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This Woman Had A Miscarriage, Experienced 14 Awful Things, And Shared Them All Online To Help Stop The Silent Suffering Of People Who Have Them

"Miscarriage is so, so lonely. The emptying of your body like that…bless it..."

A woman named Kristen Moore struck a chord with hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter after sharing the things she had to experience while grieving the loss of her pregnancy.

Today, I paid over $1000 out of pocket for my miscarriage. They didn't tell me it would cost so much to lose a baby. Here are other things they don't tell you about miscarriages. A thread based on my experience. CW: miscarriage & infertility.

Twitter: @kristen4moore

BuzzFeed spoke to Kristen, who is sharing her story to help spread awareness and support.

An abstract illustration of two people hugging tightly
J_art / Getty Images

Kristen has one child who was conceived via IVF. "We tried for seven years before we got our first positive pregnancy test through IVF, after a laparoscopy, several rounds of insemination, and years of trying ourselves," she said.

Her recent miscarriage came after a surprise "natural" pregnancy. "I was 13 weeks along by the time I had the D&C (a procedure that clears the uterine lining after a miscarriage). I was almost 12 weeks when we couldn't find the heartbeat. We'd heard the heartbeat several times before and had gotten the all-clear on our genetic tests. We'd just started telling people because the tests were all good."

Kristen, who lives in New York, began her viral list about the things no one tells you about having a miscarriage by pointing out how expensive it can be.

Today, I paid over $1000 out of pocket for my miscarriage. They didn't tell me it would cost so much to lose a baby. Here are other things they don't tell you about miscarriages. A thread based on my experience. CW: miscarriage & infertility.

Twitter: @kristen4moore

"We have good insurance. So, the $1,200+ bill was a shock. And that amount doesn't include the copays, the costs of all the meds, the cost of prenatal care, etc. It was paying the bill that finally prompted me to post about the experience on Twitter. We have enough money to incur a surprise bill like that now. But a few years ago, that would have really sent us into a financial tailspin," she said.

Kristen talked about how healing after a miscarriage takes a great deal of time.

1. It takes a long time. It's not an event that's suddenly over. It's like a fucking marathon. A sad, dehydrated marathon with nothing on the end but empty.

Twitter: @kristen4moore

She said there is a total lack of support from healthcare professionals when it comes to miscarriages.

2. Practitioners who support birth don’t necessarily know how to support miscarriage—the joy of birth is so stark when compared to the grief and loss of miscarriage. Some of y’all need training.

Twitter: @kristen4moore

Kristen told BuzzFeed, "Here's what I think: we need post-partum doulas to support miscarriages." She added, "I didn't realize there are some folks (like Shyana Broughton with Our Mommie Village) who do that, who will come sit with you while you grieve."

And medical professionals often provide little to no information about post-miscarriage health and recovery.

3. There is medication to help the miscarriage along. It is used for abortion, too, and your pharmacist may treat you like you’re entering an abortion clinic when you want more information about how it works.

Twitter: @kristen4moore

She experienced a situation where a pharmacist refused to give her information about how to use a medication vaginally — which is what she needed to do to pass her miscarriage.

4. The most commonly used medication is officially prescribed for ulcers; all use for miscarriage management is “off books.” This gives your pharmacist permission (tacit or explicit) to deny you information about vaginal (rather than oral) use.

Twitter: @kristen4moore

This is because many pharmacists are unaware that you are even having a miscarriage when you come in to get the medication.

5. The informational inserts for the medication—Misoprostol—warn you about how it can trigger miscarriage. If you have a decent pharmacist, they’ll give you supplemental information that they print off from the internet.

Twitter: @kristen4moore

"My pharmacists didn't know what was going on to require the meds and my midwife doesn't have full access to the local hospital systems, which prevented her from being able to locate a range of D&C options for me."

As someone who has suffered from infertility, she experienced a lot of anxiety around having a natural pregnancy.

6. When you’ve been through infertility treatments, a natural pregnancy doesn’t always feel like a miracle. Sometimes it feels like a tightrope walk, a risk, a pain waiting to happen.

Twitter: @kristen4moore

Miscarriage is a severely isolating time.

7. Miscarriage is so, so lonely. Y’all. The emptying of your body like that…bless it. You really DON’T want to talk about it, but you sometimes want to scream about it. Where can we go to scream?

Twitter: @kristen4moore

The recovery is longer than most people believe, too.

