Virginia Williams is ready to tell her story.
“Each pregnancy loss was incredibly heartbreaking. In fact, I believe that miscarriage is one of the most painful trials a woman can go through,” writes Williams, 38. “Yet, miscarriage is rarely discussed publicly. We don’t tend to want to talk about, and therefore re-live, the bad things that happen to us.”
She continues, “The thing that makes me feel like the pain I went through (and still carry with me) is somehow not in vain, is the hope that if I talk about my experiences I might be able to help others heal, too.”
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Williams then goes into the stories behind each time she miscarried: the first time, when she’d had “I’m Getting a Baby Cousin!” T-shirts printed for her nephews and then found out shortly afterward that the fetus didn’t have a heartbeat, the second time when it happened early in the pregnancy, and the third time, when every test that came back said she was fine until they performed the ultrasound.
“After having previously had a [dilation and curettage procedure], which ultimately felt quite traumatic for me, I decided to let nature take its course this time and waited until my body naturally released the fetus,” she says.
“What I was not prepared for was how difficult those days were when my body still held on to a baby that I knew had no heartbeat; I woke up still pregnant, but knew that I would not be able to raise this child.”
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The feelings that surged inside Williams following her third miscarriage were intense, made worse by the fact that she felt like she couldn’t discuss what was happening out loud.
“I battled bitterness. I had PTSD. Just driving in the direction of my doctor’s office would trigger early signs of a panic attack,” she admits.
“I felt like a failure, like somehow my self-worth was tied to my ability to procreate. I didn’t feel like I could talk about it. I did NOT want other people’s pity, so I mostly kept my story and my feelings to myself.”
The Fairly Legal alum confesses that her hesitance in reaching out had very highly to do with the fact that she didn’t know anyone who’d had a similar experience, and that her goal in writing about her own is to help normalize the conversation about miscarriage.
“The whole subject of miscarriage seemed taboo. So, I want to change that. I think we need to bring the topic into the light,” she explains. “I want other women to feel they have permission to tell their stories of miscarriage.”
“When a woman opens up about her fertility struggles, I feel less alone, and I hope to help others in the same way. Talking about our experiences (especially difficult ones) brings healing. So let’s talk about it.”