The silence is all around us. The moment we find out we’re pregnant, we’re encouraged to keep it quiet. Discouraged from sharing the news until we’re past 12 weeks and the risk for miscarriage goes down. We’re told that although it’s something that can affect so many women and families, it’s normal and we shouldn’t dwell. We have little support from the medical field when we’re not even handed a pamphlet on what to expect after a miscarriage and no one seems to understand the significant emotional impact a miscarriage can hold.
It was just a miscarriage.
You weren’t far along.
It wasn’t really a baby.
It’s not a big deal.
It was for the best.
It happens all the time.
We’re told these things constantly. Even well-meaning people trying to silence our cries for support. We’re encouraged to “get over it” with no support. We’re left alone in the silence to figure it all our for ourselves and it can leave many feeling like maybe they’re letting it bother them “more than it should.”
I have been asked why I continue to talk about miscarriage. I’ve been questioned on being “stuck”, on being “unhealthy” and dwelling too much on the past. I continue to talk about my losses and rally for support for others because I have been told these things. There are some positive things that have come from talking about miscarriage and for these reasons, I won’t stop.
1) It helps me heal:
I get a lot of healing out of sharing my story. Sitting in your own emotions can feel very lonely and if you’re left sitting in your own grief, it will just stay there and that;s not healthy.
2) It reaches others:
Every time someone shares the story of their miscarriage, and more so the story of how they’re grieving, how they heal and how they live life through it can impact so many others who are left in that darkness. It creates this community of understanding where we don’t have to keep it all inside and others’ words can have a huge and positive impact on others.
3) It increases support:
No one will know better if you don’t tell them otherwise. Sharing how certain things hurt to hear after a miscarriage, sharing what we went through from the medical staff, friends and family — yes positive and negative — can slowly change the norm of how miscarriage is handled.
4) It shows normal perinatal grief:
If you lose a spouse, friend, family member or pet — people understand the grief. It’s understood that the person who is grieving will be for some time and family and friends will check-in, help out and rally around for support. When it comes to miscarriage, because we’re told it’s “normal” and “not a big deal” there are many who are left without this support that is often given for other causes of grief. Talking about it shows those who may not know — may not understand and have never been through it themselves, that perinatal grief is real and it increases the awareness for support.
These are a few of the reasons I continue to talk about my story and my miscarriages even if other’s have questioned my reasoning and are tired of hearing about it.
What are some of the reasons you bravely break the silence and share your story?
Photo credit: adapted from Dave Newman | Flickr