"Picture it: you're 19 years old and have just completed your final examinations of your sophomore year of college. But somehow, there was nothing on your mind except the fact that your period was 3 weeks late. It was obviously the stress of finals right? But a test couldn't hurt. Better get 2 just to be sure. You wait a few days because it's no big deal, it will be negative; you're sure of it. And then that little blue plus sign appears despite all your logical reasoning. You cry and cry and wonder what on earth you're going to do. Are you ready to be a mother?
Fast forward a few weeks. You're 8 weeks along and have decided to keep the baby. There's some mild spotting but the internet says that can be normal. The next few days pass and your spotting turns to full on bleeding and only gets worse as the days progress. You're just shy of 9 weeks and feel like something is not right. You head to the ER. They examine you and say that things look alright; but in your heart, your know they don't feel alright. You're discharged.
You spend the night crying in the bathroom because the bleeding won't stop and you're now passing clots of blood. You stay up until the morning light shines through the bathroom window and return to the ER. They do an ultrasound and tell you that the baby doesn't look like it's progressing as it should be at that gestation and your blood levels are beginning to fall.
They tell you that means something was wrong and your body new better. You're told, that at least it was early so you didn't get too attached. They say, it means you can try again when you're older; it just wasn't meant to be at that time. You go through the contractions you had expected months from now but that pain is nothing compared to the feeling of death inside you. The guilt that you had wished this "mess" would just go away... so it did.
You carry that pain and that guilt with you for years to come. You occasionally count the passing of time by thinking, "my child would be 5 years old now". And you hold your grief and pain, keeping it to yourself and refusing to tell your story in fear of the shame it would bring. Until today. Today, you tell that story."
In light of October being pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, I'd like to share something very personal about myself.
I never thought this would be something I'd share with most people in my life, let alone on a social media platform. However, I do believe that the stigma needs to be lifted and we need to be more open talking about something that happens to so many women.
tl;dr - Normalize talking about miscarriage and infant loss. Do not justify someone's loss with your own beliefs or attempt to minimize their pain by telling them it wasn't meant to be. Not only during the month of October, but always, be mindful of those around you. You never know what someone's dealing with.