In the days after each loss my google search history contained things like “can jumping cause miscarriage,” after realizing that I may have hopped to get something off of the top shelf at the grocery store or “foods linked to loss of pregnancy,” so that I could make sure that I hadn’t eaten anything on any of the lists I found. I went through everything I had done since the moment of conception.Each of those times I found a new way that it was my fault, I found a new way that I had caused this terrible thing to happen to Aaron and I. If I had only given in and gotten that test sooner, if I had taken a test before starting birth control, if I hadn’t had that half a coke that one time with dinner or remembered to take my prenatals those three days I forgot it, then maybe I’d still have my baby. I could only ever find one thing in common every time – me.
I know I’m not alone in this. My parents, having gone through this themselves were full of advise and comfort each time, and this time one of the first things my daddy said to Aaron was “She’s going to blame herself just like her mom did, just stay by her and hold her.” So why do we do it? When twenty-five percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage and nineteen percent of the adult population will experience this loss, most never getting an explanation, why do we turn around and blame ourselves?
For me it’s simple, every year nearly 4 million babies are born in the US. Considering that some of them are twins, we’ll just say that 3.5 million women became moms, either for the first time or they got to experience it all over again. That means, to me, that 3.5 women did it right. They obviously have something or did something right. They prayed differently, slept different, thought different, or did different activities. Those women did something amazing. They grew a human in nine months inside of themselves. How amazing.. And that’s why I always felt guilty. This is why I always turned to my husband and apologized a million times through tears. What do they have that I don’t?
Well, here’s what I never consider when I get to feeling guilty. Some of those women had their baby taken away after delivery because they failed a toxicity screening. Some of those women continued to drink heavily throughout their entire pregnancy. Some of those women ate all of the things on all of those “no-go” lists I now have memorized. Some women do everything right. They never had a sip of caffeine, they never ate junk food, they went on walks everyday, they took exactly the right prenatals and never ever forgot, they did everything right. They lost their baby. It doesn’t matter what you do. A million different things can go wrong in pregnancy.
I didn’t get much better about this until someone reached out to me and told me what had helped her to stop feeling this way. I’m sure if you’re reading this you’ve probably read my other posts. You know what I’ve been through and of my loss. You know how they happened, you know when and where and at what point in my life. When reading my post explaining each one did you ever stop and think, “This is her fault.” Did you at any point stop and blame me? You don’t blame other women for what they’ve been through, so why would you blame yourself? You don’t blame your friends, you shouldn’t blame yourself. Something awful happened to you and you shouldn’t have to go through this storm in your life believing it’s your fault. Remember it’s after the worst storms that the rainbow appears.