“The Big Bang Theory” star Melissa Rauch is pregnant with her first child. She made the announcement in a powerful essay in which she opens about the sorrow she felt after previously suffering a miscarriage.
The 37-year-old actress, who plays Bernadette on her hit sitcom, and her husband, Winston, are expecting their child in the fall. She addresses the pregnancy news at the start of her essay, published by Glamour:
“Here is the only statement regarding my pregnancy that doesn’t make me feel like a complete fraud: ‘Melissa is expecting her first child. She is extremely overjoyed, but if she’s being honest, due to the fact that she had a miscarriage the last time she was pregnant, she’s pretty much terrified at the moment that it will happen again. She feels weird even announcing this at all, and would rather wait until her child heads off to college to tell anyone, but she figures she should probably share this news before someone sees her waddling around with her mid-section protruding and announces it first.’”
Rauch wrote that as she was grieving her loss or struggled with fertility issues, each baby announcement she heard “felt like a tiny stab in the heart.”
“It’s not that I wasn’t happy for these people, but I would think, ‘Why are these shiny, carefree, fertile women so easily able to do what I cannot?’ And then I’d immediately feel guilt and shame for harboring that jealousy,” she admitted.
Describing her miscarriage as “one of the most profound sorrows” she’s ever felt, Rauch noted that it “kickstarted a primal depression that lingered” inside of her.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
Rauch wrote that even though she knew there was nothing she could have done to prevent the miscarriage, it was still a challenge for her to not blame herself. She offered reassurance to those who have experienced similar heartbreak.
“You did nothing wrong. Babies are born in all sorts of extreme conditions. If it was a viable pregnancy, it would have made it .... There was nothing you could’ve done to change the situation,” she wrote.
“Most importantly, please be kind to yourself. As much as I wanted to ‘move on’ and gain some sense of control over what happened by beating myself up, I came to understand that thoughts like that have no productive place in grief.”
Rauch concluded her essay by sharing what being an expectant mom means to her.
“All I really know for sure is that this experience has changed me forever,” she said. “I know it’s made me grateful for every moment of my current pregnancy, and I hope it will make me a better mother in some capacity when I can finally hold the child that has been in my heart in my arms. Although I can’t categorize these lessons of humble appreciation and gratitude as ‘reasons for this happening,’ I will consider them a silver lining.”
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She added, “So, to all the women out there who are dealing with fertility issues, have gone through a miscarriage or are going through the pain of it currently, allow me to leave you with this message: You are not alone. And, it is perfectly OK to not be OK right now.”