Somewhere, a mother is peering over a pregnancy test, and marveling that her life will never be the same again, as she watches an invisible space fill with just the tiniest tinge of pink.
She looks at herself in the mirror. She rubs her belly. She wonders who she will tell first.
Somewhere, too, a doctor’s office is calling a woman, leaving a voicemail for her to return the call. When she does, she will learn that her IVF efforts have resulted in a fertilized egg – that she is pregnant.
Somewhere in the United States, though, a mother is holding her still-flat tummy and consoling herself that cramping is a totally normal part of early pregnancy.
This very minute, a father is at work, somewhere in the United States. His wife is calling him to tell him to come home.
This very minute a new mother is using the restroom, and begins to panic when she wipes and finds blood on her tissue.
This very minute, a new mother is sitting with her feet elevated, hoping to stop the blood from coming.
This very minute, a new mother is being told that “these things happen” and to “just expect a period.”
This very minute, new parents are wondering how to tell their children that mommy is losing the baby.
This very minute, a new mother, dressed in a suit or uniform, is wishing she could leave work, because she doesn’t want to be there as she labors her miscarried baby.
This very minute, a new mother is debating how she will finish her errands for the week, because she doesn’t want to risk being out in public as her body furthers the laboring of her miscarried baby.
This very minute, a new mother wishes the labor and birth would be over so that she can resume normal daily tasks like grocery shopping without fear, while at the same time wishing the nightmare would end and she would wake up still happily pregnant.
This very minute, young children are fantasizing over having a little brother or sister, only to learn that their baby is no longer alive.
This very minute, new parents are deciding how they will say goodbye to their baby, while wondering if they will be given that chance.
This very minute, a new mother is looking online to see what miscarried babies look like. Her search will be met by photos of electively aborted babies instead, if she doesn’t find stillbirthday.
This very minute, an ultrasound technician is shutting off an ultrasound machine with the words “I’m sorry.”
This very minute, a mother is peering into her toilet, feeling so ashamed and dirty as she sticks her hand into the cool, red water to see if she can retrieve what she wonders is the physical form of her tiny baby.
This very minute, a mother is sitting in a wheelchair in an Emergency Room, begging for protection over her pregnancy and baby, while watching other people being admitted and cared for first.
This very minute, a miscarried baby’s physical form enters into a sewage or waste system.
This very minute, a couple is wondering how they are supposed to plan or pay for a farewell, or what the right kind of farewell is.
This very minute, a couple is looking at one another, feeling more alone than they ever have before – but right now, this very minute, they join hundreds of thousands of other couples who are impacted by pregnancy loss every year.
They are not alone – but they don’t know that yet.
Every minute a baby is born by miscarriage in the United States.
Today, one thousand six hundred forty four American families will be impacted by miscarriage, and seventy one more will be impacted by stillbirth.
A pregnancy loss is still a birth – is still a birthday.