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Keywords:

  • lesbian mothers and pregnancy loss;
  • miscarriage experiences

This was a descriptive phenomenological study of 10 self-identified lesbian couples who had experienced miscarriage in the context of a committed relationship. Analysis of individual and joint open-ended interviews revealed that the experience of miscarriage for lesbian couples must be viewed from the perspective of the difficulties surrounding conception as well as the actual pregnancy loss. The overarching theme, “We are not in control,” captures the struggles lesbian couples faced in conceiving their pregnancies and the sense of loss that accompanied miscarrying. These experiences constituted two sub-themes: “We work so hard to get a baby” and “It hurts so bad: The sorrow of miscarriage.” Our results indicate that the experience of miscarriage is compounded by the complexities of planning and achieving pregnancy. Practitioners need to be aware of the unique perspectives lesbian couples have on pregnancy and miscarriage and remain sensitive to their unique needs. Findings may serve as an intervention framework for nurse midwives and others caring for lesbian couples after miscarriage.