A missed miscarriage (also known as a “silent miscarriage” or a “missed abortion”) occurs when a fetus dies in utero but the woman’s body does not expel the tissue, often because the placenta is still releasing hormones and thus telling the body there’s still a pregnancy. As a result, bleeding, cramping, and other signs of distress will often not be present, and many women don’t discover they’ve miscarried until they have an ultrasound.
Below are three stories of women who experienced a missed miscarriage. The first:
Please do not use my name, but I would like to add my story to this series I’ve been enjoying so much. I had a pregnancy and miscarriage last fall that brought into focus just how fortunate I am to have access to needed medical care, and reminded me how onerous, humiliating, and hateful anti-choice legislation is for women with unwanted and wanted pregnancies.
I never expected to accidentally get pregnant at 40, but I did. My husband and I were happily but not decidedly child-free, and we had been been discussing whether or not we were content that way when suddenly the decision was no longer theoretical. I knew I was pregnant even before I missed my cycle, even before I tested. I stared dumbly, delightedly at the pee-stick for several minutes then threw it away, then dug it out of the trash, then threw it away again. What should I do? Does one keep these things?
When my husband came home from work I hugged him and told him my news into his neck. He squeezed me tighter. Really? He kissed me, hugged me again. Really?! Neither of us expected it, or expected to be so pleased about it.