Reproductive rights attorney Amanda Allen recently shared her miscarriage experience in a thoughtful and poignant piece for Elle Magazine
After working in this field for more than a decade, she thought she knew everything about miscarriage. However, when she experienced her own pregnancy loss, she realised she had a lot to learn.
Amanda was delighted when she found out she was pregnant, and immediately began tracking her journey with an app. As she headed for her first ultrasound at the 8-week mark, she was excited to see her baby for the first time, but the scan revealed tragic news. The midwife’s eyes were kind, but she had to remain socially distant as she said, “I’m sorry for your loss.”
Amanda fell into a state of “deep, blinding grief”
Though her friends and family sent gifts and cards, Covid-19 restrictions kept her from the human contact she needed. Her four-year-old began asking “what happened to the baby,” and Amanda waited for the bleeding to begin.
However, days went by, and nothing happened. From her experiences as an attorney, she knew the term “miscarriage management.” Unlike many women, Amanda realised that she had a number of options if her miscarriage didn’t occur on its own. At first, this calmed her.
But, as she writes, “nothing could prepare me for how drawn-out and painful miscarrying would actually be”
She began to bleed, similar to a heavy period, and thought that nature was taking its course. However, thirteen days after her scan, she went into labor. She recognised the contractions and began labour in the bathroom while her partner watched their son. Five hours later, she thought it was over.
“It wasn’t over. Days later, I was still bleeding alarming amounts. I spent the next five days in a never-ending blizzard of calls with doctors, at appointments, getting ultrasounds. I never expected the physical aspect of the loss to eclipse the emotional, but it somehow managed to, at least during that miserable week.”
Her experience was finally coming to an end when she found out that Chrissy Teigen had lost her son Jack. Somehow, this solidarity helped her to get through the darkness. As a friend told her, “You’re in this fucked-up club now.”
Amanda explains that she has been transformed by this traumatic experience
She writes, “before September 14, I was someone who had not had a miscarriage. From September 14 on, I am someone who has had a miscarriage. I know I will never be that pre-September 14 person again.”
“It’s the most profound sense of loss I’ve ever experienced, even though I know the statistics, even though I know logically the pregnancy was never meant to be. I became a lawyer in 2008. I became a mother in 2016. I became a person who had a miscarriage in 2020. These are not just dates on a calendar but moments that will change and shape me forever.”
In addition to her catharsis, she also feels something else new – anger
Anger at all that she didn’t know about miscarriage, even though she works in the field. She wants more people to know that miscarriage is both physically and emotionally excruciating and that it can take days and even weeks to occur.
She is also passionate about reproductive rights and wants to prevent lawmakers from getting involved in pregnant bodies. She also wants them to know that “if they want to force people to stay pregnant and their pregnancy fails, that the interventions they are offered—pills that start contractions and empty the uterus or a procedure that removes the pregnancy—are the exact same options available to people who need abortions.”
Months after her miscarriage, grief continues to wash over her
Her family is her solace, and even if she never has another child, she knows that her plans will grow and change to accommodate that reality. Most importantly, Amanda Allen is ready to stand up for more education and reproductive freedom.
We really recommend that you read her full article here.