sharing your stories and remembering your children
By Stephanie Gordon EPLA Editor
When it comes to miscarriage, we rarely think about it happening to those in the spotlight. I know I didn’t during my miscarriage. During those moments of suffering, it’s easy to think it’s only happening to you, when sadly, it’s not. Celebrities like Beyonce, Nicole Kidman, Courteney Cox, and Carrie Underwood have all experienced miscarriage(s). With their powerful platform, they’ve helped bring awareness to miscarriage. I’ve rounded up quotes from celebrities that might help make you feel a little less alone.
"There are so many couples that go through that and it was a big part of my story. It's one of the reasons I did not share I was pregnant the second time, because you don't know what's going to happen. And that was hard, because all of my family and my friends knew and we celebrated. It was hard.” – Beyonce
"I had a really bad experience when I was pregnant with my third. It didn’t work out and I nearly died. So I am like, 'Are we good here or should we go back and try again?'" – Gwyneth Paltrow
“We were crushed. Up till then, I thought simply because it was time and I wanted to have a baby, it would work." – Brooke Shields
"I was angry at life and at God. Hopefully we can help people understand that there's nothing to be ashamed of. It's such a taboo subject, but it's a very common problem." – Giuliana Rancic
“I felt like I failed, because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were, because we don’t talk about them. We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken. I think it’s the worst thing that we do to each other as women, not share the truth about our bodies and how they work, and how they don’t work.” – Michelle Obama
“I had had several miscarriages. And when I did, they were never reported. And I would take a couple of days off and go back to work." – Barbara Walters
"It kind of shook us both and took us to a place that was really dark and difficult.” – Mariah Carey
“I felt so sad and guilty that I had done something wrong to lose this child.” – Shawn Johnson
“I’ve always been agnostic about having kids. I don’t feel naturally maternal. I don’t feel this natural draw to motherhood. And I think my response and how sad I felt afterward surprised me. I would not wish it upon anyone.” – Meghan McCain
“The grief is all-consuming. It’s all you can think about. It’s like a death is happening inside your body, and you’re also supposed to show up for your child that you have and you can’t really be sad in front of them, and you’re just confused if your feelings are okay or if they’re too dramatic.” – Whitney Port
As I was researching these quotes, I knew exactly what these celebrities were feeling. We have similar reactions and emotions. Although heartbreaking, it is comforting that as women, celebrities or not, we all share nearly identical feelings when going through a traumatic, unfair experience. Please know that you are never alone. If you or someone you know needs help, the Early Pregnancy Loss Association is always here.
Stephanie Gordon is a paleo food enthusiast, wife, full-time SAHM, marketing professional, and blogger.
Core Value Series: Introduction
By: Nick Carrington EPLA Editor
After dealing with several miscarriages, Emily Carrington, our president and founder, experienced first-hand the isolation that comes with losing a child in the womb. She had physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and myriad questions that went unanswered. The resources for dealing with this trauma were woefully lacking.
Instead of merely repining, she dreamed. Emily dreamed of a culture of comfort for grieving families where miscarried children are celebrated and the sting of medical bills is diminished. She dreamed of a community willing to listen to the laments of the tearful, to hear their stories and bear their burdens. Emily dreamed big.
And out of those dreams sprang the Early Pregnancy Loss Association, an organization committed to making sure that no family suffers miscarriage alone. Not all of Emily’s dreams have been realized, but we’ve come a long way by providing educational materials, miscarriage kits, digital space to share stories, and much more.
There’s plenty of work to be done, but we have built a foundation on five core values that guide our actions as an organization. These values form the heartbeat of the EPLA; they unite us as we seek to come alongside hurting mothers and families. These values are as follows:
Early pregnancy loss is the loss of a unique and infinitely valuable life often bringing great grief to women and families as they suffer this loss.
Women and families experiencing early pregnancy loss are carrying the weight of death. In isolation, this weight seems too great for one to bear. But together, when we carry one another's burdens, the weight is eased by making room for peace and hope.
Early pregnancy loss brings anger, confusion, frustration, and sorrow. These emotions can lead to both emotional sensitivity and a hardening heart in order to cope with the grief. To meet their unique needs during this time, women and families will be treated in a loving, nurturing, and respectful way.
Together we can do more. To better bear the burdens of women and families, a variety of organizations and professionals can work together to meet these needs. Medical professionals, counselors, churches, and related non-profits all offer unique services to help ease the emotional, psychological, and financial burden of early pregnancy loss.
Because of the hushed culture concerning pregnancy loss, many women do not know how to understand their heartache. Everyone grieves differently, and, though common, early pregnancy loss is an intensely personal experience. Whether they choose to grieve publicly or privately, women and families need a safe environment to experience grief. By acknowledging the frequency of early pregnancy loss and recognizing it as a death, families are granted space to grieve.
