By: Juli Auclair Lipof
Many couples feel a great sense of relief when they enter the second trimester of pregnancy. They’ve made it through the nerve wracking first twelve weeks, when the majority of early miscarriages happen. This is a joyous time when many couples are more comfortable sharing the news, about their bundle of joy, with family and friends. While pregnancy loss decreases dramatically after the first trimester, it unfortunately does still happen. Pregnancies lost between 12 and 20 weeks are often referred to as late miscarriages and those after 20 weeks as stillbirths.
Fran Meadows and her husband, Tim, of Connecticut, know all too well the enormous emotional pain that accompanies a stillbirth.
Fran, the author of The Truth Behind the Secret “Infertility, agreed to share her story of struggles and success with pregnancy. Fran and Tim dealt with unexplained infertility for years before seeking help from a specialist. They tried IUI, IVF, frozen embryo transfer and rejoiced when they finally became pregnant.
Q- Fran, you suffered a heartbreaking loss when your first pregnancy ended in a stillbirth. Can you share what this experience was like for you and your husband?
FRAN: “I was 33 at the time of my loss. It was a time when I lost hope, faith and a piece of my life. We were broken. My husband tried to be strong for me but he was totally devastated. At times I think many forget that the man is hurting, too. Just because the baby was in my belly doesn't mean the baby wasn't in his heart. It was hard for me - I blamed myself. I was embarrassed, felt guilt, felt shame and even more less of woman than when going through treatments.”
Q- How did you manage to recover from such a devastating loss? Was there something or someone that was instrumental in helping you with this?
FRAN: “I don't think you ever recover but as time goes on you heal at your own pace. You never forget, you reflect and move forward. It took a lot of support, therapy, crying, praying and time to accept the unacceptable loss we experienced. The healing process was tough but support from family, friends and sessions with my therapist helped me a lot.”
Q- What advice would you give to other couples who experience a late pregnancy loss like this?
FRAN: “Heal as a couple at your own pace do not let anyone tell you how you are feeling. Do not mask or hide what happened let your emotions out. I found writing my power to express things on paper that I might never say out loud. Believe!”
Fran and Tim did eventually become pregnant again. In our next blog, we will share the procedure that helped them conceive, the story of their pregnancy and the roller coaster of emotions surrounding it.
Juli Auclair Lipof spent 18 years as a TV news anchor and reporter before switching gears and launching her own video-based parenting website www.NotSupermom.com.
NotSupermom™ is chock-full of parenting advice and tips with a healthy dose of humor! She is also a writer, producer and social media enthusiast. Juli lives in a suburb of New York City, with her husband and two children.