I am one in four women who has lost a pregnancy.
I have unfortunately gone through this five times. Five. My first pregnancy in 2009 I was expecting twins and my water broke at 20 weeks. I gave birth to my stillborn babies two weeks later.
I was fortunate to have my son a little over a year later. Fast forward to 2015. After getting remarried, my husband and I immediately wanted to start a family. In the course of ten months, I had three first-trimester losses. All of these ordeals were heartbreaking and traumatic to say the least. Going through these losses was extremely challenging. Physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally challenging. It’s so unbelievably isolating in ways I never thought about until it happened to me. It truly affects every facet of your life.
Since we didn’t get past the 13-week threshold with the three early losses, we didn’t tell a tremendous number of people. So with my son now being six-years-old, we get asked constantly when he’s going to get a sibling, which is a pretty personal question. It’s easy to feel like you can’t express your thoughts, feelings, or even the fact that you were pregnant. In my case, it’s not that I’m ashamed or even unable to talk about it. One of the most difficult things is having to worry about if this is going to be a “learning experience” for the person with whom you’re having the conversation. Like pregnancy and parenting, loss also brings on a bevy of unsolicited advice, awkward condolences, and overall uncomfortable commentary. I’ve been told everything under the sun from to “You’re young; you can always try again” to “Maybe you just weren’t ready to be a mom.” Since I’ve been through this so many times, I actually tell people that “I’m sorry” is the best thing to say. My goal isn’t to be snarky or being a total Debbie Downer, but it’s a real thing that has happened in my life and I shouldn’t have to hide it.
I hate that it’s such a taboo subject to discuss. I’ve been surprised that by talking about my losses after they happen that so many women have gone through it and got through it. It’s this awful group you’re a part of, but knowing you aren’t alone keeps you hopeful. I’ll choose to stay hopeful.