There have been times where I’ve not been proud of my body. Today, women are taught we aren’t good enough. We aren’t good enough if we aren’t skinny enough; we aren’t good enough if we don’t have clear skin; we aren’t good enough if we work and have children; lastly, we aren’t good enough if we don’t have children.
Unfortunately, there are individuals who think something is wrong with us if we don’t have children. This can be a personal decision – our bodies, our choice. However, there are a lot of instances where we have absolutely no control over this. This is something I know first-hand.
A few years after I was blessed with my beautiful son, I was lucky enough to become pregnant again. This time I was hoping for a girl; after all, it was what my son wanted.
“Mommy,” he would often say, “When can I have a baby sister?”
I hadn’t told anyone at first except for my partner. I had faced judgment while pregnant with my son due to my age. Being a young mom was often frowned upon. I wanted a calming experience this time, as well as support.
I remember the last appointment I had before everything changed. There was finally a heartbeat and my doctor told me everything looked great.
This is exciting, I thought, and I had planned to finally tell my family the good news.
The next morning, I had woken up to some spotting. I didn’t think much of it; it was still early on in my pregnancy and I thought this might have been normal. Throughout the day, however, it got worse. Around 6 pm that evening, I decided to drop my son off to my mom and go to the hospital.
I sat in the emergency room for six hours, bleeding, and not being told a single thing. During the ultrasound, I sobbed as I examined the technician’s face for a hint of something, anything, that would help me figure out if there was still a heartbeat.
Finally, around midnight, I was brought into an examination room where a doctor told me I had miscarried. There was no heartbeat.
I cried. I hated myself. I felt so betrayed by my own body, and I thought there was something wrong with me. My doctor and the doctor at the hospital could not answer my questions as to why this happened; there were endless possibilities. I concluded that it was me. It had to be.
When I told my family, they were surprised as they had no idea I was pregnant to begin with. Some had sympathized with me, but others not so much. I had heard things like, ‘it’s better this way,’ ‘now you can focus on more important things,’ and ‘you still have time, you’re so young.’
I stayed angry for a long time. Mostly at myself and my body. I blamed my diet, my mental health as I had often struggled with depression, too much exercise or lack of exercise. I blamed myself for anything and everything. I felt alone. At this point in my life, I didn’t know many women who might have experienced the same thing.
I also felt like I couldn’t talk about it. Miscarriage seemed like such a taboo topic; nobody wanted to engage in that conversation with me.
Fast forward to now, and so many things have changed. I work in a safe place. Women of all different backgrounds come in who have experienced and felt the same as me. I have realized that I am not alone. We are not alone.