Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
Remember meeting Alison back in August 2018? We told you about her journey through two miscarriages and how she eventually gave birth to two more children after working with SpringCreek’s Dr. Jeremy Groll.
She talked about her experiences with medical professionals—some were more sensitive than others—and about how she healed with time and connection to other women who’d miscarried. During this National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, we thought it could be helpful to hear more from Alison, whose story might sound like yours and might give you the comfort she found in community.
Alison and her husband have three children. Their first child, Logan, was conceived with “absolutely no trouble,” she says. “I had no trouble during the pregnancy, and I never had major concerns about how anything was going. It all seemed normal and by the book.” But her second pregnancy ended at eight weeks and her third ended at five. The losses were devastating and confusing. Why had it been so easy the first time but now it seemed impossible?
With help from Dr. Groll, it did become possible again. But the pain of losing those babies didn’t just go away, and what made it harder, she says, is that she felt alone in the experience. Of course, her husband shared her grief, but she didn’t think she knew anyone else who’d had a miscarriage.
But then she told a close friend about it—someone she’d known for a long time—and found out she wasn’t alone at all. “She shared her story about her four miscarriages and I thought, This is a woman I’ve known for over a decade! And it wasn’t until I told her about my miscarriages that I knew she’d had them, too. All of us have friends or family who, even if we don’t know about it, may have walked on this path.”
Soon after Alison’s losses, her sister miscarried. The two of them and Alison’s friend felt compelled to started a group for women like them, and it quickly grew to about 50 members. The group gave the women a place to talk openly about how their losses affected them. And there were no rules. If you were still mourning your loss after several years, that was okay. If you felt like you were at peace after a year, that was okay, too. “I feel no sadness about them now,” Alison says of her miscarriages. “And yet I recognize that there are many who, twenty years later, still feel that level of grief. It’s such a personal thing. Each of us gets to choose how we process it.”
The group members talked not just about their experiences but about why people tend to avoid discussing miscarriage in the first place. “We decided that it’s probably the fact that it’s intangible,” Alison says. “When my husband’s dad passed away, we had an entire life that was gone, and everybody had memories of him. But with miscarriage, oftentimes no one even knows you were pregnant at the time you miscarried, and you don’t have a funeral or any sort of public mourning—and even more so with infertility, where there’s never even a conception. It feels like other people won’t understand, and so you just tend to keep it to yourself.”
The original members of Alison’s group have mostly stopped attending the meetings, but she says the group was critical to helping her move through her grief. If you want to connect with other families who have experienced fertility and pregnancy challenges and heartbreaks, SpringCreek can help. Click here to see the support groups we offer. Sharing is healing.