October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I never thought that would hold any real significance to me personally. I have recognized it as long as I have known about it because my mom had so many miscarriages and because of the field that I work in; however, I never truly thought that it would impact me the way that it does. In the back of my mind, I always worried that it might, but I worried about it in the same way that I still worry I will get breast cancer one day because of how prevalent that is in my family.
In April of 2012, just seven months after getting married, four months after stopping birth control pills and two months after buying our first home - I was pregnant. I was the happiest woman alive. I peed on at least 10 pregnancy tests. All positive. I planned out the perfect way to tell my perfect husband that he was going to make a perfect father. And then it happened. I had the most horrific cramping pain. I spiked a fever and I felt miserable. And just like that, it was gone. I had miscarried. I was devastated. I shut down completely.
Soon, however, I really learned that I was not alone. I work in a fertility center, so I guess I was already well aware that miscarriages happen. My mother had quite a few miscarriages herself, so I knew it was a possibility. What I didn't know until speaking with my physician, Dr. Levy, is that miscarriages are far more common than people realize. One in four women will experience pregnancy loss - many of them without even realizing that they were pregnant to begin with. It's a terrible statistic. And while we cannot do much to prevent it, we can support those who have experienced it.
Last night, just like many others across the world, I will lit a candle at 7pm as part of the International Wave of Light. I took that time to mourn the loss of my pregnancy two years ago. And I took a moment to cherish the pregnancy that I successfully completed and was so lucky to have had. I said a prayer for those who need hope and strength to cope with their experiences.
To learn more about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and October 15th: Day of Remembrance, please visit www.October15.com or UnspokenGrief.com.