Miscarriage and infant loss. Something so common, yet very few people talk about it. 25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. A stat that is profound.
Did you know that in 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month? Don’t worry, I didn’t know about this either… Until I had a miscarriage.
President Reagan was quoted as saying: When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses their partner, they are called a widow /widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” He wanted to bring awareness to the loss that so many parents experience.
After having two healthy boys (age 5 and 7), my husband and I decided to add to our family. We surprisingly got pregnant immediately, however a few short weeks later I started bleeding and had a miscarriage on my 37th birthday.
Distraught at my first miscarriage, we decided to wait a bit to try again. However, two short months later, while on a vacation to Colorado, a pregnancy test confirmed that I was pregnant again. We were excited but nervous since we had just recently dealt with a loss.
I started spotting again at week eight. It brought the same panic I experienced just a few months prior. We went to the doctor to get an ultrasound. We were greeted with good news as we saw our healthy baby moving around. The doctors told me that I needed to rest as I had a subchorionic hemorrhage. After a few weeks the bleeding stopped and all was well.
On a sunny, August day, I went in for my routine appointment. The doctor was very happy that the bleeding had stopped and that I was at the end of my first trimester. At the end of the appointment, he excitedly said, ‘Let’s take a look at this little one.’ As he moved the ultrasound bar around my stomach I could see the concern on his face. He pushed harder and harder, assuring me that it was probably just the old machine that was keeping him from seeing the heartbeat. He had me move into the Ultrasound Tech’s room so they could get a better picture. She sadly confirmed ‘I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.’
As I looked down at my growing belly, the uncontrollable tears started. There is nothing that can prepare you for this experience. The tears. The pain. The loss for a baby that you’ll never get to hold takes over.
As the doctor recommended the course of action to remove my baby, it was like I was in a movie. After ten days and three failed attempts of miscarrying the baby at home with the help of some insane drugs that put you in labor, I had a D&C, a surgical procedure to remove my baby.
I am an open person who shares my life on social media. The day that I had this happen I said to my husband that I wanted to share it. I wanted and needed the strength of my community to help lift me up in my time of need. I needed people who had endured miscarriage or infant loss to know that they aren’t alone. I needed to know that I wasn’t alone. I wanted my own soul to know that just like Sun follows rain. Strength follows pain.
I had a few people say that they could ‘never share their own story because it was too sacred to them.’ But I also had many more who messaged me in private thanking me for being so open. They had felt all alone when they endured their loss, and sometimes up to six miscarriages!
Many of you have your own stories. I want you to know that you are not alone. There is strength in numbers. There is strength in your story.
Rachael and I will be doing a Facebook LIVE today, Tuesday, October 11, at 10 am MST. Join us and share your stories!
Also, everyone is invited to light a candle on October 15th at 7PM in ALL Time Zones, ALL Over The World. If everyone lights a candle at 7PM and keeps it burning for at least one hour, there will be a continuous WAVE OF LIGHT over the entire world on October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
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