Yes, that’s my ultrasound. And, no … congratulations are not in order.
My husband and I tried for years to get pregnant. Then finally! A positive pregnancy test. Everything looked good at our 8-week visit to the doctor. We saw the baby's heartbeat. We put baby's first picture on the fridge. We were overjoyed!
Then three days shy of our 12-week appointment, I started bleeding. The ultrasound showed our worst fear. I'd miscarried.
That was over a year ago.
Most people don't know anything about it.
They don't know we've tried for years.
They don't know I was ever pregnant.
They don't know about the miscarriage.
They don't know that the doctor diagnosed me with postpartum depression, as I struggled for months to break through the fog.
They don't know about the tears that have been uncontrollably shed.
They don't know that I've been poked, prodded and stuck with all sorts of needles and taken all sorts of medications.
They don't know that my husband and I are exploring all of our options in the hopes of finally starting a family.
Most people don't know, because it's something we chose not to share -- for a variety of reasons.
So why say something now?
I want to lend support to other couples like us. But I want to do that by sharing a message with everyone else:
Stop asking when we're going to have kids.
We're all heading into the holiday season. And as family and friends gather around the dinner table, or the tree, or at church, you may be tempted to ask what you think is a simple question of the couples (or individuals) in your life:
Why don't you have kids yet?
There are no simple answers to that question.
Fertility and the journey to have a baby is very personal and can be a complicated thing.
And it's happening to more people than you think.
One in eight couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy, according to Resolve: The National Infertility Association.
So as you look around the room during the holidays, the couples you see may be going through fertility struggles that you know nothing about.
It doesn't matter how well you know them.
It doesn't matter if you're related.
It doesn't matter that you feel entitled to know.
Not everyone wants to talk about it. And that's OK.
So, it's important you know that asking "Why don't you have kids?" can feel like an attack. It can feel like someone pointing out a failure. It can remind the couple, or individual, of the saddest days and the biggest disappointments they've ever faced.
They may still be facing them.
On more than one occasion, I've been on the receiving end of someone haphazardly tossing the big question at me in front of a large group. I've always done my best to neutralize the topic and move on. But someone threw it my way two weeks after my miscarriage.
"Hey, why don't you guys have kids?" I mumbled something about "someday," barely able to hold back the tears in front of everyone at the table.
There was no malice in the question, but the hurt was still too raw. I finally escaped to have a good cry in the bathroom.
You don't want that to happen to any friend or family you're celebrating with.
You think you're just asking a simple question (in front of everybody). But it's not. So, stop asking.
My husband and I, like every couple, could sure use some happy moments and new memories to cherish with family and friends during the holidays.
If there's news we want to share with the whole group, we'll be sure to let you know.
Resources for those who are dealing with a loss or want to learn more:
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group at Honor Health:
The MISS Foundation – offering support to families experiencing the death of a baby or child at any age and from any cause:
The National Infertility Association – non-profit working to improve the lives of women and men living with infertility:
NOTE FROM STACIA:
Some readers pointed out a similarity between the first few words of my blog and a recent viral Facebook post. I dropped those few words in my blog to make it clear that it is MY personal experience. (Click here for information and resources for those who want to know more or who are dealing with loss.)I thank you for sharing your stories with me and for your continued support.