Approximately 30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, chances are you or someone you know was affected. Today, Erin is sharing her voice on this sensitive subject in honor of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month.
If you were to ask me how many children I have, I would likely say that we have four: a three year old, an eight month old and that I have two bonus kids who are 11 and 14. What I wouldn’t say, and what you wouldn’t know is that I really have seven children. I have four here with me, and three angels in Heaven. One might wonder, why I didn’t mention the other three. If I did, I would force you to have a potentially uncomfortable conversation. You see, I had the unfortunate experience of having a miscarriage, not once, not twice, but three times. I lost three children. If I told you, you might say the wrong thing, or nothing at all. You might inadvertently discount my feelings or the experience itself. You might do these things because you “don’t know anyone that has experienced this.” The truth is, it is almost impossible that you don’t. Chances are you know someone who has experienced the loss of their unborn child. Your friend, your neighbor, a family member, perhaps even your own mother. Miscarriage is much more common than one would think. The problem is, few people talk about it and few people know how to support those experiencing it.
Sometimes even those closest to us, such as our spouses don’t know what to say or do. They don’t understand why we are still crying weeks or months later. Why our voice cracks at the mention of it…sometimes even years later. For men, sometimes they just don’t establish a true bond until they can feel the baby, see the baby and sometimes not until after birth. For them it is different. With that, husbands, boyfriends, wives or girlfriends….please offer support to your significant other. Just because you haven’t yet bonded, doesn’t mean that it is any less real. Understand that it is a death. There will be crying, grieving, a lot of questioning as to why this has happened, anger, dwelling…the list goes on. Ask how your significant other is feeling, both emotionally and physically. If she is questioning when you can try again, be open to discussion. That alone can give some women hope that one day they will be a mom. If your spouse can’t even approach the topic of another try, that’s okay. Revisit later. Be whatever she needs you to be. Realize that they may change from moment to moment, day to day. Whatever you do, remember that this is excruciating, heartbreaking and can take a huge toll on both the emotions and body of a woman. Be present.
It can be extremely difficult for others to understand the pain of this experience. I feel compelled to explain this for anyone who has ever found themselves saying the wrong thing, or not being there for someone. For those that one day will be in a position to say something and not know what to say or do. For anyone who has ever experienced this and felt alone in the darkness.
By sharing my experience, I hope somehow it may bring someone comfort knowing that they are not alone, other women have been there, felt the same darkness, the same disparity, and the same gut wrenching pain that goes beyond the loss itself. After miscarriage, you find yourself sad about what might have been. You feel like a horrible friend when you realize that you are bordering on angry when a friend or relative announces a pregnancy, or has a baby. You get angry when someone complains about their baby crying too much or waking too much, or stretch marks, discomfort in pregnancy and so on….all the things that you would give ANYTHING in the world to experience…because it would mean that your baby is alive. It causes one to be terrified the next time that they become pregnant. You constantly scrutinize every little thing in your body…what was that pain, I didn’t feel the baby in the last hour, it’s taking them a long time to find the tiny little bean during that first ultrasound, taking too long to find the tiny heartbeat on the doppler…thoroughly inspecting the toilet paper looking for the tiniest speck of blood, checking for a heartbeat at home multiple times a day just to make sure the baby is still alive….the list goes on and on. It really can wreak havoc on someone, not just in the weeks after, but for months and years potentially. Miscarriage steals the ability be in ignorant bliss during subsequent pregnancies…it can tarnish the happiness one should and would be feeling, because the anxiety and fear take over. It can even cause postpartum anxiety and fear. Miscarriage is real. The loss is real, no matter how early on it occurs. As a mother, the minute we learn that we are pregnant, no matter how early…we are that baby’s mother, they are our child and our love for them runs deeper than any other love could. We are attached emotionally and physically immediately. We mourn the loss, we grieve, it is a death, a life taken too soon, a life that will never be, a dream that will never be realized and fulfilled…
For friends and family of those going through this, or who have…I hope this guides you to a place of better understanding. To a place that will allow you to be there and be of great support to those in your life that have experienced this tragic loss. For all of you have experienced this loss, you are not alone. Know that there is hope. While it is sometimes very difficult to find hope, keep the faith and move forward. There were times that I thought I would never be a mom. After three consecutive miscarriages and after finding out that I had a genetic blood clotting mutation, I went on to have two healthy and happy little boys. It took some work to keep these boys safe until it was time to meet the world, but my dream has been realized. My heart is full and while the sadness surrounding the loss of those three angels will never disappear, the void has become smaller and I know that they are watching over us and one day, we will be together again.
Erin is a work from home mom. She is a Corporate Recruiter by day and a mommy by day and night. She has two boys, Kieran (3 years), Kohen (8 months), and two bonus children, Abby (14 years) and Keegan (11). In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, her Great Dane – Izzie, and crafting when she can find the time.