I will probably regret asking this...RE: losing a baby at different stages of pregnancy

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Posted 2/3/2013 by Just T in NSBR Board
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PeaNut 27,075
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Posted: 2/3/2013 11:49:39 PM
I think it depends on the individual. I had a loss at eight weeks. I was very sad, but to this day I am sadder for every woman who has a loss in the second or third trimester. Every time I hear/read about such a loss it brings tears to my eyes. To me, my loss seems minor compared to that of others.


PeaNut 539,967
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Posted: 2/4/2013 2:03:52 AM
My first baby girl, Elaine, was stillborn at full term. I went into labour about 11pm and she was still alive at 10pm because I felt so much huge movement from her
I was fine all night, took a warm bath, got some sleep and went into the hospital at 8am. I was still in labour. I had a trouble free pregnancy so went to the Midwives Unit. After some time not being able to hear a heartbeat I was taken for a scan and then told my baby was dead. My first reaction was I wanted a C-section but I was advised to deliver her normally because it was better for me. I was given a lot of 'pain-killers' basically I was out of it and told to push a lot. Because my baby was dead there was no blood pressure holding her skull in a skull shape so it was a bit harder to deliver her.

It took a long time and my darling husband had to go through all of that. We were very fortunate to have a wonderful midwife who stayed with us throughout. We asked her if we could name our baby after her and she was honoured. During my delivery Elaine explained what my baby would look like, purpleish lips and a bit blue. Once she was born she was dressed and put in a moses basket and the midwife took some instant photos of her. We were able to hold her and take photographs. We were told she could stay in the room until I was discharged in the morning and she did, it just felt right.

I am not religious, a lapsed christian but we were offered to have her blessed by a minister and I agreed to that totally. She has a page in a Remembrance Book in the Chapel at the Maternity Hospital she was born. She was buried along with other stillborn babies in a lovely part of a cemetery near the beach. There is a large lump of granite with the inscription For All The Stillborn Babies and I always put flowers on her little bit and beside the stone.
Elaine would have been 21 on 27th Feb, her little sister will be 20 on 12th Feb and her little brother will be 19 on 8th March. I think I had to prove I could have a live baby and I had two.
Writing this makes me weep but I would not have had my other two wonderful kids if Elaine had lived. I ofter wonder what she would have been but I tend not to dwell too much on it.

So to answer the OP I think it is comparing apples with oranges to say a miscarrage at 12 weeks is the same as a stillbirth at 40 weeks.

We had the nursery done, I was on maternity leave from work and left with a lovely baby gift, we were having a baby soon. We all go through the milestones of pregnancy, 12 weeks, 16 weeks and the rest.

I do think if I say my baby was stillborn and someone says I know how you feel I miscarried at 8 weeks that is not the same. I don't look down on her but it is not the same. I don't think her grief is any less but it might be shorter.

Eh, sorry for making this long it just all came out

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PeaNut 97,456
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Posted: 2/4/2013 2:45:01 AM
I think the loss is whatever it is to the person experiencing it.

I had 3 first trimester miscarriages, all of which caused me to feel a sadness. I can't say I mourned the loss of a baby, but I was sad for what might have been. With each of those I barely knew I was pregnant and hadn't really adjusted to the whole 'Wow, I'm about to be a mommy' concept, so when I miscarried it was sad but not traumatic. I then lost a baby at 24 weeks, and that was a whole different experience. This one we had named, planned for, bought baby stuff for, and then he was gone. In my head he is still one of my children.

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PeaNut 226,994
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Posted: 2/4/2013 2:48:00 AM

I am sorry for all your losses - every single baby that has passed, I am sorry it happened to you, your partners, and families.




PeaNut 560,243
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Posted: 2/4/2013 2:53:25 AM
Gosh, I can't believe the number of woman on here who have lost multiple babies. I can't even imagine how that must feel.

This whole conversation reminds me of one I had in my teens with my highschool bf's mum. I was talking about my brother that passed away about 5 years earlier at age 3 and a half. She proceeded to tell me that her losing a sister at age 16 was a far greater loss because she knew her longer! I will never understand that...

