Miscarriage, loss and finding hope. A mother of six, parenting one tells her story. After four years of trying to get pregnant, my guest today, Ena and her husband went to see an infertility specialist. They went through rounds of IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), facing a devastating 6 losses before finally delivering their little miracle, a beautiful baby girl.
During our interview Ena was pregnant again. When I asked her how she was feeling about this pregnancy she replied, “Excited, yet scared because of the history that I’ve had with the previous miscarriages.”
She lost her first child, Mia at almost 20 weeks when her water broke. She wasn’t seeing a high-risk doctor at the time and recalls that she had warning signs that she didn’t recognize. She was far enough along where Ena could feel her kicking. They induced her labor and she delivered Mia. A lot of Ena’s family were there and were able to hold Mia and take photos.
A lot of people think that when there is a miscarriage, there really isn’t a baby. They don’t necessarily honor that there was a baby and that the birth mother is a mother to that baby. Ena’s other losses were each around 6-7 weeks. She considers each and every one her child. In her initial letter to me, she signed it, ‘Mother of six, parent to one,’ which really touched me. She looks forward to seeing them again in heaven when her time comes.
Ena tells us, “People don’t tell you it’s 1 in 5 pregnancies that end in a loss.”
Having a baby meant so much to her that she wanted to try again at any cost. She’s glad she tried again because she now has Molly, a healthy girl and is pregnant again (naturally).
Ena’s advice to women who want to try to have a baby after a loss is, “Don’t try to conceive again until you’re ready. And I think you’re ready to conceive when you’re ready to go through another possible loss.”
Ena’s husband was incredibly supportive with their losses. He attended support groups with her and went through the grieving himself.
Every year, Ena and her husband visit Mia’s grave on her birthday to honor her. On the stigma of miscarriages and still births, Ena says, “I think our culture tries to ignore them. When I first had my loss I felt so alone until I started to research myself. And a lot of people don’t share. Even when people ask me, ‘How many children do you have?’, a lot of times it’s just easier for me to say, ‘I have a daughter’. And I would love to tell them, ‘Oh I have these other children but they are in heaven,’ but a lot of people just get uncomfortable about that. I’m sure every parent just wants to honor their children. And for me to be able to say Mia’s name makes me happy because a lot of times I can’t.”
From these experiences, Ena feels that she’s become a better person, more understanding, a better mother, and a person who appreciates life.
“I use to fear death, but now I accept it. It’s a part of life. There’s a circle of life; being born, growing, and then aging and dying. And unfortunately for some people that cycle is a lot shorter.”
For all the women and men who have been through the loss of a child, I know that this is such a difficult time. I hope that Ena’s interview provides you with some comfort and you realize that you can move forward, honor you child and remember them in a positive way. Make sure you get some support.
Just for fun, I asked Ena some speed questions about motherhood.
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