sharing your stories and remembering your children
By: Maria Servold EPLA Editor
In a recent YouTube video, creator “Nurse Zabe,” (Elizabeth) who posts informational videos about pregnancy, birth, and babies, shared her own story of a chemical pregnancy she lost.
As a labor, delivery, and postpartum nurse, as well as a certified childbirth educator, her videos are both informative and humorous. This video, while still incredibly informative, is also a sad testament to the commonality of “chemical” pregnancies.
As she describes it, A chemical pregnancy is when a woman finds out she’s pregnant with a pregnancy test before her missed period (in other words, very early), and then has a miscarriage. In many other cases, a woman may not know she is pregnant and the miscarriage could appear like a normal period; the woman would be none the wiser.
Many in our society would brush off such a pregnancy, citing the extremely early nature of the loss. But any woman who has hoped to become pregnant and has seen a positive result on a home pregnancy test knows an extremely early loss is just as painful as a later one.
The video is both informative and moving. Not only does she explain what a chemical pregnancy is and how often they occur (an estimated 75% of miscarriages are chemical pregnancies, she says), she spends the first half of the video talking about how she felt during her experience: the joy at seeing a positive test, the worry when she experienced cramping and spotting, and the devastation when a blood test revealed she was not viably pregnant.
Elizabeth notes, “If I hadn’t taken that test, I wouldn’t have known.” This is the feeling many women get caught up in with chemical pregnancies or other early losses. They may debate themselves endlessly: Should I have waited to test? Was I too eager?
She also reassures her viewers: “It’s OK to mourn the loss of the dream [of that child].” Videos like this are so helpful to expand education about early pregnancy loss. We applaud Nurse Zabe for sharing her story, and we mourn the loss of her unborn baby.
The video is here.
Maria Servold is an Editor at the EPLA, Assistant Director of the Herbert H. Dow II Program in American Journalism, and Lecturer in Journalism at Hillsdale College.