A Post About Miscarriage. Or Maybe Not – Donate a Post by Dr. Jenn Pun


July 25, 2013 by Katia

Today I am honoured and proud to be featuring a post from one of my dearest real life friends, Jenn. Jenn is an amazingly talented human being, one of these people who excels at absolutely anything she puts her mind to and she and her partner have played a huge role in making Toronto a place I now consider my second home.


A post about miscarriage. Or Maybe not.

From the Journal of Jenn

Jan 11, 2013

Nausea. Intense nausea. That was three days ago, I’m sitting around with some friends in the evening. I’m keeping in this news that I’m so excited about…  it’s too early. I know deep inside that this time, it is too early to tell. (In all its meanings.)

The nausea hits and I’m feeling so good about it all. Nausea like none before. I have a feeling that this time I’m going to vomit. The headache – dull, but growing – started a couple of hours earlier. Also, for me, a “good” sign. I’m not feeling good. And I’m elated. I think.

If you have been reading this journal, you will know that I’ve been looking for signs – for affirmation – every single day for the past 2-3 weeks. Am I pregnant? Someone please tell me I’m pregnant. I felt nausea. I was sensitive to smells. I had light pains in my abdomen – stretching pains, corpus luteum pains? I FELT pregnant. (Up until the day I didn’t really, but kept searching for signs. Did I search so hard that they started manifesting themselves?)

Now, today, sitting here, writing about it with a candle beside me, I also feel nauseous. But this time I know it isn’t a sign of pregnancy. Because this time I’m bleeding – my “period” (?) – and my blood test results from Monday this week nonchalantly told me, “No, you’re not pregnant.” It may as well have come with a slap in the face. Or, perhaps, a straight jacket and a white padded room. All that goes through my mind is that, yes, I’ve done it to myself again. Hysteria.

Let’s back track.

Monday, my first midwife’s appointment. You can read all about it. My predominant emotion before: unsure. And after: slightly disappointed, scared, still unsure. Unvalidated, really. So I wake up the next day, and say, “Fuck it. I’m going to enjoy this.” And, I’m elated. I go through my Tuesday, and Wednesday morning, HAPPY. Pregnant. “I’m pregnant,” I keep telling myself. I take my Chinese Medical pulses, which affirm this for me, somehow (note: do not try self-diagnosing). Yup, I think that’s like pearls rolling along a dish. The right is SO strong. It’s a girl.

I tell my husband, “I think it’s a girl.”

Though, somehow, I’m still anticipating the blood test results. And something inside is telling me that I’m going to be quite disappointed. Though I look up “low hCG levels” (yes, even before I get the results) and it seems promising. At 5 weeks, I could have low levels and have it not mean anything. Every woman is different. So I’m doing alright. I’m prepared to hope.

Tuesday night. The nausea. I’m unwell. Very unwell. And the thought arises: what if it’s like that last pregnancy (the real one that occurred in February… I think) when I got a lot of nausea and then started bleeding that very day? Oh, don’t think about it.

“I’m worried about you,” says husband.

I wonder why, because I’m so very happy.

That night, I wake up soaked in sweat. I go pee, and have to change my shirt. So hot, so uncomfortable. And so happy, because, “it’s a sign!” Though I can’t get back to sleep, I calmly and quietly meditate. For about an hour or more. But I’m not concerned, because there is something bigger at work, and I love that something bigger. It is peace and acceptance and all of those good things that I feel when I know I’m doing something for someone other than myself. The headache is monstrous: pressure, congestion, fogginess. But I make a note to find out what other pregnant women do to cope with headaches. This may be a sign of what the rest of the first trimester will be like. And I don’t care, because it’s not about me.

I was so looking forward to taking care of someone inside of me.

