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Black Ohio Mother, Brittany Watts, Faces Felony Charges After Suffering Miscarriage

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In tales from the “what the fuck is going on?” and/ or another episode of “Let’s demonize women for existing,” or “misogyny gone wild” a black mother in Ohio, Brittany Watts, is facing felony charges after suffering a devastating, near fatal miscarriage.

Brittany Watts is facing felony charges for “abuse of a corpse” after suffering a miscarriage at nearly 22 weeks into her pregnancy, on September 22, 2023. Now, her case is headed to trial. The 33-year-old, Watts, is being accused of miscarrying her pregnancy while using the restroom and then flushing the fetal remains down her toilet.  * Newsflash, that’s usually what happens.

According to a GoFundMe page set up to help with mounting legal costs for Watts, “Brittany Watts suffered an agonizing miscarriage in the bathroom of her home in Warren, Ohio on September 22, 2023.

Brittany did nothing to cause her miscarriage. Her doctor had told her that her 21-week pregnancy could not survive, and she would miscarry. When the bleeding and the pain from the impending miscarriage got severe, she did the same thing that many women who miscarry at home do. Brittany went into her bathroom, miscarried into her toilet, and flushed. What happened after that is something that should only happen in Margaret Atwood’s Gilead, and certainly not in the United States of America.

Within hours of Brittany’s admission to the hospital for her life-threatening hemorrhaging, police removed the toilet from Brittany’s home and destroyed it searching for fetal remains. Brittany, a woman with no criminal history, was charged with felony gross abuse of a corpse, even though there is no Ohio law dictating the “proper” disposal method of the remains of a miscarriage. On November 2, Brittany sobbed as she sat in a courtroom listening to police officers describe the details of the most intensely personal moments of her life and then vilify her to the world, all while being recorded by local news media.”

Okay, this is a whole lot of what the actual fuck is going on here. As someone who has suffered a miscarriage (and that is exactly what happens to a woman when she miscarries…she suffers mentally and physically), there are no words to describe the kind of hell a mother endures when she loses her child. This is a deeply personal, painful, and private matter and one in which is difficult to navigate. No one knows what to do in this situation. It happens to you unexpectedly and you try to survive it in the best way you can. Believe me, for the mother, it is almost unbearable.

According to the National Library of Medicine, an estimated 23 million miscarriages occur every year worldwide, translating to 44 pregnancy losses each minute. The pooled risk of miscarriage is 15·3% .  Miscarriages happen to women not because of them, so why does the government and legal system want to punish us for what is already so devastating?

To add insult to such a grievous injury, the Ohio legal system is not only blaming the victim (because that is exactly what any mother who miscarries is) for a medical emergency, a fetus that failed to thrive through no fault of the mother; they are actually bringing women up on felony charges. This is one of the most demented and misogynistic things a society can do.

Watts has gone through one of the most painful and life changing experiences any woman can go through and now she is being demonized and prosecuted for disposing of the biological matter. What the fuck was she supposed to do? Women are not taught proper disposal of our miscarried babies when we watch the movie about menstruation in fifth grade! No one teaches us proper sex education in schools, we are taught abstinence in hushed tones and discouraged from asking any questions. We are told that we are sluts and all kinds of other insults if we dare to even inquire or try to educate ourselves and now, we are even blamed and held legally responsible when our pregnancies miscarry. It’s not bad enough that they list miscarriages on insurance bills as missed abortions and that the government has taken away our right to choose, now, they are actively charging women for being a victim of nature’s cruelest punishment.

I’m tired of men making laws on women’s bodies. Men have no idea what it feels like to live in a woman’s body and to suffer being a female. Because yes, for as much as I love being a woman, our misogynistic society keeps us in shackles and punishes us at will for no reason other than what lies between our legs. We are punished daily, in every aspect of our lives, simply for being born with a vagina.

Women are treated like second class citizens. We constantly have everything we say and do questioned, and that’s when we’re not being completely ignored. W are not even given domain over our own bodies. We are leered at and sexualized at every turn from birth till death. Sex is weaponized against us. Rape is a consequence for existing. We can’t even choose when, where, how or if we want to have children. Do you know what giving birth is like? It is the most painful thing a woman can ever endure. It is so painful that it makes you want to die to escape it.

The act of giving birth is one done out of complete love and sacrifice, and we do it over and over again because of that complete and unconditional love we have for our children. But make no mistake, it is no easy task. It is the most difficult and intense experience any human being can go through.

Imagine choosing that, knowing the full weight of that sacrifice, and choosing it over and over again. Then, imagine losing your pregnancy. The emptiness, the sorrow, the void a mother feels is mind bending. The loss of what might have been, the promise of holding and loving your child is mind breaking. The physical pain, the failure of your body, the failure of your child to thrive…so much loss and all that love with nowhere to go. There is nothing as painful in this world as a full heart and empty arms.

I did not miscarry at home. In fact, my pregnancy was intact. I’m not sure if that would make me more or less of a villain in my miscarriage story. My child no longer had a heartbeat. You don’t know devastation until you’ve heard these words uttered to you. My child, who looked absolutely perfect on an ultrasound, had no heartbeat and my body would not let go of it, so I had to have my pregnancy surgically removed. My other option was that I could have taken a wait and see approach and possibly gone septic and have risked death. It was like going through labor with nothing to show for it in the end but a broken heart. So many women must labor only to go home with empty arms and broken hearts…broken hearts that never heal. I left my child behind at the hospital. My child became biomedical waste. No one asked me what I wanted to do with the remains. I was not offered cremation or burial. There was no counseling offered to me. I simply arrived with a pregnancy and left a mother without a child.

In Watts’ case, the miscarriage happened at home. The fetus’ remains were uncovered by local law enforcement on Sept. 22, per the Warren Police Department, after they removed the toilet from her home and tested it for fetal matter.

