Two pink lines.
We were ecstatic. The decision to toss the pack of birth control pills in the trash and open our hearts to starting a family was exciting, and those two pink lines came so quickly! An added bonus, it was the holiday season. How perfect! I felt great and we started to share the news with a select few family and friends.
Then one morning I woke up and experienced some spotting. I panicked but was reassured by a kind and soft-spoken midwife on the phone. I tried to remain optimistic as we celebrated Christmas with our family but looking back, I was in denial. A trip to the hospital the day after Christmas confirmed what I knew was true in my heart. We had lost the baby. We had a miscarriage.
The next few weeks were hard. There was so much pain, both physical and emotional. My husband was incredibly supportive but I still felt very much alone. It wasn’t until I was in therapy for postpartum depression after the birth of my oldest son that I started to process the impact of the miscarriage many years later.
1 in 4
One in four women will lose a baby during pregnancy, delivery, or infancy. That’s a harrowing statistic. Yet, so frequently, we grieve in isolation. If you are the one experiencing a loss, it is important to talk with someone about your feelings whether that is your partner, trusted friend, obstetric provider, or licensed mental health counselor.
If you are the friend or family member of a woman/partner who is experiencing a pregnancy or infant loss, being present is one of the most meaningful acts you can do to support your loved one. You don’t have to have answers or offer advice, just be present and supportive. Simply say, “I don’t know what I can say to make things better, but I am here for you.”
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
Each year on October 15th, people all around the world light a candle at 7:00 PM local time to honor the babies that left too soon. Star Legacy Foundation is a wonderful organization whose mission is to “increase awareness, support research, promote education, and encourage advocacy and family support regarding stillbirth, pregnancy loss, and neonatal death.” Through the month of October, they promote the #neverbestill campaign.
Locally, the TEARS Foundation has a Massachusetts chapter that assists families with the financial burden of burial or cremation services. The chapter also provides regular online support, a much-needed resource during the current pandemic, as well as peer companions.
There are several additional resources that include:
“You are near, even if I don’t see you. You are with me, even if you are far away. You are in my heart, in my thoughts, in my life, always.” — Unknown