It goes without saying that losing a child is a mother's worst nightmare. Sadly, it happens far too often—15 to 20 out of every 100 women will have a miscarriage. Of course, everyone copes differently, but many use ink to heal the hurt. Joan Bremer had a miscarriage just seven weeks into her pregnancy and honored her baby with a touching tattoo a few days later. Bremer discussed the tattoo with TODAY Parents, where she said she researched and planned the delicate design during her three-day recovery period. "All the tattoos I have signify something, and even though this was a painful time, I still wanted to be able to remember it in some way." The ink was done by Joey at California Electric Tattoo.
Bremer shared a photo of the tattoo on Imgur on June 20, 2016—it has since gone viral with more than 66,000 views. The tattoo is a solid black line outlining the body of a carrying woman, complete with two beating hearts. "I got this to remember the baby that wasn't meant to be," Bremer captioned the photo. The California woman told TODAY that she plans to add a rainbow to the design if and when she carries a healthy child full-term. "'Rainbow babies' are babies that are conceived after a loss, just like how something beautiful can come after a storm." She also shared her plans if she has a second miscarriage. "I will most likely add another heart to this design."
When the 31-year-old began bleeding and cramping seven weeks into her pregnancy, she went to the hospital where she was told she was having a miscarriage. "Losing a baby, even if it's early in pregnancy, is just so difficult," Bremer told TODAY. Most miscarriages occur between seven and 12 weeks. Bremer also said that one of her motivations for the tattoo was to spark conversation around the unspoken tragedy women face every day. "It was healing to be able to speak about it. There is a certain silence about miscarriages and pregnancy losses, but I am not ashamed that this happened to me."
Her courage to proudly share a photo of her baby's memorial ink inspired hundreds more women to share their stories of loss. Find more touching miscarriage tattoos in the gallery below.