When Autumn Tolliver Safley wore a t-shirt with a rainbow heart placed on the belly, she didn’t realise who would be touched and encouraged by the message on her tee.
Courtney Mixon was in a store in Arkansas when she spotted Ms Safley wearing the rainbow heart maternity t-shirt that read, ‘You’re looking at a rainbow!’
Ms Mixon got teary and walked straight to Ms Safley and said “I know what your shirt means … my husband and I lost our baby last year, and we’ve been trying to conceive.”
Ms Safley told Ms Mixon about her back-to-back miscarriages which occurred in late 2015 and January 2016. She was now 30 week pregnant and wanted to encourage other women who had miscarried by wearing the t-shirt.
Ms Safley told Today, “I bought (the shirt) after my first miscarriage with intentions of wearing it when I was pregnant again, but I lost the second baby and never got an opportunity to wear it.”
When Ms Safley found the t-shirt in her closet after successfully falling pregnant again, she knew she had to wear it. Her husband was hesitant about her wearing it as he didn’t think people would understand what a ‘rainbow baby’ meant.
But Ms Mixon did.
Mixon shared about her encounter with Ms Safley on Facebook and the post has had more than 34,000 shares.
Ms Mixon was proud of Ms Safley for wearing the t-shirt.
“I then told her it’s so taboo to talk about miscarriages and I was proud of her for wearing it. I told her my story and she told me hers.”
One in every four pregnant women will experience a miscarriage in Australia. In the U.S. the rates are 15 to 20% of pregnancies miscarry. Miscarriage is defined as a pregnancy loss before 20 weeks. Despite the number of women experiencing miscarriage, it’s not a topic that is discussed in public as it can be seen as a shameful secret or a mark of failure – when it’s neither of these things.
Miscarriage is generally only ever talked about after a woman successfully falls pregnant or has a baby after her pregnancy loss.
Miscarriage shouldn’t be something women suffer through in silence. It’s a topic that many women are keen to open up about which makes it clear why the encounter between Ms Safley and Ms Mixon has resonated on social media.
Safley told Today, “My husband and I had prayed for a way to be able to uplift others that have gone through the same thing.”
She didn’t expect her t-shirt to be a catalyst for sparking the conversation.