Three times more women suffer a miscarriage than have breast cancer. It happens to nearly 19,000 women every day, but losing a baby is a taboo topic that few talk about.
"I left a trail of plans behind me as I walked into the room which would be your nursery"
The crib was up, frilly clothes filled the room, and the first time expectant mom Kristin Cook shared her excitement on her blog.
"We put our plans and hopes and dreams in every nook and cranny of every room of our new house."
Six and a half months into Kristin Cook's pregnancy, the letters of love turned to loss. Their daughter Stevie Joy was stillborn.
"The moment you died, all those plans, hopes dreams and future memories died too."
In an instant, Kristin and her husband Andy went from soon-to-be-parents, to a grieving couple.
"It hit me pretty quick and I just felt helpless" said husband Andy Cook.
Helpless, and alone, but statistics tell a different story. More than 20% of pregnancies end in loss. It happens to more than 700,000 women each year.
Psychiatrist Dr. Katherine Moore says women often blame themselves,
"A sense of guilt, I did something wrong. If I would have done this, things would have gone differently."
What are common miscarriage myths? Eating certain foods leads to a loss, not true. Too much or too little exercise, also false. Stress doesn't cause a miscarriage, neither does sex. More than 50% of the time doctors can't answer the question, 'what happened?'.
"It's not just a medical thing, it's an emotional thing, a psychological thing." says Dr. Paul Rosenblatt, Professor of Family and Social Science at the University of Minnesota St. Paul.
Prenatal loss expert Rosenblatt says talking helps, but choose your words wisely. Common responses like, 'it happened for a reason', or, 'your better off', can hurt.
"I really don't like the, 'she's in a better place'. Well, no it would've been pretty great for her here." says Cook.
Kristin says she didn't just lose a daughter, she lost the dream of what could have been.
"It's kind of like you're grieving the unknown. She had all this potential and that's the hardest part, we'll never know those things."
Three months later, she's still healing.
"Now sometimes I like to come in and just be in here".
She is also still writing,
"Hopefully someday our house will be filled not only with plans and hopes and dreams, but with the sound of children laughing and a lifetime of real memories."
The cooks say they spend a lot of time working on their marriage. New research finds after pregnancy loss, the likelihood of divorce is heightened by as much as 40%, compared to couples who had a successful pregnancy. Recently, Kristin found out she has a blood-clotting disorder which caused the still birth.
For more information about miscarriage, log on to ivanhoe.com/smartwoman