Now, Watts faces this felony charge even AFTER a forensic pathologist testified last month that her fetus was not born alive and died before passing through the birth canal; further, he said the fetus ​​was “nonviable because [Watts] had premature ruptured membranes—her water had broken early—and the fetus was too young to be delivered.” Watts’ defense attorney, Tracy Timko, told media last month that her client “learned days before” her miscarriage that this outcome “was inevitable and that the fetus could not survive outside the womb due to gestational age.”

None of this makes sense. None of this vilification of this mother is logical or reasonable. Brittany Watts should not be on trial, Ohio should be on trial for the cruel and unusual punishment of a living, human woman.

What are your thoughts? I am disgusted and flabbergasted but I am not shocked in the least because this is what the world does to women time and time again, throughout history. 

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baby center, miscarriage, pregnancy loss

Throat Punch Thursday, Miscarriage, D&E , Baby Center

Baby Center Missed the Miscarriage Memo

Miscarriage Reminder from Baby Center. Due to the holiday and a lot of moving and packing and general exhaustion in the 107 degree weather, I was a bit discombobulated and Throat Punch Thursday is a day late. Yesterday, as I was packing up our home for our final good-bye, Baby Center sent me a “Congratulations, you are at the half way mark in your pregnancy”… Only, I’m not because I miscarried May 1st at 10 weeks and 4 days. I know this because every 1st day of the month, I am stabbed in the chest with a little knife that reminds me that I am missing something followed by my shark week that starts a few days later just so the point is driven home that my womb is EMPTY. So fuck you very much Baby Center, I didn’t need the reminder of what could have been because I’ve never forgotten! I know I lost my pregnancy, I don’t need bells and whistles as a reminder.

I got a bill in the mail today and I can’t let it go. Believe me I believe in paying for services. I pay my bills. I always have but there are some things in life that should be free and the fact that people have to be charged for these things makes me feel indignant and stabbity.

baby center, miscarriage, pregnancy loss

Oh yeah, the outrageous bill that I just received is what I’m being charged for my D&E. This has me truly indignant. In my mind, I KNOW it’s a surgery and it saved me from infections and all sorts of other painful repercussions but it’s not fair. I can’t even believe they charge for this. I understand that there are charges involved. I understand that doctors need to be paid, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, medication needs to be dispensed but fuck me. In my heart, I don’t understand. I want to stomp my feet, scream at the top of my lungs and say “HELL NO! WE WON’T PAY for MISCARRIAGES!! THIS IS BULLSHIT!”

No Charge for Miscarriage Please

Paying for an unwanted D&E (is there such a thing really as a “wanted” one?) after my miscarriage is as awful as charging parents for their child’s pediatric cancer treatment. It’s like charging to give someone a drink when they are dying of thirst in the dessert. It’s like charging to throw someone a life preserver when they are drowning. It is withholding the cure for cancer because someone cannot afford the cure. It is bullshit.

There are just some things in life that should be free and a D& E is one of those things. There’s nothing quite like billing a broken woman for her own misery. Talk about insult to injury! I want to punch the hospital billing department square in the gullet just for having the audacity to bill me for my miscarriage.  If anything, I feel like someone owes me something, an explanation would be nice. Maybe insurance should make pregnancy lossone of those things they pay for in its entirety, like getting your teeth cleaned. I’d considered it well being, its something that had to be done to keep my sanity after the loss. Paying for a miscarriage feels like paying for my own hit. I want to scream and yell for it to stop. I don’t want to pay for something I never wanted. I wanted my baby. I never wanted the miscarriage or the D&E. At the very least, maybe there should be a 6-month grace period before a bill is sent to the victim patient.

I guess it’s all still too fresh for me because Baby Center, the outrageous bill that I have to pay for something I NEVER wanted and being told, “I Bet you wish you would have sold all those baby toys at the garage sell now, don’t you?” makes me what to throat punch the lot of them and so I am. Throat Punches to Baby Center, the billing offices and the other asshole who shall remain nameless for being completely insensitive and douche canoes.

Who would you Throat Punch today? I know, I am in a really bad mood with this one. Sorry if I sound like a complete loon but honestly, leave it to all this emotional shit to surface right on shark week. This would be one of those posts where I cringe and hit publish anyway. I know it’s not politically correct to talk about the cost of a miscarriage or to be irate at Baby Center for sending me a reminder to celebrate the biggest loss of my life but it’s how I’m feeling today and I love you all for listening.

I am being featured at Erin Margolin  And Your TRUTH Shall Set you Free today telling you all about my writer roots. You may be shocked at what you learn about your Truthful Mommy. I share my truth, no holds barred. Hope you will read and comment and stick around and check out Erin’s site. She is a wonderful writer and you will be glad you did. Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the moments with your family because that is what counts and try not to melt in this ridiculous heat. I’ll try not to bitch slap the next person who reminds me of my miscarriage.

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miscarriage, grief, loss, pregnancy after miscarriage

Yesterday, I saw that one of my friends has been posting articles about miscarriage on her Facebook page. Then, I noticed there were more instances where she had shared about this topic. She never said she had one and they were not scholarly or medical articles, they were the kind of articles those of us who have suffered one read. They were the kind of articles we read to make sense of it all. I recognized it because I’ve done the same and written many. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, she’s probably had a miscarriage and I didn’t know. After all, it’s not something you lead with in an introduction or just bring up out of the blue or at all, especially if you’re not a writer. I forget that sometimes.

I sat there staring at the screen blankly, hoping and praying that I hadn’t made any stupid comments or jokes like people have done to me over the years. Like me, she has 2 daughters in close proximity and like me, she’s probably gotten the, “when are you having another one?” or “when are you guys going for the little boy?” I’ve got to say, these questions always killed me just a little bit inside because I knew that we had been pregnant that third time and we miscarried. It stings but what am I going to do, explain to every single person that asks me that I miscarried? Spend the rest of my life being able to do nothing more than cry.