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PeaNut 35,457
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Posted: 2/4/2013 5:50:10 AM
Justalittletike- 1st pregnancy loss was #2. My very first pregnancy was our first born son who is almost 21. It took me 7-8 months to get pregnant with him and We were thrilled to finally be pregnant. I think a miscarriage then would have been so difficult. We had planned for him for years and prepared.

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PeaNut 128,304
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Posted: 2/4/2013 7:05:39 AM
I do think every loss is valid. My loss was early, at only 6 weeks. We only knew we were expecting for 2.5 weeks and that loss still CRUSHED me. Maybe that is because it was our first pregnancy. Maybe it is because we had tried for so long, who knows. I would have never expected to have such strong feelings so early until it happened to me.

But, I can't even imagine how much harder it would be if I had seen a sonogram or felt the baby move. So yes, I think the further along you are probably the harder it gets.

I do think a loss is a loss but I would never compare my feelings over a 6 week miscarriage to a stillbirth....just like I wouldn't place my dog passing away on the same level as someone's parent passing away. Both are still very valid and painful but they are different.

((Hugs)) to everyone who has had a loss.

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PeaNut 59,094
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Posted: 2/4/2013 7:13:25 AM
I just wanted to say how sorry I am to all the peas who suffered a loss at any stage.

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PeaNut 247,594
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Posted: 2/4/2013 7:16:22 AM
Both are sad losses, but I do think there is a difference between an earlier miscarriage and one where you have to labor & deliver. Both are worthy of greiving and sadness, but to me there simply is a difference. Just like there's a difference between losing a baby at 24 weeks gestation and at 2 years old. For me, the further along the pregnancy is, the more traumatic and heartbreaking it seems. That doesn't mean early losses aren't sad, just that further losses are more shocking and sadder.

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PeaNut 69,081
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Posted: 2/4/2013 7:21:18 AM
I have friends who lost babies within a week or 2 of finding out they were pregnant who grieved for a year, and I've had friends who lost babies much later in the pregnancy; one even lost her baby at 39 weeks. I have another friend who lost her baby at 20 weeks, and they have a birthday cake every year and she tells people she has 3 children.

Loss is all tied to how a person felt about that which was lost. For some people the loss of a baby even very early on is the loss of all the desires, hopes ,dreams that they had for being a parent, for that child, a loss of all the excitement of realizing a dream, and for some, the loss and regret for a life that never really got a chance.

I have helped moms make baby memory books for babies that had not much of anything to remember them, but a congrats card, maybe an early sonogram, journalling by the mom and some poems. Other books have had some photos and other memorabilia. It just depends on the mom and where she is at with the experience.

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PeaNut 452,927
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Posted: 2/4/2013 7:44:17 AM
I have two close friends who delivered still-births... I can't even imagine going through such devastation .. but every loss is heartbreaking...

I had my first miscarriage at 8 weeks and I had an ectopic pregnancy after that.. my first miscarriage I was more disappointed than anything and the Dr. said it was a bad "ovum".. bad egg and that my body discarded it.. I had to look at it that way... after my ectopic several months later and nearly losing my own life I was more focused on if I would even be able to carry a child.

well three kids later,, here I am... if it's meant to be....etc

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PeaNut 182,623
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Posted: 2/4/2013 7:49:25 AM
I had a miscarriage at 7 weeks back in 2009. I was sad as this was an unexpected but MUCH wished for pregnancy that wasn't meant to be. I think it would be MUCH harder to lose a baby after the first trimester because you've had more time to bond, find out the sex, etc. But that's just me, to each his own. I do get sad around the time my baby would've been born, the due date would've been DH's birthday.

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PeaNut 34,854
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:24:27 AM
(((Hugs))) to all of you.

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PeaNut 78,823
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:34:21 AM
No, I personally don't think the different stages make one loss more or less significant than another loss. I do think how people process it, how their hormones are, people's general emotional makeup, etc. might make a difference in their grieving, but that would be true in the death of any loved one, not just a loss of a pregnancy.

