Normally, I love seeing my Facebook memories pop up and remind me of what I posted “on this day.”
Today, however, Facebook reminded me of a pregnancy announcement I made on this day two years ago. Which means in a few days, I will be reminded of the day I called the doctor and asked Facebook for prayers, because I knew something was wrong. And a few days after that, I’ll be reminded of how I shared with you all what was going on. How I’d had a scare, but I was waiting in agony on test results. How I was terrified but hopeful. And in a few more days, I will be reminded of I shared with the world that I had lost my baby.
The doctors called it a “missed abortion,” which is “when the embryo or fetus has died, but a miscarriage has not yet occurred. It is also referred to as delayed miscarriage, silent miscarriage, or missed miscarriage.”
I’ll be honest with you, even though I am ashamed of this truth. Before I experienced this type of loss myself, I didn’t get it AT ALL. I knew it was an extremely common occurrence (1 in 3, they told me). But I didn’t really understand why women seemed to grieve so hard and for so long after miscarrying.
I never imagined that I would know the pain of a miscarriage myself. I had never understood how it could hurt so much to lose someone you never even had the chance to meet. I came to understand. I had only known that I was pregnant for a month. That’s the blink of an eye. Barely any time at all, and yet I grieved nonetheless. So hard and for so long.
What happened after that, Facebook won’t remind me of, but it doesn’t have to. I remember well. My inbox was flooded with messages from other women who had gone through the same loss. Many of these women didn’t know me very well. Some experienced a loss during their very first pregnancy (which I cannot imagine) and some experienced multiple losses (which I also cannot begin to imagine). Some had lost their babies early like me and some were further along. Some had even given birth. Some had “rainbow” babies and others were still waiting for their miracle to arrive. For the healing to even begin.
It is for this reason that I don’t regret sharing my pregnancy early. I don’t wish that I had waited so I could keep the knowledge of loss to myself, as many women do. So very many suffer this tragedy in silence.
No, I am glad that I shared my news and my heartbreak with the world, because, had I not, I would not have received the numerous messages from the sweet women who reached out to tell me that I was not alone. They knew exactly how I was feeling. They knew that no words could truly soothe the pain, but they sent them anyway. And many of them thanked me for sharing, because they too needed the reassurance that they were not alone in their suffering. None of us really are, are we?
I don’t pretend to know why God puts us through these things. Whatever the reason may be, I’m grateful that there was beauty to be found in the wreckage. I’m grateful that I was blessed with my sweet Ella, my rainbow baby, not long after my miscarriage. In a few months, Facebook will remind me of that. And I’ll smile.
But I can smile today too. Yes, I remember the pain, but I also remember the connection I felt. I remember the reassurance that, despite the reputation that women may carry, they care deeply about one another. Although we are often competitive and try to outshine each other, we also have a caring side that would never want to see another suffer alone.
For that, I am grateful. For that, I will smile today.