In the first place, it’s not everyone’s business. In the second place, it hurts to talk about it. It’s still a touchy subject for me and I’m not sure it ever won’t be. Some things change you forever. Plus, when I have told people, that still doesn’t guarantee that they won’t say something stupid. I’ve learned that when people are at a loss for what to say, they tend to fill the space with words that they should have kept to themselves. When does this stop hurting?

It’s been 4 years. This November, I should be celebrating a 4th birthday for my youngest but instead, I will remember while everyone else has forgotten. No, I am not allowed that luxury. I can never forget; the feeling of loss, emptiness and sheer loneliness. I’ve never felt so lonely and alone as I did in those first days after my miscarriage. There were people there who tried to help but having my miscarriage felt as though I had been exiled off to a planet of one, everything else was just noise and none of it made sense.

I don’t cry anymore, not usually. I do think of my lost baby almost daily. If I see a child the age he/she would be or a family with three children or see my youngest with one of her younger cousins. Or when I see our last name and realize that my husband is the end of his line. I still feel like a failure like I did in those first few days.

That’s one of the worst parts of a miscarriage, feeling like your body failed you and betrayed the life you were supposed to bring forth into the world.

I’ve talked about this to my husband and I don’t think he understands exactly what I went through when I lost our baby. For him, I lost a child that never was. For me, I lost the child that could have been; that already was. That loss broke me forever. I have not been the same. I used to feel like God himself betrayed me. This betrayal scarred me too much to ever try again. I knew then and I know now that I cannot survive the pain of a new loss. I’ve still not recovered from the last time.

People who haven’t had the misfortune of losing a child have said the most unthinkable things to me like… “there must have been something wrong with the baby”, “it must not have been meant to be” and, the absolute worst, “in a way, aren’t you relieved?” And the ever popular, “one of these days when you go to heaven, you’ll get to hold your baby.” I know the intention is well but have you ever thought for one moment that the possibility of holding a child in heaven is a poor substitute for getting to hold him/her everyday here on earth? Every time I’ve heard any of these comments, I’ve had to choke back the tears and stifle my rage. Why would you ever say these things to someone, especially a grieving mother? And no, there is no time limit on grief. I can’t just get over it.

Which brings me back to why I wrote this piece in the first place, I pray I never ask any woman who experienced a loss when she is going to try for that next baby (because I probably have without knowing it). I know how even the mention of a new baby after a loss feels like a kick to the guts and I never want to be the person who kicks another mom when she’s down. The scary truth is that we don’t get over it, ever. Getting pregnant again, for some of us, is unthinkable and, for others, one of the scariest things we will ever face.

And to all the moms who have lost their babies, I don’t know when it stops hurting or when we get to stop feeling like a raw nerve, maybe never, but I’m here and I’ve been where you are. I see you. I know the hurt that lives in your heart and I am sorry that any of us ever had to know this reality. All we can do is keep living each day and carrying our lost babies hearts in our hearts. They were here. You are their mothers, forever and for always.

This is my truth about miscarriage.

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miscarriage, How to get away with murder, Viola Davis, ABC, Shonda Rhimes

Do you think miscarriage is funny? Do you joke about it? Do you make flip remarks about women who lose babies or the act of losing a pregnancy? If not, then maybe I wasn’t the only one whose jaw hit the floor when I heard this sentence on prime time television earlier tonight.

“Makes me grateful for the miscarriages.”

Those were the words said matter of factly by Viola Davis tonight during an episode of ABC’s How to get away with Murder. These words were tossed around in passing, facetiously even, and it made my stomach turn. Until tonight, I liked the show. I looked forward to it every week.

Maybe it’s because it’s November or because I read this post today by parents who are still suffering from the stillbirth of their baby girl Ruby, or maybe it’s just because it was one of the most insensitive things I’ve ever heard uttered on primetime television but I feel like I could vomit. I cringed as the words were being said. As someone who has actually suffered  survived (barely) a miscarriage, I can assure you that I have never been grateful for the one. I mourn that loss every day. When it happened, I wanted to die too. I would never joke about miscarriage, no more than I would joke about someone’s mom dying or having cancer. There are some things that just aren’t funny in any context.

Obviously, these are not Viola Davis’ own words. There are writers who write scripts. I would venture to guess that the writer is not a woman. I don’t think a woman would ever think to write such an insensitive thing. Honestly, I don’t know how the hell that line made it into the script at all when a woman, Shonda Rhimes, creating it and the star of the show being a female. With a little investigating, my hunch was confirmed, the episode was written by a man. It was in such poor taste that I am truly offended, I am shocked and repulsed and that is saying something because not much shocks or offends me.

Any woman who has ever suffered a miscarriage, could assure you that no woman would ever consider herself “grateful for the miscarriages” much less say those cringe worthy words out loud. Maybe I’m a little more sensitive to this because I’ve been through it. It’s personal for me. It’s more than just a line to be read. Words have weight and that sentence is crushing. The words came unexpectedly and blind-sighted me. I was not expecting to be reminded of one of the worst days of my life in such a flippant way.

I’m still flabbergasted, an hour later, still picking my jaw up off the ground; that’s why I’m writing this post. I am so disappointed. I feel like I was hit over the head. I was watching the show, like I do every Thursday and there out of nowhere, I get over the head with that terrible, no good, very bad sentence. People, your fans are watching and words hurt. No one wants to be enjoying their weekly drama only to be triggered and/or reminded of one of the most hurtful experiences a parent can go through. Loss and miscarriage is not something that should be taken lightly. It may have just be a line in a script to you but to me, and many like me, it was a blatant disregard for the trauma and tragedy we experienced. It may have meant nothing to you to say it, but it meant everything to us to hear it because when you lose a pregnancy, it feels like you’ve lost everything in that moment.

What do you think of using the word “miscarriage” to express gratitude for dodging the bullet of motherhood?

