I Had A Miscarriage & Yes, I Flushed

TRIGGER WARNING: This post contains information about stillbirth and infant loss, which may be triggering to some.

I was not well prepared for what it would be [like] to have a miscarriage. I figured there would be blood, but I didn’t realize how much. I assumed there would be cramping, but I didn’t know it would be so intense.

I had vague ideas of what it would be like to have a miscarriage, but there was one part I had given no thought to.

I had no idea there would come a point where I would have to decide what to do with the remains of my baby.

I had never imagined being in a situation where I would have to choose how to “take care” of the life that ended inside of me. It’s an impossible decision with no right answer.

What was I supposed to do with the baby my body rejected?

I am one of the ones who flushed. In fact, I’ve flushed twice. I’m saying this out loud because it’s one of the parts of miscarriages that is still heavily cloaked in shame and contempt. It’s the part of the story that you often skip over. When you do share the details, you worry that your listener will be disgusted with what you have done.

I am done worrying what others will think. All I can do is hope that those who turn away, never have to make the same decision I did.

The first time I flushed was in the bathroom of my old apartment.

Just three days before I had been standing on that same worn linoleum floor staring at two blue lines.

Now, I stood hand poised over the silver handle saying my silent goodbye and wondering if I should wake my husband.  Was this something we should do together? Was this the kind of thing that couples share? I did it alone. Not because I wanted to, but because I had never done this before and I never wanted to do this again.

We were two hours into our road trip to Maine. We had stopped at the usual place so we could stretch our legs and buy junk food. The days before had been a steady stream of blood and cramps and worry.

Rachel Whalen
Rachel Whalen
Rachel Whalen is a writer and Kindergarten teacher who lives in Vermont. She is the mother of two daughters; 2-year-old Frances and Dorothy who was stillborn in 2016. Since Dorothy's death, Rachel has used her writing to advocate for others who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. Her writing has been widely shared by Still Standing magazine, Pregnancy After Loss Support, the Today Show, and Her View From Home. In sharing her story, Rachel hopes that she can let others know they are not alone in their heartbreak and their love for their child. Connect with Rachel on Facebook, and see more of her writing on her blog.

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