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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Duprey

Pregnancy Loss Happens. You Are Not Alone.

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

I would like to preface this post with a disclaimer: I’m about to discuss multiple pregnancy loss in a frank manner. If you feel this subject matter might be upsetting to you, read no further.

My first miscarriage occured a year ago in January. It came as a complete shock. I had only just found out I was pregnant, though I had known I was pregnant for weeks, and I suddenly wasn’t anymore. Within days my breasts grew soft again, nausea subsided, bleeding stopped and cramping eased. My body felt normal-- but empty.

I had experienced what medical professionals call a “chemical pregnancy”-- essentially an early pregnancy loss that occurs just before/after implantation. In all my extensive personal research into human reproduction-- I had never been made aware of just how common this type of miscarriage is. The statistic is something like 75% of all miscarriages end as chemical pregnancies. I don’t know of anyone personally who has experienced one-- because miscarriage isn’t something women talk openly about, even amongst family and friends.

After this miscarriage, I was determined to stay optimistic. I wasn’t going to let myself be ruled by the fear of another loss. After all, the statics were in my favor (only about 1% of women experience a repeat miscarriage). When I found out I was pregnant again in April, I was excited, but I found that I had difficulty saying the words “I am pregnant” aloud. I tried, as if in affirmation, but it would only come out in a mouthed whisper. I shared the news with my husband a few days after finding out: “I had a positive test” is what I told him. As before, I miscarried within a week of my missed period. This time I was crushed.

I had had two previous healthy, normal, full-term pregnancies. Now I had experienced two consecutive losses within just a few months.

I had been reading a really remarkable novella “The Country of the Pointed Firs” by Sarah Orne Jewette during this time. In it, the narrator learns of a woman whose heartbreak leads her to a life of hermitage on a desolate island off the Maine coast. As one character puts it “she acted just like a bird when its nest is spoilt”. Concerned family and friends would watch for the smoke of her cooking fire, or peer at her through a spyglass if there was a few days gone by without signs of life, fishermen would toss parcels onto the shore, and once the parson visited her island and unsuccessfully tried to convince her to return to the mainland, but there she lived in self-imposed isolation till her death. She became an emotional island: and for a time, so did I.

My husband and sister were my only confidants and I refused their every kindness-- deflecting both my sister’s compassion and my husband’s rationality. I wept inconsolably for days, for weeks, until I was all dried up-- a husk of who I had been. I finally decided that the only way for me to heal was to open up. I shared my experiences with my mother and with a close friend-- this helped.

In time, I became pregnant again, and this time with the little boy I had hoped for. I am grateful. My rainbow baby Bard arrived on March 1st, 2020. He missed being born on the leap year by a mere two hours. He is now a the king of chaos and of my heart.

To prospect mothers: know that loss is part of the natural process of creating life and that in all the joy and sorrow you may experience on your journey to motherhood, you are not alone.

Film Scan of photograph taken at Acadia National Park, circa 2014

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