I want to continue our month of pregnancy and infant loss awareness. I want to continue to break down that door of silence and tear down that wall so others may pass through.
So many women go through the experience of pregnancy and infant loss feeling like they shouldn’t complain, that it should be “no big deal”. They go through years and years feeling the loss and feeling stupid for feeling sad about it. They are told to push it off, move on, get over it, get on with life and forget about it because “it” wasn’t even a baby.
Today I wanted to touch quickly on what I believe is one of the major reasons losing a baby who has never been born is so difficult in our culture.
The world at large does not care about the loss becuase they don’t recognize that loss as a human loss. They barely recognize your baby as a person before it’s born, let alone a person worthy of being mourned.
Guys, it was a baby.
A tiny human with a beating heart and hands and feet and ears, even a brain, and it deserves to be thought of for all it was to you and all it could have been.
Your baby deserves a place in your life, it deserves to be remembered. Your baby deserves to be thought of as a human. A child. YOUR child… and you deserve to be allowed to grieve the loss.
No matter how old your child was, your baby was still your baby and it is okay to be sad. It is okay to cry. It is okay to feel hurt and broken. It is okay to mourn.
Your grief is valid and it is okay for you to demand the time to mourn in whatever way helps you heal.
I would love for you to help me break down this door for others who have had to pass through their grief and pain alone.
Share with us your experience and how you were able to move forward. Use this safe space to stand with us and be counted as “One In Four” to share how you felt after, how you coped. I am certain our stories can help others. If we can empower people to talk about this, maybe we can also empower them to demand answers faster. Maybe we can help them to demand respect and time to grieve.
The first time it happened, I didn’t know I was allowed to care. No one else seemed to, so I thought I should just let it go- carry on, move forward and not think about it too much. I thought, “It was a terrible thing, but it happens to so many people, I’m far from special so, I shouldn’t need to take too much time wallowing.”
I thought this becuase this was how others acted around me when I talked about it. I wish I had been more vocal, more demanding – it may have prevented what was to come next, but how could I have known? Everyone – literally EVERY ONE made it sound like it was no big deal. There’s no reason for it, sometimes it just happens, there’s nothing to study, nothing to test… it just happens. Move on. So, I tried to do that and let it go. Like a bump you hear in the night, the sound is just the wind and there’s no reason to get up and investigate. Most of the time.
The last time it happened, I demanded my time to mourn. I refused to pretend I was okay. I didn’t care that no one else considered it a baby. I mourned because I needed to. I was far from fine and I resented the world that couldn’t understand why I cared so much about something that “hadn’t even been born”.
It was a someONE who had not yet been born. Not a “thing”. Not an “it”. It was a tiny human and for whatever reason, he/she didn’t make it.
That time, I demanded my doctors take action. I demanded testing and time to figure it out. It took a few months, but I got a new doctor who did some tests and he said I was fine.
Then, it happened a final time. The doctor checked me out, told me it was so early there was no need for any intervention and since all the tests had been okay, there wasn’t anything we could do.
As he got up to leave, he had one last thought. “There is one thing”, he said… “y’know, your progesterone levels were pretty low, almost too low to even be considered pregnant.” He continued, “when you are ready to try again, call me the second that test turns positive and I’ll place you a prescription for progesterone. Let’s see if we can get this baby to stick next time” …and he walked out the door with a reassuring smile. I felt better. And worse. Worse because that mean there had been nothing wrong with my babies… but my body couldn’t hold onto them. I felt like I’d failed. Even with the possibility of a solution, I felt miserable with loss.
Eventually however, I found a way to mourn, honor and move forward that helped heal my heart. Eventually, we tried again and it was brave and special and important that we did not allow our fear of another failure to overcome our desire to build a family.
That desire to try again is now sitting in my living room playing Star Wars III on the Playstation and will be turning six in three weeks.
Now, if you feel you can, please share your stories below. Help others break their silence by posting your story here.