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Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It’s a tough day for many women (and men) around the world who have experienced the loss of their child, at any stage of pregnancy. It is a loss that is unbearable and indescribable. A pain you feel in the deepest parts of your heart and no matter the amount of time that goes by, just the thought of loss(es) will bring it all back. 

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is an annual day of remembrance observed on October 15 for pregnancy loss and infant death, which includes miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, ectopic pregnancy, termination for medical reasons, and the death of a newborn.

[Disclaimer: this post includes some personal and difficult details about pregnancy loss.]

I believe it’s important to talk about pregnancy loss so more people are aware of how often families experience this pain, not only in their hearts but also physically in their bodies. Women are experiencing this type of loss every day and might feel shame or not comfortable talking about it. Feeling alone is not good for anyone.

If a friend, family member or coworker ever opens up to you about having a miscarriage or pregnancy loss, please don’t ever treat it lightly. I speak from experience and wanted to share my story, the honest story, because I think it’s important to tell. 

Before I had my first child, Emma, I experienced 4 miscarriages. These experiences have been among the hardest I’ve ever gone through. To know there was a baby growing inside of me one day, to finding out he or she was gone the next, was - and remains - an indescribable pain.

I lost my first baby at 9 weeks. I was out of town on a mini-getaway with my husband in Zion, UT, and started feeling cramps in my hotel room after a fun and chill hike. I started to worry something was wrong and then started to spot blood. Less than an hour later came more blood, paired with extremely painful cramps as I was passing everything my body had created to make the baby. All the hotel towels were covered in blood. We called our Doctor and she talked us through it all. I took some over-the-counter medicine to help with the pain. We packed up the car and drove back to California. Let’s just say it was a painful and emotional six hour drive back home.

People don’t speak enough about what actually happens to a woman’s body during, and after, a miscarriage or educate us on what to do if it happens. Each woman’s experience is different. I was so scared, confused and in awful pain, all while being devastated that the baby was gone.

It was hard not to blame myself. What did I do to cause this? How did this happen? Why didn’t anyone tell me this was so common? I was set to find an answer. My doctors did all the tests and but gave no concrete reasoning aside from common scenarios such as a chromosomal abnormality with the fetus, among others. I was left with no answers. So I blamed myself. It took over my life. Constant research about miscarriages and what could prevent or cause them. What foods to eat or not eat. What to do or not do in the early stages of pregnancy. All this while waiting for the day my body might be ready to try again, so I could try to erase what had happened with a healthy baby. I was repeatedly told “don’t stress.” Easier said than done. 

When I was fortunate to see two positive lines on a pregnancy test again, I was scared to do anything. I carried a million questions with every moment that passed. What should I eat? What shouldn’t I eat? Should I work out? Is it okay to travel? It went on and on, an endless circle of questioning everything I did. I was terrified I would lose the baby again, while also feeling so happy to be pregnant again.  

My husband was so supportive and wanted to help me, and he did, but it’s hard when you’re the one who is physically going through it all. 

A miscarriage is a mess of the mind, and I am thankful I’m through it. All the crazy ups and downs my body went through with my hormones all over the place, the bleeding, the fatigue, attempting to reset everything to try again was awful. Getting my hopes up only to be let down again was maddening. I wanted a family and was able to get pregnant but keeping the baby was my issue.

After a few period cycles, I was pregnant again. The next three miscarriages were a mix of different experiences:  An extremely early loss or “chemical pregnancy” where a positive test proves to be inaccurate after a week or so after hCG levels drop proving there was no viable baby growing ; Receiving a positive test in France only to find myself dealing with another traumatizing bloody hotel bathroom in Norway a week later; And excitedly doing an ultrasound when I was told there was concern over the yolk sac before returning a week later to find there was no heartbeat.

I was in shock. How could this happen again? There were no answers.

I went home where I laid in bed screaming and crying uncontrollably. I was in utter disbelief and now believed I would never carry a baby to term.

I feel very fortunate and blessed that my next two pregnancies were healthy and successful. I’ll never truly know why but I did start seeing a fertility specialist after the four miscarriages. Though IVF treatments were discussed, I was able to get naturally pregnant and the doctor put me on progesterone and baby aspirin as soon as I tested positive. Studies have shown these two things could help thicken the lining of the uterus, help support the embryo early on, and also prevent a blood clot that could cause a miscarriage.  I’ll never know if that was the reason my daughter Emma was successfully born, but I’d like to think my body needed that extra help to get things on their way. When I was pregnant with my son, I followed the same protocol of progesterone and baby aspirin, out of fear that I could miscarry if I didn’t. I would never forgive myself if that happened. I know how lucky I am to have come out on the other side of multiple miscarriages to now, seven years later, have two healthy babies. Many couples are not as fortunate. 

Loveable is a website and blog for handcrafted jewelry, but I’m sharing this experience because when I was going through it, I would have loved to read another woman’s journey in order to not feel so alone. I hope my words can help someone going through a similar experience. 

lots of love,

Kim 

🌈 While rainbows represent different things to everyone, they are also connected to a healthy birth after pregnancy loss. Rainbow babies are described as ‘miracle’ babies due to the powerful impact they can have on helping parents heal after a loss. We have a variety of rainbow jewelry designs that can serve as a meaningful gift to someone who has experienced pregnancy loss, miscarriage, or a rainbow baby. You can shop our handcrafted Rainbow Jewelry Collection here. 

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