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Breaking the silence for pregnancy & infant loss awareness month

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These days, it seems like October is everything awareness month, and I think that’s more obvious on a social media site like Facebook, where everyone is sharing their favorite causes—whether it’s breast cancer, spina bifida, down syndrome or another equally worthy topic.

In addition to those above, it’s also the National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. This month was set aside in 1988 by President Reagan to remember parents who have lost babies in pregnancy or as young infants. At that time, he made this statement:

“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan.
When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower.
When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.”

Although I’m not really a bandwagon jumper, as someone who has had four miscarriages and refuses to be silent about them, I am thankful that there is a month when women share their stories of pregnancy loss. Despite how very common miscarriages are, I didn’t know anything about them when I lost my first baby, and the most helpful thing anyone said to me was, “I’m sorry; this sucks. I’ve had a miscarriage too” because I no longer felt alone.

I started blogging about miscarriage in October of 2012, and I wanted to share those posts again as encouragement for anyone who feels alone or has no one to talk to about their feelings. These posts are from my perspective and experiences, but I hope they encourage us all to keep talking about it and sharing our stories:

Talking about pregnancy and miscarriage in the first trimester

Why we don’t talk about miscarriage {and why I AM}

If we’re really honest, sharing your pregnancy at all during the first trimester is a bit taboo itself (and it seems as if the number of people who wait to share their pregnancies has grown even in the past 12 years since my first pregnancy).

I think that taboo has grown because it’s all a little bit embarrassing: What is wrong with me that my body can’t carry a baby the way it’s supposed to? How will people deal with my grief if I lose this baby when to them the baby is nothing more than a “potential human”? (Even Sean, who very much believes life begins at conception, has trouble attaching to our babies before they really begin to kick and roll and show their personalities.)

And because, let’s face it, a miscarriage is a lot like a period, except your heart and your tiny baby are bleeding out as well.

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The Emotions of Miscarriage

On pregnancy and miscarriage, grief and joy

Honestly, with four miscarriages, I’ve experienced pretty much every emotion under the sun:

With my first pregnancy, I was the first of our friends to get pregnant, and I was shocked when I miscarried. But I also understood the phrase “the peace that surpasses understanding” for the first time as I walked that road.

My third pregnancy was labeled an “inevitable miscarriage” because my cervix was open for two weeks, but I just knew in my heart that I was not miscarrying that time, and today that baby is our beautiful 6-year-old daughter.

My fourth pregnancy also ended in miscarriage, and the thing I remember most is the exact moment I realized I was miscarrying—shocked that it was happening again.

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On Pregnancy After Miscarriage at

On pregnancy after miscarriage, hope in spite of fear

After I miscarried in October, I found myself locked in a tug-of-war with myself: We have four beautiful daughters. Our youngest is (finally!) out of diapers and sleeping through the night. Life is good. Do we really want to try for another baby?

But each month I would feel that familiar longing, and try we would. And each month I would feel a little heartbroken over the negative test that followed.

It got a little harder to see other people’s pregnancy and birth announcements (as much as I didn’t want it too!), and even though four months isn’t long at all in the grand scheme of things, it was long for us, and it was nervewracking.

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If you’re grieving the loss of a baby, please know that there’s no right or wrong way to grieve or remember that baby. And know that you’re not alone.