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Actress Claire Holt: "I took this photo 10 days ago... I’ve never felt more broken in my life."

“I took this photo 10 days ago, as I waited for surgery after my sweet little baby lost its heartbeat. I sent it to my fiancé in the waiting room to show him that I was OK. I wasn’t. I’ve never felt more broken in my life… ”

With these words, Brisbane actress Claire Holt is sharing her experience with miscarriage in an effort to let other women going through a similar loss know they’re not alone.

The 29-year-old Vampire Diaries and H2O: Just Add Water star posted a photo to her Instagram taken shortly before her dilation and curettage (D&C) operation – a procedure to remove tissues from the uterus following miscarriage – explaining how being open with other women is helping her come to terms with her loss.

“After my D & C, I spent hours on the internet searching for women who had been through it. I was desperate to find someone, anyone, who could relate to what I was feeling. Someone to tell me that the depression and hopelessness were normal. That it wasn’t my fault. That I wasn’t broken forever,” she wrote.

I took this photo 10 days ago, as I waited for surgery after my sweet little baby lost its heartbeat. I sent it to my fiancé in the waiting room to show him that I was ok. I wasn’t. I’ve never felt more broken in my life. I debated sharing this so soon and I’m still frightened about making such a private struggle public, but I’m doing it anyway because it’s important. After my D & C, I spent hours on the internet searching for women who had been through it. I was desperate to find someone, anyone, who could relate to what I was feeling. Someone to tell me that the depression and hopelessness were normal. That it wasn’t my fault. That I wasn’t broken forever. I found a community of women who shared my exact experience. Who were open and vulnerable about miscarriage, something that isn’t often or openly discussed. It breaks my heart to think that losing a baby feels like something we have to keep to ourselves. Why is it any different than the death of a loved one? How is it any less meaningful? Here is what I have learned as I begin to crawl out of the dark hole: support is everything. I could not have survived this without the unconditional love of my partner. Despite his pain, he was my rock and my safety net. I will never know how to thank him. I also found that opening up to people is crucial. As soon as I told my story, almost everyone I spoke to told me theirs – their own, their wife’s, their sister’s. So many people go through it and understand the breadth of pain, yet so few people talk about it. Finally, I want to share a blog post that resonated with every part of me. You can find the link in my bio, @leandramcohen of @manrepeller articulates the emotional rollercoaster with an eloquence that I could never possess. To anyone out there who has been through a miscarriage, I understand you. I share every bit of your pain and you are not alone. Please be kind to yourself and I hope that you will be comfortable sharing your story too.

A post shared by Claire Holt (@claireholt) on

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“I found a community of women who shared my exact experience. Who were open and vulnerable about miscarriage, something that isn’t often or openly discussed.

“It breaks my heart to think that losing a baby feels like something we have to keep to ourselves. Why is it any different than the death of a loved one? How is it any less meaningful?”

SANDS reports as many as one in four pregnancies may end in miscarriage in Australia, however it’s hard to know just how many women will or have been affected as many suffer a miscarriage outside hospital settings.

Also, as Holt wrote, because it’s a topic that’s difficult to discuss in part due to the sense of failure and shame some women may feel. She went on to explain it was only after deciding to share her story of miscarriage that she realised “so many people go through it and understand the breadth of pain”.

“Here is what I have learned as I begin to crawl out of the dark hole: support is everything. I could not have survived this without the unconditional love of my partner. Despite his pain, he was my rock and my safety net. I will never know how to thank him,” Holt wrote.

“I also found that opening up to people is crucial. As soon as I told my story, almost everyone I spoke to told me theirs – their own, their wife’s, their sister’s.

“To anyone out there who has been through a miscarriage, I understand you. I share every bit of your pain and you are not alone. Please be kind to yourself and I hope that you will be comfortable sharing your story too.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with the loss of a child or their mental health, please seek professional help and contact SANDS on 1300 072 637. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

Listen: A very raw Monique Bowley speaks about miscarriage, grief, and how friends and family can help someone who is struggling.

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