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Motherhood

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness- My Story

Whether you’re going through a pregnancy loss or have someone close to you that has, I hope this post brings support and love. 

In 2017, a year after my husband returned home from deployment, we decided it was time to start building our family. It only took a couple of months to get a positive pregnancy test and I was beyond thrilled. We were going to have a Thanksgiving baby 🙂 

But just a few weeks later, my world came crashing down. 

I was at work one morning feeling great, when all of sudden I was hit with the worst cramps of my life. Then the heavy bleeding quickly followed and I knew. 

An hour later, the ultrasound tech was saying those heavy words, “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.” We lost our sweet baby that we had prayed and hoped for at 9 weeks. 

It was a sadness I had never in my life felt before. 

Fast forward a few years, our sweet rainbow baby was 18 months old and we were ready to start trying for our second. After a few months we saw those two pink lines again, two weeks before Thanksgiving. I was thinking of a fun way to tell my mom and I was so excited to tell my family. 

Just a few days later, we were at a friend’s house for a grill out, having a great time. We announced the news to everyone so we could get our excitement out and celebrate. 

But later that night, that all-too-familiar cramping started. And I knew. Immediately I knew. 

We lost another baby. 

After our first pregnancy loss, I felt lost. I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. 

No one talks about this kind of loss. And all I got from my OB was a half-hearted hug and the least detailed information and worst advice on my options. 

Everyone is unique and everyone grieves in their own way. Time is not linear here and it’s important not to rush this process. Looking back, I think the very best thing I did for myself to get through those times of grief was to allow myself to not be okay. 

To not pretend that I was fine.

Not fake a smile.

To lay in the bed as long as I wanted. 

To take off work as long as I needed. 

To eat as much chocolate icecream that I felt like. 

A few ways to cope after a pregnancy loss:

  • Give yourself time. All the time you need. And let yourself feel all the feelings. Take time off work if you need it. Give yourself rest. Say no to things you don’t feel up to. 
  • Ask your OB to fully explain all your options if you need medical care. After our first pregnancy loss, I did not know how important all of this information was and my OB team failed to walk me through it, which led to the following weeks being extremely tough for me, physically and emotionally. 
  • Accept help when it’s offered. 
  • Talk to someone. Whether it’s your mom, sister, friend, or someone who has walked down this road as well. Talking through everything you’re going through can be a huge help. 
  • Do the little things that bring you joy and comfort. 

I had heard all the usual things from well-meaning people. And I knew they meant well, but somehow some of them still stung. It’s made me realize just how much our words, even our well-meaning ones, can affect someone. 

So I want to share some “what not to say” phrases….

“At least it was early.”

“At least you know you can get pregnant.”

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“At least you already have a child.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t announce so early next time.”….as if the pain would be any less if people didn’t know. When, in my experience, it would honestly have felt harder to be in so much pain, physically and emotionally, and have to pretend I’m okay.

What to say instead:

“This is hard and I’m praying for you.” 

“I am so sorry for your loss.”

“I’m here if you need to talk.”

“What time can I drop off dinner?” 

Remember you don’t have to know exactly what to say or understand what your loved one is going through, they just need your love and support. 

Kalie Thomas

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