When our 17 month old son, Bennett, died in 2013, it was very public. Our accident and his death were covered locally and nationally on the news. Our neighbors sat down with the local access channel to get help for our family. We received cards, letters and notes from complete strangers. During our darkest days, there was a great deal of love and support. We were held up by our community and reminded over and over again how beautiful and caring the human spirit can be.
When our son died, all of our dreams for his future and our future as a family together died. It was awful.
Roughly a year later, we became pregnant with our “rainbow” baby. I saw those two pink lines on our wedding anniversary and was elated. I was scared, but so incredibly excited to be able to feel hopeful for something again.
For two whole weeks I planned everything in my head. For the first time since my son had died, I felt like I had something to look forward to. The birds chirped louder, the sun shone brighter, and flowers smelled sweeter. I woke up from my haze of grief to discover that there is indeed still a world spinning out there. Life was still worth living.
And then I started spotting. At first I figured it was no big deal because it had happened with my first pregnancy and my baby was fine. I had some blood work done so that they could check my pregnancy hormone levels, because they wanted to make sure that they were doubling. It was back and forth to the lab for a few days. And then waiting for a call back.
After grieving so publicly when my 17-month-old son died, my miscarriage felt so very different. There were no cards, or words of comfort.
By the time they called me, I suspected things weren’t good. The bleeding had worsened and I had that sinking feeling in my gut. When I spoke to the nurse, all that I heard were the words “not viable” and “low hCG levels.” I hung up the phone and googled like a mad woman, hoping to find someone else in my situation that had a positive outcome. Surely I couldn’t be having a miscarriage after having just lost my son?
I’m not sure if there’s an emotion to express exactly how I felt. A lot of anger, so much sadness, massive amounts of anxiety, but mostly I felt horribly alone. Only a few people even knew that we were pregnant. After grieving so publicly for my son, this felt so very different. There were no cards, or words of comfort.
October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. I am tired of hiding my miscarriage. I am tired of feeling alone.
I was grieving the loss of hope for my future. We were propelled backward into the darkness, alone and scared. It felt an awful lot like losing my son again, except this time silently. I was thrown back into a guilt ridden, anxiety driven black hole. And this time, I was in that hole alone. Because we as a society don’t talk about miscarriage. We are expected to be quiet about pregnancies until we are in the “safe zone.” I get it. I lived by that rule. And I understand why we do this. But it absolutely sucked.
The only time I really talk about my miscarriage is when I’m at my midwives and they ask how many pregnancies I’ve had. Then they ask how many births I’ve had.
October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. I am tired of hiding my miscarriage. I am tired of feeling alone. So here goes …
I’ve had five pregnancies, one that ended in miscarriage. I’ve given birth to four beautiful babies. One is now an angel and I have three loving children at home. In a perfect world, not marred by illness, accidents or statistics, I should have five children in my life. But this isn’t a perfect world, and the odds of miscarriage are 10 to 15 babies out of every 100 pregnancies. If you have lived this, I can promise you that you are not alone.
And none of us should ever have to grieve in silence.
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