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The pregnancy loss no one talks about

It seems lately there’s been more open discussion about miscarriages which is a tremendous step in the right direction. But it’s also only part of the fight – while miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, it’s not the only type. I’ve come to realize recently that while I tend to use the term pregnancy loss almost exclusively, many others do not. And the difference? They’ve suffered a miscarriage. I have not.

I’ve spent the last 2 years advocating for awareness, discussion, and support regarding pregnancy loss and in the process I’ve told my story numerous times , but I almost always refer to it the same way: as “my loss.” Because how exactly do you talk to people about your decision to terminate for medical reasons? If miscarriage is the secret that people whisper to one another then TFMR is the stealth mission never to be spoken about again.

TFMR is different than a miscarriage…not worse, just different. In general people are aware of what a miscarriage is but they don’t know – and often times certainly don’t understand – what TFMR is. My pregnancy loss experience is not the same as many other women yet I keep lumping it all together because after all, a loss is a loss, right?

I can’t relate to the articles about miscarriage. I never had spontaneous bleeding. I never went in for an ultrasound and didn’t hear a heartbeat.  I never had the option of letting my body handle it naturally. #IHadAPregnancyLoss or #ITFMR just don’t carry the same weight as #IHadAMiscarriage. Let me tell you, it’s an odd position to be in. There’s something very strange about feeling left out of a club no one ever wanted to be a part of in the first place.

I want to talk about TFMR but it too is isolating. In the same way I can’t fully understand having a miscarriage, most people can’t understand my experience. Many don’t have any interest in even trying and of those who have gone through it, many don’t want to talk about it publicly. You don’t see magazine headlines that say “I terminated my pregnancy” or “I had an abortion.”

At the end of the day, it tends to be a lonely feeling no matter what I do and I imagine that’s just the nature of this journey. I don’t know what the answer is or if there’s any way to change that. What I do know is that I can continue to share my story but also try to explain and teach, not just retell. I don’t need a crowd of empathizers or a national publication to spread awareness (although that certainly wouldn’t hurt!)

All I need is myself and the reminder that my loss important too.

Category : Karen , Staff/Board Members

About Author

Karen Kelly

Hello! I'm Karen Kelly, co-founder of Through the Heart. My journey started in 2013 when I lost my daughter at 20 weeks into my pregnancy. I experienced 2 more losses along the way and have used this blog as an outlet for a lot of random thoughts and emotions. I hope that you find it helpful. Feel free to reach out at kkelly@throughtheheart.org if I can help in any way!



August 20, 2018 at 8:13 am

I stumbled across this a few weeks ago, after my TFMR, having searched for anything I could read that could make me understand or convince me anyone else would understand me. Thank you for writing it, for putting into words why I was irritated by “oh I know someone who had a miscarriage” and for lending me your words to use in future conversations. I am grateful x


October 3, 2018 at 4:00 am

How perfectly you’ve summed up the feeling which only those who have walked this path are too aware of. I wish that we didn’t share this commonality; thank you for writing a piece which completely sums up the total emptiness and loneliness which I know I have, and I feel other women have also been, left with post TFMR.


November 9, 2019 at 11:31 pm

I understand. 2 X losses one after the other. Loss #1 at 5 months and loss #2 at 4.5months…..6 weeks between pregnancy 1 and 2. Then 12 weeks between pregnancy 2 and 3. Luckily #3 was healthy and viable and we now have a healthy toddler. I think it is akin to switching off a life support machine….which people understand however TFMR is not discussed nor talked about.

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If you’ve come to this blog, it likely means you have suffered a pregnancy loss of some type. We are so sorry you have found yourself here, but hope the stories of life after loss can help you on your road to healing and recovery. Remember, we are all in this together!

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