Why are so many people silent about their miscarriage? Not just women, but their partners too? How can women feel more empowered to be open to sharing their story?
Since sharing my story of miscarriage I have received an outpouring of compassion and support. As with all grief, sometimes that comes from unexpected sources. One of my athletes said something that has stuck with me, I’m now part of a “club.” An unspoken bond between families that have experienced pregnancy loss. Over the course of a week I found myself hearing story after story of people in my community who have experienced miscarriage.
In the week between finding out I had no embryo and actually taking medication to miscarry I was not sleeping well. Every single time I found myself laying awake at night while my brain was trying to articulate how I should share my story. What words to use, what details to share. I am not a writer so where was this drive coming from?
So many women feel ashamed and alone during pregnancy loss and part of the problem is created in our society when we are told not to share pregnancy news until it is “safe” (after the first trimester). Who are you supposed to lean on when you miscarry if no one knows your pregnant to begin with? From my experience, telling people I had a miscarriage was easier when they already knew I was pregnant. The hardest time to share my story was with those who didn’t already know. This advice to parents just perpetuates the problem.
Most providers won’t see patients until 8-10 weeks gestation once the risk of early miscarriage has gone down dramatically. Our birthing medical system is not set up for the success of mothers. Everyone deserves to feel supported, cared for, and empowered with knowledge to live in their own journey whatever it may be. Grief is readily recognized and expected when we lose a family member, and yet with miscarriage it is hushed up even though it is experienced just as often, if not more.
To those of you who have shared your own story of pregnancy loss with me, I thank you and I implore you to share with others. Sharing and connecting is how you feel more empowered in your loss. You are not alone! To anyone who is struggling with miscarriage, infertility, or hesitation around pregnancy because of the chance of loss, reach out and lean on others.
The silence is what hurts the worst. Silence from those around you but more importantly, the silence you carry. Speak out and you will see other people in this “club” join your circle of support.