Thirty Percent

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By Tracy G. Cassels

30% can mean nothing or it can mean a lot.  3 out of 10.  30 out of 100.  In the Pitcairn Islands, the world’s least populous country, 30% of the population is approximately 15 people.  In China, the world’s most populous country, 30% is just under 402 million people.  30% would be considered a high alcohol content for beers and wine, but low for spirits.  In sports, 30% success is good for a hitter, but bad for a goalie.  If you fall ill and the disease has a 30% death rate, the prognosis is bad.  If it has a 30% success rate, it gives you hope.  30% is a weird number – it’s not as clean as 25%, but cleaner than 29%, and really represents the 27-33% range.  As I said, 30% can mean nothing or it can mean a lot.  In my case, it was a non-entity, a number I never gave much thought to until June of 2009.

My husband and I had started trying to get pregnant in April of 2009.  In an effort to reduce the stress around the whole thing, we blocked off a week and every night we had a romantic dinner, wine included, and then had a very nice time in the bedroom, so to speak.  I think secretly my husband hoped it wouldn’t take for a while and we could continue doing this month after month, but after just one shot, I found myself pregnant with what was to be our first child.  I was shocked – most of my friends had tried for quite a while before succeeding, but I figured that the lack of stress and not limiting things to 2 or 3 days probably helped.  If I’m totally honest, I took it as a sign of my good fertility too.  I went to a doctor at my university clinic just to get the confirmation (I never have trusted home pregnancy tests 100%) and while I was there the doctor warned me that 30% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage.  Being young and healthy and only knowing a couple people (my mom and friend) who had miscarried later in life, I dismissed it.  I also thought the number had to be a huge exaggeration – after all, I knew lots of people with kids, and no one had talked about having miscarried!  We were already due to go back to Toronto in May and so was able to share the news with the family very early on.  Everyone was excited and as I started to feel the first pangs of morning sickness (at night), I welcomed them.  Back in Vancouver, we lined up our midwives, had our first appointment with them, and booked our first ultrasound for around 12 weeks.  I would never make it.

One Saturday in June, I woke up and was getting ready to meet two girls who had been working on a project with me for lunch.  I was taking them out as a way to say thank you for all their hard work during the year (though they also got credit and an A+).  An hour before I was supposed to go, I went to the bathroom to discover I’d started bleeding.  Not too heavily, but enough that I started panicking.  My husband started looking up reasons why this might be happening (other than a miscarriage) online and found that it can happen during implantation (“But I’m further along than that surely”), and it can happen anyway for seemingly no apparent reason.  He told me not to worry so I did my best not to as I got myself together and to lunch.  During lunch, I was distracted and I took frequent trips to the bathroom, each time hoping that the bleeding would have stopped and I could calm down, but that never happened.  By the time I got back home, I told my husband I wanted to go to the hospital.  We had his son with us at the time so we had to find someone to watch him and then we were on our way.

The wait at the hospital was awful – I wasn’t in any real danger so we were at the end of the queue.  After a couple hours we were finally seen by what would turn out to be the biggest asshole of a doctor I’ve ever encountered.  He did his job – a physical exam and blood work (which, incidentally they lost and had to redo, meaning we were waiting another couple hours for that) – and came in to inform me in a clinical, cold voice that based on what he saw, I was having a “spontaneous abortion” and that was that.  No big deal.  I was just one of 30% of pregnancies to end this way – too common to be worthy of any real concern.  On the way home I called my midwives (they work as a team) and Julia got back to me very quickly.  I told her about the doctor, she called him some choice words that made me feel much better, and she told me to book an appointment at a clinic at the hospital for a fuller assessment.

Over the next week I would go to that clinic, endure another idiot doctor who refused to tell me anything of what was going on except would insist I needed more ultrasounds and more blood work, despite my having been bleeding heavily for days and passed large “clots” (as they were called).  All I wanted to do was go home, but he kept saying they just had to do “routine” follow ups.  I was finally told by a receptionist when I lost my temper that the reason for the tests was that my initial ultrasound suggested that the pregnancy may be ectopic and so, at the very least, my future ability to have kids depended on me staying the route and dealing with more doctors.  (It wasn’t, thank goodness.)  During this time, Julia, who took my first call, called daily to see how I was and allowed me to vent while sharing other horror stories that made me feel better – these doctors weren’t just being rude and uncaring to me.  It was this act that solidified the choice of midwife over doctor for my husband (his son was born in a hospital with an OBGyn and though he had agreed to a midwife earlier, this experience just highlighted the vast difference in patient care each provided).  But it wasn’t the response of the doctors or the midwives that left the largest impression, it was that of other people.

