I remember it like it was yesterday. Deep down inside I knew it was coming. I’d had symptoms for days, spent hours in the emergency room, and was in so much pain.
I walked into my doctor’s office on Monday for an ultrasound. There had been so much blood the day before that I knew exactly what happened. The ultrasound confirmed it. That little baby that had a strong heartbeat just days before was now gone.
That pain that I was experiencing was replaced with something much more painful. Heartache. Complete and utter heartache. I felt so alone. I walked out of the doctor’s office in a daze, unsure of where to go next. No one but MacKay knew of the pregnancy so he was the first person I called. I sobbed as I tried to get the words out that we had lost the baby. Our child.
After feeling like I was going to explode from all of the heartache, I finally called my mom and my sister. Trying to explain that I was pregnant and then suddenly wasn’t pregnant was so hard. My mom immediately flew up from Florida and my sister rushed to our apartment from downtown Manhattan. Talking about it with them didn’t completely take the pain away, but it helped. But that was as far as I went with sharing my story, which turned out to be even more painful than I ever imagined.
My biggest mistake was not speaking out. Not sharing my loss.
I was ashamed.
I was scared.
I was heartbroken.
It was only once I got pregnant with Avery that I shared my loss with others. Somehow I thought that getting pregnant again would mask the heartache. It didn’t.
But sharing my story did. Talking about it with others did. Letting the words flow from my fingertips did. And most of all, you did.
Reading your stories and hearing that I’m not alone in my heartache (still) gives me comfort. To know that it’s okay to still cry over this baby that I never had the chance to meet. And that I’m still allowed to be angry.
Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about that baby. I’m still heartbroken and some days I’m still scared, but I am no longer ashamed.
To those of you who have experienced a loss, I send you my deepest sympathies.