October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness . In July, I shared on social media that we experienced two miscarriages-- one in January 2017 and one in March 2020. Unfortunately, we had another miscarriage in August 2020. And we were gutted... again. What could possibly be wrong? What is causing this? These were some of the questions that flooded our minds. So far every ultrasound... all of the blood work... have revealed absolutely nothing. So, now what? Should we keep trying to grow our family? Should we accept being a family of three? So many questions. So many unknowns. Our road to parenthood isn't what I envisioned. I believe there is a misconception out there that the journey will be an easy one. But sometimes it isn't easy. Sometimes there are miscarriages. Sometimes couples struggle to conceive. Sometimes parents lose their newborns. Sometimes...
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. It's a difficult time for many people. I'm using this time as a way to honor our three angels. The best way I know to do that is to share my heart. Here's a little bit of that …
Ten Things I've Had To Let Go During My
I've had to let go of shame. The shame of not being able to carry pregnancies until the end. Once I let go of the shame, I quickly confirmed that shame should have never taken up any space in my heart.
I've had to let go of the guilt of feeling like somehow the miscarriages were my fault. The feeling that I did something wrong. It's natural to feel that way... you're only human. But again, don't let guilt take up space in your heart.
Feeling like a failure
Miscarriage. Another miscarriage. Another miscarriage. Time and time again, I had to shake the feeling that my body failed me yet again. That I failed my husband. That I failed my daughter. There is no failure here.
The "ideal" sibling age gap
This one may sound silly, but when you hear over and over that "you shouldn't wait too long to have another one," or "you don't want your kids to be too far apart," you fall into the hype. And it's just that--hype. 2 years apart- nope. 2.5 years apart- nope. 3 years. 3.5 years. Nope. And quite frankly, who cares!
This is a big one for me for every area of my life. I like things to be structured and organized. I like to check things off my list. I like to have a plan and then have that plan fall into place. Well, having three miscarriages certainly wasn't in my plan. And I have no control over whether or not I miscarry. I've had to let go.
It seems like every time I miscarry, someone announces that they're pregnant. Literally every single time. I've had to let go of wishing I was in their shoes. Wishing I could announce a pregnancy. Wishing I had maternity photos to take. Wishing Alexis could wear a "big sister" outfit. It's not a matter of not being happy for other people. I'm always happy for them--especially our friends. It's just that it was always a reminder of what I once had for a moment and was now gone.
Being strong all the time
I had a talk with myself one day and said aloud "It's okay to lose it!" And so I did! It's okay to lose it. It's okay to cry. It's okay to scream and holler. Do what you have to do to release and navigate the pain you're in. It wasn't until I allowed myself to grieve in a way that truly acknowledged my pain that I felt the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders.
I was 34 when we conceived Alexis. I was 35 on the day she was born. Now, I'm 38. And yes, when a woman is pregnant over the age of 35, doctors describe her as of "advanced maternal age" (at least they don't say geriatric pregnancy anymore). But, I can't focus on my age. And my OBGYN has never focused on my age. You shouldn't focus on your age either. Focus instead on your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Feeling ungrateful for wanting another child
This is something that I've struggled with. I am so thankful that we've had a pregnancy that made it to full term. I am so thankful for our daughter. But my heart has always desired to have another child … for Alexis to be a big sister. I also know there are so many couples who are still hoping for their first full-term pregnancy. They're still waiting to celebrate instead of mourn. And I would always feel torn about this. I didn't want to seem insensitive or ungrateful for what we DO have.
The possibility of Alexis being an only child
I know lots of people who have (or only wanted) one child. I know people who are an only child. Technically, Joseph isn't an only child, but his siblings are 20+ years older than him. So, in many ways he grew up like an only child. I can't control whether Alexis will be an only child. And there's absolutely nothing wrong if she is. It may not be what I envisioned, but that's where letting go of control steps in.
If you have experienced loss, please know that joy and peace await you. They are there with you. And they'll be there when you're ready to embrace them again. I'm holding you in my heart today and always.