Since I was a little girl, I felt strongly that if I do anything in this life, it is to be a mom. I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by a loving, attentive and nurturing mother as well as many other admirable women who showed me the beautiful and challenging aspects of motherhood. One of those aspects being the chance of miscarriage, which my parents openly shared with me when I was thirteen about their own three losses. I am so grateful that we had those conversations early on because it helped me understand what miscarriage meant and that it unfortunately happens often and to healthy individuals. When Rob and I started talking about expanding our family, we discussed our chances of having a miscarriage(s) and felt confident that we would take things one step at a time together. Despite these conversations and faith in our relationship and with God, I had no idea what a miscarriage would actually feel like and the grief it would create for me.

Rob and I joyfully found out we were pregnant the morning of July 4th, 2021. We said to each other that nothing was guaranteed and remained cautiously optimistic. At the 8 week appointment, we held hands in the ultrasound room as we heard the heartbeat; it was a moment of great relief. Between the 8 and 12 week appointments, we moved to Greenville, SC and went on an active vacation to Canada with my family where we told them (and Rob’s parents) I was pregnant. Once we got back from the trip, we went to the 12 week appointment, anxious to hear the heartbeat again. And we never did.

I had what is called a missed miscarriage, which was a new term to me. Despite having no symptoms of loss, our baby did not survive much longer after our first visit unbeknownst to us and I never “lost” the baby until I had a D&C procedure a week later. It was devastating and gut wrenching then and for months to come. I have never felt more strongly against and out of touch with my own body. Intense feelings of shame, guilt, disappointment in myself and for others, loneliness, distrust, sadness, confusion, fear…the list goes on, took over my mind. While this was going on internally along with what felt like compounding assumptive comments about pregnancy and babies, I physically appeared the same as ever before. In some ways, I may have appeared to be doing the best I had been in a long time by society’s standards – ran my own business, completed a half marathon, lost weight (thank you grief), made friends in our new city, etc. The facade added to the confusion and frustration, but it felt that even if I did open up to others, they would not be able to understand.

Even though my husband is and was incredibly supportive and protective and was grieving in his own ways, it still felt that he nor anyone other than women who had experienced this type of loss could understand my roller coaster of emotions, especially as we started trying again (that’s a whole other story). Because miscarriage is not openly talked about and I did not know of any other women around me or my age who had experienced a missed miscarriage because it is not discussed openly, the grief was only made lonelier and more isolating.

When I followed Carly, the space she has created felt like a comfortable, open place to share our experience because I know someone out there is going through the dark days of the loss of a child and/or grieving the desire to be a mom. My hope is that if that someone is you or a loved one that you/they feel a little less alone, at least today. I have learned to live with the grief and believe that our child is always a part of us. This depiction of grief (below) is one that has been a helpful reminder over time. As I still think about our angel daughter everyday, I also think about how much I have grown mentally and physically and how our marriage is stronger because of our loss. The sun does shine again and there is hope.

On a happier note, we were blessed with our precious miracle of a daughter in October 2023. She is the light of our lives, and I am so proud of our little family. One day, when we are all ready, I look forward to sharing with her our story of deep loss with the greatest of gains. This experience deepened our dedication to our faith that we will teach her about and our commitment to never forgetting how precious life is and how grateful we are for each person in our lives.