Having a miscarriage left me feeling heartbroken—and still pregnant

I just wished the world around me would stop and give me a moment to catch my breath.

Having a miscarriage left me feeling heartbroken—and still pregnant

Trigger warning: This essay describes a woman’s emotional journey with miscarriage.

The moment I saw those two pink lines on the pregnancy test, I held an enormous amount of hope in my heart. Those first few weeks were both exciting and agonizing at the same time. I was frightened every day that each cramp, ache and pain could possibly mean impending doom.

I went to the bathroom more than I ever imagined possible. I was tired—exhausted, really. My breasts felt swollen and so did my uterus. I had trouble concentrating because I was constantly filled with so many different emotions. I had to get numerous blood tests and felt like a human pin cushion. But it was all for a good cause—my precious baby—so I didn’t really mind.

At times, I found myself reveling in feeling all these symptoms because it meant I was actually pregnant—that this was actually happening. Holy moly, I was pregnant! After all those years of trying it was finally my turn.

And then one day I got a call from my doctor and learned that I “may have an unviable pregnancy.” That my last blood test showed my HCG count had begun to decline, typically indicating miscarriage. The words “unviable” and "miscarriage" hung in the air and I felt like I had been punched in the gut. HARD.

I tried to hold it together. I went to work and shut my door and cried. I put on a brave face and hoped for the best but I was so sad and beyond scared and I just wished the world around me would stop and give me a moment to catch my breath.

Didn’t they know that I was dealing with this life-changing news?

When I scheduled my “final” ultrasound, I held out hope that I’d somehow hear a heartbeat…even though I knew I wouldn’t. So, I cried. I tried to come to grips with reality. Then I cried some more.

Days went by so slowly. My breasts still hurt. I still felt that swell in my uterus. I wondered when and if I would start bleeding. And I still felt a twinge of morning sickness, or what I thought was the feeling of morning sickness, but I couldn’t tell, because, really, I wanted to throw up any time I thought about the fact that this was happening.

And all I wanted—more than anything (besides having my baby back)— is for those symptoms that I was so excited to feel, to just go away.

I didn’t want to feel pregnant anymore because, essentially, I wasn’t…except I kind of was...You see, what nobody told me about having a miscarriage is that it's a long process. My body took a while to recognize that it wasn’t carrying a healthy baby. Oftentimes when you miscarry, you'll need a procedure to end the pregnancy or you'll have to take a pill to start the process.

So I had to wait. I waited and felt like I was losing my baby all over again.

The friends that I had shared my happy—then sad—news with asked how I was doing. I lied and said I was doing fine because I didn’t want to say, "I'll be okay once I pass these clumps of tissue from my body." They didn’t really know what to say to me, which was okay—because I didn’t know what to say either.

And until the nightmare I was in, that was once a dream, was over, I felt like I was in limbo—not quite pregnant, but not quite not pregnant. People said things to try to be helpful and I know they meant well—I just needed time to process and heal.

What I did learn, though, are a few things not to say to a woman who has just experienced a miscarriage. Things like, “You can always try again,” or, “At least it happened early on,” or, “Everything happens for a reason.”

For many women, getting pregnant in the first place is just not that simple—they don’t want to hear about trying again in this moment. Hearing about your miscarriage happening earlier rather than later is a dig to the heart, too—no matter when you lose a baby it is heartbreaking. And even if “everything happens for a reason”—most likely the woman experiencing such a grave loss is not able to see any reason for feeling this incredibly broken.

I have found that sometimes the best thing to do is to admit the situation is hard, and heartbreaking. And to just sit with the person grieving and be with them.

Suffering from a miscarriage means that you are forever changed. You'll still feel the pain from time to time, even years later. But at the same time, you'll be grateful in a sense that you got to experience what it was like to see those two pink lines in the first place—even if it didn't pan out the way you hoped.

As much as I love fall, it always feels like the season when my family's routine gets kicked into overdrive. With our oldest in (homeschool) kindergarten, my youngest on the brink of entering her twos, work, housework and *all the things* filling my day, it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed sometimes. Did I mention we're still in a pandemic? (Yeah, it's a lot.) And while I try to take a positive view as much as I can, now more than ever I definitely jump at the chance to take anything off my busy plate.

