October. It’s just another month until you become 1 in 4 women who know the pain of pregnancy and infant loss. For many, this month is dreaded, as it is a reminder of empty hands, hearts and nurseries during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. As we approached October, I wasn’t quite sure how I’d feel. In March of this year, I experienced a miscarriage. To put it lightly, I truly thought I’d never know that pain. I reminded myself often, before conceiving, that I am young, healthy, and wouldn’t have to worry. I was wrong. I lost my baby. We lost our first child and I was devastated. No matter what amazing support I had, the loss of my baby put me into immediate isolation. Having never been through something that painful, I knew one thing. I had to surrender the pain. As a believer, I questioned why God could allow such a painful thing to happen. I questioned him, prayed fervently and finally, surrendered.
One month later, I was standing in my bathroom staring at a pregnancy test with two bright pink lines starting back at me. I told my husband, “THERE’S NO WAY!!!” Sure enough, there was a way. God had heard our prayers and blessed us with our sweet rainbow baby, coming this December. Immediately, the excitement, nerves and anticipation set in, all at once. How was I supposed to move forward with this pregnancy while I was still mourning my last? Fear got the best of me in those delicate first few weeks, but soon enough we discovered we were expecting a healthy baby girl. This pregnancy has been a balancing act, of honoring the baby we lost while celebrating our sweet rainbow on the way. While miscarriage is not spoken about enough in our society, neither is pregnancy after loss. To the mamas who know this pain, you are undoubtedly the strongest and most resilient women.
My pregnancy, thus far, has been full of so many exciting moments. Having experienced loss, I had a new mindset of gratitude going into my pregnancy. I have truly embraced the miracle of life growing in my belly. Shifting my mindset has made all the difference in enjoying my pregnancy. Through first nausea, food aversions and all the bizarre symptoms that come with pregnancy, I chose to stay focused on the positives. Instead of complaining about the changes happening in my body, I chose to be excited that my body is capable of accommodating this baby girl. Instead of allowing fear to take over, I trust that my body is brilliant and it knows what my daughter needs. I have learned so much about myself in my pregnancy with her. I suppose it is just the beginning of learning and growing in this journey called motherhood. I am choosing to enter this chapter of life with a willingness to learn and an open heart and mind for the good that is coming!
If you are a mama in the thick of the pain, losing hope or maybe you’re newly pregnant, you are not alone. Take what you need to care for yourself. Prioritize your healing and believe that there is good to come. This month, as I honor the baby that I lost, I honor yours too. We can do hard things.
About Halle Skandalakis: I’m Halle! I currently reside by the coast in Southern California with my highschool sweetheart. We are expecting our rainbow baby, just in time for Christmas! I have a heart for connecting with others and sharing honest and relatable information. I love plants, cooking and being outside.