“I think the emotion I felt the most was guilt because I felt like I was not happy about the pregnancy in the beginning. By the time I was starting to get some kind of excitement, the miscarriage happened.”
Tyler and Eric have been dating for 7 years. They started dating in 2013 when Tyler was a junior in high school and Eric was a senior. The two of them have navigated living through different states, major life changes, and now currently live in the same city. When they first started dating, Tyler laughed about the fact that she did not think that they were going to last. She thought it would be more of a high school relationship, and when they went off to college they would go their separate ways. She had no idea that Eric would be the person that she wanted to spend her life with.
When Life Throws Curveballs.
And with any relationship, whether it is romantic or not, life will throw some curveballs that you were not prepared for. Tyler and Eric have experienced some rough patches, but one of hardest things that the two of them have been through together is experiencing the loss of a child through a miscarriage.
“It was one day that something just felt weird that my period had still not arrived. But my period was never regular so I didn’t think anything of it. To give myself peace of mind I decided to take a pregnancy test. I took the test at work and there were two lines that appeared on the test. I immediately called Eric and he wasn’t even freaking out! I wasn’t as enthusiastic because I was about to start a new job, Eric and I don’t live together, and my family is very traditional. You do things in a certain order. You go to college, you graduate, you get married, and THEN you have kids. Kids and then getting married is just not how we do things. It just felt messy because I thought that it was not the best timing.”
As Tyler continued wrestling with her emotions internally, juggling a new job, and figuring out how to communicate to her family that she was pregnant – she started experiencing excessively heavy bleeding.
“One night Eric and I were hanging out and I had been saying that my back was hurting. But it had been hurting the entire time so I didn’t think much of it. And then all of a sudden, I started to pass this tissue. I was like what in the world is this? Then I immediately knew. I went to the emergency room and sat for four hours without even being seen – mind you at this point it is 2:00 am. The hard part was that I started my new job the very next day at 7:00 am. It was really hard to go to work the next day and know that I was actively having a miscarriage.”
As Women, We Always Feel This Need to Be Perfect.
As Tyler shared, the hardest part about this entire process was having to go into work and act as though everything was okay. For many women, we feel as if the second we admit to feeling anything less than normal we will be seen as weak.
“I felt like I couldn’t let other people know what was happening and that made it much worse. What I didn’t know about the miscarriage is that it isn’t over in one day. It can go on for over a week. So there I was at work acting as if everything is fine, all bubbly and happy. But the second I left my job I felt the weight of what I was dealing with land on my shoulders.”
When Tyler began to process what she was going through, she felt a wave of different emotions. Angry, hurt, upset, anxious – she felt it all.
“You feel anxiety and panic because you are like, does this mean that this will happen again? If I got pregnant again would I have the same outcome? Am I going to be able to carry my babies? And then I felt angry. You see so many other women, both younger and older who were able to have kids. And my immediate anger response was to pick at those people. Because you don’t understand. Like I constantly would think why Lord, why did you take this from me and give these things to other people, and what makes them a better fit than me. And then I felt depressed. I didn’t know it was going to be so emotionally trying until it happened. It has been 6 or 7 weeks since it has happened and I still don’t feel back to my normal self.”
There Is No Guide on How To Heal Correctly.
Traumatic experiences have a way of affecting us longer than we thought they would sometimes. And healing itself is not linear, but rather a journey that we each go through. One of the most frustrating things about healing is that there is no handbook on how to heal effectively, rather it takes us on a ride through highs and lows.
“This experience has taught me that healing is a process. Everyone has different ways of how they would heal. Deal with it how you need to. If you are angry, be angry. If you want to be sad, be sad. I feel like my healing process has been crippled because I felt like I had to keep it to myself. The most helpful thing is to not feel ashamed for what happened because it is not your fault. You have to tell yourself you are not ashamed of this. I can sit around and be sad and angry and do nothing, or I can talk about what happened to someone. Some things are just out of your control.”
Vulnerability Breeds Vulnerability.
About 1 in 4 women will have a miscarriage – making it something that a lot of women have experienced and will experience. Even so, there is something about opening up as women that we always don’t do. We keep our stories to ourselves – without understanding that each time we open up it gives someone else to do the same. One thing that Tyler wishes would change is how vulnerable we choose to be with each other.
“As women, we could be going through a million things and you don’t want to appear weak in any way. We put so much pressure on ourselves for things that are unrealistic. It is crazy to me that I went to work every day and acted as if nothing was wrong. And I think it has taken me so long to deal with it because of how I dealt with it. Social media has been difficult for me because all I see is pregnant women. I wish you could say to other women “I am happy for you, but I am upset that this happened to me” because it feels like you can’t say that to other women without coming off as negative. If I have a baby a few years from now, I can say “this was not as easy as it seems because of what happened to me” if a woman were to reach out to me and share what she went through. Social media should be a place where you should be able to create this open space of dialogue and a community telling each other that it is okay.”
It Is Okay If You Don’t Know What To Say – But Make Sure You Are Supportive.
Empathy is a hard thing to navigate – because realistically we don’t always know what to say if it is something we have never been through. When I asked Tyler what are some things that are NOT helpful to say to someone who has had a miscarriage, she made it clear that pity and the sad faces are not helpful – and actually crippling. Instead, it is much more helpful to be supportive and uplifting when someone is sharing such a vulnerable moment in their life.
“It does not help when other women who have NOT had a miscarriage but say that they understand because they don’t. I myself used to know that it probably sucked, but I had no idea it would be as bad as it is. You don’t want people to pity you and it is much more comforting when people acknowledge it and seem supportive. Every time that I tell someone that I had a miscarriage I feel a weight lifted off of my shoulders when the conversation did not go as badly as I thought because nothing is wrong with me. It is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. It is okay to be mad and sad. This has taught me to be more vulnerable. I no longer feel a sense of shame for what has happened.”
So thankful for your courage in sharing your story, Tyler. So inspired today by your bravery, and grateful that you are a part of the community.
If you would like to connect with Tyler on Instagram, follow her at @its__tylerr.
Water Your Garden today.