As I mentioned, I had only known of two people – my mom and friend – who had miscarried prior to my experience.  Because I had been open and excited about the pregnancy, I was also forced to be open about the miscarriage.  During this time, stories started creeping in.  “My sister-in-law had two miscarriages before her first daughter.”  “I actually had a miscarriage years ago.”  “My mom miscarried too you know.”  Suddenly I knew where the other members of this 30% group were – everywhere.  So why hadn’t I heard of them before?

The topic of miscarriage has become incredibly taboo in our culture; it’s not something you talk about to others.  When you read pregnancy books, they tell you that you may not want to tell other people you’re pregnant until after the first trimester “just in case”.  I hate that advice.  Perhaps it should read: “Just in case you lose your baby as you don’t want to make other people feel uncomfortable by talking about it”.  You see, the most benign reason I can think of as to why we’re asked to be so silent on the topic of miscarriage is that it makes other people feel awkward.  They don’t know what to do – a baby wasn’t born so technically there wasn’t a death.  And if you mourn a miscarriage, does it mean you have to mourn an abortion?  The two, whether we like it or not, are inextricably linked.  There’s so much tied in to what a fetus is and is not in our society that we seem to have lost the sense of what a miscarriage means to the family who is enduring it.  In our haste to keep things politically correct, we just prefer to ignore the whole shebang and hope we don’t have to talk about it.  We – those going through hell – notice the cues that tell us this topic isn’t welcome and we keep our mouths shut.  We smile and say we’re fine when in reality we’re dying inside.

The second, and less kind, possibility is that we are quiet not out of fear of making other people uncomfortable, but out of fear of judgment.  The pregnancy book could read: “Just in case you lose your baby because you did something wrong”.  Let’s face is, we are a condemnatory society.  Look at this site – there’s no denying that I am definitely judging certain practices (and definitely judging society as a whole for the mess we’re in), but I believe that if everyone were properly educated they would follow the elements of  Evolutionary Parenting that work for them for the benefit of their children and themselves.  Judgments can work to help promote change, but the problem is that, as a society we don’t seem to know when to stop with the judgments and condemnations.  Grief and loss mean nothing to a blood thirsty culture that wants to pin the blame on someone, anyone, even if it is the person suffering the most.  As a woman who miscarried, I couldn’t help but go back and question each and every decision I made during my brief 8 weeks of pregnancy, but the truth is I didn’t drink, I don’t smoke, I’d already cut out caffeine a year earlier, I didn’t eat any questionable foods, I exercised, etc.  As far as I could tell, I didn’t do anything to deserve this and had no control over it either.  (In fact it was this experience that led me to be much more relaxed when I got pregnant again with my daughter.)  The thing is, shit happens, and shit happens to good people.  The world isn’t fair or kind all the time and it takes a lot to accept that we simply don’t have control over everything.  But we live in a society that doesn’t believe that, so when a woman miscarries, I don’t think it’s impossible to think that everyone is questioning what she did to lead to losing her baby.  No one wants to feel that way, so we keep quiet and don’t share our pain because chances are we may end up feeling even worse if we do.

Perhaps there are other personal reasons people are quiet, but I truly believe that a mix of these two plays a large part in this epidemic of silence.  People judge and they feel odd talking about the loss of someone they never met.  So we’re silent.  So much so that people have no idea how common it is to lose your baby.  Only when someone else has gone through it are we comfortable sharing our stories, as if it’s a dirty secret we keep hidden.  Our stories carry a warning: For crying eyes only.  The problem is that by keeping quiet and by buying into the notion that we shouldn’t celebrate our joy of a pregnancy “just in case”, we give power to everyone else and we force ourselves to suffer even more.

The greatest thing I did was share my pregnancy news when it happened.  Yes, I had to tell people about the miscarriage, but the amazing thing was, my friends and family were there for me.  Maybe there were judgments from others, but (pardon the language) fuck ‘em.  I had people I loved visit me at home when I couldn’t stand to go out.  I had those who had gone through it share what was to come physically and emotionally, allowing me to better prepare.  I also had a break; I got to postpone my comprehensive exams and didn’t have to suffer the indignity of going through school and work, trying to pretend everything was okay when all I wanted to do was cry every time I saw a child (hard to do when you study in a developmental psychology lab where babies come and go all day long).  I wonder how women do it.  By keeping it quiet they are forced to act as if nothing is wrong, to continue with things that suddenly seem irrelevant at best, and suppress their grief, letting it out only in the privacy of their own home.  I would think that would make home a bit like a prison, and no one should feel that way.

This isn’t to say sharing is for everyone.  There will always be women who simply are that private by nature and would prefer to keep quiet.  But there’s power and healing in numbers and 30% is a pretty big number when it comes to grief.  You know the old adage: Misery loves company.  In this case it’s true in the best possible sense – no one will know what you have gone through like someone who’s been there themselves.  No judgment, no awkwardness, just compassion.  But if we’re all quiet, who is there to talk to?

Have you had a miscarriage?  How did you handle talking about it?  Did you take time off or continue on as if nothing was wrong?  How did others react?

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Comments

  1. Jespren says

    I have not (to my knowledge) had a miscarriage, but given the amount of people I know who have had them I’ve always thought the 30% number is either 1) woefully under representive of the actual occurance or 2) skewed low by portions of the population that only attempts 1 or 2 pregnancies and then remain infertile (from barriers, meds, or surgery) for the rest of their life. And since I grew up in a strong Christian community miscarriages were openly shared (everyone knew it was a child they would see again, everyone mourned it as a loss of a family/community member). I remember my young group leader breaking down in tears upon telling us of his wife’s miscarriage. I have known more people than not who remembered the season of their miscarriage in quiet grief for years.
    You have my sympathies, my prayers, and my hopes.

  2. says

    Thank you :) It must be nice having that community to share with. I personally was happy for what I had, though it wasn’t nearly as open as what you’ve described. I always feel so horrible for those who cope with it in silence and have to act like all is fine because it’s not.

    • Jespren says

      I know what you are talking about, I read http://www.myobsaidwhat.com as well as several pro-life blogs and some of the things that come out of peoples mouths in response to a woman who has miscarried are downright criminal! I feel very sorry for women who have been so hurt by some jerk that they button up in the future, or are so afraid to open themselves to the possibility that they say nothing to begin with. And the term ‘at least’ should be banned in any grief situation!

  3. says

    Hi, thanks for sharing this. I had a miscarriage earlier this year and blogged about how no one says about it http://patchworkmama.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/sharing-a-secret/ though I was told by the doctors that it was 20% of pregnancies that end too soon. Either way, we shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed about it, and it definitely helped me that other people knew (though many people just do not know what to say to you – and lots say dreadfully insensitive things).
    Blessings
    Jessica

    • says

      I love your post. I’m so glad to hear you had the hospital’s support too – that was something rather lacking here. I do wish people would talk about it more as I do believe it would help people process and understand and grieve instead of having to be so silent!
      Hugs,
      Tracy

  4. says

    Thanks for posting this. I had an ectopic pregnancy in 2008, and though we hadn’t told many people at the time that I was pregnant, many found out because I had to have my ruptured fallopian tube surgically removed and missed work for a week. The sense of loss was far more painful than the surgery, and lingered far longer than I could have known. I, too, found immense healing from the community of women who had lost pregnancies, a community unknown to me before I entered it. To all of you ladies, thank you.
    I learned from my experience, and when I became pregnant again, we told family and friends immediately. I knew that in case of another lost pregnancy, I would need all their support again.
    Now, we have a beautiful 21 month old daughter and I’m 18 weeks pregnant again. All our hoping and praying in fruition.

    • says

      I think in a day and age where we focus so much on independence and lack human contact, we forget how powerful others can be when we grieve. There’s nothing like the support of friends and family. Congratulations on your little one and the one on the way – my thoughts to you and hope it goes wonderfully!

  5. says

    Hi Tracy – Yes I had a miscarriage long ago. And I think that the grief never really goes away, ti just becomes less prominent. About 20 years later I still grieve. I did a small, personal ceremony a few years ago, as an outer recognition that my inner emotional sate shifted….BTW, .Love your blog, I have you on RSS feed. .

