It’s likely that many social media user feeds were filled with personal, emotional stories of loss on Oct. 15 for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
Soccer star Sydney Leroux Dwyer is one of them. The Orlando Pride and U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team member took to her accounts Monday to share details of a miscarriage she had a few months ago, a pain she had been naive to before.
“There was a moment when I was on bed rest where I wondered if the emotional pain could kill me,” she wrote. “It doesn’t. I’m still here.”
She said there were times people had to “pick me up off the ground … to sit there and cry with me … to feed me when I couldn’t eat.”
The day is an unofficial remembrance for those who have lost a child to a miscarriage, still birth or other infant death. The entire month of October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, as declared by Ronald Reagan in 1988.
Leroux’s words were alongside the light blue and pink ribbon with the “I am the face. I am 1 in 4” campaign, referencing the odds of losing a child during pregnancy.
Leroux, 28, and her husband, Dom Dwyer, have a 2-year-old son, Cassius, and talked previously of growing their family. Dwyer is a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team and Orlando City FC in the MLS.
Leroux said in the post she lost a baby a few months ago and that when she was out “sick” for nearly all of August, she was “losing our baby.”
“I hate that I couldn’t talk about it,” she said. “I hate that I felt like I couldn’t because there was a sense of shame and embarrassment that came with losing a baby. Except the statistic of losing a baby is 1 in 4. Which means there are so many of us going about our day trying to bury our grief and pain. I want to tell my truth in hopes that other women like me don’t feel so alone.”
Most women don’t talk about their miscarriage as it’s still a societal taboo. The reasons are lengthy and a quick search this month will show thousands of new stories on the why of it, as well as stories on the resiliency of women. Hundreds of others are also taking Oct. 15 in particular to share their “truth,” as Leroux put it.
Leroux, who won Olympic gold with the USWNT in 2012, said she is stronger because of healing through the hurt with the support of Dwyer and their family, friends and teammates.
“I know I have a long way to go but we can get there together,” she said. “Today we break the silence and honor all of our babies that we lost too soon.”
Teammates, including Carli Lloyd, continued their support by commenting with hearts. Women who look up to the professional soccer player, balancing family and work, sent their appreciation.
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