To me, the loss of a pregnancy is not only the loss of the baby, but the loss of a dream, if that makes sense. So while the mom of an early-stage miscarried baby hasn't known her baby as long as a mom of a later-stage pregnancy, they both lost a dream...that is a child they won't get to raise, they won't get to know them, the won't get to do all the firsts with them, etc.

Also, while I haven't been pregnant, it seems to me my friends have all fallen in love with their babies the instant they knew they were pregnant....not at a certain # of weeks along. So I would think the loss would be significant no matter what.

I did have a friend who miscarried very early and she also miscarried somewhat later. She did say that she personally felt like losing the older baby was harder. But in her case, she didn't know she'd been pregnant with the first...she went to the doc because something felt wrong, and they determined she had been pregnant and already miscarried. She said because she hadn't known about the first one, she hadn't had time to get her hopes up. And also, when the second pregnancy lasted significantly longer, she sort of felt like she was safe so when it happened it was even harder. But that was her personal experience, and not everyone is the same.

Regardless, if someone told me they had miscarried, whether it was an early stage or late stage miscarriage, I would assume they have the right and ability to grieve equally and I wouldn't judge them for how much/little they grieve.

Also, people vary in their outward expression of grief...for some people it's very obvious & for others its very reserved, so just because someone appears to be doing well, I wouldn't assume that they are.

ETA: I don't have children and haven't miscarried or otherwise lost a child, so perhaps my answer would be different if I had. All I was trying to say is that I think there are so many different factors that feed into one's grief so as an outsider I could not definitively say one way is harder than another or that one person is grieving too much compared to someone else who is grieving less.


PeaNut 205,553
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:41:54 AM
In my road to motherhood I experienced 7 miscarriages. It was an extremely painful time and there are times that it can still hit me.

While going through all of that, I was a member of an on-line infertility support community. There was a 'miscarriage board' and an 'infant loss board' on the site. Originally the intention was loss before birth=miscarriage, loss of a child born alive=infant/child loss board. When you lose a child nobody ever compares degrees of pain between those who lose an infant versus those who lose a teen. Burying your child is every mother or father's worst nightmare, regardless of the age of the child. However, what happened on that site were people who had a still birth, or an early third trimester loss started posting to the child loss board based on the pregnancy having reached the point of viability. Eventually those with late second trimester losses started posting there as well. There was a definite attitude of 'you had a miscarriage, I lost a child, you cannot compare your pain to mine,' among some of the posters on the loss board.

I can understand there certain milestones in pregnancy and once your pass them you believe you are in the clear - hear the heartbeat, pass into second trimester, feel movement, reach age of viability, etc. With each of these you perhaps relax a bit and think the dangerous time is behind you, and maybe this makes the loss more shocking, more difficult. But where does one draw the line. And how then do you compare somebody who loses their first pregnancy, which was achieved their first month of trying the good old fashioned way, but it happens at 22 weeks, to somebody who loses a pregnancy at 8 weeks, but it was achieved on their third attempt at IVF after years of infertility and three prior losses? You don't. You simply love and support your friends through their loss.

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PeaNut 27,168
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Posted: 2/4/2013 8:46:23 AM
I don't think when you lose a child makes a difference to your heart. I think other people often perceive it differently and that makes it harder or easier for you.

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PeaNut 114,407
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Posted: 2/4/2013 12:09:13 PM
A loss is a loss and if they are grieving then I grieve for them.

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PeaNut 156,993
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Posted: 2/4/2013 12:18:57 PM
I do believe a loss is a loss, but I would never dare compare my three first trimester miscarriages with the loss of a baby in the third trimester or at birth. For me, they are apples and oranges and I would never presume to understand the grief of someone who has to deliver a stillborn child.

My cousin and his wife lost a baby at childbirth. My pain was nothing compared to theirs. Absolutely nothing.


PeaNut 298,188
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Posted: 2/4/2013 1:38:58 PM
A loss is a loss. It doesn't matter how far along you are, the pain is still there I suffered 2 misscarriages. The first one, I was a few weeks and when it happened, I was sad. The second one, I was around 9 weeks but that's what the nurse predicted, I predicted that I was further along and after I miscarried...(it was a nightmare that I never wanted to re-live). I'm sure I was further along. That second one almost killed me emotionally. I wanted that baby so bad and I had a dream prior to losing that baby that it was a little girl. She was beautiful and I can still see her face... The pain is the same whether it's a few weeks or months I think I find peace in knowing that when I go to heaven, I'll see their little faces. And I am so grateful for my son Edward! I did not stop trying... even when I was scared to death to try again.

