Pregnancy loss is unique in that you’ve “lost” someone that you’ve never even seen. How is it possible to feel so sad and so confused over someone you didn’t meet and someone who others may have never even known existed?
Losing a baby through miscarriage is heartbreaking, yet so many women push away the pain and put on a brave face.
I remember going about my normal routine the day I found out our baby no longer had a heartbeat. We had seen that tiny little fluttering heart only two weeks before that. It felt real and then it was taken away.
No one outside of my husband, sister and parents knew I was pregnant. Despite the emptiness and despair that I was feeling, I just carried on.
I took my one-year-old son to his playgroup and got together with friends two days later and I never mentioned a word to anyone about what I was going through.
I pushed my pain down and acted as if my world were not spinning off its axle.
Why do we do that? Why do we hide our pain when owning our story and reaching out to others could be so helpful?
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It didn’t feel right at the time to tell people about my pregnancy loss because they hadn’t known about the pregnancy. Since that time, I have shared my story with other women and learned that they too know the pain of losing a baby. They know what it feels like to ache so badly for something that you had but was ripped away.
Fortunately, I was able to get pregnant again a few months later and have a healthy baby boy.
While I don’t think about my miscarriage every day, I sometimes wonder about that baby.
Would we have had a son or a daughter? What would he or she be like today?
That baby’s due date is still etched in my mind and gives me pause every year on that day. I also think about the fact that I wouldn’t have my youngest son if that pregnancy had not ended. He is a ray of sunshine and charms everyone he meets. What would my world be like if he were not in it?
There are so many questions that do not have answers.
One thing that I know for sure is that I wish I had opened up about the pain of the pregnancy loss when it was fresh.
I wish I had talked to my friends and sought support from others who understand. I know now that there is no shame in having a miscarriage. It wasn’t my fault and I did nothing to compromise the health of my baby.
I know that talking about what we are going through makes us stronger. It makes us feel less alone and more able to cope with the difficult feelings. Shoving all the feelings aside and pretending everything was fine did not help me heal.
There is absolutely no place for shame in pregnancy loss.
There is no need to hide your truth and act as if you’re fine when you are actually hurting inside. It can be scary to share hard things with others. But I’ve learned that I feel stronger when I allow myself to be vulnerable and to let others in.
As Brené Brown has said, “Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.”
If you’re going through a loss of any type, reach out to someone. You don’t have to feel so alone.
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