    • says

      First off, thank you – I’m glad you like it :)

      I’m so sorry to hear you went through the same, and I think you’re spot on that the grief never goes away, but just becomes less prominent. I think a personal ceremony is an amazing idea and one that people can do at any time.

      • says

        thanks, Tracy! It wasn’t a planned thing, the ceremony, a spontaneous letting go of leaves at a beautiful natural stone bridge in NH…..a few years ago. and the miscarriage was long ago…..still fresh in my heart, tho…love your pci of the angel baby….

        • says

          Frankly I think the less planned, perhaps the better? It means you’re doing something in the moment right when you feel it most and what’s better than that???

  6. Emily P. says

    We told family and close friends that I was pregnant right away (our first) and by seven weeks I was so sick I had to tell at work and church…so everyone knew. A week later I started feeling better, and discovered at my first prenatal appointment (at ten weeks) that baby had died. I had to have a D&C three days later and ended up missing a week of work, and of course having to “untell” everyone. That was HARD, but like you I found myself surrounded with love from many who had been there, and many who had not but knew what this baby meant to us. There were still very difficult comments from well-meaning but clueless people–”It was for the best” (HOW???) “at least you know you can get pregnant” etc. There was also the syndrome of everyone asking how I was feeling for a week (real answer: devastated) and having to come up with something other than “fine” because I was not fine! I think I usually said “Hanging in” because I was, by the grace of God. But after that week, it was back to normal for most people. But not for me. That’s when I knew who my true friends were, the ones who paid attention and cared enough about me to get past their own discomfort over dealing with grief. It still breaks my heart when I really think about it, and for everyone I’ve known since then who has lost a baby.

    • says

      Emily – I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the idea that you will really learn who is a good friend and not when you experience something as devastating yet awkward (for others) as a miscarriage. I’m so glad you had so many supportive people around you, even as time went on. Personally it took me a couple months before I felt even half-human again, and I loved every friend (and my hubby) for their support during that time.

  7. Lisa says

    “You see, the most benign reason I can think of as to why we’re asked to be so silent on the topic of miscarriage is that it makes other people feel awkward.”

    I think that another reason is that there is usually no visual cues or prompts for us to talk about miscarriage. I had a miscarriage at about 6-7 weeks after my first child. I am quite happy to talk about it but it doesn’t come up that often. My other pregnancies all resulted in children who are visably present in my life so they are far more likely to be discussed. I do end up talking about the miscarriage to other mums because we, as mums, have many more opportunities to discuss this. But most other people don’t really talk about these things because they are not within their spheres of reference – they have no experience of it and don’t really even talk about the things that are linked to miscarriage.

    I had a supportive community like jespren, which definitely helped. In fact, one of the aspects I found confronting was that my sadness about the loss was actually not as intense as the sadness of those around me who had suffered their own loss or miscarriage. Miscarriage has different meanings to different people and to me, at that point in my life, it hadn’t been too bad. Others had had what appeared to be similar loss and yet for them, it was devastating. I wonder if another reason that miscarriage is not spoken about is that it can bring to the surface the grief and loss in another person, and we struggle to deal with the intensity of that grief and loss.

    • says

      Wonderful insights. I hadn’t thought about the visibility factor, but you’re right that it absolutely should affect what we discuss. With no visible reference or similar experience, why would it come up?

      It’s nice to know that others had supportive communities as well – I do believe it makes a huge difference in how one copes with a miscarriage (along with, as you also pointed out, one’s own thoughts and feelings towards it). I do wonder how equipped we’d be to discuss it if it were discussed more. Circular, I know, but it might be – the more people get used to talking about a topic, the easier it becomes to understand and discuss, even lacking that personal reference.

  8. says

    Like you I miscarried my first baby at 8 weeks. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I had days of waiting before I found out for sure, though in my heart of hearts I knew the minute it happened. And then I had to go through the heart-wrenching choice of waiting for my body to ‘pass’ the foetus itself or have surgery to remove it. I opted for surgery. I wanted it over! Once I’d had the surgery I felt empty. I spent days clutching my belly, so sad to have lost what was once living inside me. I remember for a few weeks afterwards living in a daze; going about my business like nothing had happened, when inside I felt dead. It was a horrible time. I seemed to be surrounded by pregnant women, and would have to fight back tears of jealousy and sorrow each time I saw one. When a friend of mine announced she was pregnant I broke down at work. 
    But like you, I had told people I was pregnant. And I was honest about what had happened. People were very supportive, and I also found others who had been through the same. My manager was sympathetic and I had some time off work. My family and friends were there for me. And my partner, as devastated as he was too, was wonderful. 

