This week last year

This week last year I was pregnant.

This week last year I was not pregnant.

This week last year I was in South Carolina with my best friend who bought me my first baby outfit.

This week last year I spent a lot of time crying.

This week last year I had a miscarriage.

I went back and forth between writing this. I am normally a very positive person and I love to share all good things, but that is not really how life works all the time is it?

I recently had a woman reach out to me and ask if I could just send her a message of encouragement or any advice for her for she just went through a miscarriage and I was the ONLY person that she knew who had also gone through one. She knew this just by a few simple posts on Facebook or Instagram. My heart broke for her. For her and her husband and their baby, but also because she felt like she didn’t know who to talk to about this. This is heartbreaking! So many women have gone through infertility, miscarriages, baby loss, and many more struggles and we should be open to talk about it, if we (the women going through it) want to. There is nothing to be ashamed about. I know how much it meant for me to be able to reach out, or have others reach out to me, simply to say. ” Yes, I have been there too. I am sorry. I am here.” and that meant SO much to me! To just learn that I was not alone. I hate to think any women (or anyone!) going through any struggle would feel alone. The fact that so many women have miscarriages should be reason enough to support each other!

This month, October, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. The fact that I lost a baby in October is not lost on me.

Matthew and I found out we were expecting in September. We were ecstatic! We were as ready as we could be to be parents and ready to start this new chapter. We held off announcing to the public but we had celebrated with our families. Everyone was happy. I took a trip to South Carolina to shoot a wedding. I made the trip by myself. After the wedding I spent a few days visiting my best friend. We went “baby” shopping for the first time and she was the first person to buy the little one a little outfit. I was 9 weeks along. On the trip home I made a stop in Virginia (I can still point that stop out when driving through). When I stopped to use the restroom I noticed instantly that I had been bleeding.

I knew.

Even though everyone will tell you spotting is normal, I knew. I spent the rest of Virginia crying in my car and calling my husband, doctors office and cousin. Everyone re-assured me that it could be normal. I just so happened to have our first appointment the very next morning so I just had to wait the night out.

I was right. The ultrasound showed me at 5 weeks and no heartbeat. We were devastated. I still maintain that the Lord knows how I work and I think and he gave me a “heads up” kind of warning before my first appointment so I wasn’t surprised when we went in.

I spent the next 3-4 days going through everything. I ended up shooting almost 10 sessions in those days while miscarrying. When I wasn’t working I was in my bed. I wanted to be alone. I tend to try to go through struggle by myself. I don’t want to ask for help and I don’t like people feeling sorry for me. Thankfully, my husband wouldn’t allow that and he let me have my moments, but was there beside me every stop of the way. Our families and friends were too.

After a few days I went back for my check up with my Dr. and she said the one thing that helped me cope the most.  ” There was nothing you did to cause this, and nothing you could have done to prevent this.” That, to me, changed my mentality of the whole thing.

I was still sad, but it took away the questioning, the fear, the anger. Just knowing that it was completely out of my control. I told myself that sometimes bad things just happen to people and this was a bad thing. Personally for me I didn’t need/want a reason for it, because I knew there really wasn’t one. I know every women needs to grieve and go through everything in their own way. Thats OK! For me, thinking realistically helped. Just knowing that, at that point, this miscarriage didn’t mean I couldn’t have a baby. That is just meant I couldn’t have that baby.

We waited a few months. We went through the holidays and then the new year came. I told Matthew that I wanted the baby to be born November-April since September-October is busy for me. Then I went to a photography conference in January and one of the speakers said something that stuck out to me. ” Never put your business before your family.” and I realized that pushing back trying for another child so I could take weddings WAS doing just that! God put it on my heart to not wait any longer and to try again. We did, and here I am!

I know so many women whose struggles are SO much harder than mine. I’ve chatted recently with women who have had multiple miscarriages, infertility, etc and it breaks my heart! Like I told the woman who reached out to me about her miscarriage, it helps so much to talk to other women! It really does. That is why I wrote this blog. Even if just one woman reads this and feels a little less alone, or feels like she can talk to someone. Isn’t that what Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness is all about?

So please, ladies! Do not feel alone in your struggles! Everyone has a different path and some are just plain hard.

I love you all!

Ashley

3 thoughts on “This week last year”

  1. Thank you for posting this. Though I don’t openly talk about my miscarriage I will still share it with someone who needs support through theirs. I am sorry for your loss and truly know what you have been through. I was 11 weeks along but the babies heart beat was gone at 9 weeks. I bled through the beginning of the pregnancy and the doctors kept telling me it was normal. Then one day at work there was a lot of blood and I knew too before I made it to the hospital. We had told so many people that when I got pregnant again with Lilith I waited past the first trimester to tell someone. It’s hard, at the time I had a friend who had just gone through the same thin as my support, along with my family.

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