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I was depressed, but I don’t think anyone could tell.

I took a sip of my drink, the local beer Piton, and it reminded me of college, Pearl Jam — that song “Alive.” I felt anything but alive as I tossed the book I couldn’t get interested in aside, threw on shorts and a tank over my swimsuit, and decided to take a walk. I told my husband to watch our kid, who was splashing around in the pool.

Ten months earlier, I lost a child. Not my first. There have been six altogether. Six pregnancies. Six losses. The last one was the hardest one, because I was five months along when he decided to leave this earth. One minute I was in labor, and the next minute I was being handed a list of funeral homes and crematoriums.

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Patricia Araujo hopes to bring comfort to women and families suffering the devastating loss of a child or pregnancy by sharing her story.

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In December 2014, I suffered the devastating blow no pregnant woman wants to endure. I walked into my OB/GYN office hoping to hear good things, but instead I leave after hearing, “I’m sorry, we can’t find the heartbeat.” Nothing was more devastating at that moment.

I had a missed miscarriage, something that was completely oblivious to me until December 2nd, 2014. I had never heard of a missed miscarriage and no one I have ever known has had one. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel invincible at nearly four months pregnant. I figured I was past the common miscarriage stage and it was so unlikely I would make it to June 9th, 2015 without my precious baby.

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Confession: When I was pregnant or trying to conceive, I hated hearing stories about pregnancy loss and stillbirth. It wasn’t just because I felt sad for the families involved (though I certainly did); I wanted to pretend that such losses didn’t happen to women like me — those who went for regular sonograms, took prenatal vitamins and avoided risky behavior. Hearing stories of tragic loss spoiled my happy delusion.

Two miscarriages and a stillbirth later, much has changed, yet much remains the same. I am now the woman whose story many prefer not to hear. Mention of my baby can silence a room. I am a painful reminder of the fragility of nascent life. For some, it is easier to resort to platitudes, pity or a quick change of topic than to listen to what I am feeling or what I’ve been through.

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There were many reminders when I went for my routine gynecological check-up that morning. The waiting room where I had looked up baby names on my cellphone, trying to find the perfect middle name to go with the first name we had selected. The fetal monitoring room where the medical assistant had searched for my baby’s heartbeat, trying to look nonchalant as the minutes ticked by without success. The office where I had waited anxiously for my husband to arrive and learn the sad news that our son had died in utero at 31 weeks gestation.

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Losing A Baby

I have never wanted to stand out. There is a certain amount of fanfare and fuss that comes with infertility and loss but of course, it isn’t the good kind. When the most important thing in your life is something you have no control over, and being let down by your body has such far-reaching consequences, all you want is to fade into the background: to be average, to be a normal family.

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In the winter of 2005, my second son was stillborn well into my third trimester. I had, at that time, a living son who was almost 3 years old. When I recall that winter, I remember that the hardest thing my husband and I did was explain to our toddler that the baby he had been promised would not be coming to live with us.

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