The grief of losing a baby is staggering, no matter how long they were with you. The grief can be isolating, as many women suffer a miscarriage before they’ve even announced their pregnancy.
In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I’m sharing my story of miscarriage to let other moms (yes, you’re still a mom!) know they’re not alone and encourage them to get the support they need.
I remember the moment I knew that we lost our baby.
For weeks, I felt the magic of my body growing new life inside me.
And then one day it stopped.
I could feel the death. The emptiness. That spark of life was gone.
My hormone levels were still increasing, and the midwife could not say either way what would happen. My husband tried to assure me that there was still hope.
I couldn’t explain, and as much as he wanted to, he couldn’t understand. On the outside all looked the same. On the inside, I knew. I felt.
My body knew too. I was sick, sluggish, and at times overcome with irrational, wild anger — my body protesting the death it still carried inside.
And then the waiting started.
Waiting for the inevitable end that would make it all real.
After two weeks of blood tests practically every other day, it happened.
But I pretended nothing happened.
Outside of my closest friends and family, I kept it to myself.
I went back to work after two days.
I wasn’t even physically healed yet, but there I was, smiling to customers like I was on top of the world. After work I collapsed in tears in my car.
My husband was my rock, even though he was grieving too. But I still felt so alone.
While I was experiencing perhaps the worst loss I’d ever gone through, many of my friends were having healthy babies.
Though I was never angry or jealous for their happiness, I felt an intense sadness. Why not me? Why not my baby?
What I didn’t know is that one of my close friends experienced two miscarriages. When I congratulated her on her pregnancy announcement, she revealed why it had “taken so long.” I was stunned and honored that she confided in me. So I told her about my recent loss.
Finally there was someone who understood. Her bravery and forthcomingness with her story showed me that it might be ok to talk about it.
As time went on, I began to see just how common miscarriage is.
I belong to a private mommy Facebook group, and members reach out to each other for support almost daily. New blogging friends wrote about their struggles with loss and infertility, some very publicly. It was inspiring to see other moms being open and honest in their journey for peace and healing.
Even though I was blessed with a healthy pregnancy a few months later, there was part of me that still held a deep sadness. Connecting with others who have “been there” was and is so helpful in the healing process.
Hearing “things happen for a reason” isn’t what we want in that moment.
However, I know that this was the way it was supposed to be for our family.
If I hadn’t miscarried we would have never met our AB, and I can’t begin to imagine a life without this little powerhouse.
Though in the depths of my despair, you could not have consoled me by telling me that things would “work out in the end.”
I survived and got through it all, but I deeply regret that I made myself “be ok.” I went back to work, I kept my secret to myself, I pretended that all was well in my world.
But mamas, you don’t have to be ok.
Grieve. Heal. Take as much time as you need.
That is the one thing I wish I had done for myself, and the one thing I want to emphasize to others.
Don’t feel like you should be ashamed of what happened. There are people in your life that will help you in your time of need, if you only let them know. You would do the same for them.
Everyone deals with pain and loss differently. But I wanted to share my story because I believe that opening up about miscarriage is so important for helping each other and ourselves.
It wasn’t having another baby that healed me, it was talking about and working through the pain.
If you know someone who is going through this, reach out to them. Sometimes the best thing (and only thing) you can do is offer a kind word, but as someone who has been there, it matters.
A grieving friend might not ask for your help or tell you they are in pain, but they will never be angry at you for offering your support. So make that first move and let them know you are there in any way you can be.
If you are or have gone through miscarriage and pregnancy loss, please don’t suffer in silence. Even if you only open up to one person, it will help more than you can imagine.
You will be ok in the end. But you don’t have to be ok right now.
More miscarriage resources:
Overcoming fear of pregnancy after miscarriage by What’s Up Fagans