When a grieving mum posted about her miscarriage experience on Facebook, thousands of women were prompted to share their own emotional baby loss stories in solidarity.
Trigger warning: Miscarriage, depression and baby loss
“Something was wrong”
Emily was eight weeks into her pregnancy when a routine ultrasound revealed that sadly, she was about to experience a miscarriage.
Emily describes the lead up to her scan as excitement-filled, however the moment she and her husband had been happily anticipating for so many months brought unexpected pain instead.
As the ultrasound technician went quiet and left the room, and her worried husband, Dylan, reassured her “everything is fine”, Emily knew things were far from okay.
“This was a day my husband and I had been waiting for, for over a year. But these images were different than the ones I’ve seen on Facebook that all my girlfriends had posted, something was wrong. I saw nothing because my body was just hours away from miscarrying,” she wrote.
Emily had spent the previous weeks searching early ultrasound images via the #8weeks hashtag on Instagram.
She’d seen enough of her mum friends’ scans to know that the screen before her did not look the way that it should.
“I knew it wasn’t right and it wasn’t,” the grieving mum posted.
“Afraid to cry”
Faced with a heartbreaking cascade of conflicting emotions, Emily describes the pain and confusion in the moments that followed.
“I remember being afraid to cry. I didn’t feel as if I deserved to cry because “I wasn’t that far along,” and “this happens all the time.”
“I remember holding back the tears with every ounce of my being and not being able to look my husband in the face because I knew his pain would break me.”
Her doctor sent the couple home, advising Emily that nature would take its course and letting her know what to expect in the next few days.
While she was grateful for the advice, Emily later realised it seemed to only involve the physical and emotional symptoms she’d suffered as she actually miscarried.
There is so much more to this traumatic experience than those very difficult, very early days.
“What she didn’t warn me about was everything that would happen after the initial heartbreak and pain.”
“She didn’t tell me I was going to be reminded for weeks to come because my body was going to take that long to “clean out.” She didn’t tell me I was going to have to watch my husband weep. She didn’t tell me how hard it was going to be to tell my mom what had happened. She didn’t tell me that my body was going to continue thinking it was pregnant for weeks to come. She didn’t tell me how hard it was going to be to tell people I was fine when I wasn’t. She didn’t tell me that this was going to make me a jealous person over-night. She didn’t tell me how much harder the question “when are you having kids?” was going to be. And she didn’t tell me that it was going to be so hard losing someone I had never met,” Emily wrote.
“I hope that you don’t blame yourself”
Emily wants mums to know they are not alone, and encourages them to seek support, speak out, never lose hope and not blame themselves.
“I am sharing this so that maybe one less woman will feel alone and use this as a reminder or message that there is hope after this heartbreak.”
I hope that you won’t feel alone.
I hope that you let yourself cry.
I hope that you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I hope that though your faith will be tested, you will be strong.
I hope you find peace.
I hope you won’t be afraid to try again.
I hope that you don’t blame yourself.
I hope that your friends hug you a little tighter.
I hope that you give someone else hope through your hardship
I hope that you are a light in the darkest of time.
…and I hope that you celebrate that baby’s life as much as you celebrate the next because no matter how short a life, all life deserves to be celebrated and all loss should be mourned.
Outpouring of support
There are an astounding 4700+ comments on Emily’s post, as women share details of their own heartbreaking miscarriages and enduring grief, as well as triumphant stories of the children they went on to have, post-loss.
“36 years on it still hurts,” one commenter wrote.
“I had 9 before my rainbow baby… It never gets easier but the fact that I am now blessed with my son helps me push through. Be strong momma,” another posted.
With around one in four women experiencing baby loss in her life, it’s guaranteed that someone you know has suffered through the experience of baby loss, and indeed carries this pain with them every day.
Emily’s post shows how important it is to give women – and men – the chance to share their stories and be properly supported by those around them.
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.