My husband and I have one daughter and were always drawn to the idea of having two kids. Deciding to have another baby was a difficult decision for us because we both work a lot, I run my own company, we have a busy life, one kid is a lot of work, and having a baby is a big decision! So, after 3.5 years we finally decided it was time. We had just purchased our first home, so a week after moving in we knew it was the perfect opportunity to finally expand our family. We were excited, but not totally surprised when we found out we were pregnant after our first month of trying. We became pregnant fairly easily with our daughter and my pregnancy with her was such a breeze! So, I wasn’t concerned about being pregnant again. I could tell I was pregnant even a week before my missed period - all the classic symptoms were already showing up. So when I got the positive test it was like “ok…here we go!”.
A few days after my positive test I experienced really bad cramping, enough to keep me up at night. I thought maybe this pregnancy was just different than my first. But, the cramping steadily increased and over the next few days I just felt like something wasn’t right. Then came the spotting, then the bleeding. I didn’t know what to do - when you google there are a thousand answers from the extreme to the non-extreme. So, I called the nurse line on my insurance card. She told me I needed to go to the ER within 4 hours, which all of the sudden put a panic throughout me. Hearing that you have to go to the ER within 4 hours is scary, I started feeling light headed and didn’t know if it was because of blood loss or emotions. Looking back it was definitely all the emotions and the unknown. I sat in the ER for a couple hours and left with them telling me I had a miscarriage, but not much more information. I had to ask the doctor “Ok, now what? What should I expect in terms of pain? What should I take? What other symptoms will I have? What else do I need to do?” There just wasn’t much information other than take some Tylenol. She did give me a generic handout as I was leaving, but it was just so impersonal and I left feeling deflated.
I had an early miscarriage, I was only about 5 weeks. So, when I started reading other people’s stories I almost felt guilty that I was sad. Like I wasn’t “allowed” to feel this loss because it was so early, it’s so common, it’s not a big deal. I felt guilty for crying, because there are so many women who experience loss at a much later gestational age. When you get a positive pregnancy test your entire world changes - mentally. All of the sudden you start imagining how your family will look in a year, how this is going to affect other areas of your life, what the sex is going to be, what the name should be, how your other child is going to be as an older sibling, when you should tell them, when you’ll start showing, how this will affect work, if you can still go on that camping trip in 6 months….literally everything. You start planning and shifting your life with a simple line. So, when that is all of the sudden taken away all of those plans change. For a Type A personality like myself, it feels erratic to not be in some sort of control.
I know everyone says it, but you really don’t think it’s going to happen to you. Even when you hear the statistics and how common it is, you don’t really think about it (which is maybe a good thing). Then when you experience a miscarriage and start telling people, you realize how many people you know have gone through the same thing.
I’m not a big talker, I don’t pick up the phone and reach out to people when I’m having a problem. I internalize, I work through it how I know how, and I research on my own. But I still needed support. Even though I don’t talk extensively about my issues, I still didn’t want to feel isolated. I wanted my partner to understand. I didn’t want those around me to see me and pretend that nothing had happened - at the same time I didn’t necessarily want to talk about it. It was this weird dichotomy and I didn’t know how to deal with it. I just needed support in a way I didn’t know how to get. I also realized that in times like this in the past when friend’s had reached out to me about a loss, I was the silent type. I thought I would give them space and not bring up such a hard topic so they didn’t have to talk about it. I know now that that’s not the right answer for everyone. This is where the idea of the Box for Loss was developed. As I lay awake at 3am, I knew something needed to be developed that would help provide support both emotionally and physically. It was also something that someone could gift to someone when they don’t have the right words to say, but want to show that they still see them, they hear them, and they know they are going through a hard time. I wanted there to be some sort of resource for my husband - even if it was just an info card that said “what not to say…what to say”.
Every single woman who goes through a miscarriage needs support. What that support looks like is different for each individual, so Box for Loss is designed to provide this support in multiple ways - whether that be through community, journaling, herbs, nutrition, etc. Seeing all the amazing women who have come together to see this vision come to fruition has been a sense of healing for me. Each woman who has contributed to this effort comes from love, understanding, and care. They see me. They see all the other women who need one another. Having a miscarriage isn’t a reflection of who we are as individuals and we don’t have to experience this alone.