After 14 years together and three years married, my husband, Pete and I decided we were ready to expand our love and start a family. We chose to start in April with the attitude of “not, not trying” and in May when we found out we were expecting, we were stunned & thrilled that it had happened so fast, so easy. It felt almost too good to be true, and maybe it was.
My 1st trimester was a breeze. Only a couple bouts of sickness, some minor food aversions and a few fun cravings that I somehow managed to keep within my super strict diet. Overall, I was feeling great during the first 12 weeks and absolutely in love with being pregnant!
Exactly one day after officially sharing our baby joy with the world, I started to experience signs of loss. I woke up in the middle of the night with my body moving through what felt like labor. I immediately knew something was wrong. The joy we had experienced in the previous months was quickly ridden with sadness, confusion and a full body numbness that I had no vocabulary for. I labored for 3 hours in the comfort of my home with my amazing husband holding space right beside me. This was not the picture of birth I had in mind. We were devastated.
How could this happen to us?
I had spent the past year preparing my body for this pregnancy, doing everything I could to ensure the most healthy state for myself & our future child. I saw my osteopath consistently every two weeks, ate a non-inflammatory diet, ONLY drank water and the occasional glass of wine, exercised four days a week, and spent ample time outside. I was also blessed to have an incredibly fulfilling relationship with my partner, amazingly supportive girlfriends, and I adored my work. I was so confused, so angry, so sad.
Aside from the intense emotional pain, I was experiencing, I was also struck with the reality that just as we had publicly shared the beautiful excitement of expecting our first child, we now had to face the numbing idea of sharing our loss. Being in the birth world, I knew I had to speak about my experience in the same transparent way I always talk about things.
As I was moving through some of the saddest pain I’d ever felt, I realized that everything was going to be okay – this experience was simply a part of my story, and the reality is, that this type of loss happens to thousands of women every day. Statistically, one out of every four pregnancies ends in a loss. Although it’s something that the majority of women who experience, keep to themselves, only sharing with a few of their dearest loved ones. Why aren’t we talking about this?