After My Miscarriage, Seeing Pregnant People Was Hard — but I Couldn’t Hide From Grief

Fitness

There isn’t much I remember from the day I learned I was having my second missed miscarriage.

I was too shocked to cry upon hearing the news, delivered by my doctor during an initial ultrasound, a mere four months after my first miscarriage. I know my husband and I asked questions and went over next steps, but when I try to recall exactly what was said, it’s all a blur. I only broke down once when I got back to our car, collapsing into my seat and wondering aloud why this was happening again. Why did this have to be my story?

A missed miscarriage, or silent miscarriage, refers to a type of pregnancy loss that typically causes no symptoms and is often diagnosed during a routine checkup when an ultrasound detects there’s no fetal heartbeat, Khaled Zeitoun, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn at New Hope Fertility Center, previously told POPSUGAR.

Since going through that experience this past February, it’s been hard to focus on much else. I have yet to find an answer as to why this keeps happening, and my fertility journey has now weaved its way into every aspect of my life — what I eat, what I read, the vitamins I take, and even the clean beauty products I wear — in hopes of improving egg health.

So when a TikTok video calling for separate ob-gyn waiting rooms for those experiencing loss went viral, it resonated with me. For both of my miscarriages, I had multiple follow-ups; I even had to sit around while dropping off a sample of the embryonic tissues I eventually passed so that my doctor could send it out for genetic testing. Each time, happy, pregnant women surrounded me, and I even spotted new moms, toting tiny babies in carriers. It all felt like a punch to the gut. The universe was taunting me, showing me something that I didn’t yet have — something that had cruelly been ripped away from me and put me through some of the worst physical pain I’ve ever felt in my life.

So yes, if someone had offered me another place to wait, I would have gladly taken it. I probably would have run there, despite the fact that I was barely able to walk. But deep down, I know that sitting in a different section wouldn’t have truly healed my pain.

Even though I was grieving my losses, I always had an idea of what to expect at my ob-gyn’s office. Just based on the location and type of doctor I was visiting, I knew I’d likely see pregnant women in the waiting room, and if not there, I’d probably pass them in the hallway or the parking lot. It would hurt to see — more than I can adequately express in a few short sentences — but even if the place had been empty, those visits would have always been heartbreaking. I was prepared to feel that pain there, and that’s not something I can say about most other places.

I’ve felt the weight of my losses in a variety of locations — restaurants, the gym, and, most of the time, my very own home. I feel it while scrolling through Instagram and seeing influencers show off their baby bumps. I feel it as I catch up on emails, spotting advertisements for Mother’s Day or “must-have” mommy-and-me collections. I’ve sobbed on my couch for hours after finding out about friends’ pregnancies, feeling angry, then sad, then guilty for feeling both.

“Grief is complicated and everywhere — and there is no perfect solution.”

The worst wave of grief actually hit me on a plane. A fussy baby was crying somewhere nearby, and suddenly, I couldn’t breathe. The love songs I’d been listening to started sounding like references to my unborn children instead of romantic relationships, and tears flooded my vision. As they ran down my cheeks, I did my best to discreetly catch them with a cocktail napkin, but my husband noticed and gave my hand a supportive squeeze. (I may never forgive NSYNC for that post-miscarriage stream of “God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You.”)

Ultimately, I’ve learned that like with most losses, there’s only so much you can do or avoid in order to protect yourself. Yes, separate waiting rooms at the ob-gyn would be nice (I even saw someone say they should do the same at the veternarian for those putting a pet down — which I agree with, too). But it’s tough to be reminded of your miscarriage anywhere, and if it’s not at the doctor’s office, it’ll be at the seemingly harmless sandwich shop (IYKYK) or the park later that afternoon.

Grief is complicated and everywhere — and there is no perfect solution.

Samantha Sutton is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience. During the course of her career, she has written for POPSUGAR, InStyle, Stylecaster, Page Six, Real Simple, and more. When she is not covering women’s lifestyle topics or working with publications as a stylist, she can be found somewhere between Staten Island, where she grew up, and upstate New York, where she resides with her husband, J.T., and their dog, Poppy.

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