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signs of miscarriage, miscarriage symptoms, causes of miscarriage, grief, sadness, loss, miscarriage, lost baby, how to carry on after a miscarriage

I’ve realized that loss never really leaves you, not truly; not the big ones. They remain right beneath the surface, just deep enough for you to get by, to go on living in that forever changed, never the same way only the loss of someone you love more than yourself affects you. A miscarriage or losing a baby/child is different than losing anyone else.

Last night, I watched the movie Return to Zero on Netflix. I stumbled into it like a drunk falling into a wall and then I stayed there for the duration because even though it hurt when the wounds were reopened, it was familiar. The knowing washed over me like a warm surf pulling me into the undertow. Gasping for breath, the pain of drowning reminded me that I was alive.

READ ALSO: All I Can Do is Cry

I think I’ve been living in a protective state of comfortable numbness for the past 7 years. Maybe it’s where I need to stay for the rest of my life because I can’t let myself feel everything, all the time. I can’t live like the exposed nerve that my soul sometimes is. I mask it with levity. I tell myself that I’m letting go but then I see something, hear something or remember something and my dam of grief breaks wide open and it all comes flooding back. Vulnerability replaces the protective cover around my heart.

Return to Zero is a movie about a couple who loses their child in utero at 9 months from a health complication. The baby’s kidney develops a cyst and the organ bursts. The baby, thought to be completely healthy and normal, dies. No rhyme, no reason and no explanation that can ever console a grieving parent’s heart. Just immeasurable and unfathomable loss. The kind of loss that swallows you up whole. The kind of loss that makes it painful to breathe. The kind of loss that is almost not survivable.

A couple of things have happened in the past month that has really brought it all up for me again and least of all, not being that I am less than a month away from the anniversary of my own loss. I know it sounds weird to remember and mark a day of loss but when you are left with a loss this big, that no one else seems to feel as strongly as you, you feel like you have to hold on to that memory with everything that you are or your baby will disappear forever. You have to fight for it. If not, it will be as if he/she never existed and that is too much to bear so you hold on because, as a parent, you feel like it is your responsibility to that child to make sure the world knows they were here. You are the keeper of their legacy; however short lived it was.

READ ALSO: The TRUTH about Life After Miscarriage

Last month, my friend lost her full-term baby to Trisomy 13. She went through 9 months of unimaginable hurt and loneliness, culminated in the worst kind of pain. That is what losing a baby is like, you feel so alone with your anguish and emptiness. A different friend lost her baby soon after announcing. Other friends are still learning to live in the losses of their children who are gone. Yet, another friend is struggling with fertility and I keep finding myself getting angry because I am afraid that she is going to get pregnant and experience loss. I was so afraid after my loss that I never tried again but I don’t want my fear to color her experience. There’s just been a lot of things going on that have been reminding me of my own empty arms and since I had to have a hysterectomy last fall, the finality of it all has been hitting me harder than I ever could have anticipated. It’s been 7 years since my miscarriage with our third child but the weight of that loss is as heavy as it ever was.

I don’t cry every day anymore. I don’t wear my grief like an armor these days. It’s much more subdued and quiet but it is there and can be felt as strongly as it was on May 1, 2012 in my heart. There are certain things I will never forget; the minute they didn’t see the heartbeat, sitting in a waiting room full of beautiful bellies full of living babies as I sat there with my silent womb. I remember calling my husband to tell him and no words coming out of my mouth, the primal screaming and sobbing that I did alone in my car in the parking lot as my heart broke in between the doctor’s appointment and preschool pick up, the emptiness that I felt in my soul that afternoon, my 4-year-old hugging and kissing my belly telling the baby she loved him at 4  in the morning before I left to the hospital for my D&E, A Thousand Years playing on the seemingly eternal drive to the hospital, the sick child I saw at the hospital that morning and feeling sorry for her mother.

Surviving the Grief, Loss and Aftermath of Miscarriage

I’ll never forget the way I refused to go ahead with surgery until they performed one last ultrasound, the photo I made my husband snap of the ultrasound machine of our baby, the helplessness in his eyes, the loneliness that I felt as they wheeled me back to surgery as the nurses lovingly told me of their own losses, the sadness I felt when I saw their eyes fill with tears and the helplessness that I saw on my brothers’ faces when I found them waiting with my husband in the waiting room while I was in surgery. The love that I felt for each person who tried to hold my heart and protect me from the inevitable pain that was to come next.

The emptiness that emanated from my womb throughout my entire body. The endless crying and guilt. The disappointment at my body’s failure. The blame that I wholly accepted. The solitude and hatred that permeated every single thought for those coming weeks. Laying silently in stillness feeling unworthy of breath. Looking into my daughters’ eyes and seeing the confusion. Fake smiling to survive. People telling me that God has a reason. Someone asking me if I was relieved. People telling me that my baby was in a “better” place as if my arms were not good enough. Having misplaced love and anger and not knowing what to do with either. Trying to be normal for everyone else.

READ ALSO: When a Tattoo Heals Your Heart 

Celebrating my husband’s 37nd birthday, 2 days after my D&E, because I refused to let my pain make things weird. Celebrating my Godson’s communion that same weekend after sending a text to everyone not to bring up the miscarriage to me. The next weekend, going out for our 13th wedding anniversary and celebrating Mother’s Day. The next weekend, attending my 4-year-olds preschool graduation, my 6-year-old’s violin concert and a few days later throwing a party for my 5-year-old with all of our friends and family; the same party where we were going to announce our pregnancy. That Thanksgiving, the due date of what might have been, and someone asking me, “don’t you miss the pitter patter of little feet running around the house?” as my nephew played and I had to run to my room to not break down in front of a house full of people. Between all of these brave faces I was putting on for everyone else, I was crumpled up in a ball sobbing in my bed. I stayed in my room alone as much as I could. I felt like I was dying. Secretly, maybe I hoped that I was.

