pregnancy

'No one talks about it, but we must. So here's what happened when I miscarried at home.'

The following deals with pregnancy loss, which may be triggering for some readers. For 24-hour support, please contact Sands Australia on 1300 072 637. 

No one talks about this, but we must talk about this.

I was not prepared for how traumatic the experience of miscarrying at home would be. It was frightening, extremely painful, confronting and heartbreaking, but worst of all, it caught me completely by surprise. 

I asked myself why I didn't know about this, but I already knew the answer: I didn't know because no one speaks about it. The topic is taboo, and the subconscious message we are told by society is that when we lose a baby, we should keep it private. 

Well, f**k that. Informed is best — always. So here we go. 

This is my honest recount of what I would easily say was one of the most awful experiences of my life.

Watch: A tribute to the babies we've lost.


Video via Mamamia


It started Sunday afternoon. 

Prior to that, I was completely fine. Then suddenly, one painful surge came after the next. They would build and peak and then taper. I could feel I was losing a lot of blood, filling pad after pad.

Fast-forward five minutes, and I couldn't speak. I was doubled over in pain and kept thinking, 'What the hell is happening? This is not normal. Women wouldn't go through this at home and not speak about it, surely?!'

(What I found out later that night, from our DMs filling with personal stories, is that this is normal, particularly with a missed miscarriage. Women go through this sudden excruciating pain at home and most, just like me, were completely caught off guard.)

I was lying in my shower, trying to control my breathing and trying to hide the pain from my three-year-old daughter who, despite my husband's attempts to wrangle her and our 14-month-old, wanted to be right next to Mummy. 

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At one stage, she opened the shower door, threw in some snacks and said: "These will help you get better, Mummy." She also got undressed and wanted to hop in, and she then picked out a nail polish and asked me to paint her nails.

I didn't want her to see me like that, but I couldn't take my attention off what was happening and try to get her to understand that I needed to be alone. So she sat there beside me, just trying to do what she could in a situation she didn't understand…

Meanwhile, the shower base was red, and clots were gathering around the drain, too large to pass through.

Nikki and her daughter. Image: Supplied.

I have never experienced a contraction before (I'm a two-time C-section mama) and, to be honest, I didn’t consider that this would be a part of the miscarrying process. I expected my body to break it all down and pass with mild cramping, similar to a period. After all, the baby stopped growing at six weeks, at just the size of a sweet pea.

The pain made me vomit, almost pass out and was comparable to the pain I had from kidney stones. The fact that it was so sudden and unexpected meant that I didn’t have any coping mechanisms planned. It was suddenly there, and I had no choice but to get through it.

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But that wasn’t the worst part. 

My baby stopped growing at six weeks, but my body didn’t realise this. My body carried on carrying the baby and continued acting like I was pregnant. My uterus continued to grow, and so did the placenta. 

But then, it did realise.

My sister was on the way, bringing some strong pain medication, but before she arrived, the pain suddenly stopped.

I felt normal. I got out of the shower and sat on my bed until I had this sudden urge, followed by a drop and sensation of pressure.

And there it was; the most confronting part of this entire ordeal. A recognisable intact small placenta. I burst into tears. I did not expect that. I was not prepared for that. Neither was my husband or my sister. 

The pain now made sense. My cervix had dilated, my uterus had contracted, and this was nature taking its course. I now knew that this was horrendous, but this was normal.

So why did I choose to share this? Why so soon, and why in such a raw way?

Nikki and her husband. Image: Supplied.

I am choosing to share this because a voice needs to be given to this journey, and because it's a journey I share with so many — too many — others.

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I want those who have been there to know it's OK to share your experience, that I see you, that I am you.

And I want those who haven't walked this path but someday will to be more prepared and informed than I was. 

And for those who will never personally experience this, I want you to have a greater understanding so you can support your friends or family, because the odds are someone close to you will experience this pain. I want you to have the tools to approach this conversation, knowing that when we miscarry a baby, we lose a little part of ourselves. And that experience deserves an abundance of love and empathy, not silence.

We expect the emotional hurt and pain, but what we don't expect is the physical trauma this experience brings, and keeping it a secret serves no purpose. Shining a light, supporting couples and bringing empathy to this side of parenthood is the only way forward.

So here is what I wish I knew:

I wish I knew that I would have contractions, that it would be sudden and extremely painful.

I wish I had prepared for that, with my partner, just like we would if we were planning to birth a baby.

I wish I had known to prearrange care for my children, so my husband could support me and grieve through this process, just like he is entitled to do.

I wish I knew that I could have planned something to do with that bub, once I had passed it, like plant a tree.

I wish I knew that flushing it all away would haunt me, probably forever.

I wish I knew that this experience takes mental and physical preparation, that it is traumatic and awful. But most of all, I wish I knew I was not alone and that this was normal.

"Grief is the last act of love we can give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love."


Nikki Jurcutz, Co-Founder and CEO of Tiny Hearts Education, is a former Advanced Life Support Paramedic and mama to Nahla, 3, and Wolf, 1.

Tiny Hearts' mission is to bring education to all Australian parents that will transform their parenting experience and giving them the knowledge to move through pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood with confidence.


This article originally appeared on the Tiny Hearts Education Facebook page and has been republished with permission.

Feature image: Supplied.

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