I Had a Misscarriage... and I Didn't Tell Anyone for Years
You read the title right.
A few days ago was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, but I've been waiting patiently for a specific post to come up: something I wrote years ago and saved on my personal Facebook by changing the privacy settings on a status to "only me" so no one else would see it.
The following is that exact post, word for word. I wrote this in October 2014 when I learned about October being awareness month for stillbirth, pregnancy loss and infant loss.
As everyone knows, I have the most beautiful, loving little girl to call my daughter. What many people don't know is that she was not my first pregnancy.
Connor and I found out I was pregnant in Aug 2012, when I was almost 6 weeks along. It took us by surprise, but we came together and decided we would be the best parents we possibly could be, talking about our next steps as the pregnancy progressed.
Sadly, when I was around 3 months along, I noticed that I was spotting. I called telehealth, told Connor, and spent all night in Emerg. We sat in a room, quiet as can be, left to think and wonder what we were experiencing and what it meant.
When Connor and I got home at 530am, we were exhausted, physically and emotionally spent. I cried for weeks. The nurse told us the baby was gone. We were sent home with nothing more than that word. Miscarriage. It took a lot out of us.
It took its toll on our relationship, but we came out on the other side a stronger unit. Through this experience, we created an unbreakable bond, and found out we were pregnant again with Evelyn. I found out 2 weeks after what would have been the due date of the baby we lost. Fast forward nine months, and we had our greatest gift. Evelyn means "wished for," and she truly was.
It doesn't matter how old you are, how good your health is, or what precautions you take.
Loss during pregnancy happens to so many women, and I cannot express how much respect I have for how strong every woman, as well as every partner, is for living and persevering through all the pain and heartache.
For every friend I have who has had a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss,
you are a warrior and I am here with you.
Spread awareness, because you never know what someone has gone through.
I was just 21 years old when I had my miscarriage.
The pregnancy was not planned, but it didn't mean we were any less attached to this life I carried for those short few weeks.
I was so ashamed with myself that I did not tell anyone.
Not my best friends.
Not my parents.
Nothing other than a note that only I could see.
I didn't even tell my Mom about it until after Nathan was born, more than 5 years afterwards.
I felt alone. I felt ashamed. I felt like it was my fault.
I went through all the emotions the following days and weeks after we lost the baby.
Replaying the "what if's."
Questioning if I could carry a pregnancy to term.
I regret having these feelings because, even though they are valid, I could have had help.
I regret the strain it put on my relationships with family and friends (unbeknownst to them), to avoid the different reactions they would have had, and not knowing how I would handle that. I cancelled plans, didn't talk to people, and plastered on a happy face when I needed to, so no one would pry and figure out what was going on behind the scenes.
I regret worrying about how they would all look at me and treat me, as though it would have been with disappointment.
I regret that it took me YEARS to feel strong and brave enough to tell the truth about this major moment in my life.
Little did I know how wrong I was at the time. I look back now, and knew that I had to grieve in my own way, but I also see that I could have had such a large support system to help me through the hard times.
Every time I slowly opened up to another woman about my experience, the response was either one of love, or one of solidarity for having gone through a similar situation. We hear how 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a loss, but it gives a whole new perspective to see real life women who are apart of this unfortunate club with you.
Know that you are not alone.
Know that you have support around you.
Let us end the stigma around miscarriage and infancy loss, and change the conversation so that one day women will feel comfortable seeking the support she deserves during these indescribably hard times.
If you need support during the loss of a baby or someone to talk to about miscarriage, here are some resources you may find useful: