‘I was dreaming of our baby’s future one day, then that future disappeared within seconds. I am a real woman who experienced a real loss.’: After miscarriage, woman declares, ‘I am not a taboo’

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“Around Easter, my husband and I had planned to announce we were ‘egg-specting’ a baby in October. We had already bought the cutest Easter basket with the most colorful eggs accompanied by a cleverly crafted, punny post.

Instead, we announced…  I am 1 in 4 women who experienced a miscarriage.

This was a picture of me taken when my body was already actively miscarrying our first baby at 8 weeks. At the time, I did not know it. But… I felt it in my heart it did not feel right. So, I poked out my belly as far as I could and wanted to believe so badly there was still a life growing inside. This was supposed to be the first picture to document my first pregnancy.

I am not sharing this for sympathy or to take away the excitement of pregnancy announcements. I am sharing because I want to give my pregnancy a purpose. Although it was short, it existed. I don’t want other women to feel as alone as I felt when what was supposed to have been one of the best days of my life quickly turned into one of the worst.

Society tells us we should wait at least 12 weeks before we share we are expecting. So, as a new mom to be, I did not question it. I followed these rules and only told a fistful of close friends and family members when we found out. During these weeks, I researched a different baby topic each day ranging from jogging strollers to parenting styles. Every suggested article about baby loss or miscarriage that popped up, I swiped through because I thought, ‘This will never happen to me. I am young, and I am healthy.’

Then, it did. And I questioned EVERYTHING. I questioned if I should’ve skipped that weekly spin class, if I should’ve splurged on the most expensive pre-natal vitamins, if I should’ve cooked my scrambled eggs a little longer, etc. Although the internet, my doctor, and my husband continuously reassured me there was nothing I could’ve or couldn’t have done to prevent this, I did not believe them. It was my body… the body I was so proud of and was so sure would carry and birth a beautiful baby. My social media was filled with mothers my age growing beautiful baby bumps and having beautiful families. I was supposed to be one of those moms. Why and how did this happen to me?

I reached out to other women who had experienced pregnancy loss, and the amount of support and guidance I received was worth more than any article I could ever Google. I finally felt that I was not alone. We cried together, we cursed together, and we hoped together. I miscarried because it’s simple… it just happens.

I regret following the 12-week rule of keeping my pregnancy a secret because the outpouring of love and support we received from our friends and family after we revealed to more people about our loss was the brightest light of all during a very dark time. Miscarriages shouldn’t be a taboo subject. I am not a taboo. I am a real woman who experienced a real loss.

I was pregnant one day and not pregnant the next. I was checking my baby apps to see what size fruit my baby was one day and deleting all of the apps the next. I was reading books about what to expect with a baby one day and shelving them the next. I was dreaming of our baby’s future one day, then that future disappeared within seconds. I am grateful for the short 8 weeks I had to envision our baby’s future with minimal worry and genuine excitement because I will never have that positive experience again. And to me, that is one of my greatest losses.

Not talking about miscarriages creates an illusion they are rare, and they won’t affect you.  Miscarriages do happen, and they suck really, really bad. It pulls you into a really dark place you never knew existed.

But through this loss, I’ve gained so much more. My husband and my marriage proved to be resilient, and it has grown so much stronger. My relationships with other mothers who have experienced loss evolved into deeper friendships. I have developed a more profound appreciation for women who have birthed, who have lost, and who have been trying to get pregnant. The woman’s body does such a miraculous thing by trying to create a life, and it is something that deserves to be treasured. I have learned this is not an easy task and every pregnancy is different, whether it is perceived as a difficult or a simple journey. Regardless, every mother and mother-to-be should be celebrated and recognized for being able to do what we do.

And the biggest gain of all… there is no doubt that Nick and I will have a family one day, whether traditionally or non-traditionally. But when that time comes, the love that we will have for our child will be the kind of love we wouldn’t have known existed if it wasn’t for my miscarriage. My pregnancy happened, and I am choosing to recognize it. My hope is that my story will lessen the stigma of miscarriages and reach at least one mother-to-have-been so she knows that she is not, and will never be, alone.”

Courtesy of Minna Watkins

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Minna Watkins. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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