Pregnancy loss is still shrouded in stigma. That needs to stop. Conversations need to happen.
Ending an Unhealthy Stigma
October was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. 10-15 in every 100 pregnancies won’t sustain. I saw this stat a lot last month.
I want YOU to know that you are MORE than a statistic. You experienced a loss, and it matters – your story matters.
When we see these stats, they capture our attention but then we move on with the things that fill our lives. What I realized though, is that the stories are what really matter. It’s the stories that make people stop and think. Maybe they find comfort. Maybe they share the story with someone who needs to hear it.
Telling our story helps us heal. It helps others heal.
You don’t have to compartmentalize this sad event under that statistic.
There is still a stigma around losing a baby. It’s uncomfortable for people. The thing is, the stigma creates silence and silence creates more pain and struggle.
I respect everyone’s right to do what is best for them. And for many, that is choosing not to share their happy news until they are in the “safe zone”. Don’t get me wrong waiting is a personal choice and if that makes you the most comfortable that’s what you should do. It just makes me sad that globally it is recommended just to avoid that conversation.
Sharing happy news is an important part of the process. And even if you do end up grieving a loss, most people don’t regret celebrating the joy they had.
Yes, if you shared the pregnancy, you will likely share the loss. That is good. Talking about the loss helps you grieve. Talk to a friend, to your partner who is also grieving, to a therapist, pastor, family or anyone that can offer you space to heal. Communication and release are so important, in my experience.
I am telling my story in my first steps towards healing. I very recently had a miscarriage. It is painful to feel like you can’t do the one thing a female is supposed to do. It can make you feel weak. It can make you feel like you failed or have let people down. Or it may not trigger any of those feelings. Everyone experiences it differently. They need to be free to do what feels right to them.
I am going to talk about it – I am finding my strength through sharing. My little Angel was only 8 weeks old. So young I never knew the gender. I never got an ultrasound pic.
I thought there was plenty of time to see a picture and learn the gender and feel kicks. My levels were all high and good. There is no medical explanation for why my little one isn’t here anymore. Not knowing why makes it even harder. Yet many women have to face that and make peace with it.
My story started with sadness. I was told I wouldn’t be able to conceive. When I did – it was my miracle.
Warning: the details may trigger feelings of sadness.
At my ultrasound, they found that the baby measured a week behind and there was no cardiac activity. I was heartbroken. I felt like I failed. I felt like I let down myself and my husband.
I am not ready to completely give up hope. Another miracle baby may be in my future.
I am aware of the issues and my risks, but I am going to hope. I know I’m not alone in these feelings and in making that choice. There are many women out there who deal with this. Many women who continue to hope and try. Many women that let go and choose not to hope.
Women should feel safe and supported in doing all of that.
October being dedicated to this painful issue is a huge testament to just how real and important this issue is. Raising awareness is key. Erasing the stigma is a must.
Thank you for letting me share my story. I hope it helps someone. I hope you know you are not alone. You are not a failure. You do not need to stay in the dark. You will get through this. I will too.
Kaia is a marketing student and Social Media Manager by day. Her passion for entrepreneurism and the big goals she has for herself inspired her to head up Social Media for Box Spoilers. Her creativity and love of designing make her a perfect fit for Social Media.