There Is No Silver Lining In My Miscarriage

All I wanted to hear was, "This sucks."

Last updated on Apr 09, 2024

Woman sitting in hospital gown, sad SDI Productions | Canva

Today I got my period, hooray! 

TMI? A little over two months after finding out I had a miscarriage, getting my period is a sign that at some point soon my husband, Sam, and I can restart this anxiety-provoking, possibly heartbreaking, potentially life-granting process all over again.

On September 30, I went to see my male OB. (The one I saw once during my first pregnancy, after which I declared that I didn't want a male OB, specifically the one I had.) But it was COVID pandemic times and I was nine weeks pregnant, he was the first available appointment, and I didn't want to wait to hear the heartbeat of another munchkin I was shockingly so ready to have.


RELATED: 6 Things I've Learned From 3 Miscarriages In 9 Months

In the patient room, bottomless and draped in a paper blanket, I waited to see my doctor — who was already 45 minutes late. During the appointment, I Facetimed Sam, who was home with our 16-month-old son, because COVID didn’t allow him to join me at my appointment. (We were also in the middle of a 14-day quarantine so we could finally stay with family since the COVID lockdown started in March.)

Sam and I were planning to tell our family the good news when we could finally hug them again. As it turns out, we wouldn’t be bringing any good news.


The doctor came in about 30 seconds later and my examination was underway. We saw on the ultrasound a little sack. Phew, so I am pregnant, was my immediate thought of relief.

But then the doctor told us the baby was too small to hear a heartbeat; it was measuring the size of six weeks. My excited nervous face, the smiling face of Sam who was forced to hear this news over Facetime, started to fade. The dread kicked in, the fear kicked in, the tears kicked in. We knew what this meant. 

I was sent for bloodwork to check my HCG levels. If they decreased, it was a miscarriage. We knew what this meant.  

I cried in the patient room by myself, collecting the packet for expecting parents the nurse had given me when we both thought I was pregnant. Sam was forced to hold it together while he took the hit of our potential loss while also taking care of our oblivious toddler who seemed to be living his best life climbing in and out of the broiler.


RELATED: 10 Ways To Help Your Wife Through A Miscarriage

After two days and two rounds of bloodwork, what we suspected was confirmed. Our hopes and hearts were crushed. The OB who was terrible in my first pregnancy thrived during our miscarriage. He was kind and compassionate and gave us space to talk. He told us to allow ourselves to grieve, that we were suffering a loss, no matter how early it was. We needed to hear that.



I took misoprostol and was told it would feel like a few days of bad period cramps. I took it that night and had wicked cramps, wicked diarrhea, and bleeding. One week later, I was still bleeding and a nurse called to check-in.


Have I passed any clots, any tissue, she asked, like I had done this before and should somehow know what to be looking for. I don’t think I have, I responded. She recommended another round of bloodwork. I planned to get it done when I returned from seeing family. During this time the bleeding started to smell.

As if looking down every time you go to the bathroom and have a constant reminder of your sadness and loss isn’t enough, that sadness starts to smell, adding insult to injury. I called my OB and he told me to come in Turns out I had a tilted uterus, and therefore some miscarriage clotting was unable to pass and was building up and becoming necrotic — that was the smell: built-up dead tissue. The OB scraped it out and yes, it was as painful and upsetting and uncomfortable as it sounds. 

After another ultrasound, he found more clots still. He suggested another round of misoprostol (which I took), resulting in another round of side effects, but it didn't work. So the day after National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day, I had a dilation and evacuation.

Two weeks after we didn’t hear a heartbeat, our journey ended. Two months after that, I got my period. A new journey begins again.


Throughout this whole process, we told a few loved ones and a few close friends about our miscarriage. It wasn’t a secret, but how do you share this news during a pandemic? Do you tell them when your friends message you about their pregnancies, or their births, so we can steal their joy and share our pain? Do we tell them when we all send each other benign check-in texts, and I’ll just drop my miscarriage information right there? It feels mean to burden people with the responsibility to carry our pain.

RELATED: My Traumatic Miscarriage Lasted Months And Ended In The ER

I’ve felt a lot of things during this process. A lot of sadness and a lot of anger. With each pregnancy announcement, I felt another chip in my heart. Can’t people just stop having babies until I can have mine?

I tried therapy. She asked why I was there in our first Facetime session. I started, well I had a miscarriage … and she cut me off. She asked if I had a flu shot this year. She went off about statistics about miscarriages and flu shots. My blood boiled, as I wondered if I should hang up and be done. I eventually interjected and said I believe in getting the flu shot, pregnant or not. How do I trust a doctor (and yes, she was a proper PsyD) whose initial step is to find blame for one's miscarriage? (I promise you, lady, I already had boatloads of self-blame, wondering if I caused the miscarriage because I ate a salami sandwich or had some sushi. Please screw off about a flu shot.)


I’ve received love and support from those I’ve told. I’ve also had well-intentioned friends and family say things that I hated, say things they didn’t realize were thoughtless and unhelpful, words they thought may be comforting. 



All I wanted to hear was "This sucks," because there's no silver lining in this miscarriage mess.

This pandemic has been painful and tiring for us all, and adding this miscarriage, it all felt like too much. I needed a space to tell my story and feel my pain — the pain of being unable to give our family another member, our parents another grandchild, to give our son a sibling. And while I know these things happen, there’s the worry of not knowing if another miscarriage is imminent in the future.


I wanted check-ins, and I wanted people to check in on my husband directly. I never realized how gendered a miscarriage loss presented itself. While this loss and pain was mine physically, it was both ours emotionally, and we both felt — and continue to feel it — deeply. I needed other people to see him. I needed him to have people show their love and support to him, like they had to me, with words. (And let this be a call to partners and men to please share their own miscarriage stories).

To our well-intentioned friends and family: I promise you that bringing up our miscarriage will not suddenly remind us of a pain we’ve forgotten about. We feel a twinge anytime we see or hear about a growing family, whether it's a friend or a pregnant woman walking in the street. We feel joy in our loved one's exciting news, of course, we feel honored that they share it with us, but that twinge, we feel deeply and daily. 

So anyway, I got my period. And our journey begins again.

RELATED: How Long Women Should Wait To Get Pregnant Again After A Miscarriage, According To Experts


Rachel Levy has a master's in public health and works as a suicide prevention specialist. She lives in South Philadelphia with her husband and dog.