Empty Arms: The emotional impact of miscarriage

A recent blog published on The New Yorker website, chronicles writer Ariel Levy’s emotional experience of miscarrying at 19 weeks during a business-related trip to Mongolia. After giving birth on the bathroom floor in her hotel, Ariel’s son lived for only a few brief minutes. When she returned to the US, Ariel questioned her decision to travel, and blamed herself for the miscarriage. However, her doctor told her that she had a “placental abruption” and that her decision to travel did not cause her miscarriage. Despite her doctor’s reassurance that she wasn’t responsible for the miscarriage, for many weeks Ariel was plagued with feelings of guilt and grief over the loss of her baby. She was compelled to share her loss with others, and over time, the hurt began to lessen.

Ariel sums up her experience:

“But the truth is, the ten or twenty minutes I was somebody’s mother were black magic. There is no adventure I would trade them for; there is no place I would rather have seen. Sometimes, when I think about it, I still feel a dark hurt from some primal part of myself, and if I’m alone in my apartment when this happens I will hear myself making sounds that I never made before I went to Mongolia. I realize that I have turned back into a wounded witch, wailing in the forest, undone. Most of the time it seems sort of O.K., though, natural. Nature. Mother Nature. She is free to do whatever she chooses.”

Read more about the impact of miscarriage here and here. 

Read Ariel’s very moving blog here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *