Pregnancy + Baby Loss Awareness Month
This month is Pregnancy and Baby Loss Awareness month. I only learned of this by scrolling through feeds and seeing so many dear friends and their beautiful outpouring of openness, candor, and courage on their loss and heartbreak. It’s been two years since the loss of our first baby and I’ll never forget the pain—the blame, the shame, the isolation. And I’ll always remember the relics of despair that began to lessen as each person opened up about their own account of their personal loss and tragedy. It has become abundantly clear to me of the importance in shedding light on a prevalent issue that has been traditionally stranded in the shadows. So in honor of Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month, I want to share a blog post I wrote in the past when we experienced our first miscarriage. If you’ve experienced a loss, are currently going through one, or if you are struggling with infertility, my heart breathes and grieves with yours.
***Re-post from 2017***
This is going to be a difficult post to write. I debated for the longest time whether I wanted to be as authentic and raw as I am about to be. I debated this because I didn't want to blur the lines between my professional life and personal life so much that the line would disappear indefinitely. But I have an opportunity to share a story that might lift others. So for the sake of my 2017 resolutions, Rise by Lifting Others, here goes something:
We lost our baby. Sean and I found out I was pregnant in October of last year. We were ecstatic. The idea that he and I had created a life together seemed so unreal, so magical, so frightening all at once. My morning sickness overwhelmed me physically and emotionally, but every second was worth it considering we had a baby brewing in me. Every day, Sean and I would discuss baby names, our dreams of the little kiddo, and what they might turn out to be one day. I hoped it would be like it's dad and that it would inherit his caterpillar eyebrows. He's got some majestic eyebrows...But also...maybe his long legs too. At ten weeks, Sean held my hand tightly as I laid and waited for our baby's first on-screen moment. We saw our baby, but no movement, no heartbeat...nothing.
The aftermath was the most painful part of it all. The physical exit of the baby was excruciating...but that is not the pain I am talking about. Something that had once brought Sean and I closer together more than ever before turned around and tore us apart. I felt heartbroken, lonely, humiliated, and defeated. Family, friends, and time helped pull both of us through. What helped me more than anything, though, was 1) talking to other who shared a similar experience 2) knowing I wasn't alone and 3) just talking about it. Period.
With the help of a counselor, Sean and I managed to pull our hearts together to move past our tragedy. We booked our trip to Spain to refresh, refocus, and leave our pain in the past--moving forward to a hopeful future.
I write about this very personal experience because I want to bring to light the prevalence of miscarriages and the pain associated with them. These stories are repressed by so many men and women--our society discourages discussing such personal matters in public. So I suppose me writing about it might be considered taboo. I am transparent. I have always been for as long as I can remember. But this time, I'm transparent because I refuse to contribute to that belief. We lost our baby, but we are okay. Our loss was our greatest tragedy but we slowly managed to turn our loss in to triumph: our love has evolved to something greater, stronger, more raw, and more authentic. We found new meaning to the miracle of life and got to witness the power and capacity of a woman's body. Our closest friends mean more to us than ever before and our appreciation for life has magnified.
I got through this pain because I had others share their experience with me and if my message can resonate in someone that might be going through something similar, every word of it will count for me.
So friend, if you’ve gone or are going through something similar, I share your grief and you share mine. I hope you feel a little less lonely hearing my story.