I’m a veteran now, or should I say we both are, My girlfriend and I. It’s like a soap opera, endless struggles and ‘duff duff’s (you’ll only get that if you watch Eastenders) as we try for a baby. Almost three years of trying, endless consultations, IUI treatment, IVF treatment, blood tests, scans, other tests, other scans, while in the middle of all of this having two natural pregnancies which both ended in miscarriage.
Very taboo isn’t it, miscarriage? It’s a topic not everyone feels comfortable with. I know we don’t, or didn’t. We’ve told a handful of people, some of which are sympathetic and caring towards us, while other’s don’t quite know what to do or say so they just don’t say anything. As a result, we tend to keep it to ourselves, a secret almost. But why? Why is miscarriage such a secret, such a taboo conversation?
I follow a lady called Rosie on Instagram. She’s comedy gold! She’s a mum to a little boy called Robin, and just so happens to be married to a famous stand up comedian. They recently shared that during a 12 week scan, it was revealed that not only had she sadly lost her baby, but not everything went to plan and she had to have an operation to ensure everything had happened as it should. When they released the statement, I could sense the sadness and devastation, because we’ve been there before, and felt those exact emotions before.
They released a public statement explaining what had happened, and for them the reaction has been overwhelming with floods of positivity. I messaged Rosie privately and offered my sympathy, and shared that we too had been in the situation, and were intact going through it right this moment. We also briefly discussed the fact that it is SO taboo and people are so secretive, and I don’t understand why. I’m guilty of it, yet I don’t understand why.
Miscarriage is devastating. I’ve written before about the effects this can have emotionally. Each miscarriage chips away at the next pregnancy, filling the holes with doubt until your only thought is “wonder when this one will end”. Miscarriage is even a difficult word to say, because of what we know it to be.
The spontaneous or unplanned expulsion of a fetus from the womb before it is able to survive independently.
Is it taboo because there isn’t anything nice about it? Is it because we believe so few people go through something like this, women begin to feel inadequate, like they’re doing something wrong?
During our current situation, my girlfriend turned to me and said “there must be something wrong with me”, and it doesn’t matter how many times I tell her there is absolutely nothing wrong with her, it doesn’t make much of a difference; that’s now how she feels.
The truth though? Well 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. 1 in 4. Some so early the woman doesn’t even know. So when you’re sat wondering “why me”, and feeling so incredibly lonely, know that there are many other women standing with you.
Miscarriage is awful, it’s emotionally devastating and little compares to it. That’s why it’s so important to speak out about your situation not only to help yourself, but let the woman next to you know that she too isn’t alone.
We, like so many, have to face a reality that we’re clearly having trouble creating a tiny little human, but that doesn’t mean we have to do it alone, or that people won’t empathise with our situation. Instead, they show us that we are in fact not alone.