Last week, Sam and Nia Rader won the hearts of the Internet in their viral pregnancy announcement video, posted to YouTube. This week, our hearts are breaking as we learn of their tragic news: Nia had a miscarriage.
You might remember the adorable Sam and Nia Internet frenzy from just a few days ago: Sam was the loving and clever husband who stole his wife’s urine from the toilet in the morning to take a pregnancy test behind her back. Sam recorded himself presenting his wife with a positive pregnancy test, unbeknownst to her, and her reaction was absolutely priceless. The sweet and hilarious video has hit almost 11 million views on YouTube.
Now the couple is back with an honest and heartbreaking message the rest of the world needs to hear: Sam and Nia uploaded a new YouTube video on Aug. 8 called “Our Baby Had a Heartbeat.” In the video, the couple broke down as they explained that, following their exciting pregnancy news, Nia had a miscarriage.
The parents of two young children never had a miscarriage before — which is very common. Many women have pregnancies with little or no complications before miscarriage, although that may make those miscarriages even more shocking when they happen.
In the video, Nia says through tears, “We were so happy… We were just so overjoyed, and then, bam, it just hit us like a bomb. Those of you who have experienced miscarriage before, I can relate now. I felt my womb empty out, and I never knew women felt that way.” She adds, “I am mourning with those of you who are feeling this.”
Nia, being brave enough to share the aftermath of her happy news, brings up an important point. And it’s one we don’t normally like to talk about, even among women. Miscarriage, categorized as pregnancy loss within the first 20 weeks, happens more often than many of us realize — anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of all confirmed pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Chemical pregnancies, where a pregnancy may be lost quickly after implantation and cause bleeding around a woman’s expected period, account for 50 to 75 percent of all miscarriages.
Because a miscarriage happens so early on in pregnancy, the grief that comes with it is easily (and often) overlooked. People may sympathize, friends and family may reach out, but a few weeks later, you’re expected to move on from your loss and try, try again.
Experts say this “get over it” attitude is exactly the wrong way to cope with miscarriage grief if you want to eventually consider another pregnancy. According to research done by Kristen Swanson, dean and professor at the college of nursing at Seattle University, you may get through miscarriage loss, but you’re not going to get over it. Based on her findings, Swanson estimates it could take up to 12 weeks to grieve the loss of a pregnancy, and after that time, a woman should consider seeking professional help.
Miscarriage grief is a lonely grief because most of us don’t know how to talk about it. Plenty of women experience it, but the topic is still taboo because it’s uncomfortable for people to hear what it’s like to lose a baby. Nia’s story is a tough one, but it serves an invaluable purpose. As this viral vlogger and other celebrities, like Bethenny Frankel, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife and Lily Allen, talk openly about the tragedy of pregnancy loss, miscarriage will become more mainstream.
The next time you hear about a friend who’s had a miscarriage, remember one important thing: Not everyone is going to post their feelings to YouTube. Most women will suffer in silence because they feel they have no other choice. It’s your job as a friend or family member to keep the conversation going and to challenge this close-minded view of pregnancy loss: Keep reaching out and checking in, even when a friend seems “fine.” Knowing you’re there goes a long way.