A mother's miscarriage-centric campaign has gone viral—and it's an important reminder that miscarriages are far more common than most people think.
Rachel Lewis's journey to motherhood hasn't been an easy one. The mother has suffered five miscarriages in four years—but what so many people fail to realize is that her story isn't such an outlier: As the mom points out, one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage.
That's why Lewis, who writes about her family's experiences on her blog, The Lewis Note, decided to enact a campaign around these often-overlooked statistics. She enlisted other women who have miscarried to share their photos along with a "I am 1 in 4" watermark. Lewis supplemented these photos with powerful text about the kind of women who are affected by miscarriage. The takeaway? Women of all kinds have endured pregnancy loss.
"You see me in my work. I’m the last one out of the office, and the first one in. I never leave early, or request time off to attend field trips. Sometimes you comment on how much easier my life must be without balancing work AND family. You think I’m childless. I know you are wrong. Living without my children in my arms is anything BUT easy," the post reads. "You see me at the grocery store with my kids. My baby swaddled up to my chest, my two older kids hanging off the cart I push around. You comment on how full my arms are. I smile on the outside. On the inside, I cringe. The truth is, no matter how many kids I have in my arms, I know they will never be full enough."
It's hard to believe so many pregnancies don't result in live births—and part of this is due to attitudes surrounding the discussion of miscarriage. It's rare to see someone as open about experiencing pregnancy loss as Lewis is—but as her campaign proves, sometimes women simply need to know they're not the only ones. When Lewis added the "1 in 4" watermark to her own Facebook picture, she received messages from a whopping 40 friends who all wanted to add the same message to their own photos. “I think the graphic is a way of saying, ‘You might not know this, but I've endured the loss of a child I wanted,” Lewis told TODAY. “There are so many women who really want to share their story but feel like they don't have the opportunity, or are afraid of others' reactions.”
The demand inspired Lewis to create a downloadable watermark that others can use on their own photos. The timing is right too: October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
“I wanted to bring awareness to the fact that when you see normal, beautiful, successful women, you’re also seeing people who are struggling with the loss of a child,” Lewis told TODAY. “Giving a voice, a name and a face to pregnancy loss is one of the most meaningful contributions I feel I can make in this world.”