The tears come and go. Tears mostly for, again, what “could have been”. And what could have been? Something that would change my life. (I’ve heard it changes your life.) Something to give me purpose. (Don’t I have purpose?) Something to excel at. (At parenting? Will I really excel at parenting?) Someone who depends on me, and who I know I can sustain. (Though those are also all unknowns as well.) What “could have been” is also an unknown. I should know that. With all this “work” that I do on myself, I still hold onto ideas of “what is not now”. What could I possibly be avoiding in the now?


Some background: Have been on this rollercoaster of “pregnant? Maybe not…” for a year now. I have this interesting phenomenon (not quite figured out yet) in which I will always test positive in home pregnancy tests. So in the past 3-4 “false alarms” over the years, I’m actually not sure if I miscarried, or didn’t and just have other reproductive issues. Hormone tests come out normal. I call it miscarriage, since, as far as my mind and heart and husband’s mind and heart have been concerned, we have been pregnant, and lost.


Jenn is a naturopathic doctor, yoga teacher, and wife in Toronto. She writes because she best expresses herself on paper (or on screen). You can follow her health-related blog at drjennpun or meditate on her yoga-related musings at omsatcitananda. She follows iamthemilk religiously (even though she isn’t yet considered one of the “cool moms”) and aspires one day to have similar beautiful stories to share.

11 thoughts on “A Post About Miscarriage. Or Maybe Not – Donate a Post by Dr. Jenn Pun

  1. Elizabeth says:

    This is an amazing story. Your experience is very relatable for many women. That feeling of being convinced that they’re pregnant, even getting a positive test, and then ending up not being pregnant is something women everywhere can understand. This whole trying to conceive thing often ends up being harder than any of us could imagine. You’re brave for sharing your story with the world. Thanks for your honesty and your courage. Good luck.

  2. Lizzi Rogers says:

    Jenn, this was incredibly well written. And I’m right there with you on the unconfirmedness of it all. I’m 100% certain of two, but then there’s that niggling third with such different symptoms…

    Whatever the medical facts, this kind of loss is devastating and I’m so sorry you’ve gone through it multiple times. I hope for you that soon, one will stick. Bless you for sharing your story.

  3. Twice blessed says:

    Jenn, thank you so much for sharing. I’m sure you’re all over any medical reasons for what you, your husband, and your body have been going through, but have you and your docs ruled out any anatomical issues? Asking b/c your experience sounds so familiar to what we went through due to a Mullerian anomaly; most women who have them don’t know they do, but super-early mc over and over is a common indicator. If that is what’s going on, some forms are operable with brilliant outcomes. Others (like mine) are not, but eventually you may hit the jackpot and hold the pregnancy. We’ve been blessed twice, and it more than makes up for the heartache of all those early mcs (and some not so early).

    • Thank you, twice blessed. I am so happy that you have been “twice blessed”… and your experience will certainly open my mind to some of the other possibilities and explanations for what I’ve seen.

  4. Tears, and gratitude that you were brave enough to share. xoxo

    • 🙂 Thank you so kindly.

      P.S. I’m from Calgary (originally) too. I’m sorry you and your home were affected, but so glad that you were able to see such a great exhibit of humanity and help in this time.

  5. Hi Jenn. You summed up the uncertainty so very beautifully in your writing. It is agonising to go through and I feel for you. I generally went through the same plus also when I had a confirmed pregnancy yet miscarried each and every one, those same feelings were there constantly. The endless boob prodding so the point where your boobs are only sore because you’ve been prodding them so much. It messes with your mind and I just wanted to say I get it. We couldn’t get to the bottom of our problems so we adopted. My sis had a very similar issue that you are describing and was given HcG injections from her first positive POAS and managed to carry my nephew tomfull term. I hope you get to the bottom of what’s going on. Not knowing is awful. Good luck and best wishes and thank you for sharing your story.

    • Katia says:

      Thank you for this kind comment, I will pass your words along to Jenn, so she can read them and respond. 🙂

    • As Katia said, thank you for this kind comment. I hadn’t read until now… but like always, it is always nice to find birds of a feather. We’re not alone! And there are other ways to fulfill that void in life. Adoption is just as beautiful a path.

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