Sometimes I wonder if it’s better to be ignorant to what can go wrong (ignorance is bliss) or if it’s better to be aware of the pitfalls.
After my miscarriages, I became aware of what can go wrong during a pregnancy. I learned the hard way why women often wait to share their news until they are ten weeks. The first time I got pregnant I told my immediate family right away. I ended up having a blighted ovum and had to tell everyone the sad news. In retrospect, I don’t regret sharing my joy with my loved ones so quickly. It was hard at the time, though, to bear the bad news. I initially felt like I disappointed everyone, but over time I was able to work through that thinking. I’ve shared the news immediately with all three of my pregnancies. With my second and third however, I did learn to proceed with caution, but overall I couldn’t let fear overtake my eagerness.
Growing up, pregnancy was presented to me as easy. You decide to have a family and then you have one. At least that’s how I understood it from what mothers in my family told me. My own mom had five kids and all her pregnancies were normal. But I didn’t find out until I was older that she had a miscarriage before she had my younger brother. Many women I know never shared their miscarriage stories with me, until I became aware of it through my own experience. I guess that’s when you become more aware of things, when they happen to you.
I think society presents pregnancy as if it is easy. As exciting, life changing, and miraculous as pregnancy is, it can also be a scary, mysterious journey. We have to throw caution to the wind and trust that things will go right. I am grateful I was able to find the support I needed both through family and this website when I experienced my losses. I know there are many, many women over decades who experienced loss and never had the chance to talk about it or vent with others who went through the same thing.
My husband and I are blessed to have our rainbow baby, Lucy. She’s going to turn one in a couple of weeks. We have talked a lot about trying for another. The prospect of going down the pregnancy journey again is daunting now that I am aware of what can go wrong. Seeing my baby grow and learn inspires me to be stronger than my fear. She inspires me to embrace this awareness that I have and use it to be proactive in my healthcare for future pregnancies. If I allowed my fear to stop me, I may have never had her.
During this month of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, I hold my two losses and my rainbow baby close in my heart. I promise to never forget where I began and I promise to never take for granted what I have gained through my loss. I promise to continue to promote awareness of those who experience loss. I most especially pray for those currently experiencing loss and those having difficulty conceiving. You will overcome your obstacles. Don’t be afraid to make others aware of how you feel. Don’t hide. You should not be ashamed of what you’re going through. It’s not a group you want to be part of, but now that you are, embrace your new awareness and take comfort that there are many others who are aware too.