Early in our marriage, we were faced with the harsh reality that is miscarriage. Probably the most commonly quoted statistic is that 1 in 3 pregnancies ends in this early form of loss. I'm not sure how accurate that statistic is, but I know that it has held true for me. Soon after Tim and I were married, in 2002, our first pregnancy ended after only 8 weeks. I remember the Twins were in the playoffs that October and a friend came and watched the game with Tim and I while I went back and forth to my parent's bathroom contracting and laboring. This is the only one of my miscarriages that I passed a visible baby, and it made a huge impression on me. I remember carefully saving the baby on a piece of toilet paper so that Tim could see it too. Tiny head and limbs, maybe an inch or two long. Then I didn't know what else I was supposed to do and no one had ever told me otherwise, so I flushed the baby. A decision that I regret to this day.
Four and a half years and two healthy babies later, in 2007 we again learned that we were expecting. This pregnancy was my most short lived, lasting less than six weeks. It was January and I remember I started bleeding heavily on a Sunday morning during church. I also remember that the song, Stand in the Rain by Superchick was a bit of a theme song for me at that time. Tim made me cry with that song and I still think of that baby when I hear the song.
It was over seven years before I met my old friend, miscarriage again. Tim questions calling it my old friend, but I'm not sure how else to think about it at this point. I learned I was expecting on Valentine's Day and miscarried on April Fool's Day. Not exactly a laughing matter. This was my latest miscarriage at 11+ weeks. Thankfully, as in the other two I was still able to do things naturally. Unfortunately, despite being further along we were still not able to save a baby for any sort of burial or other remembrance. As I had been blogging by this point, you can read the entire story here.
The pain and grief of early pregnancy loss is very, very, very real.
No matter what anyone else says, I am here to tell you it hurts.
It hurts mom. It hurts dad. It hurts brothers and sisters. I hurts friends and family.
The journey of miscarriage is different for each family, but know that you do not have to take it alone. Thanks to the internet, there are numerous places that you can find support. One of them is right here, but I think the best support actually comes from someone who is walking the same journey you are at the same time or only just a little bit ahead of you. It helps to have women to chat with and lean on who are at a similar point in there journey. Don't be ashamed to talk about your loss.
Do something in memory of your baby, no matter how small or short their life was. Some people choose to have funerals or remembrance services, others have a balloon release, or make a donation in their child's memory. Have your child's name added to the Book of Life in the Shrine to the Unborn at the Church of the Holy Innocents in New York City. The entire process is done online and they will even email you a certificate of life. You don't have to be Catholic to do this! There are people who want to honor your child's life...let them.
Miscarriage grief is different for every family and, in my experience, different for every baby. Each one of my miscarriages affected me in different ways during the various seasons of our life. Whatever your experience, you are not alone.
Leave us a message on this post and we will pray for you and remember your baby with you!