Viable? I didn't even know what that meant. #miscarriage #miscarriagesupport :

Viable? I didn't even know what that meant. #miscarriage #miscarriagesupport

by Ellen M. DuBois on 01/07/19

"What does viable mean?" I asked. My heart raced as I awaited what I knew was the answer, but prayed wouldn't be.

"The fetus is no longer alive. The sack around the fetus is broken. We can wait for you to miscarry ..." His words faded as my mind raced.

Wait! Miscarry? What? A numbness washed through me.

The doctor continued, "I think it would be best if we removed it. It would be very painful and messy to wait for it to abort itself and in the long run, best for you."

For me? What about my baby? God. Stop calling it 'a fetus'! 

I wanted to scream, cry, hit something, and run. I wanted to turn back the hands of time and be anywhere but in that cold, sterile room with a doctor telling me that my baby-not my fetus- was dead.

But, I couldn't change anything. I agreed to the D & C (dilation and curettage), which is when the cervix is dilated and the fetal and placental tissues are scraped or suctioned out. I felt afraid and shocked. I couldn't believe the life inside of me was no longer alive. Just that feeling was beyond explanation. However, something inside triggered me to agree to remove the baby because I figured it would be worse to wait, day after day, for it to abort itself. I knew I couldn't handle that trauma, so I chose another.

I left in a state of disbelief. I couldn't even cry.

When my husband got home the next day, I told him the news. The day after that, I went in for my day surgery.

The doctor told me that upon examining the fetal tissue, he discovered it was "perfectly normal" and that first pregnancy miscarriages were very common. I swear he almost smiled, as if this was no big deal. I was young, and there'd be no problems in getting pregnant again.

Was that supposed to help? They were common? Maybe if I'd been told that there was a concrete reason for my miscarriage, i.e., an abnormality in the chromosomes or an infection that would render my baby ill, I'd have felt it was a blessing. Or, maybe not.

"Wait a few months and you can try again." the doctor said.

Try again? Let me get over this!

That was just the beginning of a very long, painful road I was about embark upon. One on which no one understood my grief. Why? Because there was no 'baby' to be seen. There was no real sense of loss for anyone but me. People cared, but more about me than my lost child. The child I carried and loved in my womb for four months. The child I had dreams and plans for. The child I talked to during the day. The child that was never to be.- Excerpt from I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery by Ellen M. DuBois



Welcome to My name is Ellen DuBois, host of this site, miscarriage survivor, and author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery. If you or someone you love has suffered a miscarriage, please know you're not alone. Connect with people who understand.

Note: Some people find it difficult to post comments here because it's not very clear how to do it. Just hit the "comment" link under any post. I'll get your comment and respond. If it's easier, please email me. [email protected]

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Welcome to My name is Ellen DuBois and I am deeply sorry for your loss. is a support site for women and their families who have suffered the pain, loss and grief after miscarriage. I respond personally to each email and post and have been doing so since 2006. It's an outreach to me. I try to connect and give whatever support I can to those who have walked the often lonely road after miscarriage. Why? I don't want anyone to feel as alone as I did over twenty years ago after I miscarried. I'm not a doctor. 
I'm just a woman who's lived through it and am here to listen, share and provide a space for you to share with each other, too.- Love & comfort to you, Ellen 
You can purchase my book, I Never Held You, miscarriage, grief, healing and recovery at Amazon by clicking on this link: I Never Held You