A month or so after Julia Aziz and her husband had gotten married, she became pregnant. The pregnancy hadn't been planned, but they were very excited. But Julia had a miscarriage.
Julia was 29 at the time. Though she and her husband had not initally planned on starting a family right away, their feelings on this changed after the miscarriage. They waited for six months and tried again. She delivered her first baby at 31 years of age.
Julia is now 41, the mother of two sons and a daughter. She considers her pregnancy and miscarriage to have been the real beginning of her transition into motherhood.
She was very aware that many women have miscarried, and many have experienced intense grief. But, she realized that many of those women did not talk about what they'd been through, were still going through.
Julia wrote a book, "Lessons of Labor: One Woman’s Self-Discovery through Birth and Motherhood," which was published in 2015. In it, she talked openly about her miscarriage and three pregnancies.
When she lost her baby in an early miscarriage her grief was profound. She went through severe hormonal shifts, emotional upheaval, physical changes, and the letting go of dreams that would now go unfulfilled. She knew that what she was going through was also being experienced by countless other women.
She thought, "Why not acknowledge this process, rather than dismiss or hide it?"
And why not include this part of life in childbirth and mothering literature?
"I think we can include them in the stories we tell our daughters and sons," said Julia. "The path into parenthood includes all kinds of beginnings and endings. We can be more honest with ourselves and each other if we know that these cycles of life are to be expected, acknowledged, and somehow — however long it takes — accepted."
EmpowHER interviewed Julia about her experience.
Miscarriage is a tender subject for many women. What made you decide to write your story?
"From the start, when I decided to write a book about childbirth and mothering, I knew I would include the story of my miscarriage.