The pregnancy loss no one talks about
Five years ago, I had no idea the depths to which the issue of pregnancy loss affects families. I was aware of miscarriages and knew people who had experienced them, but I didn’t truly know what it meant to lose a child.
Beyond that, I knew next to nothing about termination for medical reasons – because for as taboo as it sometimes is to talk about miscarriage, it is often times unthinkable to talk about choosing to end your child’s life. Previously, I couldn’t imagine having to make such a gut-wrenching decision….until I had to.
Five years ago, my husband and I said goodbye to our first child, a daughter, at just over 20 weeks into my pregnancy. It was a decision we made, a conscious choice, an action that was the result of endless hours of discussion and appointments with specialists. It was a decision we made because we felt it was best for our child.
No one faults parents for making the best decisions for their living child, but doing so for an unborn one can bring judgement and scrutiny. It is for this reason that so many people stay silent about their loss, their decision, their child. It’s not because they feel shame or embarrassment, it’s because so many people think they SHOULD feel that way.
Yes, a termination for medical reasons is technically an abortion, a word that in and of itself can cause heated and sometimes cruel debates. But it’s so much more than that. I can tell you first-hand that making that decision was the hardest thing I have ever done. I didn’t want my child to die, but even more so, I did not want to see her live a life full of suffering. I wanted to do what any other parent wants to do – protect my child.
I don’t regret the decision we made but that doesn’t mean it was easy. It’s something that I will carry with me always. I have been telling my story now for five years but I can’t help but feel it is not enough. Therefore, I am committing to implementing new programming at Through the Heart related to TFMR over the next year. This includes additional information on our website, more blog posts, and printed educational materials.
No one can ever truly know the pain that another person is going through. It is my hope that through this community, others can feel empowered to share their story, even if it is just with one person.