While miscarriage has been a taboo word for so long, one mother and author is breaking the silence to bring others hope.
October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day and it marks one year since Liz Mannegren published her book, Embrace, on the topic.
Mannegren had no idea what this month and day was all about until six years ago.
"I lost my first son. I was pregnant with twins and we had a stillbirth at seven months. My whole world changed in that instant," she says.
While one of her sons came out healthy, the other passed away in the womb shortly before Mannegren gave birth to her sons.
"After that, we went on to experience another four first-trimester miscarriages."
Her award-winning book is all about her experience with this loss, as well as other family's stories, showing the diverse effects of this type of grief.
"I wrote Embrace: Clinging to Christ through the Pain of Pregnancy Loss shortly after my first miscarriage. I had started blogging after the loss of my son. I needed a way to process what I was feeling and work through that grief, as well as to show others what pregnancy loss really looked like."
"I wrote it to help people feel better supported and understood, as well as dive deeper into the topic of grief, which is something I don't think is talked about a lot."
Mannegren is from British Columbia. When she started blogging, she quickly found a community of other hurting parents.
"I think telling stories is a way to show that we're not alone. There are bits that we can glean insight and wisdom in those stories from other people."
In her search for community, Mannegren found some women who felt they weren't allowed to grieve due to losing a baby in their first trimester. Part of her message is giving any woman or man the permission to grieve.
"As we bring light to a subject that has been avoided for so long, we say that it's okay to grieve these earliest of losses. It's okay to grieve the babies that we never got to hold."
Leaving the hospital with one baby instead of the two she carried in her womb was very difficult.
"I remember stepping out of the hospital after the loss of my son and seeing everyone else going about their day but inside I was shaken to my core."
Instead of fleeing from the pain that grief brings, Mannegren found a way to embrace it and heal through it.
"As time went on, as I began to explore the grief I was feeling and recognizing that it was okay, clinging to Christ through the pain of this loss, I realized there are little bits of beauty to be found amidst the pain."
Speaking to those who have recently lost an infant or miscarried, Mannegren shares some caring words.
"You are loved, your baby is loved, and you are not alone in this. I would encourage you to reach out. I know it's hard opening up but it is so worth it."
There are centres around the country of Canada that offer grief support for those who've miscarried or had stillbirths, that include online or in-person support.
"This grief is an expression of our love for this little one for the great gift that we've been given."
Mannegren and her husband welcomed a healthy baby boy in May of 2020. They now have a six-year-old, two-year-old, and a five-month-old.
"It's hard sometimes when people only see three as I'm a mother of eight. But I know God purposefully knit our family together and this is a story He's given us for a reason. I may not be able to hold those little ones or kiss them goodnight, but they will always be a part of our family."