October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and today specifically, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. While I have two wonderful kiddos, we also lost two pregnancies on the journey to becoming parents. My first loss was in 2008, and it was my very first pregnancy. I remember the excitement of seeing those two pink lines and rushing to tell my husband and planning things in my head right away. But, we ended up not seeing a heartbeat when there should have been one. It’s what they call a “missed miscarriage,” which is really not fun because you are in a kind of limbo. Your body hasn’t quite realized that things haven’t worked out, so you are just stuck. My son came along in 2009, but thanks to that first loss, so much of my excitement was zapped with that pregnancy. With the positive test, I was more scared than happy. We didn’t tell hardly anybody until 12 weeks, and I didn’t buy a single thing until 24 weeks. I remember feeling jealous of people who posted on Facebook that they were pregnant before the pregnancy test was even dry. I wish I had that confidence to do so. We had another loss when trying to have a second baby, but luckily, got pregnant with my daughter really quickly after that so I didn’t have the months of stress and disappointment like I did after my first loss. The dates of those lost pregnancies are still in my head though. It’s not as raw as it was, time does ease the pain some, but I find myself wondering sometimes if they were a boy or girl, and what grade they would be in now, or just other random things. But I also realize that if I hadn’t lost those two, I wouldn’t have the two amazing kids I do now. I’m pretty lucky.
I share this because I think it’s important to talk about it. I didn’t share my first loss with many people until after my son was born. But now, I post about it on Facebook on every October 15, mainly because I want to help those who have gone through it be recognized. And also for those who haven’t, to think twice about things like… asking someone when they are going have kids or even when they will have another baby. If somebody is having a hard time getting and/or staying pregnant, having that question asked of them can be like a knife through the heart. It happened to me. I know that feeling.
The stats say that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, but I honestly think that stat may be higher. Once I started to talk about it, so many others shared their stories with me. It isn’t something that should be kept secret like it’s something shameful. If you have had a loss, you didn’t do anything wrong. There isn’t always a “why,” no matter how hard we want there to be. Plus, men are often not allowed to mourn a lost pregnancy like women are, but they feel it, too. Don’t forget about the dads. And if it happens to someone close to you, acknowledge it, don’t ignore it. Just a simple “I’m sorry for your loss” is sufficient.
And no matter when the loss happened, it hurts. Your dreams for your child start as soon as you see that positive pregnancy test. If you have had a loss, I’m sorry.
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