A gentle word of awareness:
My reflections today discuss the topic of pregnancy, motherhood, and loss – which I realize can be a painful subject for many. Please feel free to prioritize yourself and skip this one if you feel it might be best to do so.
I’ve mentioned here before that Warren and I are childless by choice. When we got married 16 years ago, we assumed we would have kids some day, but as we got older and became increasingly focused on our careers, we realized we really enjoyed our life as “DINKs” (Dual-Income, No Kids).
We also really savored being an aunt and uncle to our seven nieces and nephews. I love how much time and energy we have been able to invest in them over the years.
So, imagine our surprise when we recently learned we had become pregnant. 😳
Saying we were shocked would be an understatement.
We were also really (really) happy. The moment the plus-sign appeared on the the pregnancy test, my heart leapt with excitement – I instantly felt like the future was better and brighter.
It was wild how quickly I was able to embrace the news, jump 1,000% in, and begin daydreaming about every aspect of becoming a mother.
My family and friends were a bit beside themselves with disbelief. Since Warren and I are both in our early 40’s, everyone thought the shipped had sailed on our decision to have children – this was a major shocker to us all.
Being pregnant made me feel strong, powerful, and protective. I could literally feel the life inside of me – and it felt like a miracle.
It was such a surreal experience.
I was happy every moment of my pregnancy but, unfortunately, this is where my story takes a sad turn.
As happens with 20% of all known pregnancies, I experienced a miscarriage in the first trimester.
It’s been a really difficult last few weeks. The life inside of me felt so real, and then it just vanished.
Despite the fact that 1 in 5 women experience a miscarriage at some point in their lives, people don’t really talk about it. This seems to exacerbate the feeling of isolation that accompanies the loss.
I’ve found comfort in talking to other women, sharing openly about my experience, and from listening to this podcast where women and men share stories of pregnancy loss.
From previous experiences with grief and pain, I know I often have a tendency to try to move past difficult feelings quickly. My dear friend, Dr. Carla gave me a book called Home Body by Rupi Kuar, where I came across this quote:
I will never have
I’ve been reflecting on these words every day – gently resisting the urge to skip over the pain in pursuit of brighter days. Rupi’s words encourage me to sit with the loss for as long as I need to — and let the pain be both a teacher and a healer.
As therapists, we know there is such power in sharing our stories and experiences.
For me, it helps me feel like the experience was real, that it mattered, and that the little life inside of me will be remembered.
So, thank you for letting me share my story with you today.
I suspect that many of you, too, might also have experiences of pregnancy loss. If you have any thoughts or reflections you’d like to share with me, I’d welcome the opportunity to hold space for your loss and remember your little one alongside you.