Music has an unbelievable knack for bringing you back to vivid moments of your life.
Earlier this year, my husband and I gently placed the baby into Grandma’s arms and scampered off to London for the Coldplay gig.
During the opening chords of “Magic” I was instantly transported to a moment years ago, listening to the very same notes in the shower, holding my belly with the new and heavy knowledge of its emptiness.
I will not venture deeper into my personal experience, because that is not the purpose of this post, but I will say that it is a sadness that I am unlikely to ever truly be rid of.
I know many other couples who have suffered miscarriages, and one particularly lovely soul who has endured the loss of eleven babies. Sigh.
What really staggers me is this: regardless of how long I knew these couples, I never knew about their losses until I too had lost. It was only when I bravely said “the M word“ that it was OK to talk about, for a brief while, until the gates of what is a taboo subject became shut once again.
…But what if I hadn’t brought it up? Would we have continued the entirety of our friendship without ever sharing compassion for each other; without bonding over one of life’s great tragedies?
All parents are entitled to their privacy, and the choice of disclosure is of course theirs to make. But my personal opinion on miscarriage is this: WE SHOULD TALK ABOUT IT.
Lets talk about miscarriage. Here are three reasons why:
- To increase awareness for expectant families.
During my first pregnancy, although I was aware that miscarriage existed and that I “shouldn’t count my chickens”, I certainly didn’t understand just HOW often it does happen (between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 pregnancies will end in miscarriage by the way, most within the first trimester).
Honestly, I thought it wouldn’t happen to me.
Along with being struck by lightning, winning the lottery, and meeting Richard Gere, I subconsciously and very naively placed miscarriage in the “happens to other people” category.
…But was it true naivety? Or was my ignorance a by-product of the fact that NO ONE ever speaks of “the M word“ ?
- To increase awareness for the general public.
People have a disastrous habit of hurting people inadvertently, due to their lack of consideration towards the battle that can be trying to conceive.
I have one dear friend who, in her mid-thirties, gets regular pokes and prods from colleagues about how she should “crack on with it”. People that are effectively strangers quiz her on why she is “waiting” for children and go as far as to remind her that she is not getting any younger.
On her behalf, sometimes I wish I could just give them a little slap. A teeeeny tiny little backhander, followed by the suggestion that she may have been trying for years, and possibly suffered some great losses along the way.
- To support mamas and papas.
Going through a miscarriage, and the emotionally exhausting process of trying to conceive after loss, is a journey that requires support.
How many couples in your friend circle are suffering quietly? Do you know? Do I know?
With pregnant women going into news purdah until a predetermined date in their future gestation, and miscarriages quietly happening behind closed doors, how can we ever truly be there for each other?
How could we possibly let the grieving parents know that they are not alone; without flowers through the letterbox, pie on the doorstep, or sympathy pints at the pub?
Going back to the Coldplay gig (which was mind-blowing, by the way), I had been expecting the song “Magic” to set me off into blubbering sadness. And that’s OK, I was ready for it.
But something else happened.
A woman next to me was struggling to get onto her boyfriend’s tall shoulders, so I instinctively crouched before her and hoisted her up onto my own.
I spent the duration of that song sandwiching my silly grin between two very strong and unfamiliar German thighs. She was absolutely LOVING life up there, dancing like a loony, leaving her boyfriend and I in stitches over the hilarity of the situation.
I didn’t think about it at the time, but this “magic moment” was a first-class example of point #3, above. Openly supporting others is so much more constructive than wallowing in isolated sadness.
Let’s be there for each other, let’s talk about miscarriage.
Do it today, do it unashamedly. ♥
N.B- I appreciate the delicate nature of this post and would therefore invite your personal comments and opinions. The above are my own reflections, based on my limited experience on the subject. I would also like to add that, for many of the same reasons as above, we should talk about infertility.
Love to the mummies, the mummies-to-be, and those whose mothering natures will brighten the world in other miraculous ways.