Hugs to those who have lost a baby or two.



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PeaNut 97,456
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Posted: 2/4/2013 1:59:38 PM
Sukkii, your story quite simply broke my heart. I'm so sorry for your loss.


PeaNut 574,604
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Posted: 2/4/2013 2:22:24 PM
My SIL joined a grief support group after her child died and she stopped going because she said it was the "Pain Olympics" -- a competition to "prove" who had the "right" to claim the most pain. So I think it's part of the human condition to want to claim most/best/worst. That competition unfortunately cause us to be blind to or denigrate the suffering and needs of others.

(My SIL later found another group that was facilitated much better and the "Pain Olympics" were not allowed.)


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Posted: 2/4/2013 2:34:28 PM
My heart goes out to anyone who has ever lost a child, no matter when it happened. I'm thankful that I've never had to experience it. I was a L&D nurse for many years and every fetal death I experienced was hard. I always took pictures, made footprints, & tried to do moldings/castings of the feet or hands if possible.
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PeaNut 272,954
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Posted: 2/4/2013 2:41:37 PM
I miscarried four pregnancies. My personal feeling is that while a loss is a loss, the longer the pregnancy continues, the more heartwrenching the loss is. It hurts, even when it happens earlier in the pregnancy, and the grief of those who have lost a baby should never be shrugged off. It probably depends on the woman as to how difficult it is to overcome such a loss. For some it may be harder than for others.

For myself, the longer I was pregnant, the harder it was to lose it.

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PeaNut 153,017
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Posted: 2/4/2013 3:32:17 PM

I lost a baby at 14 weeks. It was developed enough to know it was a boy and it didn't look like a blob but like a small baby. I also had 2 miscarriages early on right after that. I will say that it was harder losing the one at 14 weeks because I had had longer to be excited about having a baby.

I do feel more sympathy for women who lose a baby after 3 months of pregnancy because you have probably had ultrasounds and seen a baby or heard a heartbeat...it's just a little more real than an early miscarriage

I don't look down on someone who lost a baby at 6,8 or those early weeks. it's still a loss.

This is very similar to experiences I've personally had. The one further along did hit me harder than my early-on miscarriages. BUT I was still very upset about the early ones, so I think they're both hard. For me personally though, the one further along was hardest if I had to pick just due to the baby already being formed, more time has passed to plan and get attached, knowing the sex, etc.


PeaNut 566,163
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Posted: 2/4/2013 4:38:53 PM
I had a loss this past year 10 weeks. I was sad and scared and wasn't sure how we were going to be able to move on and be willing to try again. About a week later I called a friend who has had 4 m/c to share with her and ask her how she has survived. She said that I obviously wasn't that attached to the baby if I was able to talk about the m/c a week after. She also said that since I have DS at home that losing this baby shouldn't hurt as bad.

I don't know. In the hopes of keeping our friendship I have just repeated to myself over and over that there is a lot of her pain in there and it wasn't meant to hurt me, but it did.

I'm so sorry for anyone on here who has gone through a loss.

I'm so inspired by the amount of amazing women on here who give me hope and courage.

Just T
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PeaNut 65,272
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Posted: 2/4/2013 5:14:51 PM
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences. My heart goes out to all of you have had your own heartbreaking losses.

This is a tough topic for me to wrap my mind around at times. Many of you here know that I work for an organization that supports families who experience the death of a baby at any stage of pregnancy or as a newborn. I hear so many wrenching stories of all types of losses at all stages of pregnancy for all sorts of reasons. They are all sad. I've talked to moms on the phone who lost their baby at 8 weeks who cried and grieved just as much as moms who lost their baby mid pregnancy or full term. The love of a mom is the love of a mom, no matter how far along the pregnancy was. Yes, an early loss is different than a full term loss. Some moms take that early loss just as hard as the moms who have later losses. Everyone is different, and the attitudes of some people towards early losses so often cause mental harm and anguish to those moms who go through it. Saying things like "well, at least it was early" completely dismisses the grief that mom feels. Does that make sense?

