October is Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Awareness Month
Recently, we were all witness to Chrissy Teigen’s and John Legend’s loss of their son, Jack. Sadly, he was stillborn. Bravely, Chrissy shared intimate and heart-wrenching pictures on her Instagram account.
Chrissy had not too long ago announced—in her husband’s music video—that she was unexpectedly pregnant naturally, after undergoing IVF treatments to have her two older children, Luna and Miles.
If you’re obsessed with Chrissy and John as much as I am, you were overjoyed for them.
Needless to say, when I scrolled Instagram and saw that Chrissy lost the baby, my heart sunk. It was more than the usual feeling I have for folks I don’t *really* know and I wondered why I had such a strong reaction. Chrissy’s social media is full of fun and light-hearted content and then this hit like a ton of bricks.
Was it the rawness of the photos?
Was it because of the gestational age of the baby?
Did it bring up trauma from my two early first trimester miscarriages?
I’ve decided it was a mix of all three, but particularly my own trauma. Losing a baby—in any trimester—is terrible, though there is a unique experience at each stage. There’s a particular sense of emptiness, loss, and helplessness. It’s always been very hard for me to describe. But once you go through it, there is this permanent feeling of sorrow that bubbles up from time to time.
In the days after my first miscarriage, I sort of just went along with the usual routine of life, going to work and taking care of my older son. I did not take off any days from work. Avoidance, maybe? Shock?
When I got pregnant shortly thereafter and the same process repeated itself (no heartbeat at the first appointment), I just couldn’t believe it was happening again. Definitely shock. All of my fears came to the forefront:
Would I be able to have another baby?
Do I even want to attempt it knowing what terrible thing could happen?
Am I too old? Did I wait too long to have kids?
My answer to this was to wait for at least a few months, live life, and see how I felt about it all. Maybe I would decide to not try again and be happy with my wonderful son.
While I am overjoyed with the birth of my second son, it does not erase the stinging loss of two miscarriages.
My heart goes out to all of us remembering what could have been this month.