Let's Be Open about Miscarriage
Recently, Meghan Markle posted an honest and moving op-ed in The New York Times about the miscarriage she’d suffered in July of this year. Months earlier, in September, Chrissy Teigen shared the news of her miscarriage with the world, through heart-wrenching pictures on her Instagram account. Both women experiences a lot of backlash for sharing these “deeply personal” experiences. More heartwarmingly, a lot of women came out in support of Chrissy and Meghan, telling their own stories of miscarriage and heartbreak. They felt that these two women had given them the courage to break years of silence following their own losses.
My experience with miscarriage
I, too, suffered a miscarriage. It was about 15 years ago. My husband and I had tried to get pregnant for a while, so when I finally saw the positive pregnancy test, we were over the moon. I’d done everything right: from taking folic acid to abstaining from alcohol to improving my diet. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I took it easy. I only told my parents and my in-laws of the pregnancy, adhering to the age-old rule not to make your pregnancy public until the second trimester.
At my 8-week scan, the doctor failed to find a heartbeat. My world fell apart. I’d only been pregnant for eight week, and I’d only known about it for six, but still I’d made plans for this baby. I’d bought a little outfit already, had discussed cribs and strollers with my husband and had started to love the baby, despite he or she only being a small clump of cells. The doctor gave us some time to process the news, after which he discussed options.
I was devastated
“We’ll wait to see if your body aborts naturally. If it doesn’t, we’ll have to perform a D&C.” I realize that the doctor needed to handle this professionally and medically, but the words stabbed wounds in my heart. I didn’t want to get rid of the baby, I wanted it to live.
In the end, I had the surgery as my body refused to expel the baby. Maybe my body had listened to my desires. Because I hadn’t shared news of my pregnancy with anyone but my parents and in-laws, there was barely anyone who could comfort me in my grief. When I told my friends, I felt sad that I'd only shared the devastating news with them, and not the joy of finding out I was pregnant in the first place.
There's no shame in talking about miscarriage
We need to talk about miscarriage more. It’s shockingly common, and I think that contributes to the idea that we shouldn’t tell anyone about our pregnancy until the second trimester. But just because it’s common doesn’t make it any less painful. Women shouldn’t suffer that type of pain alone. We should be able to talk about it openly and grief about it when we need to. I am incredibly grateful to Meghan Markle and Chrissy Teigen for sharing their experiences and showing the world that there’s no shame in speaking about miscarriage.
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