Today marks 4 years since my second miscarriage. I so clearly remember the details of that weekend. It was Thanksgiving in Canada.
When I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, it was right before I was headed down south to an all-inclusive resort wedding with a bunch of my girlfriends. I was going to be with them 24-7 so I had to tell them why I wasn’t drinking any of the free and abundant margaritas available at any time of the day. And because I told my friends, of course I had to tell my sisters and my mom as well. And then I shared with a few others at work when I felt so sick I couldn’t hold my head up.
Then I lost my first baby at 11 weeks, and it was hard. I had to tell all those people that I was no longer pregnant. It was even harder when so few of them reached out afterward. I didn’t feel the level of support that I needed and expected.
When I got pregnant the second time, I vowed not to tell a soul, other than my husband. I didn’t want to have to go through all that talking again in case I lost this one too.
And then, on the evening of October 10, 2015, my husband I were out with another couple when I started to feel pain in my lower belly. I was 9 weeks pregnant.
When we got home, I went to the bathroom and realized that my worst fears were happening. Again. The thing is, we were staying at my parents for Thanksgiving weekend. My sister and her family were joining us the next day. I hadn’t told any of them that I was pregnant. How was I going to pretend that nothing had happened?
I didn’t. We told my parents the next morning that I was pregnant. A moment of excitement in their eyes. And then deflation when I shared that I no longer was. But do you wanna know what? Telling them that way was way harder than the way I told them the first time. My sister arrived later and she knew as soon as she saw my face. Once I opened up, I felt like I could breathe again. It was so much easier to get through that day without having to hide my pain.
I made it through two more Thanksgiving dinners that weekend. Dinners full of happy people
who didn’t know anything because we hadn’t told them we were expecting in the first place and didn’t know how to break the news that we no longer were. Those days were much harder. Trying to pretend that I felt their comradery and connection, their festive moods and gratitude, was almost impossible.
In hindsight, would I have been more open about who I shared my pregnancy with that second time around? Absolutely. When I had to shove down all that pain later in order to appear happy, it just eeked out in other ways: anger, annoyance, irritation, envy, intense sadness. It was exhausting and felt just as bad as the grief itself.
When I started talking, being more open about my losses, it made it easier for people to support me. They stopped feeling awkward about asking me how I was doing. Some of them even found the words I needed to hear and gave me the space I needed to share what I was feeling. That’s when I started to heal. I was feeling the pain and releasing it instead of pushing it down.
No matter how many people you tell or don’t tell, you still have to feel the pain if you lose the baby. And it doesn’t hurt any less when you endure it alone.
Of course everyone feels differently about this and you’ll make up your own mind about how much you want to share and with whom. My only hope is that if it happens, you won’t try to go it alone completely. I’m here, I’ve been through it, I understand and will support you. Reach out to me, send me a note, comment below, or try one of my free meditations.