In a touching and funny piece published by Glamour Magazine, The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch announced her pregnancy – and simultaneously shared some heartfelt thoughts about miscarriage, pregnancy and women’s rights in general.
Warning: This post discusses miscarriage and infertility
Overjoyed and terrified
Melissa – who is married to screenwriter Winston Beigel – was keen to share her baby news in her own words, on her own terms.
The couple are obviously overjoyed to be expecting a baby, but a previous miscarriage had made Melissa aware of just how difficult such cheery announcements can be for women who have fertility problems or have experienced the loss of a child. She was keen to touch on those sensitivities and honour other women. Only then could she truly celebrate the baby she’s expect later this year.
“Here is the only statement regarding my pregnancy that doesn’t make me feel like a complete fraud,” she began.
“Melissa is expecting her first child. She is extremely overjoyed, but if she’s being honest, due to the fact that she had a miscarriage the last time she was pregnant, she’s pretty much terrified at the moment that it will happen again. She feels weird even announcing this at all, and would rather wait until her child heads off to college to tell anyone, but she figures she should probably share this news before someone sees her waddling around with her mid-section protruding and announces it first.”
“The circle of strife”
In a thoughtful and necessarily long piece, she explains she’s acutely aware of how fortunate she is and touches on the pain she – and other women – endure as they try to build a family.
“During the time when I was grieving over my pregnancy loss or struggling with fertility issues, every joyful, expectant baby announcement felt like a tiny stab in the heart. It’s not that I wasn’t happy for these people, but I would think, “Why are these shiny, carefree, fertile women so easily able to do what I cannot?” And then I’d immediately feel guilt and shame for harboring that jealousy—one might call this “the circle of strife.” (A song I imagine is somewhere deep in the extended director’s cut of The Lion King.)” She wrote.
“The most profound sorrow”
This actor-mum said the pain of losing a child was overwhelming and enduring.
“The miscarriage I experienced was one of the most profound sorrows I have ever felt in my life. It kickstarted a primal depression that lingered in me. The image of our baby on the ultrasound monitor—without movement, without a heartbeat—after we had seen that same little heart healthy and flickering just two weeks prior completely blindsided us and haunts me to this day. I kept waiting for the sadness to lift…but it didn’t.”
“No template for how to process these emotions”
Melissa takes aim at the word “miscarriage” and its implication of some kind of maternal failure – and notes that when a much-wanted baby dies, there’s no “template” for the mourning or grief.
“What I realized, though, is that because this kind of loss is not openly talked about nearly as much as it should be, there really is no template for how to process these emotions. You’re not necessarily going to a funeral or taking time off from work to mourn, but that doesn’t change the fact that something precious has been unexpectedly taken from your life,” Melissa wrote.
Anyone who has felt the loss of a child will identify with this struggle.
Melissa says many more important things about babies and longing and loss, but you should really read the entire piece, in her own words, to feel the full force of her wisdom.
Read Melissa’s story – in her own words – at Glamour Magazine.
If you or someone you know has experienced the loss of a baby, there is support and advice available via SANDS. Don’t go it alone, there are wonderful, informed people who want to help mums and dads through this difficult experience.