I can still feel the touch of my OB’s hand on my knee as she said in a soft voice, “I’m sorry, but we don’t see a heartbeat…”
That was the moment I became 1 in 4.
1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage. One percent of miscarriages are missed miscarriages, like the one I had. And while seeing a heartbeat dramatically decreases the chances of a miscarriage concurring, it doesn’t eliminate it.
My little girl passed away four days after we saw her heartbeat at eight weeks.
1 in 4 means there is a good chance someone you know has experienced this kind of loss. Your friend, sister, coworker. Maybe even your own mother.
With odds like that, it bothers me that the subject of pregnancy and infant loss is taboo. When I announced my miscarriage to co-workers, a number of them told me about the losses they experienced or people they know who experienced miscarriage as well. It was surprising and frustrating at the same time. I was feeling alone even though I wasn’t.
Why isn’t this talked about more? Too painful? The stigma that something is wrong with you if you can’t stay pregnant? No one knows what to say? Well-meaning people say the wrong things?
It is of all those things, really. Of course, it all depends on the person. Some people would rather not share their loss(es). That’s fine. Sometimes staying quiet is better than having to listen to the things people say to try and make you feel better. I’ve been there. Some people have a real sense of “it wasn’t meant to be” and are able to move on. I admire them.
I like to be honest about what I experienced. I want people to know that I fell in love with that little being immediately upon seeing her and her teeny heart beating. I took my baby’s loss hard. It’s been over a year and I’m still not over it. I’m not sure I ever will be.
To me, it doesn’t matter that she wasn’t born alive and full term. There will always only be one of her. I can have other children but never “another one” of her. G doesn’t replace her, nor does his presence heal the space in my heart that will always be her’s.
October is full of awareness…breast cancer, mental health, autism, LGTB History month, domestic violence, among some others. OMGoodness, October is even National Squirrel Awareness month!
But it is also Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Did you know that? I didn’t until Mr Boots was reading up on miscarriages last year.
Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It’s a special day dedicated to those tiny little beings that have been lost. Parents, friends, and family are encouraged to light a candle (or candles) for those who have been lost through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, SIDS or loss of an infant.
Today I am taking a huge leap and sharing this post and, in turn, my blog, with others outside of the ALI community. Because miscarriage is common. Because stillbirths and infant deaths happen. Because if any of you are out there, happen to feel alone, I want you to know you aren’t. Because maybe the more it is talked about the more people will understand that this kind of loss should be treated the same way a friend, parent, or grandparent passes away.
Tonight I will be lighting a candle for my little girl. My angel, who I believe in the pit of my heart watched over G and I when I was pregnant with him. I hope that you will also light a candle for those that you have lost, or your friends or family have lost, to pregnancy and infant loss.