I watch the needle slide into my arm and feel nothing.

It’s fascinating, in a way, this numbness settling over me.

I wear it like armor as the nurse tries to make small talk below the tourniquet.

I marvel at the sight of my blood, rich and deep red, snaking its way through the tube in my skin and into the waiting vial.

I’ve seen that blood already today.

Finally, I look away.

I’m having a miscarriage.

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Thirty minutes earlier, I’m in a darkened ultrasound room, my husband at one side, my doctor at the other.

It’s quiet. Too quiet.

She moves the wand this way and that, attempting to coax life from a gaping black hole.

I angle an arm behind my head, craning to search the colorless picture for some kind of miracle that just won’t budge.

“I’m sorry,” she murmurs, her voice familiar yet foreign.

I smell my husband’s tears. The room feels like burnt toast.

Finally, I look away.

I’m having a miscarriage.

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What seems like a lifetime ago, I’m sprawled on the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon, blissfully unaware of the carnage churning inside my occupied womb.

The dog won’t leave me alone. He lays his head on my lap, licks my face, stares at me with human eyes.

Did he know? Could he tell?

My body had not yet betrayed me.

Then suddenly, it’s over.

And this time, I can’t look away.

The dreaded 1 in 4 is wearing my skin like an ill-fitting suit. 

Selfishly, I thought I could outrun the heartache, the disbelief, the mourning. Surely it wouldn’t happen—couldn’t happen—to me. To us. We have so much love left to give.

But loss is a cruel and heartless mistress. There’s nowhere to hide once she locks you in her sights.

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No one warned me it would feel quite like this, how a tiny just-starting life could so deftly swallow a disproportionate piece of my own.

For the first time, my ears detect the silent symphony of mothers and fathers grieving life that was meant to be—then simply wasn’t. Their collective hot tears soak my cheeks raw.

I wonder, why were they invisible—before?

My baby is gone.

I’ll heal, so they say, but I will never be the same.

Because today, I had a miscarriage.

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom