Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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The loss of the fetus was a danger many pregnant women faced, a threat far more common than the risk of maternal death in childbirth, but no other seventeenth-century woman appears to have written at any length about the experience her contemporaries variously referred to as "abortment," "mischance," and "untimely birth."(2) Miscarriage, much less poems about miscarriage, is not in fact a common literary subject until the second half of the twentieth century.
Alone among the many of her time forced to cope with abortment or mischance, Lady Carey re-creates a remarkably genuine and vivid sense of her emotions.
(2) Jacques Guillemeau notes in Child-birth, or, The Happy Delivery of Women (London, 1635), "The accident is called either a shift, or slipping away, or else Abortment, or (as our women call it) a mischance" (69).