“A miscarriage is a natural and common event. All told, probably more women have lost a child from this world than haven’t. Most don’t mention it, and they go from day to day as if it hadn’t happened, so people imagine a woman in this situation never really knew or loved what she had. But ask her sometime how old would your child be now? And she’ll know.” – Barbara Kingsolver
I would have been 20 weeks pregnant yesterday. Some people may not know how significant this week is, but moms do. I would be half way through the pregnancy. I would feel the movements of my little one from inside. We would know the gender and the name.
Today it has been three weeks since I said goodbye, but it feels like a lifetime.
I went to have dinner and drinks with my fiance, sister and her boyfriend last night. It was strange being back in the college scene with people my age. I ran into a friend from high school, and after a few questions about the wedding, she leaned in closely and whispered, “Are you okay?”. It almost took me by surprise. She continued, “I saw your posts. I don’t really know what happened, but I want to make sure you’re okay. I wanted to message you, but I didn’t know if it was okay to mention it or bring it up.”
I was shocked, but in a good way. This friend, that I hadn’t spoken with much in three years, didn’t pretend like my child never existed. She made sure to acknowledge my loss. Throughout this nightmare, I have realized so many women have experienced the loss of a child. I have talked to mom after mom about their loss, how far along they were, how alone they felt and how they feel like their loss is a secret. Why hadn’t I realized how common it was before? Why did I at first feel like a statistic and not a normal person? Why do these moms feel like their lost child is a secret?
I think I’ve figured it out.
Our society doesn’t talk about it. We hear about abortion and Down Syndrome and heart defects and cancer and infertility. We hear about politics and mass-shootings and racism. So, why don’t we hear about miscarriages? Maybe it is because moms don’t talk about their baby in heaven. Maybe it is because we don’t want to make people feel bad for us or make the situation awkward. Maybe it is because no one acknowledges our loss years or even months later. Maybe it is because we think others will believe that losing a baby at 6, 10 or 17 weeks pregnant isn’t as big of a deal as losing a baby that actually lived outside of the womb. I’m not sure why our society doesn’t talk about it, but I can tell you they should. Moms should talk about it. Doctors should talk about it. Teachers and politicians and celebrities and friends should talk about it. 1 in 4 women will miscarry. Think of four women. One of them has a hole in their heart that no one will ever be able to fill. Just because you don’t hear about it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
To anyone who has lost their child through miscarriage, let me tell you, your loss matters. Whether you were 8 weeks or 17 weeks or 38 weeks. Your loss matters. So talk about it. I can promise you, I do. I tell everyone. I told the wedding venue and photographers. I told the salesperson at David’s Bridal. I told people I don’t even know. Why? Because moms talk about their children. It’s what we do. It doesn’t matter if we held them or not. I show everyone my angel’s footprint, and I let them listen to the heartbeat. I don’t want the memory of my child to disappear, so I’m not going to let it.
And to anyone who knows someone who has experienced miscarriage, whether it be last week, last month or last year, acknowledge their loss. Whether it is “are you okay?” or “you are so strong” or “I’m praying for you.” It may be hard or awkward or scary for you, but it will warm their heart.
Moms of loss don’t have pictures of their precious one giggling or videos of them crawling. We don’t have measurements to share with you or a time of birth. We don’t have a baby for you to hold and to kiss, but we have one waiting for us upstairs. Our angel matters to us, and it means the world to know they matter to you too.
“We wanted to write down exactly what it is like to lose a baby, but for some reason the page stayed empty.
And we could not have described it any better.” -sayinggoodbye.org