Heather Van Diest (37), and Evangeline, (5.5). Heather miscarried a pregnancy in June 2016 and is currently 12 weeks pregnant with her rainbow baby.
Montville, CT | Photographed in Austin, TX
Heather shares -
"I think I felt more confident in my body after giving birth to my daughter. I saw how amazing and strong and resilient it was after creating life and struggling through the postpartum period. That image was shaken briefly following my miscarriage, as I felt my body had failed at the very thing it was supposed to know how to do.
I had the beautiful, unmedicated delivery of my dreams with my daughter at 39 weeks. I felt so strong and fierce! And she was perfect and healthy. However, my midwives had let my preeclampsia go on for too long and it became severe, putting my life in danger.
My postpartum period was filled with hazy ER visits, high fevers, another hospitalization, a LOT of magnesium sulfate, and two weeks of bed rest and blood pressure medication once finally settling in at home with my baby. It was not at all the postpartum experience I had thought it would be and we struggled without a local support system. It was a “perfect” birth turned somewhat traumatic and I’ve had to do a lot of processing around it.
I’m planning a hospital birth for next time since I felt very safe and supported (in all my choices) in that setting, and quite abandoned by my birthing center. Getting pregnant again has proven to be a difficult journey. After getting pregnant with my daughter on the very first try I didn’t ever imagine I would struggle with conceiving, or that I would experience miscarriage.
My miscarriage in 2016 rocked my world. I didn’t realize how common it was or how many women have gone through it. It was eye opening. And while I would never choose to experience a miscarriage, it has changed me for the better. I have connected with so many amazing women through my journey with miscarriage and secondary infertility. Sharing my story publicly has helped me, and other women have told me it has also helped them. The stigma around both miscarriage and infertility is mind blowing and I want to do my part to normalize both. I am almost 12 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby and I am so excited for this next chapter in my journey of womanhood and motherhood.
My journey to motherhood has been longer and more complicated than I ever thought it would be. I want to share my experiences in hopes that it helps or validates even just one other woman.
Your journey to motherhood is not likely to be exactly how you envisioned it or mapped it out. Embrace it anyway, what other choice do you have? Lean on your people. Learn from the experiences. Rewrite the narrative and own your story!