One of the hardest parts about miscarriage is that it can feel as if there is pressure to compare and contrast your loss against women who have had losses later in their pregnancies. You might think, for example, that a pregnancy loss at 10 weeks is somehow "less" painful or significant than a pregnancy loss at 19 weeks. And despite the fact that we know comparing doesn't do anyone any favors—and it certainly doesn't help lessen any pain or grief—we still do it.
One mom is helping to end the idea that there is ever such a thing as "only" in early pregnancy loss. On her Facebook page, A Beautifully Burdened Life, blogger Jenny Albers shared a touching post based on her own experience of losing two babies. In her post, Albers wrote about having a stillbirth at 20 weeks of pregnancy and a miscarriage at 6 weeks. She started her post by noting how many women, after finding out that she had lost a baby at 20 weeks, share their own stories of loss while also being careful to note that their losses were "only" at 7 or 8 or 9 weeks.
But as a woman who has experienced a range of pregnancy loss, Albers, also a mom to two living children, is making it clear that when it comes to comparing pregnancy losses, nobody wins. No matter when a pregnancy loss occurs, it represents a lifetime of missed moments.
Albers knows the pain of trying to rationalize away a loss, but after her own losses and hearing from other women who have had losses, too, she is now urging all women to replace one word so they don't undermine their very real experience.
"I don’t know the details of anyone else’s loss, nor can I say I know exactly how they were affected by loss. But I do know that there is no 'only' in pregnancy loss," she explained. "Not in mine or anyone else’s. There is 'already.'” As in, the baby was already loved at 6 or 8 or 10 weeks.
The rest of Albers' post is a powerful statement that captures the extent of the emotions that so many women have felt while experiencing a pregnancy loss. No matter how far along they were, "already" sums it up more than "only":
"... there was already love planted deeply in a mother's heart. A love that had already begun to grow from the moment the first sign of life was displayed in the once empty window of a pregnancy test.
"It doesn't matter if a pregnancy 'only' lasted for a few weeks. It doesn't matter if it was an early loss or a late loss.
"What matters is that there was already a baby who was loved immensely. And love cannot be measured in weeks."