Why I Talk About the Baby I Miscarried

 

I stumbled upon this piece I wrote in February 2015, after losing our baby and felt compelled to finally share it.

 

Miscarriage is one of those things we don’t talk about. We keep pregnancies secret for months, and weep silent tears when we experience a loss. Of course, I knew some women who had miscarried: close friends, family. I knew the stats (1 in 4 pregnancies). But what I didn’t know was how many people in my life had been affected by miscarriage, until it happened to our family.

 

The stories flooded in… from co-workers, my midwife, friends of friends, distant relatives, nurses, even my boss. I don’t wish this pain on anyone, but I did take comfort in these stories. Our family felt less alone in our grief.

 

I’m not a private person. I’ve been accused of being an over-sharer. But my need to talk about my miscarriage goes deeper than that. Here are a few reasons why talking about my loss is so important to me.

 

1.) Normalizing the Experience

As I left my ultrasound that fateful morning, I was so angry. What had I done wrong? What should I have done differently? If only I had worked out more. Or not worked out so hard. If I had eaten more vegetables. Or less sweets. I hated my body for failing me. Why couldn’t it have done what it was meant to do! And although it took me some time to truly believe this, it was not my fault.

 

Talking about miscarriage serves to normalize it. It lets other women know that it is not their fault. It lets you know nothing is wrong with you. It removes the blame that is all too often associated with this experience. You feel like you shouldn’t talk about it because people will judge you. They will wonder what you did wrong. But they don’t. You did nothing wrong.

 

Sharing my experience and having others share theirs with me, validated my feelings. Miscarriage is awful. It is a loss. A very real one. It hurts and you need to grieve. Staying silent about the experience implies it’s not a real loss. You would never hide the death of your father or a close friend. So why do we hide the loss of an unborn baby?

 

2.) Healing

I heal through talking. I talk about everything. I need to. Every detail, every angle. I reflect on every feeling and share every thought. It is how I cope. Now, I can recognize that not everyone heals in this way. My partner tends to seek solitude, reflecting inwardly. As you can imagine, I can exhaust him. But he lets me talk, and even encourages it, as he knows how important it is to my healing process.

 

During one of many conversations I had with my midwife she warned me that many people say well-meaning, but insensitive things following a miscarriage. While not un-true, I was not bothered by this in the least. I could recognize the effort behind the words, and appreciate that the other person was attempting to reach out. That they were talking and most importantly, letting me talk. What I found harder was silence. Those people that would look at you with pity in their eyes. They didn’t say anything not for fear of upsetting you or a lack of words, but in fear you would talk. Or the visible discomfort in some people as I told my story. That was harder to handle than the insensitive comments. The understanding that some people feel that these stories of loss are better left untold.

3.) Honouring the Baby

 

My biggest fear throughout this journey has been that I will move on. That I will become pregnant again one day, and forget about the hopes I hoped and the dreams I dreamed for this baby. Not another baby, this one. Talking about my experience helps me to feel as though I am honouring this baby as a member of our family.

 

If I didn’t talk about my experience and outwardly acknowledge the loss, I know I would have a hard time attempting to have another baby when the time comes. I am not trying to replace this baby. He will forever hold a special piece of my heart.

 

I believe all pregnancies should be celebrated. With my first pregnancy with my daughter, I hated staying silent for the first trimester until I was “in the clear.” As a first time mom, I could barely contain my excitement. I ended up breaking my own self-imposed silence with many family members and friends, but waited to tell others until after my 12 week ultrasound. It was such a let-down for me. I was over the moon thrilled, and I had to keep it to myself (remember, I’m an over-sharer).

 

With this pregnancy, I didn’t wait. I told anyone and everyone within weeks of finding out. We were growing our family! I couldn’t contain my happiness. And I don’t regret it at all. After finding out the baby had stopped growing, I had to tell all of my friends, family, co-workers, neighbours that I was going to lose the baby. And you know what. I was ok with that. I was overwhelmed with the love and support our family was shown. So many people reached out to me, and for that I’m eternally grateful. But most of all, people knew. They knew of the life I had had growing inside me. They knew of the life that had been lost. What better way to honour our baby.

 

My hope is that we stop suffering in silence. That we acknowledge and celebrate every life, and that we honour the babies we lose. As a dear friend said to me, this is part of the story of my family. I tell it with a tear in my eye and love in my heart.

4 Replies to “Why I Talk About the Baby I Miscarried”

  1. I’m glad to have been a part of your happinesses as well as sadness and heartache. Empathy not pity, is healing. Sharing your experience helps liberate secrecy and doubt others may feel. Like Jamie, I tried to be stoic, quiet, supportive of Dawn. It wasn’t until we were out with friends who expressed their sadness for our loss, that I cried with them… Katherine, like that day, a big hug to you! Thank you for sharing your experience.

  2. I’ve been wanting to write about Iris since her story began, I just have not found the words. I too knew the stats, some stories of my mums miscarriage, a close friend who had multiple early on, a friend very late. It was in the hospital over a three day period where I was induced to deliver but not the delivery I was use to, I was in a foreign country, a separate ward, I had several roommates who together as strangers when through a powerful life experience and shared in something I still can’t put into words. We listened to each other’s conversations with loved ones who were next to us because we were only separated by a curtain,we shared food and tears together when our loved ones had to leave us bc visitors had a curfew. We silently listened to each other cry when the lights were out. We had to wait for something we never imagined having to wait for. Some had waits longer than others but in the end we all lost our baby. We as a family have and will always keep Iris in our family as she is a very important part to our fabric and who we are as a family 💜 thank you for sharing/ posting.

    1. I cannot imagine how isolating it would have been to go through such a loss in a foreign country. I’m so glad you were able to find a community to grieve with. Thank you for sharing your story. Hugs!

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