I’d pushed all of these feeling down. I’m scrappy and I’m good at being stoic even when I just want to give myself over to my grief. Some parts of Return to Zero felt like watching it all happen to someone else but all the same things were being said and I could relate to the hurt, the pain and the fear. My heart cracked wide open for the first time in years and all that pain resurfaced. It flooded my heart and every thought. That’s why I’m writing this post. I know that there are so many women who have lost a pregnancy, a baby or a child and it all really is the same to a mother; we’ve lost the possibility of what could have been and that changes you in ways you never expected. We are irrevocably and molecularly changed from the person we were up until the moment we experienced that loss.

READ ALSO: Some Things Change You Forever

I’m damaged. I’ll never be who I was before the words, “I can’t find a heartbeat” were whispered to me in a poorly lit, sterile room on the second floor of the women’s health center by a kind woman who didn’t know what else to say as I stared back at her begging her to change her mind and take it all back. You are not alone. We might all process it differently and it might look different from the outside but on the inside, we are gutted and speechless and feeling more helpless than we’ve ever felt before.

As much as Return to Zero broke my heart, I found comfort in the fact that someone wrote an honest screenplay that so accurately portrays the realness of loss; the humanity of it all. The primal part of loss that no “I’m sorry for your loss” can ever salve. Losing a child is losing yourself in the world, becoming completely unrecognizable, and being sentenced to a lifetime of living. It’s cruel. You will survive and you will never forget. Tiny time bombs of grief will unexpectantly go off for the rest of your life and you will find yourself a broken mess at the most inopportune times but this is your heart reminding your mind not to forget. This is you living. This is you loving your baby forever and there is something beautiful in that pain; something comforting.

How do you process loss?

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I stumbled on to the photo of Chrissy Teigen in the hospital losing her baby. In that vulnerable, raw, real moment, Chrissy Teigen is every mother who suffered a miscarriage and we love her more for bravely showing the world what pregnancy loss really looks and feels like. I felt it. I felt it in my soul. I’ve been there and at that moment, that black and white photo thrust me right back into those horrible moments of the most devastating seconds of my life. The visceral moments that changed me forever.

It instantly transported me to a place of raw emotion and primal pain. To a moment in time where I felt so helpless and vulnerable that I questioned if living was even an option. At that moment, I was so destroyed that I wanted to disappear because the pain was mind, body and soul-shattering. The loss was too big, it was incomprehensible and almost unsurvivable. That photo of Chrissy Tiegen transcended time and space and in that moment, it wasn’t 8 years ago, it was right now. I was back there, begging and pleading for my baby to live for this not to be real. With the photo below, the wound was ripped wide open, all the air in the room was gone and all I could do was cry in commiseration.

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day , Never Break, Chrissy Teigen, Miscarriage, John Legend,

There is nothing else you can do for a woman who has lost her child. There is no soothing or salve for our souls. Our entire world has imploded and our precious baby was the collateral damage. The thought of that kind of cruelty is unbearable, innumerable and unrelenting.  All we can do as mothers is hold on for dear life and hope we are not too broken to continue because when this happens, absolutely nothing in our lives make any sense. There is no reason and no rationalization, there is only regrets for things to never come. There is mourning for what will never be and that never ends.

READ ALSO: Surviving the Aftermath of a Miscarriage

I broke on that day. May 1, 2012. The breaking started on April 31 at 10:30 am when I laid on the cold examination table in the ultrasound office and saw the expression on the tech’s face. I’ll never forget the blank, pale silence of her face. The “without words” expression that told me all that words would fail. Words made no sense in those following moments. I heard her compassionately give me the worst news of my life but it was too quick, I couldn’t process it.

I played along and held my breath as she silently led me the back way to my obstetrician’s downstairs waiting room. The silence was deafening. I was sure that at any moment, I would collapse to the ground and die myself. I willed it so. I would have preferred anything to the hellish pain I felt in my soul in those moments. I felt hopeless. My body was betraying me and my heart was breaking and there was nothing I could do to save either of us.

We arrived in the doctor’s office, I sat under the bright overhead lights afraid to breathe, move or speak a word…waiting; suspended in time, enveloped in disbelief before I even heard the words spoken aloud. It was like waiting for a bomb to detonate with no way to escape.

I braced myself to be inundated with pain.

My obstetrician came in, donning that same blank poker face as the tech as she spoke to me with pity and compassion on her breath. She said the words I tried my best not to hear. “Debi, I’m so sorry, we couldn’t find your baby’s heartbeat.” I felt trapped in a nightmare. God, please wake me up and let my baby be alive. But, no reprieve came for me on that day.

How could she tell me so calmly that my child didn’t have a heartbeat. The child I was growing and loving inside my body. The baby we had hoped and longed for since Gabi was born. After that, my mind went numb. I just sat there, deflated and defeated. My world was crashing down around me and my only weapon against self-destruction was to be as quiet and as still as possible and to hope the moment passed and this was all a bad dream. But it didn’t.

The only words I could whisper, after being informed that my pregnancy had ended but my baby was refusing to leave my body and there was no idea when it would happen, was,

Please get him out of my body.

I realize that sounds harsh but my mind was breaking and the thought of holding on was too much to bear.

I wanted to run as far and fast away from this day and those events as possible.  I know it sounds cruel that my first thought was to get the baby I lost out of my body but the wait and see if my body would do its own thing plan at almost 11 weeks was more than my mind could handle. I was so broken the only thing I could believe in was rebuilding myself. I’m not one to sit in my brokenness. This break could be the one that permanently left me immobile. We scheduled for the next morning at 6 am. In less than 24 hours, the dream would be irrevocably broken.

What came next, was more than my heart could tolerate. My doctor, seeing my state, and knowing that I had come to this “routine” visit alone, informed me that I must call my husband and tell him because she didn’t want me to shoulder the entire burden alone. She was witnessing my undoing and her only mercy was to demand that I let someone help me. But in that trapped moment of unfathomable pain, I felt shame and failure. My mind knew she was right but …

my heart didn’t want to accept it because once I said it aloud, it would be real.