8. You want it to speed up and slow down all at once. Hurry, hurry, hurry up, and then no, don’t go--please don’t go.

Twitter: @kristen4moore

"All the literature says that you'll be back to work or able to return to 'normal' life within 24 hours. That's crap."

Partners of those who experience miscarriage also deeply feel the pain of a miscarriage loss and it is often unacknowledged.

9. Non-birthing parents are ignored in the miscarriage experience: their grief and pain and suffering is real, too.

Twitter: @kristen4moore

"My husband adds that the miscarriage experience was really traumatic and long for him too. And unexpectedly so. He needs/needed those conversations as much as I did and do."

Having a miscarriage in your second trimester doesn't mean your body immediately goes back to not looking and feeling pregnant.

10. When the miscarriage happens at 13 weeks, the weight stays on; you still have to pull out the pregnancy pants, as a reminder of your previous maternity state.

Twitter: @kristen4moore

People may say the wrong thing to you after having a miscarriage.

11. No one talks about it, so you don’t know how to talk about. People say the wrong thing, but you’re so sad that you don’t want to say, “don’t ever say that to a person miscarrying.”

Twitter: @kristen4moore

"We need to be having more conversations about the experiences of miscarriage and infertility. The responses were heartbreaking evidence that we are mostly alone as we wade through this."

These hurtful statements will even come from those who think they are helping.

12. Related, do not recommend: “But you can try again soon, right?” upon hearing the news. Also, do not recommend: “Everything happens for a reason.” Or “This is all part of God’s plan.”

Twitter: @kristen4moore

But there will be special healthcare professionals and people in your life who make you feel more at ease.

13. There are humans who feel like little angels, the tech who asks if you want to hear the lack of heartbeat, the friend you can scream with, the partner who'll hold you in your grief. Mostly they feel like blips on a terrible painful road.

Twitter: @kristen4moore

"My doctors and nurses modeled an ethic of care that I think is useful. The surgeon started by asking me, 'How are you?' and acknowledged that this must be hard. That sounds very simple, but the difference between beginning there and just jumping into protocol/procedure was marked for me."

And when it's over, you're left to navigate emotions and trauma unlike anything you've ever experienced.

14. It's expensive and painful (like birth) and at the end you don't get anything except a bill and a new playlist called, "Shit to help you get through the baby that never was."

Twitter: @kristen4moore

Kristen said, "I believe we should implement comprehensive healthcare reform, especially for women. That healthcare reform should include post-miscarriage support, including time off after birth and miscarriage, therapists/doula support, and a more holistic approach to training medical professionals dealing with this kind of loss. This might include articulating the complexities (physical and emotional) of recovering from miscarriage (and birth). But most importantly, you shouldn't have to have a ton of money in order to receive this support. The way that class inequities shape patient care is indisputable, and those inequities intersect with other forms of inequity, like race and gender. So, Black and trans patients are likely to struggle to get the care they deserve in miscarriage situations (among others). We can and should do better."

BuzzFeed also reached out to OB-GYN Erica Montes for more information surrounding miscarriages. "A miscarriage is defined as a nonviable, intrauterine pregnancy with either an empty gestational sac or a gestational sac containing an embryo/fetus without fetal heart activity," she said.

Unfortunately, early pregnancy loss is common, occurring in 10%–20% of all clinically recognized pregnancies. "Approximately 80% of all pregnancy loss cases occur within the first trimester," Dr. Montes said.

A person sitting on a bed next to an empty crib
Nicoletaionescu / Getty Images/iStockphoto

"I believe it is very important to know all your options in how to proceed after the confirmation of a non-viable pregnancy. You need to know the risks versus the benefits. It is also important to know that after two consecutive early pregnancy losses a work-up for a cause should be performed," she added.

Dr. Montes said that it is sad to hear the negative feedback Kristen experienced with healthcare professionals and she hopes nurses and doctors treat their patients with empathy. "As an OB-GYN, I think it is important that we think about the patient as a whole — physically and mentally. We need to let patients know all expectations, possibilities, and provide resources for support where they can feel more prepared."

Lastly, Kristen did recount her whole miscarriage experience in detail to BuzzFeed if you would like to read it below. "It's long — but that's the point," she said.

"I had what's called a missed miscarriage. My body didn't naturally pass the miscarriage when the baby stopped developing. I started spotting in week 11 — this is fairly normal, according to my midwife — and, after a few days, I insisted on going to get an ultrasound. I just...I thought something was wrong.

