This month, The Holistic Parent Magazine, focussed their issue on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. Unfortunately, this is still a taboo topic that is deeply uncomfortable for many of us to discuss. I was inspired by the magazine editor to get really vulnerable and share my story of pregnancy loss. Here it is…
My Loss Story
It wasn’t the ‘right’ time for me to be pregnant, but I knew I was, so I took several pregnancy tests… they were all negative. In hindsight, I should have trusted my instinct.
I went on for three months through what appeared to be regular menstrual periods, while everything in my heart screamed at me “you’re pregnant!” In time, I watched my belly begin to expand, and I questioned my sanity.
Then suddenly, after two days of debilitating “period cramps”, halfway through the 13th week, while taking a shower… it all came crashing down. Literally. Everything my body had been growing, under such strange circumstances, within less than a minute and with no physical pain, was washed down the drain. I was in shock.
Through this loss I have felt a lot of things:
Disbelief – I can’t believe I’m the one in four women who experiences miscarriage.
Regret – I should have known to savour each moment of my pregnancy. I should have insisted I was pregnant.
Vindication – I knew I was pregnant, even though the evidence said otherwise. I knew my baby.
Shame – How could I just stand there, dripping wet in the shower, while all signs of my pregnancy were carried down the drain?
Relief – It was the ‘wrong’ time to be pregnant. Maybe this outcome is somehow for the best?
Longing – I find myself looking around, especially at holidays, for the one who isn’t with us. I imagine the what-ifs.
Grief – Some days I felt so hollow and empty I could barely breathe. My family never met my baby, but I did.
In amongst the strong (and mixed-up) feelings that accompanied miscarriage for me, I’ve also learned a lot. I’ve learned to love more deeply, to stay present in the moment, to listen to my gut when it speaks to me, and to value and appreciate the daughter I have here on this earth even more fervently.
Miscarriage is a different experience for everyone. And, I know my story isn’t like most.
My hope in sharing is that just one other woman reads this passage and recognizes she’s not alone, and that miscarriage doesn’t need to be a topic shrouded in shame, guilt, and secrecy. Please know, it’s completely okay to feel all your feelings, however mixed-up or all-encompassing they may be.
There’s a sisterhood out here who love the babies we hold in our hearts, but never held in our arms.