Saturday, 10 August 2013

Talking about miscarriage and loss

Something that surprised me when I had my miscarriage was the information that one pregnancy in three ends in miscarriage. That means statistically, for every three women I know that has a child, one of them will have had a miscarriage.

I realise that many losses are very early, often before a woman knows she was pregnant, and I wonder if the slightly late period I had the month before we conceived Pipkin was one of these early losses or 'chemical' pregnancy.  This is why I dont test early.  But why dont people talk about it?  Given how open people are about every other aspect of their lives on facebook and twitter, it seems strange that miscarriage is such a hidden subject.  I recently read an article from Stylist which discusses why miscarriage may be the last taboo.

The material I had read on miscarriage said it would be like a heavy period.  So I was in no way prepared for the actual experience and I had no one to talk to about it!  I read through lots of online forums, but there were very few accounts of what to expect.  I guess its true that every woman and every pregnancy is different.  I finally found the brilliant pregnancyloss.info site which offers 'information, healing and hope'.  It gave me practical information while I was miscarrying and assured me that I was not as alone as I felt.  And I felt SO alone.  In many ways I still do.

Very few people knew I was pregnant when I lost Poppy at 10 weeks, but at 15 weeks, we had just started telling people about Pipkin.  People's reactions to my sad news was fairly consistent.  They said sorry and then changed the subject.  But both my pregnancies and both my losses are part of my life - I dont want my babies to be guilty secrets or hidden!  I want to be able to talk about the pregnancy or miscarriage when it comes up and have people listen, not awkwardly turn away.

After my first loss I spent a lot of time reading about other people's losses - I found it oddly comforting and it helped put my loss in perspective.  Many women have gone through the experience of miscarriage or loss and many of their stories are so much more difficult than mine.  One very powerful site I spent a lot of time on was facesofloss.com.

I also started reading a number of infertility blogs from the amazing Stirrup Queen's Completely Anal List of Blogs That Proves That She Really Missed Her Calling as a Personal Organizer which reminded me that while I have experienced loss, I still have hope, and my journey so far has been comparatively straightforward.   My favourite is Maybe If You Just Relax - it makes me laugh and I am impressed that the author has been able to write about her difficult journey with such honesty and humour!

I have written about the losses of both Poppy and Pipkin with the hope that these stories may in some way help other women going through this difficult experience.  And because I believe it is important that we as women talk about miscarriage and loss.  We need to acknowledge and honour the short lives of our lost babies for the information and understanding of others, and for our own healing.

L.
x

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