October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, and we know so many of you have endured heartbreaking experiences. Part of our passion and mission behind our #WeAreWeCan campaign is sharing the stories of the collective struggles that we as women face, and to recognize that we are not alone. This month, we're sharing the stories of women who've experienced pregnancy and infant loss in an effort to create awareness about the issue and to help other women who may be in similar situations feel supported, inspired, and less alone.
Today we're sharing the story of Stephanie Jashinsky. Stephanie has experienced four heartbreaking pregnancy losses in the last 18 months. Recently, she's been working with a specialist to get some answers and just completed a round of IVF. Read more of her story below.
COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY LOSS STORY?
I have suffered the loss of a first-term pregnancy, more commonly known as a "miscarriage" or "spontaneous abortion." I am 1 in 4. In the last 18 months, I have had four pregnancy losses. In the beginning, I was so traumatized from my first loss that my only focus was on having a baby. If I could do that I could validate myself. So I kept pushing and avoiding the loss. I attended a support meeting and realized a baby wouldn't fix this mess.
Our most recent loss was beautiful. My husband and I celebrated this precious life that was within me (no matter for however long). We again went home empty handed and broken hearted. We found ourselves working with a specialist who was able to help determine what was going on. We have spent the last six months getting answers. As of today, we have just completed a round of IVF.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS THIS EXPERIENCE SHAPED YOU?
I have gained such empathy for those that have suffered this kind of loss. I have more patience for others and for myself. I'm learning about the importance of self-care.
HOW OR WHERE DID YOU FIND SUPPORT, PEACE, AND COMFORT FOLLOWING YOUR EXPERIENCE?
FOR OTHER WOMEN WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED PREGNANCY LOSS AND MAY BE STRUGGLING, WHAT ADVICE OR WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU OFFER THEM?
I am so sorry. Please know you are not alone! It's so many emotions; allow yourself to feel them. It will come in waves, but when it does come sit in those feelings, allow yourself to feel those things. Please find someone to talk to about it, be it a therapist, your partner, a friend, or a support group. Talking about it makes it real. It allows you to recognize that this trauma did happen.