Opening up about miscarriage introduces you to a sisterhood of women—and the more of us who publicly admit it, the better.
The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch’s pregnancy announcement is enough to make anyone smile—but what I found myself also appreciating is her open, heartfelt reflection on the miscarriage she previously experienced.
In a beautiful essay for Glamour, the actress revealed she is “overjoyed” to be expecting a child with her husband, Winston, this fall. But, she admitted to having some mixed feelings after suffering a miscarriage. Now, she said her joy is slightly tainted by the awareness of what could go wrong.
That’s a feeling I know well—and I’m grateful to Rauch for articulating it.
Although it’s not easy to open up, she said her goal was to reach out to other women in a similar position and let them know they’re not alone: Even though miscarriage happens in 10 to 25 percent of pregnancies, you can’t help but feel like yours is the only one.
And, after going through that, the pain remains real for years to come, which Rauch said influenced her decision to be completely transparent about her journey.
“When I thought about having to share the news about expecting this baby, all I could think about was another woman mourning over her loss as I did, worried she would never get pregnant again, and reading about my little bundle on the way,” Rauch said. “It felt a bit disingenuous to not also share the struggle it took for me to get here.”
Rauch talked candidly about how difficult it was for her to process the loss of her unborn child. Like me, she was crushed by the thought of what might have been—the idea of who that person could have become, if only they’d had the chance.
And, like me, she tried to rush through the grieving process. She says she put pressure on herself to be “over this by now,” and wondered whether she was somehow at fault.
But, then she figured out that it was fine to feel down. And it was more than OK—it was essential—to mourn. I’ve been there, and it takes time.
By opening up about that, she hopes to help other women feel less guilty for taking the time they need to cope.
“Because this kind of loss is not openly talked about nearly as much as it should be, there really is no template for how to process these emotions,” she said. “You’re not necessarily going to a funeral or taking time off from work to mourn, but that doesn’t change the fact that something precious has been unexpectedly taken from your life.”
Having lost my first baby, Rauch’s honest and humorous testimony touches a nerve. It never occurred to me that my pregnancy might not work out. I barreled straight into it expecting the best and felt similarly “blindsided” when the ultrasound told its terrible truth. But, like Rauch, I decided to be open. I spoke to other moms about their experiences. I discovered two of my friends had both lost babies in the first trimester.
I realized there was a sisterhood of women just like me—and the more of us who publicly admit it, the better.
Reflecting on her journey so far, Rauch sees a lot of reasons to be positive. One of them is gratitude: “All I really know for sure is that this experience has changed me forever. I know it’s made me grateful for every moment of my current pregnancy, and I hope it will make me a better mother in some capacity when I can finally hold the child that has been in my heart in my arms.”
Eighteen months after my miscarriage, I was able to do just that. It’s truly an experience that I never take for granted.