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Losing a Pregnancy, Finding Community

Losing a Pregnancy, Finding Community

I suffered my first miscarriage in silence because I followed the rules. I didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant, because you weren’t supposed to announce a pregnancy until you were past your first trimester. That was the rule. The theory was that you didn’t want to have to tell everyone you had a miscarriage, if it happened. But for me? It happened. And only a very few people close to me knew, so I had to go about my life acting like nothing was wrong. When deep down my heart had broken.

Let’s stop for a minute and think about this.

Somewhere along the way, society established this rule so that people could GRIEVE ALONE AND IN SILENCE. And after an eventual diagnosis of being a “Repeat Aborter” – I can tell you that suffering a miscarriage is devastating and grieving needs to proceed in order for healing to take place.

Finding Friends Who Understand

Lucky for me, I discovered blogging in 2004 and found an online community of women like me who were suffering from repeated pregnancy losses in a community that wanted us to keep quiet about it. We found humor in our tragedies, nicknaming ultrasounds “Live Baby Checks” and making macabre jokes about accumulating several “You’re Having A Baby!” bags that they give you at your first doctor’s appointment, and yet never getting an actual baby out of it.

And lucky for ALL of us, the years that followed created swells of women beginning to be open about their losses. After every loss that I wrote about, new people that I knew in the real world would come to me with their stories. Aunts, teachers, friends and family. They’d email me and call me to offer their condolences and then tell me their stories. Some of them had kept quiet for decades, and were finally able heal a little bit by sharing with me their loss.

Coping With Loss

Pregnancy loss sucks. Whether you’ve suffered 1 or 15…it just sucks. It breaks your heart and makes you angry. I have never been a sad or a resentful person; but my miscarriages devastated me. And they made me so very irrationally livid about the joys of people around me. And at first I was ashamed of this. I was ashamed of the jealousy I felt when a friend announced a pregnancy soon after I lost one. I was embarrassed at the wave of anger that would wash over me when someone complained about an “unplanned” pregnancy. I was mortified by the bitterness I felt when family conceived easily, and delivered uneventfully. My pregnancy losses made me a very ugly person.

[sws_pullquote_left]An odd side-effect of having a miscarriage meant that I never peacefully enjoyed another pregnancy. I was always bracing for the loss. [/sws_pullquote_left]But luckily, my blogging community helped me through that. They helped me ease the bitterness and find the joy for the beautiful children being born around me. They helped me work through the anger to find the excitement for friends and family. They taught me that all of these feelings were part of the grieving process, and that I shouldn’t feel shame about it. They taught me it was okay to hurt and angry, but that I should try to also hold on to hope. And to joy.

An odd side-effect of having a miscarriage meant that I never peacefully enjoyed another pregnancy. I was always bracing for the loss. Every ultrasound was tense until I saw the flutter of a heartbeat on the screen. Every trip to the bathroom had me terrified of the inevitable signs of the end. Every hour that passed without feeling fetal movement made me worry that my unborn child had lost their battle. We even rented our own Doppler fetal heart monitor during the pregnancy with our daughter, just so I could ease my mind when I was anxious.

Do you see how crazy it makes you? I RENTED MEDICAL EQUIPMENT. But my community of women who had tread those waters before me? They helped me not feel so crazy. Or to at least they taught me to OWN my crazy if I had to feel it.

And now, those days are past as we recently took steps to keep from ever having children or or the inevitable miscarriages again. My physical ailments were becoming too painful and my emotional state too fragile to suffer through any more losses. Last year’s loss was the last one I knew my heart could handle. We closed the door on that part of our lives, grateful we succeeded in building the family we have.

Don’t Suffer in Silence: Speak Up

But also? I’m grateful for the community I found to help me through all of the losses. If you’ve suffered a loss, know that there are more women around you than you realize that have walked the path you’re stumbling down now. They’ve come out of the other side of the sadness and can help you find your way. I don’t care if you only knew you were pregnant for a week before you miscarried, you deserve time to grieve and time to heal. Do not try to suffer alone. If you tell your story, someone will tell you theirs. And just knowing you’re not alone will do more to help you heal than you’ll realize.

Local Resources

Healing Hearts for Baby Loss of North Alabama (Closed Facebook Group)

H.O.P.E Helping Other Parent’s Endure (Huntsville Hospital)

Alabama Chapter of the Tears Foundation (Facebook Page)

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

On the 15th, please consider posting this via social media – “Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Let’s take some time to remember the babies who were born asleep, or whom we carried but never met, or those we have held but could not take home, or who made it home but didn’t stay. Make this your status if you or someone you know has suffered the loss of a baby. Break the silence. In memory of all lost angels ❤”


View Comments (11)
  • Thank you so much for sharing. I felt like so many of your words could have been written by me. After 5 pregnancies and only one baby, I, too, made the painful decision to stop trying. Like you, my heart couldn’t take another loss. I am still struggling with the fact that my child won’t have siblings, but I know that it is better for her to have an emotionally stable mother. After my first miscarriage, it took months before I could open up to my friends, but once I did, I found that many of them had been there, too. I am glad you found the community you did. Miscarriage is not something anyone should suffer in silence about.

