Lauren Pratapas, 37, will always remember when an extraordinary day turned tragic in April 2022.
The VP of Communications at CNN on the time, Pratapas was dwelling in Washington, DC, and was 16 weeks pregnant. She and her husband John Legittino had simply shared the completely happy information with their households: They had been anticipating a child lady.
However after a lunch assembly on April 20, Pratapas skilled decrease again ache. At first she assumed it was from the arduous bench she’d been sitting on, however by that night time, the ache had intensified and was radiating down her legs.
Pratapas contacted her physician, who mentioned it could possibly be fuel. The physician really useful she stroll round and attempt to use the toilet. When Pratapas did, she heard a pop. Then, there was a surge of liquid, together with blood.
She knew one thing was improper.
“The drive to the hospital is a blur, however on the similar time I can bear in mind so many issues like they had been simply yesterday,” Pratapas tells PEOPLE completely. “Nearly like a film I watched final night time earlier than mattress. However as an alternative it’s my very personal nightmare.”
“My husband stored telling me all the pieces was going to be OK it doesn’t matter what and the way we’ll get by this collectively,” she remembers.
“However all I might take into consideration was what I had seen, the ache that I felt, the heavy bleeding I used to be experiencing and the understanding that every one of this love, my hopes and the desires I had for this little lady and our new household had been taken from me in a second.”
Pratapas later discovered she had skilled an entire miscarriage on account of a medical situation often called cervical incompetence. This situation, affecting 1-2% of pregnancies, outcomes from a prematurely opening cervix, typically resulting in second- and third-trimester miscarriages.
Trying again, she believes the expertise was on account of gaps within the maternal healthcare system. She believes extra routine checks might have led to nearer monitoring of her cervix, which might have detected the situation earlier.
“Why does one thing that has been happening because the daybreak of time nonetheless really feel so archaic, medieval and backwards?” Prapatas tells PEOPLE. “The reality is, a lot expertise and growth has occurred because it pertains to childbirth, however why doesn’t it really feel that manner?”
In honor of October’s Being pregnant, Toddler and Baby Loss Consciousness Month, Pratapas is talking out concerning the outdated practices in maternal well being.
“I actually misplaced a toddler,” she says. “The fitting take a look at or proactive screening could have detected my cervix shortening and widening — the clear indicators of cervical incompetence — however that isn’t the care I used to be receiving.”
She acknowledges that her scenario basically is one in all privilege: “I used to be completely wholesome, zero preexisting circumstances and going to what was thought-about to be the most effective OBGYN practices within the DC space,” she says.
“I couldn’t assist however marvel, if this was my expertise as a lady with entry to among the greatest assets within the nation, how had been different girls being handled?”
Within the aftermath of her loss, Pratapas switched to a extra specialised OB-GYN observe. With renewed hope, steerage, and a meticulously deliberate remedy strategy involving a cerclage (a sew within the cervix), she and her husband determined to start out making an attempt once more for a child.
4 months after her miscarriage, Pratapas discovered she was pregnant once more. On March 23, 2023, she gave delivery to a child boy, Jude Elliott Legittino, who’s at present 6 months previous.
Now that she has a contented household of three, Pratapas is sharing her story to lift consciousness about cervical incompetence and to de-stigmatize being pregnant loss.
“There are widespread, systematic issues in maternal fetal drugs and ladies merely deserve higher,” Pratapas says.
“I hope that by sharing my journey and the way I got here out on the opposite facet, it’ll assist spark extra conversations, unfold extra consciousness about cervical incompetence and assist break down stigmas round being pregnant loss.”