I am ONE in FOUR
I am a 1 in 4 woman who has experienced pregnancy loss. Oddly, it is something I feel more comfortable talking about with complete strangers than with those closest to me. It is such a taboo topic, but an experience that needs to be shared. My miscarriages happened before I was blessed with a baby boy through in-vitro. My pregnancy losses were a subject mentioned to family, discussed with friends, but never truly shared. I still have “what could have been moments” if those babies had survived. My grief still exists and I was fortunate to eventually have a son.
Sharing is Healing
Earlier this fall, I joined a local MOPS group (Friday MOPS at TheCreek) to start socializing with other stay at home moms and to get my son familiar with other people in the world. Each meeting we have two hours to eat, discuss “mom” topics and drop off our kids to play with others. This past week’s topic hit very close to home and I left sad, but also lighter and inspired to share. For once in a long time, I did not feel so alone. The group had a guest speaker talk about her story of loss and the support group that she created in attempts to help heal herself and others during these heartbreaking times.
Every miscarriage story is different. But each shared story is the beginning of the healing. Listening to Jenna Wright, Founder of Hannah’s Wish, it felt as though she had plucked thoughts and feelings straight out of my mind. I admired this woman for getting up in front of 50 other women to share her story of loss and mission to help others through their difficult days.
There are many hospitals and doctors offices that do not have resources to assist those who go through this tragic experience. I sought comfort from my husband and later was able to work with a therapist. There has always been guilt that I depended so much on him, when he too was hurting. At the time, we were unaware of options to assist with our grief. There was no one handing me a pamphlet to explain what was happening to me or giving me an option to reach out when I was ready to talk about my experience.
My first miscarriage was a surprise, since I did not even know I was pregnant. In a span of four hours I was:
- taken to the hospital
- told I was pregnant
- given an internal ultrasound (Ladies, you know what I’m talking about!)
- subjected to hourly blood draws
then crassly told by an ER doctor, “Not happening this time, honey.” Thank God for the wonderful ER nurse who held my hand, squeezed my husbands shoulder and told us that she had contacted my OB/GYN and they were staying open and expecting us. (This happened on a Friday afternoon which happened to also be my husband’s birthday.) My husband and I left the ER in a daze. We felt like we had been run over by a truck. The OB/GYN office was amazing and sympathetic, but the shock of the afternoon was a lot to process.
The second miscarriage was during a time we were working with our first fertility doctor. We had conceived naturally with assistance of fertility drugs, but did not sustain the pregnancy. The fertility nurse told me to expect my body to start rejecting and if I had not passed “anything”, to call back in seven days to discuss next steps. I started passing the pregnancy five days later, which was also the day before my parents 40th Wedding Anniversary.
A large family party had been planned to celebrate the occasion. Surrounded by 50 members of our family and friends and there were only two other people who knew of my pain and heartbreak. A happy occasion, I forced a smile on my face and silently endured the physical pain. During the party, I was chastised by family members for not making myself available by hiding in the ladies lounge. I was surrounded by those who should have been my comfort and I was unable to share my pain and disappointment.
Healing and Inspiring
These are my stories; the life altering events that created a sadness behind my eyes in every picture of our five year journey towards Baby Bright. The stories that changed who I was and the reason I thank God every day for my beautiful boy. They are the stories in the back my mind during discussions of whether we will try for another baby. I share my stories in the hope of continued healing and inspiring others to share their story.
Hannah’s Wish is a Christian, non-denominational based group that provide those who have suffered infertility, miscarriage, stillborn and infant loss a safe place to come share and receive support. Please visit their website if you have experienced loss and would like to share your story. They meet monthly at TheCreek on Indianapolis’s southside.