Earlier this year, former "7th Heaven" star Beverley Mitchell and her husband, Michael, were thrilled to learn they had twins on the way. They already had two young children, Kenzie and Hutton, and they couldn’t wait to expand their family.
But just a few weeks into Mitchell’s pregnancy, tragedy struck when she miscarried.
“This was a shock,” she wrote in an emotional essay on her blog, Growing Up Hollywood. “Honestly, my first instinct was to say I was fine, and to be honest; I was trying to be. I thought I had to be, for my family, for myself. I had to jump on a plane and go to work being surrounded by babies and kids while I was still miscarrying.”
But it took her a while to really process what had happened, and to accept that she had miscarried.
“Though it made sense in my head, my heart could not make sense of it,” she wrote. “I never really considered that I would miscarry being that I had already had two healthy pregnancies. This was my misconception, you see, I didn’t know much about miscarriages and I didn’t know many people who had miscarried, or so I thought.”
Eventually, she found some healing by sharing her tragedy with others, and realizing that she and her husband were not alone.
“It wasn’t until I started sharing our loss that I found out many people I knew shared the same scars,” she wrote. “I was now part of a group, the unspoken and hidden group who mourn their losses in the shadows.
“Every time I shared what we were going through I made people uncomfortable, no one ever knows what to say, and to be honest, there is nothing to say,” she continued. “Most people who are sharing their story, we aren’t looking for anything just the opportunity to share their story. It is with sharing it that the healing begins, the acceptance that it happened, it is when you ignore it or pretend that it never happened that you cause more pain.”
After Mitchell posted her miscarriage story on Instagram, several women thanked her for being so open about her story, and shared their own stories of miscarriage in the comments.
“I suffered two before our sweet rainbow baby was born. It was a dark road I often felt alone on,” one woman wrote. “Reaching out and finding women who had experienced the same loss was such a turning point in my grief.”
“You never get over that feeling of what would life have been like...I still wonder what our family would be like with four kids instead of three,” another woman commented. “But I applaud you for sharing. Too many people hold this pain in deep and we need to say it’s ok.”
In her heartfelt Thanksgiving Day essay, Mitchell thanked her husband for being loving and patient as she worked through all the emotions that came with the miscarriage. She also thanked her girlfriends for always being there.
“I had my girlfriends who I relied on too, who though I didn’t talk with them much during this time, who constantly checked in and left me messages and gave me the time to heal but also to show the support was there when I wanted or needed it,” she wrote. “To these ladies, I will forever be grateful, they are my ride or dies. They knew me and gave me the space to heal.”
She ended with a message of hope and thanks, and with a call for people to speak more openly about the pain of miscarriages.
“Today, I share my scars because the one thing I want to say, is no one should suffer in silence. To speak up and share your wounds, to allow them the opportunity to heal. Let’s remove the stigma, miscarriages happen, they are nothing to be ashamed of,” she wrote. “Today I celebrate all that I have because I am surrounded by love and the most beautiful souls.”