What I Want Women Who Have Had a Miscarriage to Know
I have been wanting to put pen to paper regarding my feelings on an issue that many women face — many strong, influential and powerful women in my life. Pregnancy loss is devastating, and although women (and men) talk more openly about it than in previous generations, it is still isolating. Women feel that they have to suffer in silence, and their grief must be faced alone.
I am in the throes of my grief as I have just experienced my third pregnancy loss. My husband and I found out at our 12-week prenatal appointment that the twins we were expecting had no heartbeats.
Unfortunately, this experience is not new to us. We had two miscarriages prior to the birth of our first daughter. Our first pregnancy was an early loss, and our second was, again, discovered at our 12-week appointment.
The magnitude of the loss of four babies is overwhelming. Right now it feels like the sadness and the guilt is controlling me, but through my experience, I know that although it will never go away, I will soon gain a better control over it.
We are fortunate enough to have two healthy daughters, and I am incredibly grateful. The silver lining to the losses I have faced is I have discovered a network of women who have experienced similar losses; these women give me encouragement, hope and support during the most difficult times.
Most of these women have agreed that speaking about their losses, and their grief, have helped them in the grieving process. I have also, unfortunately, heard unsupportive words subsequent to a loss, including “this is not something to be made public; it is a private matter only between a husband and wife.” While I would never attempt to judge another person’s grief, this statement diminishes and devalues the loss a woman is experiencing. If she wants to keep her experience to herself or between herself and her partner, that is her choice.
I have been so fortunate to receive phone calls, texts, food, flowers and messages from my closest friends and also from friends that used to be acquaintances but who have now grown into part of my support system. If you are going through this unimaginable experience, you are not alone. Many people care about you and your grief.
To those who know someone experiencing a loss, reach out and do not be afraid to offer an ear to listen, even if you have never gone through it. Your support during a difficult time will not be forgotten.
The world can be cruel and unfair, but there is beauty and hope in the support and love others have shown me. The smallest and simplest of gestures can brighten a friend’s day, and after going through multiple losses, I have learned taking it one day at a time is the most effective way to move forward.
I am hopeful that the future holds more children for me, and I wish the same for all of the women currently suffering the loss of a baby.
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