They didn’t show it to me in the movies.

What I saw on the big screen up until then was, “Here’s how happy parents look when they have their babies,” not “Here’s how you grieve when you find out you’re carrying life in your womb before you suddenly find out that life couldn’t survive inside of you.”

I didn’t know anyone who had a miscarriage at the time. I didn’t understand how common it was.

So after making my boss aware of my mid-day doctor’s appointment after which I assumed I’d come back with a shinier, pregnant-mom glow—I instead found myself in a cloud of shock and despair in the medical building’s parking garage.

RELATED: Chrissy Teigen Shares Pregnancy Loss in Heartbreaking Instagram Post

Despite my doctor’s assurance that losses like mine were more common than many thought, I couldn’t help but wonder if something was wrong with me. If I had done something to cause my baby to not be able to survive. If I wasn’t going to be able to have children with my husband. 

If I’d ever be a mom.

That’s a lot of heavy. That’s a lot of grief. That’s a lot of fear. And that’s a combination no handbook exists to help you navigate.

At the time, I thought miscarriage was something you shouldn’t talk about.

RELATED: This is the Grief of Miscarriage Women Face Behind Closed Doors

So, I selected a very small group of people at work in whom to confide so they knew why I was gone. Those people? They couldn’t have been more incredible to me. They couldn’t have been kinder or more supportive. 

But still, while my uterus cramped as the miscarriage continued on its inevitable path, I was worried about work. Worried about letting people down. Worried about how long it would take me to recover and what that would mean for my vacation time and my pay. Worried about having to explain to people why I was gone. Worried that I wasn’t far enough along in my pregnancy to be in so much emotional pain over the loss.

Worried about my job . . . while I should have been taking care of my body and my grieving spirit.

How different would I have felt if a policy for people experiencing pregnancy loss was already in place? 

How much less pressure would I have felt to determine when I could go back if I knew I had paid time to allow my body to heal and my grief to play out?

How much less isolated would I have felt if miscarriage was so widely talked about that it was put into HR policies so I didn’t have to feel bad about taking time off?

How much less conflict would my husband have had when he had to decide between saving a precious vacation day and helping his recovering wife?

This week, New Zealand approved paid leave after miscarriage. The legislation would apply to couples losing a pregnancy at ANY point—a detail not to be overlooked because I know so many mothers who have lost pregnancies in the early stages who are told, “Well, at least you weren’t THAT far along.” Imagine being told your grief didn’t qualify for time off because your baby didn’t live longer inside of you.

Also not to be overlooked? This isn’t just for the mothers, it’s for the partners, too.

Because it is THEIR loss, too. Their grief. Their pain. Their child, too.

While I can’t imagine this new legislation taking the pain completely away for grieving parents, it does take away one unnecessary barrier on the path to healing. It does tell a mom that her grief is REAL, no matter if that baby was lost before you could see a heartbeat or if that baby made it to the third trimester. It does allow a partner to be there for the mother of their unborn child while also grieving themselves.

Parents should not have to “plow through” their grief because their loss doesn’t fall into the same benefits category it would if they lost a grandparent.

They lost a child.

And New Zealand legislators stepping up and acknowledging that is forging a path.

Here’s to seeing what countries will take note—and follow.

Here’s to the parents of pregnancy loss being seen.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Her View From Home

Millions of mothers connected by love, friendship, family and faith. Join our growing community. 1,000+ writers strong. We pay too!   Find more information on how you can become a writer on Her View From Home at

Chrissy Teigen Opens Up About Her Stillbirth and Those Controversial Photos: “I Needed To Share This Story.”

In: Grief, Loss
Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend recently lost their third baby, Jack, when Teigen delivered him at 20 weeks following pregnancy complications. In the midst of this complete and utter heartbreak, she decided to use the couple’s tragedy as a chance to speak out and to stand up not only for herself, but for the thousands of other grieving mothers who have stood, are standing, and will stand in her shoes. This week, Teigen opened up about the experience in a deeply personal essay shared on Medium. Something she said in her piece really stuck out to me: she said she...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love for a Baby Lost in Early Miscarriage is as Real as Any Other

In: Child Loss, Grief, Infertility
A Mother’s Love for a Baby Lost in Early Miscarriage is as Real as Any Other

The morning I finally held a positive pregnancy test in my hand marked nearly a year of hoping and waiting to conceive a second baby. In the months leading up to that moment, my eyes had frequently strained to see a positive sign amidst a series of negative tests. A graceful woman would have waited patiently, but I am ever in need of grace. I prayed and pleaded and hoped for pregnancy, wrestling with the disappointment that had come with those used tests, neatly repackaged and discreetly placed in the trash.  As I felt my fingers tremble with this evidence...

Keep Reading

25 Things NOT To Say To a Mother Who Had a Miscarriage

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Sad woman head in hands

If you’ve had a miscarriage, you’ve more than likely heard one of these phrases, if not more than one. And if you’re here learning what not to say, let me just say, thank you. Thank you for caring enough about your loved one to educate yourself on such a delicate topic. Whoever your loved one is will appreciate your kind, empathetic, concern over their circumstance. This list was curated out of my own experiences and out of the experiences of the grieving women I speak to. Each individual will have a different experience with grief and what phrases hurt her...

Keep Reading