I wrote this post with the hope that one day I would be brave enough to share it.
Miscarriage is an incredibly common heartbreak that most women suffer by themselves. It’s a difficult subject to talk about, not only because of the emotions it brings up, but the awkwardness of not knowing what to say to others who have not experienced it. When I was at the darkest point, I desperately searched for blog posts written by women who had experienced what I was going through and came out the other side stronger than ever.
It is my wish that someone in the future might find this post and know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually you will make it to that light and feel the warm sunshine on your face again.
Dear Wedding Clients of 2014,
Thank you. Thank you for getting me through the hardest thing I’ve gone through so far in my life without even knowing what was going on. As I write this letter to you, it’s been 11 weeks since my miscarriage. I have no idea if I’ll ever share this with you, but I want to write it all out in case one day I’m confident enough to share my story.
In June 2014 I became pregnant with my first child. Having children is something I had patiently waited for ever since my fellow swim team member turned around in government class and told me, “You’re going to be a great mom.” It might have been the cupcakes I baked for my class doing the talking, but her words stuck with me.
After college, friends started getting married and having children. I patiently waited. On a warm spring day in May, my husband and I had our dream beach wedding surrounded by our closest family and friends. The following year, we decided we were ready for kids.
Right in the middle of my busiest wedding season so far.
I got pregnant right away and for that I felt incredibly guilty. Guilty, because even though I had patiently waited for so long to start trying, women I cared about had been trying and couldn’t get pregnant.
We decided to wait to tell our family the exciting news until August so we could tell both sides of our family in person.
It was a typical, hot Southern Californian summer and I cheerfully photographed my wonderful clients’ weddings. I felt like I was sharing my passion with my baby and it was such a fun experience for me. I was fortunate to not have morning sickness and I made sure to stay hydrated. When I was home I was exhausted, but at weddings I was even more happy and energetic than I was before I was pregnant.
Life seemed even more beautiful.
The last few days of July, 1 week before my husband and I were about to tell our family I was pregnant, everything changed. I’ll spare you the awful details, but I went through the most horrible pain both physically and emotionally that I had ever experienced. My husband was by my side and together we went through the confusing pain of knowing the baby we were so excited about was no longer there. It was heartbreaking, but there wasn’t any time to dwell on it. We were flying to Cleveland for my sister-in-law’s wedding in a few days and we didn’t want to ruin her special day.
I put on a smile and we made it through the trip. The wedding was lovely and I was happy to be surrounded by family that I love so much. We kept our suffering to ourselves, only sharing it with 2 people while we were there. I dodged questions about when we were going to have kids and did my best to keep my crazy hormones in check.
We made it back from Ohio and there was still wasn’t any time to deal with my emotions. My cousin was getting married! I didn’t want to take away from her day and so I continued to keep my pain to myself. The wedding was beautiful and I had a great time dancing with my cousins and sister.
The end of August I photographed the first wedding since my miscarriage. Being surrounded by love and doing what I do best was wonderful. For the few hours I was there I was able to forget my heartache and really feel the joy of the moment. It felt like everything was going to be ok.
Then September came and the reality of what had happened finally sunk in. I cried. A lot. I slept instead of editing. I ate way more food than I should have. Through it all I did my best to take care of my clients, determined not to give them any reason for concern. I started letting my second photographers know what was going on. I wanted to make sure someone else was watching to make sure I didn’t fail my clients.
Now it’s October and I’m starting to feel like my old self again. Wiser, stronger and more confident in my abilities as a wedding photographer. While I was mending my heart I created some of the most beautiful pictures I had ever done. I photographed weddings at new exciting venues, formed friendships with incredible couples and wrote heartfelt blog posts.
So, to my wonderful Wedding Clients of 2014, thank you. Thank you for your joy. Thank you for your confidence in me. Thank you for letting me photograph your love for your partner in life. Thank you for your patience while I took extra time to edit your wedding pictures. Thank you for your excited words when you saw your pictures for the first time.
My cup was feeling empty and you filled it.
For that, I will forever be grateful.
With so much love,