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Life After Miscarriage: Statistics Aren’t Much Comfort Anymore

Eighty-four percent of people love statistics.

OK. I made that one up; it’s just that this whole pregnancy and miscarriage thing has a lot of statistics associated with it. For example, Pea in the Podcast recently posted “The latest stats show over 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriages in the first trimester.”

If this is true then as a newly pregnant woman you quickly do the math and figure, “Whew. That means that more than 75% of pregnancies go beyond the first trimester.”

Or you might think, as I did, “OK – 100 women in a room and only 25, if not fewer, of them will have a miscarriage. Chances are, it’s not going to be me.” And then it is.

It happened to me and I can’t get past that. It happened to me. I am one of those 25 unfortunate women. How can that be? That’s what I spend my free time thinking about and ironically enough, it leads me to wonder what my odds are of this happening again.

My doctor tried to reassure me that a very large percent of women who miscarry with their first pregnancy go on to have a normal pregnancy and healthy baby in their next pregnancy. “Odds are…” she said. Yes. And the odds that I would miscarry were so low.

But it happened. And it happened to me.

So what’s a girl to believe? I can’t answer that question but I do know, as author Elizabeth McCracken writes in her book An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination, “Once you’re on the losing side of great odds, you’ll never feel comforted by statistics again.” That’s something I believe.

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One Response to “Life After Miscarriage: Statistics Aren’t Much Comfort Anymore”

  1. Bonnie Petrie Bonnie Petrie Says:

    Oh, honey…I get it. I consume information like it’s Ben and Jerry’s Americone Dream, and that’s not always a good thing.

    When I had my chemical pregnancy (early miscarriage) I expected it, because of all the info I had read. When it happened, I was all “Of course….”

    But I was still devastated.

    Our culture is saturated by statistics. They can be useful and helpful as we make our big life choices. But they can also incapacitate us.

    That’s when we need to find our internal ignore buttons and just LIVE! Statistics be darned.

    I’m 40 years old. Were I to get pregnant again, every statistic in the world would be against me. In fact, every statistic in the world says getting pregnant again, for me, is unlikely. But you know what?

    I would LOVE to get pregnant again. I believe, if and when the circumstances are right for me to try, I WOULD get pregnant again. I believe I would carry to term, and I believe I would have a healthy baby.

    Statistics be darned.

    You’re grieving, Emily, and my advice to you is if something you’re reading or seeing doesn’t offer you comfort right now, IGNORE it.

    Be gentle with yourself. Comfort yourself. You’ve suffered a horrible blow. You loved your baby, and you are not going to get to meet them. I’m so very sorry.

    If I were close to you, I’d pick up a pint of Americone Dream, sit next to you, give it to you, and cry with you. You should only consume things, right now, that bring you comfort. Statistics aren’t among them.

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