I originally shared a post about miscarriage on my “starter blog” in February 2014. After I posted it, I had so many women reach out to me to talk about their experiences with miscarriage and infertility. I feel compelled to share it again in hopes of inciting more conversation and support among our friendships.
The road to motherhood is unfortunately and too often a bumpy one. For some reason, infertility and miscarriage are not discussed nearly enough, but it is so important to communicate our struggles and support other moms and moms-to-be. Both infertility and miscarriage are so extremely common. I understand that talking about it isn’t for everyone, but for me – when I had my first miscarriage, I NEEDED support. My husband was wonderful, but I also needed the support of women. 1 in 4 experience miscarriage. It’s not rare. Why are we so quiet about it?
My husband and I weren’t even actively trying when we get pregnant the first time. I was in the process of “regulating my body” (whatever that means) since I had been on birth control for 10+ years and I really wasn’t expecting to get pregnant. But lo and behold, the first month after stopping the birth control, 6 positive pregnancy tests later… I was pregnant. I remember my husband trying to gauge my reaction and him saying to me, “I feel like you’re not excited. Are you okay with this?” I was definitely okay with it – but I was a little in shock and needed a week or so to get used to the idea. I downloaded 4 pregnancy apps, we told our parents and only a couple close friends, and we knew the due date – August 18, 2013. Wow, we were having a baby.
Fast forward 2 weeks, I started feeling really crampy one night. I googled cramps 6 weeks pregnant and was comforted by the internet telling me that some cramping was normal as long as it wasn’t accompanied by bleeding. Well by the next morning I was bleeding. And I bled and bled and bled. I was used to nice light birth control periods, so this heavy bleeding and having to wear a pad (hadn’t done that since middle school) added insult to injury. Also, I was working alongside my boss that day I started bleeding. I made it through most of the day without him noticing anything was wrong and then late in the day he looked at me and asked what was wrong and I just broke down. He sent me home and told me to take care of myself and that work would be there when I was ready. He was so wonderful. I had JUST started to get SO excited about the baby. And just like that, it was gone. I had to go into my doctors office for bloodwork 3 times to make sure the hCG levels were dropping and everything was exiting my body naturally so that I didn’t need a D&C. After that, I couldn’t have been more ready for a baby. My husband and I started actively trying and I was pregnant with Lyla after 3 months. Until I reached 12 weeks with her, I was terrified. I definitely felt cramps with her in my first trimester, but I only spotted a little bit once and it was after a workout. Luckily, our sweet girl was born November 12, 2013.
Since being open about my miscarriage, I have been able to help several of my friends through their experience of loss. I think it is so important for women to be there for each other and understand that this is so so common. And you don’t have to go through it alone. It’s so sad when it happens but for some reason, the societal norm is to remain hush hush. With my second pregnancy, I told everyone that I was pregnant early on because I knew that if I lost the baby, I would be telling them that too. We didn’t tell many people the first time we got pregnant because “you’re not supposed to in case something were to happen”. Well something did happen – we lost our baby and I ended up telling my friends that we miscarried anyway and most didn’t even know I was pregnant. I definitely think that if you are a private person and you wouldn’t want to tell people about your miscarriage anyway, then keep it private and lean on your husband or close family members. That is not me. I fell subject to some societal norm telling me not to share the news of our pregnancy until it was “safe”. And I broke societal norms by being vocal about our loss.
I want all women to know that IT IS OKAY to talk about this. It happens ALL THE TIME. 1 in 4. That’s so many women. Why do we insist on remaining silent? What do we gain from holding it all in? I hope that anyone who reads this knows that they are not alone and there IS hope. There is a good chance – a 3 in 4 chance that they WILL have a baby and they WILL carry it to term. We cannot control the timing and sometimes accepting the lack of control is the hardest part. We all have to stick together and be there for each other. I remember thinking, “What the hell – I spent so many years of my life trying not to get pregnant or have a baby and now that I want a baby, I can’t have it.” We think crazy things and feel very sorry for ourselves during these times of loss. And it’s OKAY and NORMAL to grieve and be upset. But WE CAN and will GET THROUGH IT. Drive on sisters, motherhood isn’t easy. And the process of becoming a mommy isn’t easy. But we all need to stick together and support each other so that we can all make it out alive. Even when the baby in your tummy didn’t get to.