After several months of trying, it happened. The pregnancy test read “pregnant,” along with another four, just to be sure. While I was immediately filled with shock, nervousness and the typical “are we ready for this?” thoughts, I was also overwhelmed with excitement and already began to picture what this new baby and our life would look like in just nine short months.

I took our son to get a cute “big brother” shirt and anxiously waited for my husband to come home to share the exciting news. After longer than he’d like to admit, he finally noticed the shirt, and it all felt even more real as we began excitedly discussing when our new addition would be here and planning for life as a family of four.

I began to pray for you and feel your presence inside my belly already, where I promised to keep you safe and warm until I could hold you in my arms. I looked through our sweet toddler’s newborn clothes and imagined getting them washed and ready for his new little brother or sister. I pictured the look on his face as he came to the hospital to meet his brand new sibling for the first time, and thought of the incredible bond that they would share growing up together. He was going to be the best big brother, and I couldn’t wait to watch it all play out.

But then something else happened, something that wasn’t part of the plan. On a dinner date that was supposed to be a night of celebration and bliss, I began having sharp pains and knew that something wasn’t right. And that’s when it happened, and I found out I was no longer pregnant.

All those thoughts and dreams quickly vanished, and I was left with disappointment, hurt, anger, sadness, guilt, and so many other indescribable emotions. And then came the self-blame. What did I do wrong? Why was this happening? Not knowing what else to do, I began to research what to expect and what I was experiencing, and what I found was that this was all too common. In fact, one in four women experience a miscarriage. I was shocked.

Instead of feeling relieved in knowing how often this happens, I was filled with an even deeper sense of sadness as I thought of how many others have suffered such indescribable loss. For something that happens all the time, it certainly isn’t talked about enough. My heart ached for all the other women who have been exactly where I was, for those who have spent days, weeks, or months planning for their own bundles of joy, only to have it all taken away so suddenly. It might be common, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Like motherhood, pregnancy changes your heart in ways you can’t explain. And pregnancy loss, well that’s an experience no woman should ever have to endure, especially alone. While many women may prefer to not talk about their experience, I fear that so many others stay silent out of misplaced guilt, undeserved shame or a sadness they just aren’t able to find the words to talk about yet. So to all the women who have had to go through this before me, to those blaming themselves when they did nothing wrong, to those grieving in silence and not yet ready to talk about their loss, please know that you are not and will never be, alone.

You may also like:

A Mother’s Love Can’t Be Measured In Weeks

To the Woman Crying in the Hospital Bathroom

You Have the Right to Mourn Your Miscarriage

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