Miscarriage and Loss

Anna’s Miscarriage Story

January 16, 2022

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We are mamas and birth workers who decided to do birth differently– and bring others along with us. We are kind, fun to work with, and great at (lovingly) calling people on their bullshit. With 12 children and 20 years of midwifery between us, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and Indie Birth is our space to share it all with you.


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It started 6 days ago, at 11+ weeks gestation.

I offer my story of loss to the community for my own healing and maybe part of your own process. [photos are at the very bottom of the post]

The first time I saw blood six days ago I panicked and cried and feared the worst. I got in the shower and prayed “God, please no” over and over. I reached out to Maryn then got in bed with tea, a candle, the dog and my journal, trying to remain calm and hopeful and not telling my husband because I didn’t know what to tell him.

48 hours later after still bleeding with no cramps but having gone to see Maryn and not hearing a heartbeat, I didn’t hold out much hope and expected that night for things to escalate. And they did.

We got home (5 hours after seeing Maryn because we got stuck on the highway with cars off the road because of the snowstorm – felt symbolic of the process we were stuck in the middle of) and cramping started. I am grateful to have been home and to not have had to go to the hospital for an ultrasound.

In the wee hours of the morning it got intense. Waves of pain (contractions?) came and got closer together. I went to the bathroom 1 million times because of bleeding. My body knew just what to do. I said “Good job, you can do this, thank you” to my body. I had the sense that my body knew how to take care of me. I didn’t have to know or do anything but yield to the process.

I found myself doing mild effiji breaths through the contractions. That surprisingly felt better than slow relaxing breaths – maybe I needed the adrenaline. I spent time on the bathroom floor not sure if I was going to vomit, pass out and poop all at the same time. I was feeling on the verge of passing out and had a thought that I needed some electrolytes. I thought about waking my husband but decided to get clementines myself. I paused at the kitchen counter to lean over and lower my head so I wouldn’t pass out and then went back to the bathroom floor.

Strength comes in ways we wouldn’t choose.

Some of the waves felt very different than I’ve ever felt before, like gravity, weighty, downward, grounded. There was relief between.

There was one significant feeling of something coming out and a plop in the toilet. I ran to get my glasses and cell phone flashlight to look. It just looked like a blob of blood. I had the feeling of, not disappointment, but it was “less than” I expected. I had the thought that “this is it”.

There was a definite cease to the intensity and rest came.

A couple mornings later I was struggling with the idea that I had missed the baby and flushed it down the toilet. Now, I rationally thought that would be totally acceptable, there’s no spirit in that body, it’s just an empty vessel. ….Not everyone would want to see or touch their baby, but I did.

That evening there was another larger something that came out. This time I fished it out of the toilet to take a closer look and discovered that I hadn’t missed it – this was the baby. I gently opened the sac until I found a very tiny little baby with a body and a head, the beginnings of a face, and an umbilical cord. It was such a gift to be able to hold my baby in the palm of my hand.

My husband had also been secretly struggling with not getting to see the baby. It had been such a physical experience that was mine, now the baby was more than just an idea for him. I joyfully gave the next steps to him to lead in the processing and healing. He decided on a spot in the woods next to our house to bury (her?). We decided to call her hope and call the burial a “planting”.

“Hope is a seed that you sow. When you let it go, it comes to life.”

Hope never dies.

Two days later the placenta came. Another amazing little piece of divine design to get to discover and experience. In hindsight I realized that I had been having an underlying feeling of happiness underneath the grief. Joy and gratitude in the middle of the pain was one thing to reach for, but happiness? I realized it was oxytocin – another part of the tiny birth hormone cycle. The next day my hormones crashed but there was stability in knowing this was a normal part of the process.

Six days in and I’m still bleeding but I feel good in my body and now have a big sense of trust in my body and in the process. I am so nourished and loved, body and soul, by my community and by Maryn. I am finding deep healing and life in the process of death, grief and pain.


The process felt like birth, even if on a miniature scale. I don’t feel like my body betrayed or failed me. Death is part of life. I feel amazed and proud of my body.

We feel gratitude for having participated in creation, and carrying and loving this little life. The pain of losing someone you’ve never known is inexplicably deep.

An opportunity to experience divine love. Love for a being’s existence totally detached from performance, production, appearance or getting anything in return. We are grateful to have gotten to experience and participate in this life and in the process.

I emerge feeling transformed and empowered, having discovered new strength and a sense of being in a great company of women who have gone before me. We are in this together. Resilience is born out of pain, not having avoided it but the triumph of having gone through it or still standing in the middle of it.

Broken hearted but not destroyed.

To borrow my husband’s thoughts:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time”, said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time given us.”

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We are mamas and midwives who decided to do birth differently– and bring others along with us. We are radical, fun to work with, and great at (lovingly) calling people on their bullshit to help move us all towards a new more beautiful world. With 12 children and over two decades of midwifery between us, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and Indie Birth is our space to share it all with you.

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