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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Why I Tell/Break the Silence

Last blog post, I shared the miracle of finding my baby's heartbeat when it should have been impossible. It truly was a miracle. However, that following week I was spotting off and on, and by Sunday, I knew something was wrong. I ended up going to the ER, and during the ultrasound, we could not find a heartbeat. Baby was there, but it had died at 7.5 weeks. My heart was broken, to have gone through so much up and down with that pregnancy. But I had no regrets in telling everyone about it. I was so grateful to have the support and love to buoy me up. This past month has been one of healing, heartache, pain, and then peace. I am so grateful I have had so many people sharing words of encouragement and hugs and service. I have been in a good place the last week. January 18th was my D&C, and a few days ago it had been a month. I found myself feeling a sort of sadness mixed with peace. I longed for another child. I had taken a pregnancy test a few days before to find out it was negative. I knew I was too early, and the chances of me being pregnant that quickly was probably not very high, but I'm an incredibly impatient person. Thursday was the 1 month anniversary, and it had been about 5 days since my last pregnancy test. I had one left, so Friday I woke up and used it, even though I knew it would be negative. I had hope. And since it has always been so easy for me to conceive, I knew there was a chance. I had been expecting me period a couple days before, and it had not arrived yet. I sat there, looking at my phone, avoiding the results, not wanting to see only one line. When I finally looked, I couldn't believe my eyes...

I am so blessed and thrilled beyond belief to have another little soul growing inside of me. To have the privilege of loving him/her for as long as they need to live. I have always believed that a life should be celebrated, no matter how short or long it is. I've never understood why it is commonplace to hide a pregnancy till you hit that magic second trimester. What does that teach us? This idea feeds a few very harmful beliefs or thought processes. Now, speaking from someone who has gone through two miscarriages, here are my thoughts:

1. "The pregnancy doesn't count unless you reach the second trimester. It is not worth celebrating unless it is going to live past this time. Keep it to yourself until we all know your chances of miscarriage are much lower." This is absolutely heartbreaking. Why on earth should we not celebrate any pregnancy, no matter how long that baby lives? Does that life not matter if it only lives a couple months or less? Why can't we all rejoice in the miracle of conception? That in and of itself is worth celebrating. Why does a still birth mom receive more love and support than a miscarriage mom? Why does either life count more than the other, simply because of the number of weeks of gestation?

2. "If you do miscarry, no one wants to know. You need to suffer in silence. Heaven forbid you make someone feel uncomfortable and feel bad for you. If you're hurting, you hide it." This is such a harmful and sad way of thinking. The risk of postpartum depression is so much higher when you do not have the physical, emotional and mental help from a strong support system. And yes, even if you miscarry at 5 weeks, you are still postpartum. Hormones have gone up and down quickly, causing emotional and mental shifts that can trigger depression, especially without support. If a mother feels like she can talk about it, and that others are able to mourn with her and comfort her, providing meals or words of comfort, or watching her children and just holding her hand, THIS is what brings peace and healing.

3. If you feel that you would rather not share your pregnancy till the 2nd trimester, or later, that is entirely your prerogative,and completely ok. If you feel that you would rather not have to talk about your miscarriage, that you'd rather only a few people know to provide support to you, and if you feel it would hurt to have people ask about your pregnancy, and have to tell them you miscarried, then I completely understand, and support whatever you feel is most healing for you. This is ok. If this is how you feel, I'm so glad you know what you need. But if you feel this way because you are afraid of what people will think, or that your pregnancy isn't worth sharing, or if you can't talk about it, even if you want to, this is not ok.

I truly feel that mothers and fathers should be able to be excited and cherish and celebrate and share this miracle of life as soon as they want to. That it should be NORMAL, and WELCOMED, and SUPPORTED. And in the 20% chance that you do miscarry, or if you know someone that does, that those parents will be surrounded and embraced with all the love, kindness, and support that they need. And the awkwardness is gone. So if you are like me, shout out your miracle! I want to know, and celebrate with you! And I will mourn with you, and love you, and be here for you if and when you need me. And I will pray for you, and look forward to that day that you conceive again, or that you adopt, or that you decide your family is complete. You do not need to rejoice in silence, or suffer in silence.