The beginning of October, 2010, was life changing for me. My husband was about to graduate in a few short months with his doctorate in counseling, we were celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary and had happily just announced we were expecting our first child together. Things were pretty perfect.
Because I knew I was considered “advanced maternal age” (over 35), I’d spent the past year preparing for pregnancy: exercise, healthy eating and learning how to better manage stress. And my hard work had paid off! We had no issues getting pregnant right away. We shouted our good news from the rooftops, as soon as we found out.
About a week later I was on a trip for work, and within a couple of days I could tell something was wrong. I called my midwife about my inital symptoms, and she tried to reassure me that it could just be signs of implantation and to keep in touch. But things progressively got worse. I continued to keep in touch with my husband and my midwife. That’s when she told me that I may be miscarrying and to keep an eye on things, because I may need to go to the ER.
How in the world was this happening? I thought I had done everything right and suddenly I’m out of town, away from my family and losing my baby? It was all I could do emotionally to keep myself together. This was, hands down, one of the hardest things I had ever gone through. And my husband was in another state feeling absolutely helpless. But even in the midst of this dark and scary place, I had support right there with me. A couple of my friends, who were also co-workers, just happened to be on this trip with me. They truly were my guardian angels, and I thank God they were there.
And just as quickly as we had announced and celebrated my pregnancy, we were suddenly experiencing the loss of it. I was now one in four. One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. And October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. As much as I hate to admit it, I never even knew this existed until I had my miscarriage. And it never even crossed my mind that I could possibly miscarry.
After my miscarriage, I was surprised at the number of women I knew who came to me and shared their stories of miscarriage. It almost felt like it was something you don’t talk about. Trust me, I can understand the pain of going through something like this and not saying anything, but at the same time hearing their stories made me feel like I was still normal, because I wasn’t the only one who had gone through this kind of pain.
My faith in God and my tremendous support system of family and friends helped me navigate through this time of loss. If you’ve ever exerienced a miscarriage or suddenly find yourself in that unfortunate place, lean on your people and support system. And if you believe in the power of prayer, pray.
Don’t be afraid to share your story. You never know how your experience may help someone get through their own struggle. A friend recently shared this quote and it hit me like ton of bricks as I was writing my story: “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” -Unknown
And for those who may never have experienced this kind of loss, but know someone who has, and you just don’t know what to do or say…just be present. Sometimes just knowing someone is there, even though you aren’t quite sure how they can help, is just the support you may need. My friends that were with me during that trip had never experienced that themselves, but they were there for me in the best way they knew how to be. They were present.
My story is one of loss, love, hope, strength, restoration and God’s faithfulness. Shortly after this time I became pregnant again and carried our beautiful son to full term. Miscarriage does not discriminate, and I hope that by sharing my story, others navigating through their own journeys won’t feel so alone.