It’s Time We Start The Conversation On Pregnancy And Infant Loss

It's time we start the conversation on pregnancy and infant loss

This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. And it is time we start the conversation . . . 

We’re sharing dinner and light conversation. I just miscarried my baby last night. You know it, too. But you talk about the weather, the holidays, anything but the one thing that is constantly on replay in my mind. I love you. But I hate that we can’t connect over the one thing that matters most to me.

It’s time we start the conversation.

I was only seven weeks along. I hadn’t crossed the golden threshold yet — the one that allows me to express my delight at the baby growing in my womb — or the devastation that it’s suddenly all over. Silence is my only company.

It’s time we start the conversation.

We talk about the mental workload of mothers. We freely discourse on glass ceilings and dirty floors. We post photos showing #breastisbest or #fedisbest. We proudly identify as SAHMs or working moms. Followers on social media praise our discussion of postpartum depression and the importance of mental health.  But I have to ask, why must I shroud this version of my motherhood in secrecy and shame?

It’s time we start the conversation.

Each year I miscarried, I joined my sisters from around the globe. With an estimated one million pregnancies ending in a loss in the United States alone, our sisterhood is strong. Or at least, it would be . . . if we were able to announce that we are apart of the baby loss club. We are sisters . . . still longing to meet.

It’s time we start the conversation.

I know you think I should be over it in days, weeks, or maybe if you’re really generous, months. It was a blip on the radar of life, a little mistake, a matter of timing, you think, as though God decided his timing was off AFTER he already allowed us to conceive. It’s time you know that this loss is not one to be gotten over, but one to be borne. Not one that will allow me to return to my previous self, but one that has fundamentally changed myself. But how can you know, unless I tell you?

It’s time we start the conversation.

My love for my baby is as natural as life itself, and for that matter, my grief is, too. There is nothing about my loss that is contagious, nor will the feelings you experience at my disclosure anything as significant as the feelings I bear every moment of every day. A forced silence begets shame, but I am ready to speak and my experience is nothing to be ashamed of.

It’s time we start the conversation.

And so I am. This October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. I am starting the conversation.

You don’t know what to say, but I will teach you.

You’re afraid of saying the wrong words, but your power lies in your listening.

You fear the sadness will consume you, but a sadness shared makes us both stronger for it. 

You are afraid of feeling powerless to help, but simply the freedom to give voice to my love and my loss is help enough. 

And God forbid, if that day comes where you find yourself in my shoes, I want you to know I’ll be there when . . .

It’s time we start the conversation.

We invite you to #StartTheConversation with us this October on social media. Use the hashtag #IHadA, followed by your type of pregnancy loss, then use the hashtag #StartTheConversation.

“#IHadA #miscarriage and #ectopicpregnancy. My losses happened before the second trimester, but I’m choosing to break the silence. Because my babies were loved, and my babies were real, I am not ashamed of their lives or my loss. I’m choosing to #StartTheConversation.”

Together, we can break the silence, end the stigma, and scour the shame. For we are a global sisterhood of loss mamas. And we are stronger, together.

 

Photo by Cory Bouthillette on Unsplash




  • Rachel Lewis

    Rachel Lewis is a foster, adoptive and birth mom. She lost her second baby she named Olivia to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, and had 4 miscarriages in the following 4 years. On the journey to becoming a family, she gave birth twice (once to a rainbow), adopted a precious daughter and fostered and released a darling son after a year and a half. When she’s not chauffeuring her kids around, you can find her shopping at Trader Joe's, drinking coffee, or writing about her journey as a mom at www.TheLewisNote.com. Follow her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Thelewisnote. And join her online support group for bereaved and infertile mamas at Brave Mamas, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1657136001012257/

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