thank you for sharing this with me. I feel honoured.

  4. Oh, Lisa. I’m so very sad to read this. Sending you all my love and positive thoughts. I really hope it all works out for you. Just remember, how much you’ve been going through lately and take care of yourself x

  5. I found your article while searching online to hear the voice of someone who had also had an early miscarriage. I didn’t/don’t know how to feel and feel like a fraud…even thinking that I don’t deserve to feel anything as it was early, but this has helped enormously, so thank you x

    1. I’m so genuinely sorry to hear that you’ve been through this. You have every right to grieve. Your child died and that’s tough no matter what stage they had got to.

      It’s so hard to go through this. Even now it hurts. I hope you’ll find some peace in the future. Trite as it sounds, you will come through this. Take care. xx

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