One thing first in line at the chopping block? Cooking. To be fair, I like cooking. I cooked most of our meals long before I had ever even heard of social distancing. But there's something about the pandemic that suddenly made cooking every single meal feel exponentially more draining.

Enter Daily Harvest. They deliver nourishing, delicious food right to your door. Daily Harvest's mix of smoothies, bowls, flatbreads, snacks and more provide a balanced, whole food options that are as satisfying as they are nutritious. But my favorite part? When we're ready to eat, I simply pull the food from the freezer and it's ready in minutes—without any chopping, measuring or searching for a recipe. Even better, they're incredibly tasty, meaning I'm not struggling to get my girls to dig in. Not cooking has never felt so good.

Here are my 8 favorite products that are helping to lighten my load right now:

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

One thing that actually helps break up the monotony of quarantine? Trying and introducing new ingredients to my family. I love this overnight oat bowl (add milk the night before and let it set in your fridge overnight—easy-peasy!) because not only does it not compromise on nutrition, but it also helps me bring new whole fruits, vegetables and superfoods to the table with ease.

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

I kid you not, these taste exactly like a mint chocolate chip milkshake. (Just ask my 4-year-old, who is constantly stealing sips from my glass.) What she doesn't know? She's actually getting organic banana, spinach and chlorella with every sip. #momwin

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Our family's eating habits have been leaning more plant-forward this year, which often means a lot of veggie washing, peeling and chopping every time I cook. That's why these flatbreads are my new best friend come lunchtime. This Kabocha + Sage Flatbread is made with a gluten-free cauliflower crust topped with kabocha squash, fennel and sage for a taste of fall in every bite. (Missing the cheese? You can add it before baking for more of a pizza feel.)

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

There's something about the combination of sweet potato crust topped with red cabbage, organic greens and an herby-cilantro sauce that is so delicious… like surprisingly delicious. I polished off this bad boy in seconds! And unlike other "veggie" crusts I've tried, these are actually clean (AKA no fillers, preservations, partially-hydrogenated oil or artificial anything). Plus, it couldn't be easier to throw in the oven between conference calls and homeschool lessons.

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Any time I get to serve a breakfast that tastes like chocolate, it's a good day. (That goes double when it's *my* breakfast.) This rich, chocolatey smoothie is packed with organic zucchini, avocado, pumpkin seeds and pea protein for a nourishing mix of healthy fats and muscle-building protein so I can carry that baby all day long. And did I mention the chocolate?

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Maybe it's just me, but after a long week of cooking, the last thing I want to do on Saturday morning is...wake up and cook. That's why these one-step breakfasts are saving my weekend. I simply add our favorite milk the night before and store the bowl in the fridge overnight. Come morning, I have a nutritious chia bowl that powers me through even the busiest day of errands. It's also Instagram-ready, which makes me feel like I'm out brunching (even if I can't remember the last time I was in a restaurant).

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

My kids have turned into snack monsters during quarantine, and I'm often struggling to find a wholesome option (that doesn't require a lot of extra cooking or else I resort to something ultra-refined and shelf-stable). These bites are the hero I never knew I needed. For one, they taste like cookie dough, but they're actually packed with chickpeas, pumpkin, dates and flax seed (among other whole ingredients). But unlike actual cookie dough, I don't have to go anywhere near my mixer to whip them up—all I have to do is pull the container out of the freezer, let them defrost a bit and we can all enjoy a treat.

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Sometimes I have a little more time to cook, but I still want a quick, stress-free solution. (Especially because it always feels like I just cleaned up from the last meal.) I love these Harvest Bowls because they warm up in under five minutes on the stove top (or microwave!) but pack tons of flavor. The Cauliflower Rice + Pesto bowl is one of my favorites, with basil, olive oil and nutritional yeast for a hearty dish reminiscent of a mouth-watering Italian meal. When I'm feeling extra fancy, I add leftover grilled chicken or a fried egg.

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Who doesn't want to end the day with a little something sweet? This creamy and decadent frozen treat from Daily Harvest is swirled with sweet berries and tropical dragonfruit for an antioxidant burst you'll feel good about—but that your kiddos will just think is ice cream. Go ahead, take credit for being the best mom ever.

Want to try it yourself? You can get $25 off your first box of Daily Harvest with code MOTHERLY.

This article was sponsored by Daily Harvest. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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