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Nearly seven weeks into her first pregnancy, Joan Bremer began experiencing bleeding and cramping. A visit to her doctor confirmed her worst fear — the 31-year-old was having a miscarriage.
"It took about three days to recover, and during that time I thought of getting a tattoo to mark this life experience," Bremer told TODAY Parents. "For me, all the tattoos I have signify something, and even though this was a painful time, I still wanted to be able to remember it in some way."
So Bremer started an online search for the perfect tattoo to express her grief. After settling on an image of a single line connecting two hearts, the California woman had the tattoo completed just a few days after her miscarriage.
"If we are able to carry a baby to term and have a healthy child, I will add a rainbow baby to this design since 'rainbow babies' are babies that are conceived after a loss, just like how something beautiful can come after a storm," said Bremer. "If I end up having a second miscarriage, I will most likely add another heart to this design."
After getting her memorial ink, Bremer posted an photo of the tattoo to Imgur. The post has since gone viral, causing women to share stories of their own experiences with pregnancy loss with Bremer.
"Losing a baby, even if it's early in pregnancy, is just so difficult," said Bremer. "For me, it was healing to be able to speak about it. I know there is a certain silence about miscarriages and pregnancy losses, but I am not ashamed that this happened to me. That was one of my motivations for getting the tattoo in the first place — I really think it's healing to be able to talk about it."
"This is so incredibly common, but it's not a subject that people want to talk about," Bremer continued. "It happened to us, and it's happened to countless other people. I want to be able to share and talk about it, and in talking about it move on from the pain and disappointment."
Miscarriage is, indeed, incredibly common, and miscarriage tattoos are growing in popularity. TODAY Parents rounded up some of the most touching tattoos on Pinterest for remembering a pregnancy loss.