This particular post has been forming in my head for months. I’ve struggled with what words I want to use, what information I want to share, what I feel like is just enough to say without offending anyone. In the end however, what type of platform would this be if I didn’t speak the raw, hard, truth?
This past April I was 16 weeks pregnant. Barely with my foot in the second trimester window, with months of bump pictures, food cravings, and stretchy pants to go – our world turned completely upside down. We suffered a miscarriage.
What I have come to tell myself, is that grief is like a tree. At the root of it, all sources of pain and suffering are essentially the same. It’s in the unpredictable curves and bends of the branches that sets each experience apart. Miscarriages are no different. All are awful. All are sad. All are heartbreaking. All make you pause your life and really start looking at the world through a new lens. For some, this lens is clouded by the pain. For me, I try to channel the pain and sadness into a positive light. While I am reserving the details of my own experience, at least for now, I will say this: no one talks about the down sides of pregnancy until it happens to you. Like breastfeeding, miscarriages and infertility seem to be a topic only discussed in hushed tones. Why is this the case when about 20% of pregnancies end with them? Out of 100 that statistic may seem on the low end, but this doesn’t even take into consideration the number of chemical losses or losses that occur before the mother is even aware she is expecting. Until it happens to you, you may not know how many people in your life have been effected by pregnancy loss. It is because of this I want to address two points. One – lets be more open to discussing this topic. Let’s discuss the various ways we all deal with it, resources that are available for those who are going through it, and just the never ending support for one another because of it. By being more open about these topics, it might help a friend in need when they need it most. Two – pregnancy is a happy time, of course. However, to those that have experienced or are experiencing loss – don’t be tricked by the happy bump pictures, gender reveals, etc. that are plastered all over the internet. What people aren’t always posting, is the complete and utter exhaustion one feels when they are expecting. They aren’t always sharing how many times that day they had to rush to the bathroom because the slightest smell or glimpse of food upset their stomach. They aren’t telling you about the anxiety some feel leading up to “checkpoint” doctors appointments or glucose test. They aren’t telling you about the depression that touches some after their baby is born, the flood of hormones and emotions that seem uncontrollable at times. In summary, they aren’t always a picture perfect experience.
Please don’t misread my words. Pregnancy is wonderful. An experience that should be shared and celebrated. However, for those who have or had anything but the most idyllic experience – remember that social media is a highlight reel not the real. Don’t upset yourself thinking that you are alone and no one else understands how you feel. In all actuality there are people in your life who may be going through the exact same thing you are. It is okay to feel the way you’re feeling; and always know there are people who can help you navigate the muddy waters a bit easier.