October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. On October 15th, World Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, we honor the families who have lost a child and the memories of those children. Pregnancy & Infant Loss is a topic that is especially close to my heart. Not only have I but many people I know have lost their babies before ever getting to meet them. I think its important to share my miscarriage story and support others in doing this same during this time.
My Miscarriage Story
I found out that I was pregnant on December 20th, 2013. It was my birthday. My husband Damon took me out for dinner and a movie. I knew my period was late but wasn’t really worried about it, blaming holiday stress and other things. It wasn’t until I had to leave the theater and go to the bathroom to puke up my dinner that I wondered if perhaps it was more than late.
We grabbed a pregnancy test and headed home. I was pregnant. It was so close to the holidays I, I knew we needed to wait and tell everyone our good news at Christmas when we would be seeing and talking with family.
At the community Yule party, I was glowing. So many people noticed and I admitted that yes I was pregnant. We celebrated and I also asked the local high priestess and friend of mine to hold on to some taboo items that I didn’t want in the home while pregnant (mostly items related to the Orisha Oya that I had been gifted).
Christmas Eve morning I pulled out my tarot cards. I felt sluggish but this was a practice of daily divination and meditation I was trying to get into the habit of. I pulled the Tower and immediately felt a cramp in my lower back. I felt the truth but wouldn’t admit it. I put my cards away and made some red raspberry leaf tea. Damon and I had already gone to the used book store and I was looking at some pregnancy and natural birth books. Everything would be fine, I assured myself.
The cramps got worse and that night, I admit I screamed and cried in the bathroom as I lost my baby. Poor Damon sat outside the bathroom door, wishing he could help me as I bled.
The next morning we arrived at my in-laws house. Damon’s mother took one look at me and knew something was wrong. I told her and she held me and cried too. That is when I learned that I was not alone.
We Are Not Alone In Our Grief
Most of the women I know have had a miscarriage. Some had them early on like me. Others had them much later with worse complications. Most of us don’t know why.
What bothered me was how silent this pain was. No one really talked about it unless it was happening to a loved one. Then we all sit – now me included – and share our tales of blood and tears. Its a ritual telling. I understand why in part – when we tell its like slicing open that wound again and the words are bled out of us. So much pain. And yet, so many parents out there feel alone in their loss.
When I had my miscarriage I raged and wept. I sought solace in Goddesses who had also lost their babies – Oya, Frigga, Sigyn. Weeping mother figures who knew my pain were the only thing that kept me going some days. For this reason I will always be grateful to Them.
I also found comfort in my husband. Sadly, there were even fewer places for Damon to turn to during this time. His grief was confusing and most child loss groups and articles talked about mothers and women. Not only did this leave fathers out of the picture but erased the non-binary and trans parents out there who have also felt this pain.
I share my story today to reach out to other grieving parents. You are not alone. You are seen. My heart breaks for you.
If you are seeking more information about Pregnancy and Infant Loss or resources for you and your family in this time, I highly recommend Nneka Hall and her Q.U.I.L.T. project. She trains Pregnancy and Infant Loss Advocates – I was in training for this but could not complete it at that time because it was too hard for me. Perhaps one day…but all the same its an amazing resource.
Star Legacy also has groups, resources, and more information for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness not only for grieving families but also for doctors and researchers.