In a recent article with The Guardian, singer Halsey opened up about her recent miscarriage, saying that it was the most inadequate that she has ever felt, and that it was demoralizing. Miscarriage is so incredibly common, but not talked about as much as it should be. In 2015, I learned just how common miscarriage is. I know from experience that miscarriage is heart-wrenching and happens far more than many people realize. Despite being so common, there is so much shame associated with miscarriage.
In 2013, my husband and I decided we were ready to have another child. I love children. I am one of those people who gets warm and gooey over a baby. I love how small, sweet, and fragile they are. I love the way babies smell. I love toddlers and preschoolers, and kids of all ages. From as long as I can remember, I always dreamed of having three kids.
In 2007 when we got pregnant with our son, it was easy. We weren’t even trying, and we got pregnant! Not only that, but it was an easy pregnancy with no issues or complications.
From 2013 to 2015, nothing happened… then it did. I started to feel a bit off – tired, emotional, and nauseous. A home pregnancy test confirmed what I suspected – I was pregnant. A couple of weeks after getting the positive test, I started bleeding a lot. Even though I had never experienced this before, I knew what was happening. My heart knew.
Following my miscarriage, I learned just how common miscarriage is, but this brought me no relief. Statistics are rarely comforting, but I learned that most women who have miscarriages go on to have healthy, successful pregnancies. Sadly, this was not the case for me. Over the next few years, I suffered five more miscarriages.
On the other side of this and having six miscarriages and no babies, there are some things I can say for sure – it’s so difficult, it broke my faith, it will always hurt, and it has changed who I am.
It doesn’t ever get any easier. If anything, pregnancy loss is something that gets harder and harder each time. It created a black hole in my heart that threatened to consume me. I had to fight my way out of this dark place regularly. That dark place was miserable but after a while became comfortable. It was like drowning in a warm pool of sadness.
Also, these losses made me seriously question my faith. God and I are in a better place now, but it has taken a long time to get to this point. While it is easy for other people to say things like “it is part of God’s plan,” I found that comment infuriating. I didn’t understand why God would put this dream in my heart, only to rip it away repeatedly. On my good days, I prayed to find peace in Him.
On my bad days, I got angry and yelled at God, convinced that He doesn’t hear me anyway. After my fifth miscarriage, when I found out that I was pregnant again, I was elated. I thought to myself, “there is no way God would allow this to happen again,” but it did happen again. I will never understand how this could keep happening. How could this be part of His plan? I’ve been a faithful believer and had followed Him, and this is what I get? I may never understand it.
It isn’t something I will ever get over. After my fourth miscarriage, I was quietly devastated, and my soul hurt. I felt like I had been torn open, my heart ripped out. I silently suffered because I didn’t want to burden others with my pain. I felt that my sadness was inconvenient for those around me, so I kept it to myself. During a weekend visit from family members, one excitedly asked me to help plan another family member’s baby shower. Put on the spot, I didn’t know what to say, so I said yes.
I am an excellent event planner and am pretty great at putting parties together, but this was too much for me. I was angry because I didn’t understand how someone who cares about me could be so callous as to ask me to help plan a baby shower so soon after losing my baby. When I talked to this family member about it, I was furious. What was even more infuriating was their response – “We thought you were over that already.” Over it? Over it? Over losing a child? Over something that I would never really recover from?
No! I wasn’t over it, and I never would be. This misunderstanding only served to push me further into the sadness.
I’ve also learned that miscarriage changes a person. I am not the same person that I was before all this, and I never will be. When I hear of someone’s pregnancy, I can’t help but feel a mix of happiness and envy. I am so excited for them and wish them nothing but the very best, but I cannot help but wonder why not me?
If you have had a miscarriage or knows someone who has, please take this advice – talk about it. If you are going through it, it does help to talk about it. You may be surprised by how many people open up about their struggles. If you are the friend or spouse of someone who has recently lost a child, talk about it. Don’t be afraid to bring it up in fear that you are going to remind her of it. I can almost guarantee that she is thinking about it already. If you don’t know what to say, say, “I am so sorry. You must be hurting.” It is never helpful to say that “it happened for a reason” or “it is part of God’s plan.” The very worst thing that you can do is to ignore it and not say anything at all.