Ghostly Grief: On Miscarriage and Loss

I've written briefly here about my experience with my miscarriage this past summer, but I haven't yet shared the story. Today I'm over at sharing (pretty vulnerably) about my experience that week and about the complications of grieving a relationship you never really had.

I lie back against the paper-coated examination table, alone at my first appointment, eight weeks pregnant. I’m thankful that I’m not violently ill like in my last two pregnancies. I look up at the ultrasound screen with an unhindered joy — soon, I will berate myself for it. You should have known better than to be happy.

Instead of finding a peanut-sized body on the screen, I see nothing. Emptiness. I watch reality flick across my doctor’s face. She gathers herself to say the words I know are coming.

“I’m sorry. I can’t find a baby here. It looks like the embryo just never developed.”

The day is lonely. I call a friend to pick my oldest son up from camp. I barely breathe the words to her: No baby. More tests. My husband, Chris, is working from home, watching my other son, who’s sick. I drive from the doctor’s office to the hospital. Another ultrasound. More emptiness. Another blood test. More bad results.

What do you really lose when you lose a pregnancy? Did I lose a child? Can you lose a child that never really existed? A child that never developed?

*  *  *

A friend recently sent me a note after hearing about my loss: “Miscarriage is the strangest grief, ghostly but intensely embodied.” That word, ghostly, has stayed with me. What is it to lose a child who never became? What is it to host death in your own living body? In the womb that always before gave life? Ghostly grief. Ghostly sorrow.


  You'll find that the league tables all point to london business school as a leader in business education