Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

18 months after

This post is part of Alyssa’s back to blogging nonchallenge challenge.

18-months-after

Saturday is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Up until last year, it was one of those days that went noticed but unnoticed in my life. Then my miscarriage happened and now, it’s a day that has more meaning than I’d like (you can read here for my thoughts from last year). 

Since I’ve told people about it, I’ve learned that it’s way more common than I thought. Approximately 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage. One in four. That’s a lot of us. And yet we still suffer in silent pain because it’s too uncomfortable to talk about. But we need to talk about it because the only way to foster understanding is to have those frank, unpleasant discussions. Doing so minimizes stigma and opening public discourse means that those suffering can find resources and assistance and comfort to get them through the trauma. 

And miscarriage is traumatic. 

I didn’t quite comprehend that a year ago. 

I do now.

It’s a difficult trauma to work through. More difficult than anything else I’ve had to do. 

But I’m doing it. And in the year and half since my miscarriage, I’ve not only learned to work through it but I’ve learned some other things. In fact, if I could tell the me a year ago some of what I know now, here’s what I’d say:

  • There will be days you don’t think about the baby. And when you do remember, you’ll have pangs of guilt that you forgot but really, it’s okay. 
  • Also okay? To honor the baby (or babies) you lost in whatever way makes you comfortable. 
  • Something of that magnitude will break you. But it will also build you up and find strengths you didn’t know you had. 
  • Your support systems is greater and bigger than you think.
  • It’ll be difficult, painfully, extremely difficult, to hear about pregnancies and to see pictures of healthy babies, especially ones who were born around your due date. Own your feelings about how hard it is on you and if you have to stay away from them in person or on social media, then do it. You have to protect your mental health.
  • But also, be excited for and supportive of friends who are pregnant. Maybe they’ve gone through what you’re going through. 
  • You’ll find yourself more appreciative of what you do have, and you’ll find ways to live a fulfilled life.
  • You are still that baby’s mother. You will always be that baby’s mother.
  • It’s perfectly fine to talk about it if that’s what you need to do. The people who care will listen and the people who don’t can fuck off. 

But most of all, I’d tell the me a year ago that today is better than yesterday. And every day gets better and easier.

If you guys remember, please light a candle on Saturday, October 15th at 7PM in your time zone in honor of all the babies gone too soon.

 

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23 Comments

  1. Linda Sheridan

    I’ll be lighting a candle.
    Love and lights,
    Steph’s Momma

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Thank you!

      Reply
  2. kathy @ more coffee, less talky

    I can imagine how hard it can be to experience that. I think it’s good to reflect and talk about traumatic events of your life; while awful and tragic and will never be forgotten, it also serves as a reminder of how strong you are. big hugs.
    kathy @ more coffee, less talky recently posted…My experiment with Bullet Journaling – a long ass post.My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I completely agree. I’ve said a bunch of times that I talk about the trauma not only for myself but for those going through it who can’t talk about it, to let them know they’re not alone.

      Reply
  3. Lauren

    Hugs, friend. I’m not thankful for anyone’s experience in this, but I am thankful for those of you who choose to share it. Someone close to me recently experienced a miscarriage and while I can’t relate at all, I was at least able to realize that acknowledging it is okay and text her that I was thinking of her.

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      That is the best thing you can do. Just be there and support her.

      Reply
  4. Kimmi

    This year is the first that this date will hold true meaning for me. I never that it would happen but it did. I still feel broken but each day is a tiny bit better.

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      That is how I felt last year. In fact, I still feel a little broken. And I’m sorry you have to go through it. If there is anything you need or want to talk about, please reach out to me. We are in this together.

      Reply
  5. Rebecca Jo

    I still to this day think about the due dates… & what age the baby would be.
    Always hard. Always the ‘wondering’ what if stuff… its tough. so freaking tough.

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      The “what ifs” are what tear me up inside. I don’t think that ever goes away. Hugs and love to you <3

      Reply
  6. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    Much love to you, really love your bullet points. I know they will help someone who needs it.

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I really hope they do.

      Reply
  7. Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders

    As I get older and more of my friends are starting families I feel like I’m starting to hear about miscarriage more and more because it’s starting to happen to people my own age. I think that talking about really does help, and you really will always be the mother to that baby. I don’t think that we fully heal from something like that, but it’s good to know that it’s getting better as the days go by.

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      The pain never fully goes away because you live in the “what ifs” but it does get better.

      It really is more common than I had thought. I wish it weren’t the case.

      Reply
  8. alyssa

    I’m honored you made this deeply personal and profoundly important post a part of this. Thank you for seeing it as an opportunity to speak your piece.

    I can’t relate a personal experience, but this post moved me to empathetic tears for you and for so many—including members of my family and friends of mine—who have experienced this trauma first-hand. I ache that you all have had to experience this, but I applaud you for sharing this. I’ll light a candle this weekend.

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I hadn’t planned on using this particular prompt but it seemed appropriate and necessary.

      Reply
  9. Pauline

    *hugs* and thank you for raising awareness. I have a few friends who lost a baby and the pain and trauma is too often dismissed by others including their partners. That is terrible.
    Pauline recently posted…8 things to do in your 30s to become a millionaire by 40My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      Dismissing and minimizing the pain hurts just as much. It makes me sad that they have had to experience that.

      Reply
  10. Nadine

    I really appreciate that you have shared what happened and how you felt with all of us because I know that miscarriage is something that happens to so many people yet it is often unspoken grief. I myself have at least five friends that I know in person who have suffered the loss if a baby they never got to meet and hold. I will be honest and say that I was scared, especially in the beginning of pregnancy, from all the things that could go wrong. Know that you are stronger than you think you are. I am sending you hugs and will be lighting a candle Saturday night.
    Nadine recently posted…Cultivating Relationships (and Keeping Them)My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana (Post author)

      I had the same fear when I was pregnant the first time. I think it’s completely normal.

      Thank you for lighting a candle!

      Reply
  11. texerinsydney

    I feel I have no words to give, but I am inspired by your strength and ability to work through something so traumatic. I think all of the bullet points are valuable.
    texerinsydney recently posted…Hold My BeerMy Profile

    Reply
  12. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    Oh Jana. I can’t even begin to comprehend your loss. Thank you for continuing to shine a light on this important topic. I will light a candle on Saturday in honor of all those beautiful babies lost but never forgotten.
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…My 5 Favorite Guilty PleasuresMy Profile

    Reply
  13. kristen

    i can’t imagine you’d ever really heal from something like this, and i don’t understand why it’s not talked about more. i have a friend who just got divorced – she had a miscarriage and was understandably distraught and her husband told her to stop talking about it because it was never a real baby. obviously a jerk, obviously not true, and so horrible that she had to go through that without the support from her partner, and because we didn’t know about it recently (she didn’t share it until she told us about her divorce) and has no family, she pretty much had no support system, that i am aware of. so unfair and heartbreaking, no matter the circumstances. i can only hope she found someone else’s story online that helped her get through it, like yours will no doubt help others.

    Reply

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