We Are More Than Our Fertility
When I experienced my first pregnancy loss I was stunned. After having my daughter without any issues and a strong heartbeat at the beginning of my second pregnancy, it never occurred to me that there was a potential for loss. The days between the undetectable heartbeat and follow-up ultrasound to confirm what they already knew, felt like an eternity. I spent my time reading about miracles hoping that I would find one, but there was to be no happy ending. As they wheeled me into the operating room I remember thinking that miscarriage meant some type of failure. That I had somehow made an error and now was paying the price.
My saving grace was that I had told everyone I knew when I first found out that I was pregnant and now I had so many people to help me through the loss. I firmly believe that we shouldn't have to keep our early pregnancy a secret because we should not have to celebrate or suffer in silence.
The idea that my inability to successfully have a baby was somehow a failure plagued me. The second miscarriage was no easier, but this time I was prepared. I braced myself. I anticipated that the worst could happen and when it did I was just going through the motions. I had already had surgery. I knew the operating room. The anesthesia. But all the while, I continued to search for answers. You see as a woman our worth can sometimes feel tied to our fertility—our ability to feel like we can 'succeed' at having kids. My first miscarriage had felt like a fluke. My second one made it an unwanted trend. I think in some ways it changed me more than the first. I had already built a brand on the inspiration that siblings could be best friends. Yet, in a twist of irony, I would not be able to provide that relationship for my daughter. And all the well-meaning questions about having a second child. Would I? And when? The innocuous statements of how my first one needs a sibling. So painful.
But the more I’ve opened up and talked about it, the more I’ve realized that my journey is the journey of so many women, and yet we continue to suffer in silence. We pretend that we have not been through a terrible loss. But I want to say to each of you— I have been where you are and you are not alone. And instead of hiding it, I’ve made it a part of who I am. When people ask me about pregnancy and babies—I always share my story. The little boy and girl I never got to meet. In not making it a secret, I have felt it has made me whole again. I have come to realize that my worth is not in how well I can conceive or maintain a pregnancy. I am more than my fertility.