Image Credits: AP Photo/Sanford Myers

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. It was first commemorated by the Reagan administration as a time to honor families and the children they had lost and raise awareness for this issue that can cause such great suffering. As pro-life individuals, we should recognize the struggle that women who experience miscarriages face. We should also encourage women to talk about their loss and realize they are not alone. Everyone grieves differently, but anywhere from 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. And yet, women experiencing once often feel alone and ashamed. There’s a saying that you shouldn’t talk about your pregnancy until the second trimester in case you lose the baby. That leaves people who do experience miscarriages feeling alone and isolated without anyone to talk to. 

During this month, many groups are speaking out about the solitude women experience when having a miscarriage and how to combat with great awareness, advocacy, and support systems. In the vein, here are five famous women who have spoken out about their own experiences with miscarriage in a way that has inspired many others and been a big step towards destigmitizing this common issue. 

Shawn Johnson

Olympic gymnast Johnson is expecting her first child in October 2019, but has been very open about sharing her miscarriage almost two years ago. Johnson shared her miscarriage story originally in a tearful Instagram story in which they mourned the loss. Even now that she is close to delivery, she’s commemorated that pregnancy loss and how it influenced the way she felt during her second pregnancy. 

Johnson also talked about the guilt she felt. This is something common for miscarrying mothers even though the cause of most miscarriages is chromosomal abnormalities that cannot be controlled by the mother. 

“The day I was told we were miscarrying, I felt guilty. I felt sad and I remember telling Andrew, ‘I’m sorry I lost your baby.’ I felt like it was something that I did,” she recalls. “I didn’t take care of the baby well enough, or I was stressed out too much, or I didn’t take the right prenatal vitamins”

Michelle Obama 

In her bestselling memoir, Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama opened up about miscarrying and ultimately conceiving her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, through in-vitro fertilization. It was the talk of the town when the book came out because people were so grateful for someone so important opening up about this issue–and in the bestselling book of the year no less. 

“We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well,” Obama wrote. “We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had a miscarriage, which left me physically uncomfortable and cratered any optimism we felt.”

Shay Mitchell

Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell just welcomed a daughter with her boyfriend, but revealed she had a miscarriage in 2018. 

The first time that I was pregnant last year, Matt and I hadn’t been planning, it happened and we were really excited about it,” she said. “I was like 14 weeks, at that point, I had no idea the percentage of miscarriages. When it happened I was just, completely blindsided by it.”

Beyonce

Uber sensation Beyonce is now a mother of three, but she has revealed that she had a miscarriage during her first pregnancy. Some of Jay Z’s lyrics have even alluded to multiple miscarriages. 

“About two years ago, I was pregnant for the first time. And I heard the heartbeat, which was the most beautiful music I ever heard in my life,” the singer said before revealing the loss. “I went into the studio and wrote the saddest song I’ve ever written in my life … And it was the best form of therapy for me, because it was the saddest thing I’ve ever been through.”

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Carrie Underwood

Country star Underwood, who is now a mother of two, opened up about having three miscarriages between her first and second sons. 

I’d kind of planned that 2017 was, you know, going to be the year that I work on new music, and I have a baby. We got pregnant early 2017, and didn’t work out,” she revealed. “Got pregnant again in the spring, and it didn’t work out. Got pregnant again early 2018 — didn’t work out. So, at that point, it was just kind of like, Okay, what’s the deal? What is all of this?”

Underwood gave birth to her second child in January 2019. 

Something I think is important about these five stories is that all these women went on to have successful pregnancies and become mothers. Most women, according to doctors, who have a miscarriage will later have a successful pregnancy. In the moment, it is tough, and it can feel like the end, but know you are not alone and that there is hope for another day.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member