Opening Up About the Silent Heartache of Miscarriage

We are the1 in 8As we approach our four year anniversary I can say our marriage has never been stronger or filled with more love for one another despite going through the hardest time we have ever been through as husband and wife but not for the reasons I could have ever predicted.

This week we found out we lost our third pregnancy and I feel like the time has come to open up about it. It has been a year of trying to grow our family and a year of enduring the heartbreaking pain of getting that dream ripped away from us time after time after time.

The feeling of miscarriage is a heart wrenching combination of sadness, fear, anger, guilt and possibly the worst of all, shame. Mark Zuckerberg put it pretty perfectly…

You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience.

As a woman I have felt that my body has betrayed me, as a wife I have felt that I failed my husband and as a daughter and daughter in law I have felt like I have continually disappointed my family who have eagerly awaited the arrival of their first grandchild three times only to have that dream disappear almost as quickly as it appeared.  In reality, my husband and family couldn’t be more supportive and have helped me to realize that the only thing that would be disappointing to them would be me feeling like I let them down.

Miscarriage is a secret club of shame that nobody wants to admit they are part of mostly because of the social pressure to keep sharing this type of loss a secret.

We are the1 in 8 (1)Well I certainly wouldn’t call myself a proud member of the M Club but I am happy to become an ambassador for it so that other women feel like they can open up about being part of it as well. In reality, 1 in 6 couples struggle with fertility but until you really open up about a loss it certainly doesn’t feel like it is as common as it actually is. How weird when you think about how open we are about everything else in our lives, especially on social media. At first I felt so much pressure to keep quiet about our losses. It was consuming me. I recently came across the quote “Don’t Let Your Struggle Become Your Identity.” Infertility and not being able to talk about it was killing me and in a way that was changing who I was. For me, those first months of suffering in silence were almost as painful as the losses themselves.  As I gradually opened up to my family, then friends and eventually some of my coworkers I was shocked at how many others are currently part of, or have been part of, “The Club.” Suddenly the loneliness of suffering in silence started to fade and the stories of others going through the same struggle became a huge comfort.

My husband, who has shared with a handful of his friends and coworkers has found that sharing our story is therapeutic as well and was surprised at how even his “manliest” friends have been an incredible support for him. Aside from being comforted by others sharing stories, we began getting great advice on doctors and other resources to help us through our journey from those who have walked the path before us. All things we would have missed out on had we accepted the social stigma our keeping our losses to ourselves.

Sharing has helped so much but it doesn’t take the the physical and mental exhaustion away. And while the trips to the the hospital most mornings before work for fertility treatment to have blood tests and countless ultrasounds sometimes make me feel more like a lab rat than a human, I can say the best thing that has come out of this is what my husband says to me every morning as we go to our appointments. He says, there is no you, there is no me, there is only we and we will get through this as a couple. I can’t tell you how much this simple saying has done for our marriage through this insanely challenging time and I can only hope that other women who go through this have the same support he and our families have given me.

Joe and I are committed to doing anything we can do be blessed with the gift of parenthood. I look forward to the day when I can share our happy news that we are expecting but until then I am an open book who will share her experience only hoping to give the strength to other women and couples who are suffering in silence.

12 thoughts on “Opening Up About the Silent Heartache of Miscarriage

  1. Heather Ostrom says:

    My hugs and love to you both. That silence and keeping to yourself is near toxic to contain such hurt. I’m sorry you both have gone through this. You’ll be in my positive thoughts and prayers. Your strength as a couple is beautiful.

  2. Kellie says:

    Aw Lindsay I stumbled upon your blog a couple of weeks ago & huge hugs to you! This is such an amazingly “raw” post & I’m so sorry that you are going thru this heartbreaking journey. This sounds so cliché (and makes me feel like I’m 80), but I have watched you grow up through your Mom’s eyes during our time at Verizon. When I first met her around 14yrs ago, I think you were just starting your first year in public school!

    I was going thru a hard time myself back then & your Mom really helped me thru some of the darkest moments of my life. The BEST advice I ever got was from her – she once told me that every morning she wakes up & thinks of 3 things that she is most thankful for & nothing else really matters beyond that. Such “simple” advice, but it really helps me put things into perspective sometimes

    I am a 2x member of the “M Club” & it sucks! People who don’t belong to the club, just don’t “get” it. I had a miscarriage right before I got pregnant w/ my Jacob & I feel like it robbed me of ever enjoying being pregnant. I was scared to death every single time that I went to the bathroom in fear that I would be bleeding. Fast forward 6yrs & my pregnancy with Emily was drama filled as well, including several trips to the ER. I remember having similar feelings as you – I was so hard on myself & felt inadequate that I couldn’t have a “normal” pregnancy. I was surrounded by people who seemed to be able to get pregnant so easily or others who were complaining about their pregnancy nonstop

    Hang in there! You & Joe have a great support system, just don’t be afraid to use it. It’s ok to lean on those who love you & to grieve the loss of your pregnancies. I know you must feel like your dreams will never come to fruition, but they will…and when they do, it will make you appreciate the journey to motherhood so much more. I have NO DOUBT that there will be a day when you are beaming with pride talking about your “mini me” just the way your Mom STILL lights up when she talks about you xo

    • LL says:

      Kellie,

      Thank you so much for opening up about your experience and for your kind words. You said it perfectly. You get robbed of feeling any kind of joy because fear takes over. My mom has played a major role in keeping me going through this experience. She has a natural talent for that kind of thing. I read her your comments and it got her choked up. She says hello and thank you as well.

      It gives me hope to know that despite having losses you now have your two sweet little ones. I look forward to the day where I can share our good news with your. Best Xo

  3. Angela Batista says:

    Lindsay – my best to you to you both and thanks so much for sharing. It’s a really difficult thing to go through and sometimes, people just do not get it at all. I’m a member of this club too – lost my first pregnancy at 5 mos. I was so devastated it paralyzed me from enjoying being pregnant with my oldest who is now 18. I felt robbed also, and was not capable of joy during it — just like Kellie said. I wish you and Joe much luck and love. xo

    • LL says:

      Angela thank you so much for your sweet words and for sharing your story. I can’t imagine that type of loss. Everyone is has gone through it says the same thing…the joy gets taking away. I appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you soon. XO

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