    • I lost a son when I was 6 months pregnant and this of him often. He would have been 18 years old and graduating high school this year. My loss was so devastating but I kept telling myself God knew why. Four years ago my 28 year old sons was found,after leading a full and WONDERFUL life,to need a heart transplant. He died awaiting one! I find comfort knowing he has a little brother with him in heaven. He loved children! They are Forever Young! Prayers to all of you !

  • I too lost a baby…at 10 weeks pregnant…after 6 years of trying. It is a very difficult thing indeed and something that you never truly overcome. Thank you for your willingness to share your story.

  • I loved reading your post, I am a mother of 3 healthy living children, one angel baby and one miscarriage. I miscarried in 2001 at 9 weeks, and My daughter died of SIDS in 2004, she was only 19 days old. I know how hard it is to cope with the loss of a child, no matter what age or week of pregnancy. Nothing I can say or do can mend yall’s broken hearts, but just know I’m here for ya!

  • I appreciate this post! I recently lost my almost 2 year old and haven’t been able to locate a support system in the area. Thanks for the resources and I pray for your and everyone who’s lost a child.

    • I am so sorry for your loss Devin and am glad you found our article. I hope you are able to use those resources to find some measure of comfort. God bless you.

  • Hi!
    It’s always amazing to me how common miscarriage and loss seems to be yet how many people never say a word. I’ve had a miscarriage and a chemical pregnancy. They were my first two. I now have two healthy living children but always pray for those who never made it into my arms.
    The hardest part for me was always feeling as though I was going through this alone. My parents and those in my friendship circle had never gone through miscarriage, so while they said they understood, they didn’t. And I felt as though they wished I would hurry up and get over it. – I’m still not sure that I’m really over it.
    My doctor understood… but there are few out there who offer much empathy… though I suppose it’s not really their job to be your friend. I wish I had had someone to talk to who had been through it, and that my grief was normal. Fortunately, after floundering for a while, I found a group of women online that I was able to talk with about what I was feeling. But an actual friend in town, would have been great.
    The jury is still out on whether or not we will try for a third. There’s still a lot of emotion that goes into it. And, as was said above, pregnancies are never really peaceful again after that.
    I’m sorry for everyone’s loss… but glad that awaremess is being raised. Once something like this happens, you’re changed.

  • Bless you for being so real. To those of us who have lost a child and to those of us who have not, you are an angel yourself for bring this into the open. The pain is very real and lasts a lifetime… but we, as women always do, press forward in our lives and when we find someone who shares our heartache, we come together with her, share her pain and bring her comfort. Miscarriage is a heart-wrenching loss we didn’t want to happen.
    I have to bring up our other sisters who lost pregnancies and suffer too. Let’s not leave out our sisters who were coerced, forced (by boyfriend, husband, parents, fear, etc.) into an unwanted abortion ~ their pain is very real and they too have no one to turn to in their grief. Lets stand together to help regardless of how the loss occurred. Thank you so much, Kim, for opening the door for all of us to find the healing and support we need.

  • After 5 miscarriages and 6 pregnancies we to have decided to accept and quit. For me I have a massive amount of underlining genetic health issues that go into play that I didn’t know about. But still find it hard to fathom why this has to occur. The last little been died at 9 weeks 2 days and had strong heart beats for 3 weeks before I suffered an acute attack which landed me in the hospital. A week after I got out it was revealed that the baby died a day before my next ultrasound. It has taken a massive emotional toll on me. I can’t stand to see women pregnant or hear about babies being born. It just reminds me of my loses and how I can get pregnant but not sustain the pregnancy.

  • I have known several women (although not in close relationships with) who had miscarriages. I never realized how often they happen. I could never imagine the devestation of losing a pregnancy, but as a single woman watching her window of childbearing years dwindle by, I do understand the pain of watching others celebrate pregnancies. I know I am supposed to celebrate with them, but there are still moments of hurt. I can say I trust God’s sovereignty, but I have to ask Him in tears sometimes, “why?” I am so sorry particularly for the difficulty ya’ll have felt in truly experiencing the joy of a pregnancy because of the fear of another miscarriage. I had never thought of that “side effect”. I am not good at all at expressing sympathy for others ( i feel it but never know what to do). I offer a virtual hug as my only way of conveying the support I would like to give because I have learned words rarely convey what I want. Thank you for your candidness and for all of your willingness to support other women in the same pain.

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