My Silent Shame No More

There is a silent shame that exists among women in an epidemic proportion.  One that does not need to exist in today's society.  A silent shame that affects women all over the world regardless of race, religion, age or socio-economic conditions.  A silent shame that brings nothing but heartbreak, sadness and devastation.  A silent shame that can rob a woman of her ability to believe in herself as a 'true' woman.    A silent shame whispered about all over the world.  A silent shame known as the heartbreak that is miscarriage.

It is common knowledge that 25% of all pregnancies end in heartbreak (with that number rising the more miscarriages a woman experiences).  However, no woman ever expects that her pregnancy will become one of those statistical 25%; I certainly did not.  Aside from a 'hiccup' relating to my triple-screen and an emergency C-Section, my first pregnancy was pretty much a text book pregnancy.  Thus, I never in a million years could have predicted that my second pregnancy would result in anything but a healthy baby. 

When we first got pregnant for the second time, we were elated.  It had happened pretty fast; within 3 months of trying.  Our first few weeks were filled with happiness and excitement.  At an ultrasound to confirm dates, my husband and I were elated to see our little one on the screen, heartbeat fluttering away.  Secure in our knowledge that our family of 3 would soon become a family of 4, we carried on in our daily lives. 

Flash forward  to what would be week 11....and I started spotting.  At first I was not too concerned because I knew that this symptom, if not completely normal, was extremely common.  I was sure that there was a prefectly good reason for the spotting.  However, when the spotting did not stop after a couple days I went to the ER. 

Thus begins my miscarriage nightmare...after what felt like hours but was more like minutes of pushing on my stomach, the only heartbeat that was heard was my own.  The next day, I was once again being sent for an Ultrasound.  My scream-cries of heartbreak could be heard throughout the building as my husband and I found out that our precious little angel had died at 7 weeks gestation (exactly 1 week after we had seen the little heartbeat fluttering).  So here I thought that I was 11 weeks pregnant when in actuality my little angel had died 4 weeks prior but my body had only recently started miscarrying (what I was experiencing is known as a 'missed abortion').

In utter shock, horror and devestation my husband, Jr and I went home to wait for the passing of our little angel.  3 days later on Thanskgiving Sunday (October 10, 2010), our little angel made her (while I will never truly know what sex the baby was, I truly believe in my heart of hearts that the baby was a girl) way into the world. 

It has been 16 months since my miscarriage.  I will not lie, there are moments when my heart still breaks and I am still teary-eyed over my loss but those moments are becoming fewer an farer between.  How did I manage to get to this point?  It was not easy.  In the first few weeks after losing Embryo, I grieved like I've never grieved before (to honour my little one I named her Embryo).  I leaned heavily on Jr (and my husband, of course).  When things got too much for me at night and I could not sleep, I would go into Jr's room and just look at him (or hold him).  Knowing that I could have a healthy pregnancy helped me to get through the inital grief. 

 As the weeks turned into months, my heartbreak remained stagnant; I was not getting better.  Then one day a breakthrough happened.  While watching 'The View' I saw an interview with Lisa Ling where she was talking about the miscarriage that she had 6 months before.  The thing that really got to me about her story was that she had suffered the same type of miscarriage that I had.  It was conforting to know that someone else had gone through the horror and heartbreak that I was going through.  During the interview, Lisa Ling mentioned the website that she had created for women to deal with, amoung other things, miscarriage. 

Intrigued and relizing that I needed help beyond what I had received, I checked out Lisa Ling's website www[dot]secretsocietyofwomen[dot]com (see link below). It is the women on this website who helped me 'recover' from the worst part of my miscarriage.  They were there for me in a way that my husband and Jr. just could not be.  These were women who knew exactly the heartbreak and heartache that I was going through.  Finally I was not alone anymore.  As time went on, I began to feel more and more like myself again.  Amazingly, my faith in myself as a woman and in my ability for my body to carry a successful pregnancy came back again. 

I truly believe that this silent shame that exists among women does not need to exist.  Even though we women often do feel like failures because of miscarriages, we ARE NOT failures.  We are not alone! We are not the minority; we are, sadly, the norm.  It is time that we realized that there is nothing shameful about miscarriage.  Miscarriage is heartbreaking but we need to accept that this does not make us less as women but makes us more because with miscarriage we learn to appreciate everything that life gives us. 

I refuse to be silent or feel shameful anymore for having suffered a miscarriage.  It is not my fault that the miscarriage occurred and nothing I did could have prevented it.  In fact, I feel empowered as by talking about my miscarriage, I give the power back to myself and not to the horrible even that happened to me.   

I welcome women who are reading this to share their miscarriage story, whether it be their own or their mothers.  The more we talk about it, the less 'shame' there is and the less power this 'shame' holds over our heads.


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