If you’re expecting a baby, you might have just instinctively looked away, as though even catching a glimpse of that word in your peripheral vision is enough to darken the growing glow of new life. And if you’ve experienced a pregnancy loss, it’s a word that’s attached to a painfully personal kind of grief…maybe every time you read it or hear it, you feel a quick tightening across your belly or a hot tear welling in the corner of each eye. It’s a word we may avoid, a thought we might dismiss, and perhaps too often, a secret we keep.
Pregnancy and infant loss is hard to talk about, but NOT talking about it may leave a lot of heartbroken parents feeling alone and hopeless. Sometimes saying what hurts out loud is the first step to healing, and we’d like to help start that difficult—but important—conversation…if you’re ready to have it.
The second trimester standard
It’s long been the convention to cope with this particular type of loss quietly, especially when a loss occurs early in a pregnancy. Depending on your personality, you might enjoy keeping the good news close for awhile, just telling family and close friends until your expanding abdomen gives you away. But in many ways, the common suggestion that you wait until the second trimester (week 13) to go public is more for everyone else than for the mom-to-be. It’s as though there’s an unspoken understanding that it’s ok to share joy, but impolite to burden anyone with even the possibility of sadness. Since about 10-15% of confirmed pregnancies end in loss, the possibility of sadness isn’t exactly remote.
Ultimately, it’s up to you and your partner to decide when and how you’ll reveal your pregnancy. But keep in mind that those people who are excited to help celebrate your happiness are usually the same people who would be honored to help bear the burden of your sorrow.
An early loss is still a loss
Women who have lost a child have a tendency to compare the degree of devastation they’ve experienced. It’s well-intentioned, and it’s not illogical…there’s an undeniable difference, physically and psychologically, between miscarrying at 6 weeks and delivering a stillborn baby at 35 weeks. But in many ways, a loss is a loss, and it’s important not to invalidate the ones that happen early in pregnancy. We can be much more effective as a support network if we spend less time measuring the damage and more time helping each other repair it.
If you know you want to be a mom, your heart may launch itself into motherhood the moment you see a positive pregnancy test, and once you’ve felt that, you can’t unfeel it. Even if that tiny life ends too soon, you don’t ever really stop being that baby’s mother. You can put the pieces of your heart back together, but you’ll always be able to feel where it was broken. And that’s ok.
Over the rainbow
If you’ve experienced a miscarriage, the idea of “trying again” may be overwhelming. It’s important to talk to your doctor and give yourself time to heal both physically and emotionally, but you can also take heart knowing that multiple pregnancy losses are fairly rare.
Only 2% of pregnant women experience two consecutive miscarriages. Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is defined as three or more consecutive losses, but thankfully this only affects about 1% of pregnant women. Doctors generally recommend testing after the second or third consecutive loss, and depending on the results, they may suggest treatments to increase the likelihood of a healthy future pregnancy.
What all this means is that your chances of delivering a “rainbow baby” after a miscarriage are very good. So give yourself permission to be sad, but give yourself permission to be hopeful, too.
Some things are out of your hands…life insurance isn’t one of them
If you’re at any stage of the motherhood journey, whether you get to hold your children in your arms or only in your heart, you already know the raw, unwavering need to provide protection. You can’t predict the future for anyone, but you can help protect it for your family with life insurance. And the increased peace of mind that comes along with that might just help to brighten your own future, too.
So whatever lies ahead, consider using the next few moments of the rest of your life to get a free quote from Our Life Covered℠.
We’re here for you as a community, a network of strong women and humans who lift each other up and guide each other through the most challenging parts of life. And we’re here for you as a resource, a place to learn about life insurance and the difference it could make for the people who depend on you. Because we know that in your life, nothing matters more.
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