The day I started bleeding heavily, the day we found out our baby’s heart had stopped, I did 2 things. First, I texted the small group of people who knew I was pregnant and told them what had happened and was happening. I think I wanted to get this “out of the way” so that I could move on with whatever process was to come – grief and all it’s friends. Second, I googled. I didn’t know what was really happening, I was told very little in the emergency room, just hours of waiting followed by a “Well, everything looks good, but there is no heartbeat. Follow up with your doctor.” There was so little information, no empathy, no connection, even the way the news was delivered was lacking. I had no idea what was really happening. So I came home and googled. Yes, I cried, a lot, I still do, but I needed more information. I needed to know what to expect, if only physically.
Google taught me that I was experiencing what is known as a missed miscarriage. I’m by no means an expert, but basically our baby’s heartbeat had stopped about a week prior and my body still hadn’t figured it out, so it carried out as it normally would, pumping hormones through and with it came all the usual pregnancy side effects. Such a cruel little joke nature plays on you when you have to deal with all the hormonal stuff knowing that it’s only a matter of time before your body figures it out and catches up with what you already know – there will be no baby.
Google also taught me that, I wasn’t alone. While it may feel like you are alone because no one talks about miscarriage, you are not. This is both a blessing, and also terribly sad. 15 – 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, that’s 1 in 4. 1 in 4 women have had miscarriages, but very few speak of it publicly. Until now, I didn’t really hear of women sharing their own experiences. I’m sure this is for a variety of reasons, including that it may be very painful to do. I get that.
Google led me to social media. I scoured through instagram hashtags, #miscarriage #pregnancyloss #1in4 #iamtheface and finally #ihadamiscarriage. With over 3,000 public posts on instagram the #IHadAMiscarriage Campaign has been something that has really helped me in the last 4 months since my own loss. I have read every post, I have cried at some and smiled at others, I’ve shared them with my husband, and friends.
Mainly, what I’ve learned from this campaign is that again, I’m not alone. I’ve learned that there is hope, however grim it may seem right now. I have hope for healing, for being genuinely happy again, and hope that in my sharing, I can reach others, the way this campaign and the women who’ve shared their stories have done for me.
Dr. Jessica Zucker who created the campaign also has a shop with awesome Rainbow Babe (I mean, can I get one in an adult size?) and Rainbow Mama t-shirts as well as awesome Pregnancy Loss cards. With this one that really speaks to my soul with its accuracy. Because really, fuck this.