These ideas have many implications, and we have plenty to say about them. So, our editors are going to dive deep into these core values in the coming weeks, discussing what these values mean to us and how we display them as an organization. We believe that the best organizations are guided by a clear desire to do good, and through this series, we hope you see the heart of the EPLA.
If you resonate with these values and want to help our clause, feel free to reach out to us. We would love to partner with you in helping bear the burden of grief for women & families who have experienced the heartache of miscarriage.
Nick Carrington is an Editor for the EPLA and Assistant Professor of Professional Writing at Cedarville University.
By: Emily Carrington EPLA Founder and President
Five years ago my heart was broken and I felt stuck in despair. I had suffered two miscarriages that year and I was entering the holiday season with all of the postpartum hormones and no precious baby. Though I tried, I wasn’t sure I could ever be thankful or merry again.
While the pain of my losses remains, this year I enter the holiday season with a heart of gratitude. But it is not for reasons I ever imagined.
As the president of the Early Pregnancy Loss Association, these are some things I am thankful for this year:
I know not everyone is ready to be thankful. For those who still feel the weight of grief, I hope that you can find a small reprieve this holiday season. Whether it be a moment of gratitude for a loving family member or a moment of rest and peace related to a happy memory. There will be a day you can be thankful again.
Emily Carrington is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and founder of the EPLA.
By: Chelsea Luedecking
For the last 31 years, October 15th has been an ordinary day. The older I get, the more I appreciate these ordinary days - but not this year. October 15 represents pregnancy and infant loss day. This year marks the first year I knew this day even existed because it’s the first year since we lost you and became members of the club no one wants to be a part of.
We should be putting the finishing touches on our baby’s nursery and preparing our sons for their new sibling - instead the only thing I have left of you is a small diamond I wear on my neck next to two others that symbolize your brothers. As simple as it is, it brings me overwhelming comfort. You are with me wherever I go, and today is the day I finally have the courage to share you with the world.
Our society has no clue how to deal with miscarriage. It makes people uncomfortable and one way to avoid this is to just not talk about it. By ignoring it, it’s almost as if I’m pretending you never existed - but my sweet love, you were loved from the very moment you were created. I’m sorry I can’t find the strength to share more about you - to wonder who you would have been, if you’d share the same bright blue eyes as your brothers; your dads loving demeanor or my empathetic heart. You deserved more than I was able to give you - but you will always be a part of our story.
For me, losing you has caused so much guilt and shame. Everything runs through my head. My baths were too hot. I drank too much kombucha. I was too stressed. I worked too hard and slept too little. I should have known. How did I not know what was happening to my body? I’m so sorry, my love. We all know none of it would have made a difference, but then the doubt sets in. Maybe. Maybe not - but maybe. The guilt for my boys. I’m sorry I’ve been detached as your mama lately. I’m hurting so much for reasons you’re too young to understand. I’m trying my best but I know it’s not good enough. I’m sorry for the sibling you’ll never know, but I can promise you, you’ll meet one day.
Our society has no clue how to deal with miscarriage. It makes people uncomfortable and one way to avoid this is to just not talk about it. By ignoring it, it’s almost as if I’m pretending you never existed - but my sweet love, you were loved from the very moment you were created.
The guilt for my husband. I’m sorry for falling apart. For the nights I need to cry and be alone. I know you’re experiencing this loss with me, but it feels more raw for me. I’m sorry I can’t be there for you how I need you there for me, it’s not fair. None of this is fair, but it’s our new reality.
I believe with my WHOLE heart that God makes no mistakes. Your life had a purpose and happened for a reason. Although I don’t know that reason yet, I pray every.single.day that God exposes his truth for your life to me so I can start to understand why. Your life has completely changed my perspective. I find joy in small moments, I love your brothers harder, I cherish each day, I worry less, I admire your dad more, I care less about what others think of me, and I trust God on a deeper level. Your precious, short life has forever changed me.
I hope your story brings comfort to others. That suffering mamas read about you and feel emboldened to grieve aloud if they need to. Through these reflections, maybe they will see how much I love and value them and their miscarried children. Regardless, Little One, of how your story affects others, I hold on to one thing above all else: you will always be my baby, and I will always be your mama.
Chelsea Luedecking is a Hillsdale native and Hillsdale College graduate. She is currently on a stay at home mom sabbatical from her work as a school counselor.
Chelsea and her husband, Michael, and live in Jackson, MI. They have two beautiful boys, Maxwell (6) and Hendrix (3) with their expected rainbow due this Christmas!