I dialed the phone, in complete silence. I could barely breathe for fear that I’d start sobbing and never stop. That was the hardest phone call I’ve ever had to make. He knew I was at the obstetrician. He answered the phone, “How’s our baby?” The words stuck in my throat. They were choking me. I couldn’t make my mouth betray my heart with the words. My eyes burned with tears that seemed to be never-ending. Finally, I choked out the cruelest words a mother could ever have to say. That was the moment I turned from a mother losing the most precious thing she has to a feral animal. I ran out of the office to my car as fast as I could and sat there and wailed in the most primal way that I have ever cried in my life. It was harder and louder than I knew possible and I didn’t recognize my own voice in those minutes before I had to leave to pick Gabs up from preschool.

Every Mother Who Suffered a Miscarriage knows this moment of restraining yourself from giving yourself over to the pain entirely in order to be stoic for the people you love.

That’s the thing; my world was falling apart but the rest of the world was carrying on and there was no one else to pick her up from school. The only thing I could do was lose my mind in the car, by myself, outside the obstetrician’s office full of round bellies and sob alone, it was the only comfort I was afforded. I changed on that day. I am not the same woman who went into that office morning. She’s gone and will never return. Then, I picked up my daughter and pretended for the 30-minute ride home that I hadn’t just experienced the most devastating moment of my life. It felt like an out of body experience that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

That’s where I went when I saw the photos of Chrissy Teigen. What I’m trying to say is that I know that pain on her face, many women do, and though we cannot take that immeasurable pain away or make it better, we can hold her up in love and commiseration. She will never be alone.

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day , Never Break, Chrissy Teigen, Miscarriage, John Legend,

Tonight, John took the stage and sung Never Break and dedicated it to his wife. I can’t imagine how hard singing that song with the weight of what they are going through right now. My heart goes out to her and John because that is the hardest thing a couple can go through. Wishing them both some peace.

I’ll be honest, when I see those pictures, I see myself and I want to protect her and make the world leave her alone because in the end, the burden of this loss falls heaviest on the mother because, as a mother, we wouldn’t have it any other way. No two people experience or process a loss the same but in the end the result is the same, we are changed for the rest of our lives.

READ ALSO: Why It’s so Important to Reflect on Loss and Grieve

I just hope that Chrissy and every woman who has gone through, is going through or will go through a loss, please give yourself grace, allow yourself to grieve for as long as it takes, feel your feelings and take care of you but be willing to let those who love you a little space to get into your crumbling world and remove some of the rubble, at the very least hold you while you cry. It never stops hurting but the pain does get tolerable. The wound grows a scab but there will always be a scar where our babies should be.

The thing about moms and our hearts, even when it breaks, it repairs and replenishes; it grows. But we moms, we don’t actually break, we just bend really, really fucking far. In the end, we survive and live to hold the hand and heart of the next mother whose world gets blown up and through this inexplicable pain, we become salvation and sanctuary for another woman. This is a small blessing that you cannot fathom when you are in the beginning of it but you will become stronger from surviving it; stronger to help someone else. Your pain will not be wasted entirely. You are a warrior, you have survived the hardest thing you’ll ever need to endure.

Chrissy Teigen, We love you. We are you. You are not alone.

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miscarriage, loss

miscarriage, loss

The other day, my 5-year-old, Gabs walked into the kitchen wearing a pair of jeans that she had outgrown. She was being silly. We laughed because they were practically up to her knees and wouldn’t button. My unsuspecting heart was happy and then she said, “It’s okay Mommy, we can just save these for the next baby you have.” And just like that my eyes were stinging and my vision was getting blurry and I wanted to fall to the floor and assume the fetal position as the knife in my heart worked itself out.

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how does miscarriage affect a woman

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Cry. It’s the only thing my body could do when I heard that cruel word – miscarriage. I wanted to scream, to rage against the injustice, but I couldn’t. The words stuck in my throat as an icy fist gripped my heart. All I could do was cry these deep, guttural sobs that seemed to emanate from the core of my soul. How does miscarriage affect a woman? It changes everything about it. 

My unexpected miracle, that little life I never dreamed I deserved, was gone. Snatched away far too soon. Those two bright lines on the pregnancy test had filled me with hope, excitement over the promise of a love like no other. But in an instant, that beautiful promise was shattered, coldly labeled as nothing more than a “miscarriage.”

I shattered right along with it. My heart broke into innumerable pieces as I struggled just to breathe through the anguish. Uncontrollable sobs wracked my body as despair closed in – I had never felt so lost, so utterly and hopelessly broken.

The Devastation No Mother Should Face

We hadn’t shared the joyful news with anyone yet, too petrified of jinxing our fragile happiness. I had seen my sister’s devastation after her miscarriage at 9 weeks. At 10 weeks and 4 days along, I thought I was safe. I wasn’t.

The haunting look on the ultrasound tech’s face said it all before she could speak the words – there was no flickering heartbeat, only a perfect, still little life within me. My world imploded in that moment. Waves of screaming anguish and denial crashed over me, the physical pain indescribable.

How Miscarriage Shatters a Woman

The torment of losing an unborn child is one of the most traumatic, heartbreaking experiences any woman can endure. It leaves you hollowed out and gasping, struggling just to draw your next ragged breath through the searing pain. An icy numbness seizes you as your hands desperately clutch your body, craving the feeling of that life within that’s been so cruelly torn away.

You want the world to stop spinning so you never have to move past this nightmare moment when your deepest hopes and dreams withered before your eyes. The thought of others pitying you, or trying in vain to rationalize your devastation, makes you want to curl deeper inward and shut everyone out.

