Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame recently shared a very personal experience on his Facebook page. He shared his pregnancy news but along with it also shared their struggles with miscarriages him and his wife faced while trying to get pregnant. His candid post has been shared more than 49,000 times and has 1.7 million likes! It is great and refreshing to see so much support for a topic that was previously discussed in whispered tones. I feel that his post has brought awareness to a topic that so many women know about and felt ashamed about. Women are now talking about their experiences and supporting one another during a moment when you feel so alone. His post made me want write a blog post! I suffered a miscarriage nine years ago yet it is so vivid in my mind. I’ve always to share my story because I was one of the first people I know that suffered from a miscarriage. However, when it happened I felt so alone. Mark Zuckerberg has encouraged me to open up and I hope you can too.
When I first learned I was pregnant, I was overjoyed. My husband and I could not wait to become parents and add another member to our family. We began researching baby names and added multiple Pregnancy and Parenting books to our bookshelf. Every Sunday night we would pull one out and read together what the coming week had in store for our baby.
We shared our exciting news with family and close friends who all joined in with their happiness for us.And then it all disappeared in an instant, as quickly as it had first arrived.
I had a miscarriage.
I remember coming home from the doctor’s office and clinging on to my husband’s arms, falling to the ground crying. We both sat on the ground holding each other, trying to find the right words to say but there were no words that would help. We could feel each other’s pain. We both saw everything we talked about the last few weeks disappear into thin air.
When the news spread about my miscarriage, only a selected few comforted me. My mom told me it would be okay. Inshallah I will be blessed again. My sister reminded me, Allah knows best. Never to question why it happened and it happened for a reason we will never know or even understand that reason.There were a few who gave me reasons as to why it happened. I was told to re-think of an incident where I fell or bumped into something. Did I run down the stairs too quickly? Maybe it happened because I shared my news before my first trimester was complete? These comments and lack of support made me believe it was MY fault. Maybe I did do something. Maybe I didn’t deserve to be a mom and these people were just reassuring it.
And everyone else was silent. Everyone else ignored that it even happened.
I could not ignore it. The agony and sadness that filled my heart followed me every waking minute of my day for many weeks. I would hear of a friend’s or family member’s pregnancy and congratulate the parents-to-be while holding back tears. Behind closed doors, I would cry. I would ask why I had to have my baby taken away from me? What did I do wrong?
The fact that no one talked about it made it harder for me to deal with. It made it seem like there was in fact something wrong with me. I was the only one going through this. I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to share my feelings but did not know who to turn to, did not know who would understand me.
I joined some online forums and read the stories of other women. Although our feelings were the same, I couldn’t relate to them as a Muslim. There were many businesses who helped you remember your child. I didn’t need a necklace or bracelet to help me validate my feelings, I just needed someone to listen to me and tell me it would be ok.
When I finally opened up to a friend, she told me she understood me because she too suffered from having a miscarriage. Finally, I was no longer alone. We talked for hours about how we felt, how others made us feel and how to move on.
She shared some words from a hadith with me that helped me heal and I have not forgotten those words. Regarding the loss of an unborn child, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, truly the miscarried child will certainly drag its mother with its umbilical cord to Paradise, provided one expects recompense.” [Ibn Maajah and Ahmad]
Those words helped me heal. My soul felt at ease and my tears eventually stopped. I felt comfort knowing my unborn baby would be praying for me and waiting for me. By taking the first step and opening up to my friend, I created a discussion we wouldn’t have had otherwise. Sometimes, it’s hard to reach out for support when usually it’s always waiting for you.
The Muslim community is normally so supportive. However, I learned the hard way that miscarriage is not a topic many like to speak of. I no longer keep silent about it. I still mourn the loss of my “baby” but am vocal about it with others. I want my friends and family members to know it’s not their fault they miscarried. There is no closure with a miscarriage. You are only left with your emotions to deal with and that can be very difficult.
After making dua and remembering Sabr is very important thing during a loss, I accepted my loss.
I ask that you comfort those going through a miscarriage. You may not know what to say, but just offering your time and support helps. And if you’ve been unfortunate to have gone through one, speak about it. You don’t know what sharing your story will do for another woman who has silenced her own story.
Today, I have two beautiful boys whom I cannot live without. I thank Allah swt everyday for them. I also am thankful for the experiences I went through before them. It makes me a better mom and reminds me that although we don’t know it, there is a plan for us-we just have to wait for it.