Why Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month Matters
I have mentioned my own three miscarriages mostly in passing, in the context of how they helped lead me to found EggFund, to help those with infertility like me afford to have a family.
However, I have never discussed my miscarriages publicly or even discussed them with most friends. What they meant to me at the time, how alone I felt, or how I still carry the pain of these losses today, even as I have been blessed with a happy and healthy three-year-old daughter.
My Personal Experience
As EggFund friend and contributor, the infertility warrior, writer, and influencer, Jay Palumbo, writes for us this month, the March of Dimes states that 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and 50% of first trimester miscarriages are due to a chromosome abnormality.
All three of mine were first trimester miscarriages. The only one I know for sure was a chromosomal abnormality was the second, when I had the opportunity to do a D+C.
In fact, when I started bleeding the first time, I wasn't sure what was happening. So I went in for an emergency sonogram. An unfamiliar doctor came in to read my sonogram and walked out of the room, not to return. My husband and I were left sitting in the dark until some minutes later. Finally, another kind gentleman came in to explain the devasting news. He said the original doctor didn't return because he felt "he couldn't help me; he could only help pregnant women." It was shockingly matter of fact: I walked in pregnant, a patient, but then I was no longer pregnant, and therefore not a patient. Shortly after that, I learned that doctor was no longer with the practice.
My two other miscarriages were met with a kinder medical response. But I never felt comfortable enough to share them with my boss or colleagues, even though they both happened at work. The reality is if you need time off after you've had a miscarriage, your state or your employer may provide you with paid time off. However, there is currently no federal law mandating paid time off for workers' pregnancy loss. As a result, the US is far behind its peers, the UK, Australia, and Korea.
My first loss occurred nearly a decade ago. However, in the post "Me Too" social media era, the dialogue around recurrent pregnancy loss and infertility has greatly expanded thanks to brave survivors' efforts and the work of organizations like RESOLVE.
Today, I can write about my experience in honor of what this month stands for, hoping that it gives hope or voice to others suffering silently as I did. There is still a part of me that has not processed these losses, as if they're too much to fathom fully. But I feel the losses, and I still mourn for my three unborn children. I wish Elisabeth had a sibling. I know she would love to have a partner in mischief. But I take comfort in the thought that Elisabeth is so resilient, loving, and energetic. Three almost siblings who came before her watched over her from heaven as any big brother or sister would. In that way, Elisabeth and we are so lucky to have that blessing.
EggFund is passionate about helping people with infertility achieve the family they dream of without finances stopping them. If you need help affording your family, contact us anytime.