Just let me be, you want to cry out. Let me feel the full weight of this mountainous loss, this betrayal of everything I’d dared to hope for. Don’t try to placate me – simply allow me to bear the burden of these primal, animalistic screams of grief tearing from the depths of my very soul.

Don’t touch me. Don’t speak empty condolences. Just let me drown in my darkness, my personal hellscape where life makes no sense and all dreams have turned to ashes.

For that tiny life was your promised dream of unconditional love, a blessing you never imagined deserving. And that promise now lies horrifically shattered, leaving you hollowed out, empty, and feeling irreparably betrayed by life itself. Words hold no meaning when every shallow breath reminds you of the indescribable anguish clawing at your lungs.

All you can do is cry.

When the Anguish Never Fully Fades

As you read these words, I was at the hospital having a D&C because I couldn’t fathom carrying my lifeless child within me a moment longer. I should have been joyfully sharing our pregnancy journey, but instead I’m laying bare the most visceral, agonizing loss a mother can endure. Writing it out is the only way I know to keep breathing through this all-consuming pain.

Even now, over a decade later, I can still feel the lump permanently lodged in my throat whenever I think of my Declan – the son I loved with every fiber of my being yet never got to hold, not even for a fleeting moment. His entire existence amounted to morning sickness, wistful daydreams, and countless tears. So much he’ll never experience – sunrises, sunsets, his sisters’ laughter, his dad’s soothing voice at bedtime, my whispers of unconditional love and pride surrounding him.

I’m angry and feel forever cheated, because he’s been gone longer than he was ever here. It will never make sense, this unfathomable cruelty, and I’ll never stop feeling gutted by the gaping wound his absence left behind. Even on my calmest days, the injustice still leaves me wanting to rage at the universe, to throw tantrums and scream at the sheer unfairness of it all. Why them and not us? Why don’t I deserve that happiness too?

This pain ebbs and flows, but it never fully goes away. There’s always that dull yet persistent ache, that sense of missing your own vital organ whenever you see other mothers and sons embracing the futures you’ll never experience. I mask it and pretend I’m okay, but I’m not. Not completely. Miscarriage leaves invisible scars that indelibly change you.

A Call for Compassion and Healing

If you know someone suffering through the unimaginable agony of miscarriage, don’t minimize their pain with platitudes or toxic positivity. Extend a compassionate embrace, a listening ear, and an acknowledgment that their grief is valid and whole. Let them cry, scream, and metabolize their shattering loss however they need to in that moment. Offer your presence, not pity.

Because having a dream, a part of your very soul, ripped away…it leaves a deep wounding that time doesn’t fully heal. We owe it to ourselves and each other to remove the stigma around pregnancy loss and create spaces where women can openly process their breathtaking pain without shame or judgment.

Share stories like mine, or those of your loved ones, to raise awareness. Let other women know they don’t have to suffer in silence and loneliness when their worlds have fallen apart. Validate their anger, their confusion, their soul-deep mourning, and remind them that this sisterhood of survivors has their back.

One compassionate conversation at a time, we can make spaces for healing and grace to coexist with the anguish that consumes us on our darkest days. Because even if we never “move on” from such a shattering loss, surrounding each other with empathy and love can ensure that no woman has to bear miscarriage’s tremendous burden alone.

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Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Miscarriage, loss, grief, the truth about motherhood, stillborn, infant loss, pregnancy loss, angel baby

International Pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day is a day of reflection for many parents. Sadly, there are so many parents who have lost infants and suffered a miscarriage that the frequency with which it happens is staggering.

Never heard of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day? That’s ok. I wish no one was having miscarriages or losing infants. It’s a day of remembrance for parents who have suffered miscarriages, delivered stillborn babies, sudden infant death syndrome victims and other causes of child loss.

“National observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month … offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members and work to prevent causes of these problems,” Ronald Reagan.

Before we lost our baby, I never knew there was a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. I had no idea knew that 1 in 4 pregnancies ended in miscarriage.

But once I miscarried, everyone I knew had a story. It’s something that happens to a lot of us that none of us talk about. It made me sad to know that all of these women were walking around the world with their hearts broken in a way that brings a pain and anguish that only losing a pregnancy or a child can bring.

The grief is one that you cannot get passed. Time can make it easier to survive, but you never get over losing a baby.

According to United States estimates, roughly 15 to 20 percent of all American pregnancies end in miscarriage in early pregnancy. Miscarriage is defined as the loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy.

More than 80 percent of these losses happen before 12 weeks. Mine happened during week 10.

READ ALSO: All I Can Do is Cry

I don’t talk about my miscarriage very often anymore. It’s like reopening a gaping wound in my heart to remember too vividly. But it remains, right beneath the surface, like a ghost haunting me. Today, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day,  I want to talk about it.

My pregnancy was unexpected. It wasn’t planned. We were living with my in-laws, waiting for our house to sell in another state. The Big Guy and I had been living apart for 2 years because of the Big Guy’s job. It just wasn’t doable anymore.

The Big Guy and I wanted another child. We’d planned on another child, after Gabi. When Gabi was almost 2, the economy was terrible and the Big Guy had to work out of state. We only saw each other on weekends. We had to shelve the idea of baby #3.

2 years later, living in a bedroom at my in-laws’ house, we were pregnant. Feeling every bit of the scrutiny and judgment one feels when, as an adult, living in someone else’s house with little kids. There were stepping on toes and disagreements on child rearing. It was a lot of good intentions gone awry. Mostly it was a lot of biting of tongues and hurt feelings.

I found out that I was pregnant at quite possibly the worst timing ever. Especially since there was such a lack of boundaries that things like, “ I hope you guys don’t get pregnant. We can’t fit anyone else in this house,” were tossed around, half teasingly and half-truth.

There we were holding this secret. We were excited about the secret baby of ours. More than anything, I was thrilled to be able to give our Gabi the one thing she was asking for, a baby brother or sister. I could stomach all the rude comments just to know that on her birthday, I was going to surprise her with the one thing she wanted most.

