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A Piece of My Mind
September 8, 2020

The Silence and Sorrow of Miscarriage

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston
JAMA. 2020;324(10):941-942. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.15959

My miscarriage came in the women’s restroom of a Valero gas station in Dilley, Texas, home to fracking, private prisons, and about 4000 people. The cramps had been mild that morning, so mild that I had strolled into a coffee shop in San Antonio, purchased a cheese and fruit box, and thanked the barista at the checkout counter sounding cheery and bright. During the car ride, the cramps grew stronger and bigger, trying to urge attention. I squeezed some honey peanut butter onto an apple slice, shifted in my seat, and chewed silently. I was riding with an attorney whom I had just met 24 hours prior. I was joining her on tours of immigration detention centers in Texas. We were driving from San Antonio to the US-Mexico border at Laredo, a long, straight drive past stretches of oil rigs and truck stops. I had not yet begun the rituals of sending pregnancy announcements or shopping for maternity clothes.

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    1 Comment for this article
    Thank You
    Betsy Blazek-O'Neill, MD | Allegheny Health Network
    Thank you for sharing this. Miscarriage is always sad and a little lonely, no matter how or where it occurs, and as you so eloquently expressed, hard to speak of. Because I was lucky enough after my miscarriage to have two normal pregnancies and births, I am in a strange way grateful that I can empathize when a woman discloses her miscarriage history to me, either in a personal or clinical setting. It is a unique kind of sadness.