'My miscarriage was one of the most profound sorrows I have ever felt in my life' - Big Bang Theory star Melissa Rauch
Actress Melissa Rauch has opened up about the "profound" loss she experienced after losing a baby.
In an essay published on Glamour.com, The Big Bang Theory star (37) announced that she and her husband Winston are expecting their first child together, but said she is "haunted" by a previous miscarriage.
After becoming pregnant following a struggle with infertility, the actress and her screenwriter husband said they were blindsided when they experienced a miscarriage, which Rauch said was "desperately lonely".
"The miscarriage I experienced was one of the most profound sorrows I have ever felt in my life," wrote the actress.
"It kickstarted a primal depression that lingered in me. The image of our baby on the ultrasound monitor—without movement, without a heartbeat—after we had seen that same little heart healthy and flickering just two weeks prior completely blindsided us and haunts me to this day. I kept waiting for the sadness to lift...but it didn’t.
"Sure, I had happy moments and life went on, but the heartbreak was always lurking. Inescapable reminders, like the unfulfilled due date, came around like a heavy cloud. A day I had once marked on my calendar with such excitement was now a memorial of a crushed dream. I was constantly wishing that the feeling of being desperately lonely in my own body would dissipate," she wrote.
In the essay, the actress said she takes issue with the medical term 'miscarriage' as she believes it suggests a woman's body has failed.
"Miscarriage deserves to be ranked as one of the worst, most blame-inducing medical terms ever. To me, it immediately conjures up an implication that it was the woman’s fault, like she somehow "mishandled the carrying of this baby."
Rauch, who plays Bernadette on the hit US comedy, said her experience was made more difficult by the fact that people around her continued asking questions about when she might start a family.
Rauch wrote: "Before any of us ask a woman about popping out a baby, let’s think to ourselves: We don’t know what she’s going through, what her body is capable of, or what she personally desires. Whether a woman wants to have children or not, if she wants to share that information, she will.
"Bottom line: I’ve come to the conclusion that unless I clearly see an infant emerging from its uterine homeland and its mother is shouting at me: “Over here! Look at me! I am birthing a baby right now in the back of my 2007 Saturn!” it’s probably best not to ask her about reproduction."
Rauch said she felt "guilty" about announcing her pregnancy as during her darkest times, she found it difficult to hear other people's baby news.
"During the time when I was grieving over my pregnancy loss or struggling with fertility issues, every joyful, expectant baby announcement felt like a tiny stab in the heart.
"So when I thought about having to share the news about expecting this baby, all I could think about was another woman mourning over her loss as I did, worried she would never get pregnant again, and reading about my little bundle on the way. It felt a bit disingenuous to not also share the struggle it took for me to get here."