I had a miscarriage during quarantine and it was so lonely

Miscarriage is already a lonely process; you go from living for two to being back down to one. And no matter how much you're told it's "not your fault," you still feel like you failed.

I had a miscarriage during quarantine and it was so lonely

The night I found out I was pregnant, it was date night—what would become our last legitimate outing before the Corona hit the fan. We'd started out at a new wine bar in our neighborhood, whose terrazzo counters kept popping up in my Instagram feed. It was early Covid-days; as I placed my hands on the orange-and-gray-flecked bar, I thought, This is cute. Then only half-seriously: Maybe I shouldn't touch this.

Coronavirus was definitely a topic of discussion all around us, but it was still sort of intangible and uncertain, heavy on hand sanitizer humor. When my husband wondered if we should stay in that night, I replied, almost teenage-like, "We still have to live our lives."


He had more reason to be concerned: As a Type 1 diabetic with asthma, he was a walking target. Yet, that night, Insta-friendly decor and natural wines won over the threat of a virus we didn't know much about (which now seems insane). "I guess you're right," he said, pocketing a bottle of mini-Purell as we headed out the door.

We had been told that getting pregnant would be an uphill battle due to my husband's sperm morphology; a semen analysis had revealed that he had a very low percentage of sperm in the correct size and shape to fertilize an egg. "Not impossible" is how one doctor described it, along with a basketball metaphor I'm still not sure I understand. In short, pregnancy wasn't a complete impossibility, but would probably take a long time via natural methods. We hadn't been "trying" long — this was our third month, but I was already mentally preparing myself for a discussion about IUI in six months' time.

When we headed to CVS to buy a pregnancy test later that night (the day my period was due), we both talked about it being a waste of money. There was just no way.

"JK SURPRISE!" is what it should say instead of "Pregnant" after you pee on a Clearblue stick. My husband, frantic, both in excitement and disbelief, was sure the test was wrong ("These things don't lie," I kept saying), but he insisted on heading back to CVS for more tests, which all said the same thing.

Over the next two days, the Corona situation snowballed and the fear started setting in. I informed my team that I'd be working from home until further notice because of my husband's underlying conditions. (Well, and now because of my pregnancy, which I didn't disclose.)

I'd imagine that any newly pregnant woman becomes addicted to Google, but in the time of Corona, I began devouring everything I could find about how the virus was affecting women and their children. I started taking my temperature and frantically researched "fever during early pregnancy" when I got a few readings over 100 degrees. (Turns out we had a faulty thermometer.)

We told close friends and family about the pregnancy with the caveat, "It's early days. We don't know if it's a thing yet." Our older family members brushed off the idea of miscarriage each time we reminded them of the possibility; it quickly became clear to us how misinformed their generation was on pregnancy loss. They'd lived through pregnancies in times when miscarriage wasn't openly discussed, leading them to conclude that it happened rarely.

But of course, I'd had plenty of friends miscarry. My doctor, who has been delivering babies for 37 years, told me that he finds that one in four women miscarry, a statistic that's even higher than the number quoted online. (An ultrasound technician would later tell me it's more like one in three, a number that feels both scary and reassuring that this literally happens ALL THE TIME.)

At our first scan—at six weeks—my husband teared up when we found a heartbeat. In the weeks ahead, and with no cramping or bleeding, we began to feel like it was going to be "a thing." I'd crossed a mental line where I'd allowed myself to bookmark a few IKEA nursery pieces. We mulled over name choices during our nightly "gotta get out of the house" walks.

At my second scan at nine weeks, I was alone (partners were no longer allowed in the doctor's office) when I got the bad news. I began crying into my mask as my doctor explained that he couldn't find a heartbeat and the embryo had not grown. He called it a "missed abortion."

The doctor arranged for a follow-up ultrasound with a different hospital department — he was only permitted to treat patients one day a week, so this would be the fastest way to confirm the miscarriage. A few days later, I found myself, alone, once again, being told the pregnancy wasn't viable.

Miscarriage is already a lonely process; you go from living for two to being back down to one. And no matter how much you're told it's "not your fault," you still feel like you failed.

I've never been someone who has felt like they need tons of friends or even tons of time with them (I have my solid circle and we ordinarily have our regular friend-date schedules), but all of a sudden, I wished everyone could come over for a days-long dinner party. I missed my parents with the same sadness and homesickness I'd last felt at summer camp when I was 10. Zoom dates made me want to reach through the screen for hugs.

Yet, I question whether I would have pushed myself to see friends under "normal" circumstances. Or would I have held back, stayed close to my partner, and given myself some time to just be alone? After all, being secluded with him during that time brought us closer and was undoubtedly coated in compassion.

Maybe the emotional aspect of miscarrying in quarantine isn't actually any different. A loss is a loss is a loss and that lives inside you — no matter what's going on in the world outside.

In This Article

    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

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    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective set

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    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

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    Janod retro scooter balance bike

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    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

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    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

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    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

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    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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