This Mother’s Day I’ve decided to tackle a topic that isn’t talked about a lot, and especially on this day: miscarriages. However, both my husband and I agree that we need to talk about this more and feel safe to share our stories. If you have been there, you know what I mean. So to honor ALL the babies we’ve lost, and to hopefully bring comfort to the mothers and fathers and know you aren’t alone. One in six women will suffer a miscarriage in their life. That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, but we should share our stories so it becomes easier to talk about.
As mothers and fathers we dream about holding our babies in our arms, rocking them and keeping them safe. But sometimes we don’t get to hold them. Sometimes we can’t keep them safe. And when that happens, it can break you.
I know because it happened to me. Not once, not twice, but three times. In a row. And it did break me. It broke my husband. It changed us forever and made us face some harsh realities about what our idea of family really is.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m talking about miscarriage. Unexplained and second infertility, where, for reasons unknown, a woman is unable to carry or even conceive after she’s successfully had one (or more) children.
In my case I never thought it was a possibility. You see I got pregnant and had my first three kids when I wasn’t even trying to have a baby. Each time my pregnancy took me by surprise, and not necessarily in a good way. Twice I got pregnant when doctors said it wasn’t likely to happen. So when I wanted to get pregnant again, I never thought it would be difficult.
Actually getting pregnant wasn’t the problem. Staying pregnant was. Three times in eight months my husband and I conceived, only to lose each child in the first trimester. “Missed miscarriage” and “unexplained abortion” were two terms we became painfully familiar with. Because miscarriages are so common, while the medical team was sympathetic, they weren’t even overly worried until the third miscarriage happened. After that, we had genetic testing done to see if a chromosomal defect was perhaps causing the miscarriages, but test results came back negative. So at this point we don’t know why this keeps happening. What we do know is that we have lost three babies, and that is a hard thing to handle.
Grief is hard. It can hit at any time. What’s both comforting and adding to this difficulty is knowing my husband is also grieving. You hate to see your partner suffer, but knowing you’re not the only one going through this helps. Most of the time we are fine-as a matter of fact the number of people who even know what happened is small and gets smaller with each pregnancy. But then something will happen, and we are tearing up, unable to speak for a few moments or just bawling our eyes out as the pain comes rushing back.
So this Mother’s Day we are celebrating, yes. Hubby is planning a special day for me with our babies and I’m looking forward to being surrounded by these three amazing human beings that I get the privilege of raising. But we will also be grieving as we know that three more babies could have been here, too. They should have been here. And they will always be here-in our hearts.