I was sitting in my bathroom in August of 2019 staring at this pregnancy test sitting on my cabinet. I couldn’t believe the word staring back at me, “Pregnant”. This wasn’t part of my plan.

My first pregnancy had been traumatic to say the least. I had gotten hyperemesis gravidarum: A condition where I was physically unable to keep anything down, food or drink. I was throwing up approximately 50 times a day, couldn’t work or even leave my bed, and lost 40 lbs in 2 months. Having hyperemesis I had been so sick the whole pregnancy, spent months in and out of the hospital, test after test, and dealt with pre and postnatal depression.

If you know anything about hyperemesis, you know that it has a high recurrence rate. ( Up to 81%) Pregnancy held so much trauma for me. I was absolutely terrified. I never wanted to have more kids.

So when I saw that word, my first thought was not joy. It was fear. I was in denial. And yet the one thing I knew was I would be having this baby. I spent the next few weeks just mulling everything over and dealing with my symptoms as I began to get sick.

As I was attending college at that time I went to school as I normally did, but I didn’t feel normal. I knew my body, I had been through pregnancy once, and I knew something was wrong. I spoke to my spouse at the time and was told, “You’re fine, you don’t know if something is wrong.” Soon after I started spotting. He still didn’t believe me.

It was there in the bathroom of my college that I miscarried my baby.

My pregnancy wasn’t long but I felt that baby’s presence in me and my body. I read an article the other day by the Smithsonian that described mothers as Chimera’s because our children literally become a piece of us. Cells from our children transfer into us during pregnancy. No matter how long they were with us, they will now always be there. They are a part of us, forever.

I feel like so often we think we cannot grieve over this loss. Doctors tell us not to tell people we are pregnant until the second trimester because miscarriages happen so often. In fact, 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, with 80% happening in that first trimester. We are told not to talk about the loss, because it makes others uncomfortable.

All while we are left to struggle in our own grief and heartache. You don’t have to suffer alone. So many of us have gone through the loss of miscarriage. When we talk about it, you will find that there are so many close to you that understand. You find freedom to feel the loss, to go through the grief by sharing your story.

We don’t have to hold on to the shame that “our bodies failed us” in the thing they were built to do. It is not your fault, or my fault. It’s normal, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get to grieve the loss. We lost a child. But through that we have learned that we can make it through hard things.

And we also get the knowledge that although we never got to physically hold that baby, they are still a piece of us forever.