    Thankfully I got pregnant again unexpectedly within about 6 weeks of the miscarriage. And now I have my beautiful daughter. She was worth all the heartache. I still feel sad about what happened, but it feels like a different time, and a different life. It doesn’t hurt anymore. 

    On another note, I love your site. You’re doing some great work here. I’m reading through all your stuff and reposting for others to read. Thank you for your gift of information. :)

    • says

      I’m so happy that you have your daughter and don’t hurt. I admit that the birth of my daughter has erased the pain as well. In fact, part of me just can’t imagine not have her and so I can see it as part of the path to having this beautiful, amazing girl in front of me. But getting support was critical for me to get through it at the time.

      And thank you for the comments on the site :) Information is one of the greatest tools we have :)

  9. Michelle says

    This was exactly what I needed to read today! I suffered a miscarriage a little over a month ago at 11 weeks. I know I am stilll making my way through the grieving process and sometimes feel like no one understands (especially when I start crying after hearing about yet another friend/acquaintance announce they are expecting, even though I am really happy for them). It’s good to hear I am not alone in my feelings! Thank you!

    • says

      Michelle, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. It does suck and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Feeling upset at others’ good fortune is completely normal at this time. I wish you the best of luck in dealing with this! Feel free to come vent whenever you need it :)

  10. Rachel says

    I had a miscarriage last week. Some friends and family knew about the pregnancy, but I made a point to tell friends who hadn’t known. I wrote to them and said hey, sorry to bum you out with bad news, but this happened, and it sucked, and I’m hurting. If it happens to you in the future, I want you to know that you’re not alone. I got lots of hugs. I don’t think that I’ll tell work because it is kind of nice to have a place where I’m not getting sympathetic looks. I need a place that doesn’t allow me to wallow. When I wake up in the morning, if I think, “They’ll understand at work if I’m late,” then I’ll never get out of bed. If I think that they’ll be okay with me doing even less work than I’m managing right now, I won’t get anything done. I’ll cease to function! I’m glad that I’ve been through enough difficulties in my life to know what I need in bad situations. I think a reason that we don’t talk about it is because announcing a pregnancy is a thing that makes people so incredibly excited for you. Strangers, friends, and family. My dad cried when I told him. My brother was so pumped and my mom called me a lot to discuss rocking chairs, children’s books, and nausea cures. I know that my miscarriage hurt them and while I’m not embarrassed or guilty, I’m sad that something about me makes them sad.

    I had a follow up ultrasound at the OB’s office yesterday and the waiting room was full of heavily pregnant women and babies. One was looking at ultrasound images of her healthy baby and talking excitedly to family members on her phone. They lost my paperwork and I had to explain to the nurses why I was there. I got very jealous, angry, and then sad. I came home, and my brother in law and his girlfriend had sent us chocolates in the mail. It really pays to have the right people know. There’s no reason to be alone.

    • says

      Rachel I’m so sorry. It’s so good you have support around you. I see your point with work too – I just couldn’t go there with what had to be done for me in my program so the time off was helpful. Know that you will make it through and having the right people around you will help in that process!

  11. Helena says

    It has been nearly eleven years, but I still think about my early miscarriage, and how I had little support at the time in my life when I needed it most.
    I was barely pregnant when my fiancé left me, in a horrible, horrible way. I was teaching preschool at the time and walked into the classroom, but ran out in tears as the kids all ran up to hug me. I walked into the principal’s office to tell him I needed some time to recover from the breakup. He told me he was glad I wasn’t pregnant, and I told him that I had been, but miscarried that morning. His response was something like, “Thank goodness”.
    I told almost nobody, and just the details of my breakup alone were enough that most of the people who I had considered to be friends had suddenly disappeared.
    I lost my job that day because I could not work with those little eyes looking up at me. I lost more than that. I lost my sense of self and the future I’d been building. I lost this love that I cherished, the home that we shared. There was so much that I was mourning at that time that I could spare no more energy to mourn the loss of a baby that I’d been hoping for, but could not bring into such a hard world.

