I love having a TV show to watch. I get home from work and need 20-30 minutes to myself. It’s a reprieve from the day. A way to reset my mind. I love to sit at night when everyone is cleaning up or taking showers and watch something. I usually have my typical round of repeats. Gilmore Girls, Madam Secretary, White Collar, Covert Affairs, etc.
Recently I finished a time travel drama and was at a loss for what to watch next. I rarely watch new shows as I don’t really find anything that fits my just chill, don’t want to cry, vibe.
Then Hulu recommended Not Dead Yet featuring one of my favorite actresses, Gina Rodriguez. It’s funny and light and just what I need to chill. Last night though, the ending scene hit me and hit me hard. The scene lasted for maybe three or four minutes but it was perfect.
The main character is struggling with letting go of a broken engagement. The whole episode was light, funny, and campy. But in the end, she finally talks to her best friend and confesses she’s not doing well. “I had a miscarriage. And at the time I didn’t even tell anyone I was pregnant. And now it’s been so long I don’t know where to start.”
As her tears flowed and her heart broke, my heart began to break. It was real. The whole confession, the fear, the anxiety around being pregnant and then miscarrying. The fear of telling people and then as time has gone on, fear that you now can’t tell people. And her friends’ response was perfect and genuine, “I don’t know what you are going through, but I’m here and I love you.”
My eyes filled with tears. Not only because I know so many women suffer their miscarriages alone but because I can identify with Gina Rodriguez’s character. I hid a miscarriage in February. I didn’t tell the world, I only told a select few.
I told a small group that we were pregnant. All the while, wanting to shout it from the rooftops. We were finally pregnant. Again! Only to lose the child. Again. After losing Ezekiel five years ago, I didn’t think I would ever get pregnant, ever have that rainbow baby. But here I was in my old age, pregnant again.
I always tell women that when they are pregnant and fearful of miscarriage to find several friends they love and trust to tell. Even if they don’t tell anyone else until week 12 or so at least tell a special group. A group that will love and support you if you do in fact lose the baby.
And that’s what I did. I told a small group of friends. We shared the joy and surprise of an unexpected and very much wanted pregnancy.
I spent two weeks trying so hard not to look at baby things and start registries but failed. I talked with my 15-year-old daughter about the baby, and we dreamed about what it would be like to have a little one in the house again. She couldn’t wait to babysit.
But when I lost the baby after 7 weeks, those friends I told surrounded us with so much love. I wasn’t really alone like Nell in the show; I was cared for and loved. But a part of me still wanted to let the world know that we lost another baby.
Putting it to paper was difficult. I kept stopping myself from writing. I found myself too busy. I couldn’t find the words. Excuse after excuse till it had been so long I didn’t know how to tell anyone. So I walked along feeling like I was holding a secret, wanting to share but feeling awkward and alone.
Till that episode. And something clicked in me. I needed to share. I needed to share that we had lost another child. I didn’t need sympathy or support at this point. Those we told held us so close and cared for us so deeply during our loss. But I needed to share because I didn’t want any other woman who has lost a child to feel alone. I didn’t want them to feel like they had to keep it a secret.
We have a hard time dealing with and talking about death in our society. We are getting better, but I think too often we worry about how the other person will feel if we talk about our loss. We worry more about their comfort than about honesty and sharing truthfully. There are times, places, and people with whom and where we should not share. But there are times we need to share. We need to be honest with those we trust with our fragile hearts. There are those who need to know before too much time passes and it becomes awkward.
One year, after I had spoken to a group about miscarriage, a lady came to me to share the details about her loss. She hadn’t shared it with anyone but her husband—17 years had passed.
I kept it to myself out of fear. I kept it to myself because I didn’t want to burden anyone, and after time passed, I felt awkward. It felt weird suddenly saying, “Oh yeah, I had a miscarriage several months ago.” But it does no good to fester, it doesn’t do any good keeping it hidden.
Sharing opens the doors for others to share. It provides a place for women to gather and say I lost a baby too. Healing can happen when we open our hands and hearts and talk to each other, when we are vulnerable with our grief and loss. We can provide a safe place for other women to share their grief.
So, here I go.
I’m not doing great. My heart hurts so much because several months ago I lost a baby. Several months ago my heart shattered and I was so angry. It hurt. Physically and emotionally. There are days when the pain washes over me and other days when I am perfectly fine and normal. But my heart still hurts and I just needed you to know.