On Sunday, The Originals star shared a thumbs-up selfie taken from a hospital bed, alongside a lengthy caption detailing her loss and consequent dilation and curettage procedure — plus the emotional toll it took on her.
“I took this photo 10 days ago, as I waited for surgery after my sweet little baby lost its heartbeat,” wrote Holt, 29, adding of her fiancé Andrew Joblon, “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,” she continues.
The Vampire Diaries alum goes on to explain exactly why she chose to share her story, writing, “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,” Holt explains. “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,” she writes.
“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,” Holt shares. “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.”
“To anyone out there who has been through a miscarriage, I understand you,” she concludes. “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.”
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE