I am 1 in 4.
In May, I had a miscarriage. I started bleeding over the holiday weekend. I made two phone calls to be told both times unless I was hemorrhaging or in severe pain, I would have to wait for EPU to call me on Monday. My bleeding got heavier.
I made another phone call and was told that unless I was passing clots or in severe pain, I just had to wait and see what happened. It was only on Wednesday when I started passing clots that I was offered a scan. My husband wasn’t allowed to come with me because of the hospital’s COVID policy.
I was alone when I was told my baby had no heartbeat. Alone when I was told my baby stopped growing. Alone when I was told my baby had died. Alone when I had to make the decision on how to move forward with the miscarriage. I was 10-weeks pregnant.
The one thing I am not alone in is being worried to talk about my miscarriage.
One in four women suffer loss and women are scared to talk about it, including me. Since it happened, I have only told a handful of people for so many reasons. I worried if I mentioned it, people would think I am attention-seeking because they didn’t know I was pregnant in the first place—why would I need to bring it into the conversation? I worried people would wonder why I am so upset over this loss when I have three children already and have never had a miscarriage before. Worried people would say it wasn’t really a baby as I was only 10 weeks along. Worried people would wonder why my body had failed me this time.
Self-blame was another reason. My body failed me. There seems to be such a stigma around the conversation of baby loss and, like so many other women, I have felt that so deeply. And why is there a stigma? There shouldn’t be such a taboo over our losses and grief.
I kept this secret to my small inner circle for so long. People don’t want to know about me losing my baby and the trauma my body went through, the conversation will make them uncomfortable. But this is the thing.
It shouldn’t be a secret we keep to stop other people from feeling uncomfortable.
Miscarriage, no matter how far along you were, isn’t and shouldn’t be a taboo subject. My baby existed, his heart was beating, he was mine. So now is the time to talk about it.
Writing these words helps me to process, and I want to open up the conversation of baby loss so other women can talk about their experience and process too. I am trying to heal by telling my story, and if I leave this story untold, I might not be able to help anyone else understand that what they’re feeling is normal.
I want the mothers who are mourning their lost babies to know—whether it’s their first miscarriage or multiple miscarriages, whether they have living children or not—miscarriage matters and how we feel matters. It’s OK to be devastated. It’s OK to go between the gut-wrenching guilt of self-blame to thinking everything will be OK. It’s OK to feel your loss so deeply. Our babies existed inside us, our babies were real.
I am telling my story so the many women who are scared to talk about it know they are not alone. It isn’t taboo, and it isn’t something to be ashamed of.
I hope those who have lost their precious babies can get the strength to find their inner voice to have that conversation they have been too scared to have. So please, take that step. Join a Facebook group, cry, run, pray, do whatever it is you need to do to heal. Let’s start this conversation.
We may never fully heal, but we can go on.
Originally published on the author’s blog