Coping with loss

For some reason that I can’t understand, miscarriage is a taboo subject.  Most women don’t know that their friends or family members have experienced a loss until they experience one themselves.  My miscarriages (yes, plural) are not ones I talk about often.  It’s not because of being ashamed, but because I have struggled to feel like I could really share without making others uncomfortable.  I decided it’s time to talk about loss.

My first miscarriage was in 2009.  It came as a total shock to me.  We were ready for a second child and A-Man was ecstatic about being a big brother.  I didn’t really know or understand that I was miscarrying.  I assumed I was spotting and this was all going on during Christmas.  Perhaps it was holiday stress?  As the days passed, I became uneasy.  Without being overly detailed, I knew that something wasn’t right.  I called my birth center and was instructed to get my hormone levels tested.  Before I even knew the results, I feared the worst.  Even though I knew in my heart what was happening, hearing the confirmation from the midwife made it real.  I cried for this child that I would never meet.  I was told to be strong for A-Man and to keep it together.  My husband allowed me to grieve and I love him for that.  I needed to grieve and it was okay for A-Man to see me grieve.  The miscarriage was complete on New Year’s Eve.

I prayed that would be the only time I would experience this.  However, at the end of this summer, my husband and I decided that we were ready for baby #3.  I found out I was pregnant just before my birthday but I was reserved about sharing with anyone other than my husband and boys and my best friend.  Anyone who says the scars disappear are wrong.  That previous miscarriage was fresh in my mind again as I started to mentally prepare for a pregnancy.  Again the spotting started and despite how I tried to tell myself that every pregnancy is different and I could just be spotting,  I knew something wasn’t quite right.  Again, I called my birth center and was instructed to get my hormone levels checked.  At this point, I prepared myself for a miscarriage with a glimmer of hope that this could work out okay.  I received some great support from the Mothering forums as I waited and waited.  Again, without the details, I knew that this baby was going to join its sibling.  I cried on my husband’s shoulder and wondered if I would have to experience loss before each new pregnancy.

This new loss made me doubt whether I should try for another child.  However, some time and thought made me realize that all things happen for a reason.  We may not always understand why, but when it’s meant to be it will be.  I know this is true for a new baby.  A-Man said it best when he said, “Now we get to have another rainbow baby!”  T-Man was such a wonderful blessing as my first rainbow baby.  Now, we must be patient for the time when our family will be blessed with another.

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October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  It’s time that we stop making loss a taboo subject.  Families need to talk about pregnancy loss and infant loss.  As the picture says, it happens to 1 in 4. Families and women who have experienced loss need support and need the outlet to talk to someone.  Yes, there are support groups and counselors but why can’t this be talked about with those who are close to our hearts? It was hard feeling like I shouldn’t talk about this, but my best friend has always been so supportive.  During both losses, she was there (via text/phone!) to offer her support.  I can’t thank her enough, but I know I don’t need to.  I would do the same for her.

I had a friend experience a loss before my second miscarriage.  It felt wonderful to share my story and support her as well. It was important that she knew that she was not alone and that it was okay to cry and feel sad…to grieve for this little angel she would never meet. So many women wonder why it happened to them without realizing that it is much more common than most people realize.  Sometimes, sharing your story can offer closure and provide support at the same time.

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