READ ALSO: Mommy, I want another baby

It was hard walking around a house, where it had openly been said that another child would be an even bigger imposition than we already were. It was hard keeping it hidden with extreme morning sickness and trying to appear as normal as possible when keeping the biggest secret I have ever had; the most amazing secret.

A few weeks before my big planned reveal at Gabi’s 5th birthday party, I began to spot. It was week 10 and 4 days. I had spotted with both previous pregnancies. I wasn’t worried but I called the doctor anyway, just to be sure. Then, it happened. My secret miracle was lost.  I had a miscarriage, all the world receded to the background and all I could feel was the loss.

It felt like I had been betrayed. I felt guilt for being scared when I first found out that I was pregnant; shame that I had let their words weigh on my heart. It felt like somehow, I was responsible. Did I allow it to happen? Like maybe if I would have spoken up at the time and told them I was pregnant and demanded they accept it, maybe my baby would still be alive. But that was all lies that my broken mind told my shattered heart to survive; to make sense out of one of the most tragic moments of my life.

What was going to be a pregnancy announcement turned into a miscarriage announcement. I felt compelled to let everyone know that my baby was here. He existed. He was loved, even though he was now gone. It was, thus far, the worst moment of my life. I was wounded irreparably and I have never completely healed.

My baby would be turning 6 this November 24th. I have friends who have children who are 5 and 6, who I completely forgot that were pregnant at the same time as I was because the year of 2012 is a complete blur of sadness and grief to me. All that I can vividly remember is the excruciating pain I endured. The millions of tears that I shed. Little voices, hugging me tight and offering me love and acceptance while I mourned the loss of their baby brother/sister.

1 in 4 women experience this kind of loss and the mind-breaking grief that so often accompanies it. It’s unimaginable and unfathomable the pain the human heart is capable of experiencing until you do. Then nothing else seems quite as relevant.

So many mothers and fathers walking around the planet surviving the pain and loss of their children. Let today, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, remind you to be kind to each other, every day because you never know what someone is going through. It could be the worst day of their life or the anniversary of their loss. You just never know.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Miscarriage, loss, grief, the truth about motherhood, stillborn, infant loss, pregnancy loss, angel baby

READ ALSO: When a Tattoo Heals Your Heart

Somedays I feel strong and like I’ve made major leaps to move on through my grief and loss and other days, I feel like my heart is held together by a stick of chewing gum and a prayer. I am surrounded by what might have been all around me. It hurts because my miscarriage robbed me of that. Still, I try to take joy in the little time I did have; the all-consuming love that I had for my third baby and that has to be enough for now.

Do you know anyone who has suffered a loss?

Please remember to keep them in your thoughts and treat them with extra kindness today, October 15, on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and on all days.

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Ann Romney, Mitt Romney, miscarraige, grief,loss

Throat Punch Thursday~ ann romney, abortion, women's rights, mitt romney, miscarriage, loss, grief,votes

Ann Romney Over shares for Votes

Ann Romney today you are the recipient of the Throat Punch. I’ve made it very clear that I feel that the politicians should back the fuck out of my uterus.  Well, now they have their wives trying to sneak them in the back way and that really pisses me off. What’s worse is they have taken to using a personal tragedy to wiggle their way into our votes. Fuck that, I see you!

In an interview earlier this week, Ann Romney spontaneously and irrelevantly burst into a speech about a miscarriage that she went through when she was in her 40’s. It’s sad for sure. I hate that any woman ever has to go through that loss and experience such a huge devastation in life; for that, my heart breaks for the Romneys. The part that bugs the piss out of me is that in the video it seemed as if the entire thing were done to make the Romney’s more approachable; more relatable. Let me be blunt. Ann Romney and her spiel didn’t seem very authentic to me. It seemed like a ploy to get the female population’s vote and that, my friends, is disgusting and despicable.

I am not saying that she did not experience a miscarriage. I am not saying that her family was not devastated. I am not saying that I am not sorry for her loss. My heart breaks for any and every single woman, even if her husband is trying to rob the rest of us women of our reproductive rights, who has ever known this life altering pain but why now? Why disclose it now? Why is it relevant now? The only answer my mind can come up with is for the votes.

Ann Romney, Mitt Romney, miscarriage, grief,loss

Ann Romney is Mitt’s Biggest Fan

In the interview, she goes off on a Stepford wife like tangent about having the miscarriage and then telling her children before leaving to the hospital. She dropped a bomb and then left before it went off. That seems kind of like an asshole thing to do to me. Then she recounts how when her 10 or 11 year old son ( yes, she was not sure.Which I found bizarre as well. I remember the day my miscarriage happened vividly and I remember the year and how old my kids were and their reactions. How can you be confused about the year? My miscarriage is burned into my brain like a torturous scar earned from surviving the hardest day of my life this far) came home and collapsed on the floor with grief. I believe that. Telling my children about our miscarriage was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

His mother told him heartbreaking news and then sent him off to school to digest it, alone. I don’t know why Ann Romeny is telling people this. It only served to piss me off more. In the interview, Mitt Romney looked moved and said that Ann never told him about how his son reacted that day. Where the fuck was Mitt? Your wife just had a miscarriage. She should be in bed dealing with her own grief, Mitt should have been the one meeting the kids when they got home from school and comforting them. Where was he? It’s just one more example of how out of touch the Romney’s are with reality. Even when experiencing a universal tragedy, they react in a way that the average family would not.

In this case of exploiting your miscarriage for votes, I kinda can’t stand the sight of the Romney’s now. Heartstrings manipulation is a crap way to get votes. In any case, what kind of a husband would ask his wife to share such a personal and painful event in her life for votes? Or worse, what kind of woman would use such a painful experience to get votes? Ann Romney, what were you thinking?

Ann Romney Sorry You just Lost One More Vote

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