As others have said, where do you draw the line? Is a 40 week loss worse than a 32 week loss? Is a 32 week loss worse than a 25 week loss? They are all different, but I really don't think that one is "harder" than another. Yes, some women have miscarriages and it's really no big deal. Others, grieve deeply. I think the key is meeting someone where they are, acknowledging the grief they feel, even if it was early. Just as I doubt anyone would say to a mom whose 2 year old died, "well, at least he wasn't 18!" I don't think it's right to say to someone who is grieving the death of a miscarriage to say, "well, your loss wasn't as bad as mine because you weren't pregnant as long."

Does all that make sense? This post was prompted by something I read in relation to something someone said about a miscarriage Beyonce had and the song she wrote about it. This is really a hot button for me, and I wanted to hear what you all thought. Thank you again for sharing your stories and your thoughts.


PeaNut 59,460
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Posted: 2/4/2013 6:00:20 PM
So sorry to all of the Peas who have had losses.
I think a loss is sad at any time in the pregnancy...but nothing compared to full term. I have a friend who went through this and it was just terrible She knew for a day that her full term baby was gone. She had to go through labor and delivery.


PeaNut 573,459
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Posted: 2/5/2013 11:04:12 AM

I am so very sorry for you loss. I feel bad for you that you don't get to speak of it and don't have the support that you probably need right now

Just T - thank you so much for your kind words. I have looked for a local group or some place to go and find the support that I do think I need but I haven't found anything. I even tried to mention it last night and everyone just stopped the conversation and didn't say anything. I just read that you work for an organization that helps with pregnancy and infant loss. What a wonderful thing you are doing! Thank you again


PeaNut 285,775
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Posted: 2/5/2013 11:15:41 AM
A loss is a loss. I never judge what a person feels.

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PeaNut 26,297
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Posted: 2/5/2013 12:13:14 PM
I had multiple miscarriages, and they hurt deeply, but we're nothing compared to my second trimester loss. My baby just missed the cut off to be a "stillbirth" and was called a late term miscarriage.

To me, it was the loss of my child.

I have been treated as if my loss is less by friends who have had stillborn babies. To me, it doesn't feel any less.

There is no place for moms of late term losses to fit in. People who have miscarried don't think we fit with them, people who have had stillborns don't think we fit with them. We are in a void somewhere in the middle. I tried to join an infant loss support group and they asked me not to come back because it was for moms of stillborns. If my baby had been born days later, she would have been stillborn and I would have been able to talk about her and get support.

Because she is labeled a miscarriage, I'm expected to just get over it and get pregnant again (which I can never do again sadly).

My baby girl died 11 years ago and I miss her every day of my life!

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PeaNut 88,246
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Posted: 2/5/2013 12:25:16 PM
Why the need to assess the amount of loss based on length of pregnancy, anyway? I think it's a useless concept to focus on.

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PeaNut 203,642
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Posted: 2/5/2013 12:40:28 PM
I am fortunate that I never had to experience the loss of a child, and my heart goes out to those who have. I cannot imagine the pain and grief, regardless of what stage of pregnancy the loss occurred.

However, having had several friends who experienced late pregnancy miscarriages, I think their emotional pain was intensified by the physical symptoms that came with the miscarriage at that point.

Their milk came in a few days after the miscarriage or still birth which was a physically painful reminder of the baby. They took medication to stop/slow the production of milk, but they still had to deal with it and pump to relieve pain until production stopped.

A couple suffered the "post partum" hormone swings that occur after a full term delivery.

They still had pregnancy weight to deal with, and that added to their depression. One friend said the miscarriage made her feel like a failure at motherhood b/c she couldn't carry the baby full term, and not being able to lose the weight made her feel unattractive and a failure as a wife.

While the emotional loss of a child must be devastating at any stage, these constant physical reminders seem to be especially difficult.
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