First of all, I was just so excited! I knew babies were wonderful when I found out we were pregnant with our first, but this time around I knew firsthand the incredible love and joy that only comes from meeting your new baby and watching them grow. I don’t think there would have been a way for me to keep that inside for another month- much less two. I just couldn’t!
“If you tell everyone, you better be up for untelling everyone.”
Well, let me just share my thoughts on that. Over the past few years I have seen friends silently suffer through miscarriage, only to find out about the lost pregnancy after sufficient time has passed. I have taught childbirth classes and had students contact me about classes early on in pregnancy, only to lose their baby before class even begins. Each time I talk to them, they ask the same questions, “What could I have done differently?” and “Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening again?”. The answer? Nothing. Miscarriage occurs in 1 in 5 pregnancies. (1 in 4 if you look at first time pregnancies alone.) It’s devastatingly common, but many moms don’t know that. Because we keep it a secret. Because it’s something that families endure alone.
The loss of a life, at any age, is tragic. And it matters. And it counts. No one would ask a family who loses a child they have held in their arms to grieve silently or without support, and the moment a woman finds out she is pregnant, that baby’s life is held in her heart. She is a mother to it. She plans a future for it. She dreams about its personality. She hopes for its success. When a pregnancy is lost, not only does a woman have to grieve the loss of her baby, but she has to grieve the loss of the future and dreams she had for her family with that baby. I pray that I never experience miscarriage, but if I ever did have to go through that, I wouldn’t want to do it silently. I would want the life of my child to be recognized. I would want to be supported, and I would want other mothers to know that miscarriage can happen to anyone.
This is obviously a personal preference. Some might prefer to grieve and heal silently, and that’s perfectly fine. I’m not suggesting everyone should spill the beans as soon as they see that second line appear. But I would also caution against discouraging anyone from sharing early on if they so wish. Miscarriage isn’t shameful. All life should be celebrated, and every pregnant mama should have the support of her family and friends whenever she needs it.