Here is a timeline of the events:

Friday: No heartbeat at the ultrasound. I call my midwife, she runs through my options, and we decide to go the medicine route. She prescribes misoprostol for me. I also call my acupuncturist. She is the damn best and COMES TO MY HOUSE to bring me some herbs to help with the passing.

Saturday: My husband picks up my medication. The directions/pamphlet patient insert is unclear and wrong. I'm in tears because the PPI warns about causing miscarriage. I call the pharmacist, who dodges my questions, low-key accuses me of trying to abort my child on the sly, and then refuses to give me information about how to use the medication vaginally. I page my midwife, who's at a birth. She calls me back and tells me how to use the medication. I insert it and wait for it to work. It's supposed to begin to 'work' within two hours and then you pass the whole thing at some point. It doesn't work. I mean, I'm bleeding. But not passing a baby.

Sunday: I wait to hear from my midwife. I do a lot of internet research about why the non-baby refuses to come out. I find evidence that two rounds of the medication can increase its efficacy. When I hear back from my midwife, I ask her about this. She confirms my clearly excellent internet research and says if the misoprostol doesn't work by Monday, she'll prescribe another round. My husband delays a trip to Michigan with my son so that I'm not alone. I'm bleeding a lot, but not passing.

Monday: Still no dice on the meds. Midwife prescribes another round. I get it 'early' in the day so that we'll know it is working before my husband and kid leave. The pharmacist again isn't read into the fact that I'm taking the meds for a miscarriage, so he prescribes the oral pills. When I finally tell him, 'I'm trying to pass a miscarriage, so I really need the vaginal tablets,' he is apologetic and caring. He reports that his system has no PPI for this kind of use, but he has located some online and offers them to me and confirms that this is a trusted, reliable use of the pill. Once I take the second dose, I have some cramping, suggesting it'll work. We decide that it'll be easier to go through the 'labor' without my toddler around. We have no family in town to watch him and it's still a pandemic. So, leaving to go to Michigan seems simpler than anything else.

Tuesday: Still no dice on the meds. I'm supposed to fly to Michigan on Wednesday. I work with my midwife to figure out what to do. She says she can't get me in for a D&C until Thursday at the earliest. But I have no one to take me to and from the hospital. At least no one I'm comfortable with. My midwife says I can go to the emergency room and they will have to do the D&C. That...doesn't sit right with me, but I'm glad to know it's an option. I spend the day trying to figure out what to do. It's possible that the misoprostol will suddenly start working. Either way, I'm bleeding a lot.

I call two places in town, including the OB that I was seeing before the pandemic. The front desk lady wants me to explain in detail how I know I'm miscarrying. Was I really pregnant in the first place? And, either way, they say they can't get me in until Friday. They will need to verify all of the information themselves. Sigh.

I call a place in Michigan just to see if I could fly there, where we have family and childcare. An angel of a person (her name is Erica, I think) says, 'This is an odd request. But let me see what I can do.' I say, 'I'm so sorry--I don't mean to make your day a challenge.' She says, 'Darling, you're having a much, much worse day than me. Let me see if I can help. I'll be in touch.' She calls back and says Dr. Sikkenga will squeeze me in either on her lunch hour or before work that coming Thursday or Friday.

Wednesday: I fly to Michigan. I'm cramping and worried that I'm going actually have the miscarriage on the plane. My therapist says it's okay to tell the flight attendant that it might happen. I do. She is caring, discrete, and attentive.

Thursday: I go to see the angel doctor who has agreed to see me. They confirm that 1) there's no heartbeat and 2) there's no evidence that the meds are working to help the mass descend. D&C is the most appropriate route. They decide to squeeze me in later that day. On Friday, I join my family for pictures. I still look pregnant. I bleed for about another week.

So...it took weeks from start to finish. And all of it was horrible.

The baby would have been due on January 9th. I don't know how I'll feel then, but based upon other Twitter users' experiences, I'm bracing for a rough day. So...maybe it's not even over now. Doesn't feel over."

We want to sincerely thank Kristen for sharing her story. You can follow her on Twitter here.

"I also want to give a shoutout to Queen City Health and my acupuncturist, Toni Haugen, who went out of her way to contact and support me through this. The doctor in Michigan was Ericka Sikkenga. She and her staff at Mercy Health Muskegon were so compassionate and caring — I was absolutely floored," added Kristen.