WHY I SHARED THE STORY OF MY MISCARRIAGE
Trigger warning - mentions of pregnancy loss
Breaking the silence
I suffered a miscarriage at 9 weeks, and at the time, I didn’t know of anyone else who had also experienced this type of loss. I didn’t know who I could confide in other than the people who already knew of my pregnancy, which was only a select few.
You are left with so many unanswered questions, it’s hard to even put into words how you feel, so you just don’t talk about it. It’s not really the kind of subject you causally bring up when someone asks you how you are or what you’ve been up to lately. And because of that, you end up feeling like you have to process your loss all by yourself.
In my loneliness, I desperately searched online for stories that mirrored mine. For those that were dealing with the same sadness and anger that I felt. There I found endless accounts of pregnancy loss. I knew that I wasn’t the first or last to ever experience a miscarriage but going through the pages and pages of stories almost shocked me. So many were feeling exactly the same as me, wondering the same questions, struggling with the grief but wanting the same things. You never really find comfort, but through reading those stories, it helped me to feel less alone. One particular account on Instagram really helped me through the darkest times and that was the #IHadAMiscarriage campaign started by Jessica Zucker.
Jessica is a psychologist specialising in women's reproductive and maternal mental health, and had spent almost a decade treating women after pregnancy loss. But it wasn't until she suffered her own loss that she began to truly understand not only the grief, but the stigma that surrounds miscarriages. After her own miscarriage, she started telling her own story using the hashtag #IHadAMiscarriage and in 2015, she started the @IHadAMiscarriage Instagram account, where women can submit their own stories of pregnancy loss.
I realised that if these strangers sharing could help me, then perhaps also sharing my story could maybe help someone else. So after some time had passed, and I felt comfortable enough too, I decided to open up about my loss.
It started with me beginning to answer those questions of ‘ so when are you guys going to have kids?’ with an honest ‘ well actually I just suffered a miscarriage’ instead of the polite ‘ oh soon’ that I usually mumbled. I braced myself for the shocked faces or embarrassed turn aways but was met with only compassion and empathy. It was whilst sharing, that I realised I wasn’t as alone as I thought. I had no reason to feel ashamed. There were many friends and even family members who had also suffered a miscarriage too.
So many women, a staggering 1 in 4, go through this loss.
You probably know someone who has miscarried but you won’t know it has happened to them because they stay silent, because that's what we've been taught.
You mustn't tell when you become pregnant, so when you miscarry, you have no one to understand your journey. You have no one to confide in and therefore no one knows how best to support you in the ways that you need.
It's isolating. It brings on the shame,the anxiety, the sadness, the not wanting to make people uncomfortable.
And so you just stay silent.
But the silence is deafening.
So that is why I decided to share the story of my miscarriage. In hope to break the silence. To help someone else who may be going through something similar. Sharing about your loss isn’t always easy, It can feel like something you never want to say out loud - but in sharing, you will find people who are also feeling exactly the same.
You will find a community.
And in community, maybe just maybe you can find peace.