Two days before Thanksgiving in 2012, all Nikita Razo could think about was how excited she was to break the news to her family over the holiday: she was pregnant.
Unfortunately, it never happened.
Razo, 29, told TODAY she was at a routine checkup, 12 weeks into her pregnancy, when her doctor said she couldn’t find her baby’s heartbeat. She scheduled an emergency ultrasound.
“The ultrasound technician starts taking measurements, but she never turns the monitor around,” Razo said. “She just gets really quiet, and she’s not saying a word. That’s when I knew something was wrong.”
A doctor eventually confirmed her worst fear: she’d lost the baby.
Razo, a photographer in Savannah, Ga., and her husband were heartbroken.
"This was going to be baby number two for us and we were so excited," she said. "We wanted that second baby so bad."
She struggled to talk about her miscarriage in the following year, even to friends.
“It was a really rough time,” she said. “Emotionally, physically. I couldn’t figure out why my body wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do.”
In August 2013, Razo found out she was pregnant with her "rainbow baby." She now has two sons, ages 2 and 6.
After her experience, she wanted to do something to help other women who go through a miscarriage. She recently debuted a photo project called “I am 1 in 4,” based on research showing that up to one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage.
“It’s a club that none of us want to be in, and it’s a club that not many people talk about, but there are a lot of members — one in four, that’s huge!” Razo said.
The March of Dimes estimates that, among women who know they are pregnant, approximately 10-15% of pregnancies end in miscarriages, although it says that the actual number could be higher as many miscarriages occur before pregnancy is even detected.
In the series, Razo features six women who have also had miscarriages. Each holds white balloons to signify the number of children she lost. Razo found the women through Facebook. She was inspired by a fellow photographer who had also had a miscarriage, and was embarking on a similar photo project.
“I asked her if I could do something similar (in Georgia), and she said yes, that’s great — the more people who can spread awareness, the better,” Razo said.
“People need to know there are others out there,” she continued. “So they know they can talk to people, work through their feelings, and not have to feel ashamed, or like something is wrong with them. I just wanted people to know it’s OK to talk about it.”