  12. Diana says

    I had a molar pregnancy a few years ago, and I had to terminate it after two and a half months. I was very upset and had to go through the pain of telling about it to everybody I had told I was pregnant… Soon I learned that many people in my circle had gone through different types of miscarriages and I realized that the 30% is indeed quite real… I am however a biologist, and I understand how mind-bogglingly complicated the production of a new human being really is, so I accept the fact that miscarriages are nature’s way of getting rid of the inherent abnormalities… So the thought that most miscarried fetuses would not have turned out to be normal babies under any circumstances was for me the most soothing. I think it is important to realize that nature isn’t perfect, and that most of the time, it’s nobody’s fault, it just happens, for thousands of reasons that can’t be controlled for.
    This is what I tried to tell my friend, later when she had a miscarriage, but I’m not exactly sure that it helped her the way it helped me.

  13. Ellen says

    I have had too many miscarriages and for me the hardest thing became everyone knowing. My first miscarriage I kept quiet. I cried and I got over it. My second one everyone knew because it was an ectopic pregnancy, I was in hospital and everyone was worried. Suddenly everyone was aware that we were trying for a baby and what the outcome had been. My third was also ectopic and I lost a falopean tube but no one was really around to share it with me. I realised who weren’t really friends. No one at work knew and no one seemed to care that I was off work for 3 months, it was a bit surreal.

    My fourth was horrendous, another ectopic, another lost baby, another lost falopean tube and the chance to ever have children naturally, died with my baby. I was distraught and not entirely sure how I got through it. The nurses at the hospital were so rude to me when I wasn’t grateful they saved my life. I’m not sure they had ever had someone who had three ectopics, and I must admit the first time I was grateful. The second time I was sad and third time I was angry, so totally angry. If my baby wasn’t alive then I didnt want to be either. My step father died two months afterwards and it pains me now to think his last memories of me were when I was so sad. Three months later we had ivf and it was successful, but I had a missed miscarriage at 11 weeks. I still wonder now if my body wasnt ready after the trauma it had suffered. I had stupidly got to 11 weeks and thought it was pretty safe to tell everyone, only to have to break the bad news to them a few days later. It was then I realised that I didn’t need pity, but its what I got. I struggled to talk to anyone about it. The number of people who told me about their experiences and how they went on to have children as if somehow that meant everything would be ok for me. I didnt feel comforted and I didnt feel any hope.

    I used to read the infertility forums, searching for some hope, and so many of the posts made me cry. The hardest were the couples that had decided not to carry on trying after sucessive miscarriages or ivf failures. I remember my mum telling me how brave I was for continuing. I didn’t see it as brave, I didnt see any alternative. What would I do with my life if I didn’t have a child??

    It took over a year for my partner and I to even come close to coming to terms with our loses (I’m not sure we really have now), but we named all our babies and lit lanterns for each one and said goodbye. We then had ivf again and went on to have our beautiful little miracle who is now 15 months. I didnt tell anyone I was pregnant until I was about 18 weeks gone. Even then I didn’t want to. Not in case anything went wrong, but because in my grief striken brain telling people was combined with losing the baby and I this time I wanted to keep it to just us. We hardly bought anything for him until I was well into the third trimester, but we did have to find out if he was a boy or girl because we had lost so many so early and had not known what they were. I’m sure many new mothers feel a sense of weirdness when they first have their babies. For me, he was nearly 3 months old before I started to actually believe he was really here. Even now I wonder if the worry I feel for him is just maternal worry or some deep seated fear that I don’t deserve to be happy and it will all be taken away from me. I struggle to not be too over protective and I constantly fight my own perfectionist standards so I’m not flooded with guilt for not being the perfect mummy (I often fail).

    I get jealous when I hear people are pregnant, knowing we can’t do it again (well we could… with lots of money, courage and time and we dont have much of any of them left!). I get angry when I hear of people who don’t even try to look after their children well. So many people take their fertility for granted and miscarriage is a stark reminded of how precious and fragile the whole giving life process is. Thank you for giving me the chance to share my story by choice. Often I want to tell people but hell, who wants to hear all that when all they’ve asked is “Are you going to have anymore kids?”?

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