In 2017, I had my second of three miscarriages at 10 weeks. One of my first thoughts was “Why didn’t anyone tell me this could hurt this bad?” Losing a pregnancy that I had hoped, prayed, and wished for for years and years is by far the hardest thing that has ever happened to me. It changed every part of me, and I will never be the same. In so many ways, I experienced grief, pain, sadness, despair, frustration and a myriad of other emotions alone—or so I thought. It wasn’t until I used the small platform that I had to talk about my experience that I learned how not-alone I actually was. As I began the healing process, I vowed that I wouldn’t ‘waste the experience.’ I wasn’t sure what that looked like, but I just knew that one day it’d be clear.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized how many, many things we as humans go through that others around us are also going through. There are SO many things that happen to us, so many thoughts and emotions, so many hardships that others are also experiencing, but we don’t realize it because we aren’t talking about it. We don’t go up to Joe Schmoe on the street and say, “Hey, I just lost my baby, and I feel like part of me died too.” We don’t talk about our financial struggles or the loneliness we feel as a new parent. Sometimes, we don’t even tell those closest to us how these things make us feel. We are alone because we don’t know what words to use because society doesn’t really talk about hard things like this, and also because being vulnerable is really scary.
Have you ever experienced something difficult, or painful, and come through it (by the skin of your teeth) only to ask yourself, “Why didn’t anyone tell me this?!”
I most certainly have.
My hope is that one day, the vulnerability will be a little less scary. That telling our stories will eventually become easier because it’s a muscle we’ve learned to use, and with regular use, it’s become stronger and stronger.
That is why I’ve decided to use the little platform that I have to begin to bridge this communication gap. Not only do I want to tell my own story so that other women who experience miscarriage know they are not alone, but I also want to incorporate stories from people with different backgrounds than mine, different genders, and different sexual orientations. I want to talk with people of all different ages as well because I want to encourage my peers to foster a sense of community outside their race/gender/socioeconomic background/sexual orientation/age.
My dream is that eventually, we won’t have to ask “Why didn’t anyone tell me this?” because someone DID tell us.
Molly Smith is a wedding photographer (Molly Smith Photography), writer, dog-mom, community-builder, and champion of small, female-owned businesses like her own. She is originally from Savannah, Georgia and now lives in the New York City area with her Goldendoodle, Gracie.