Shhh… it’s a secret

Shameless sharing on miscarriage

Image source: Atlas of Obstetric Ultrasound, The International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Editor: Professor Gianluigi Pilu, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Bologna. Italyhttp://www.glowm.com/ultrasoundAtlas. Accessed March 18, 2014

Image source: Atlas of Obstetric Ultrasound, The International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Editor: Professor Gianluigi Pilu, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Bologna. Italy. http://www.glowm.com/ultrasoundAtlas. Accessed March 18, 2014

No one wants to talk about miscarriage. It seems like a cultural secret. Shame likes to hide in secrets.

Many parents-to-be conceal their tragedy because it was too early to share the love, hope and excitement with family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues and their community. This tremendous loss is exposed to family, friends and colleagues for other families. Either way, there should be no shame and no secrets.

No matter the timing, loss of a baby is traumatic. Their are emotional, spiritual and physical symptoms that cannot be denied. Yet so many people grieve in silence unbeknownst to those around them.

I wonder why people don’t want to talk about miscarriage?

I watch the faces, reactions and behaviours of those around me as I share my story. People are shocked, saddened and sometimes awkward. I know, it sucks! It’s terrible, but no one should feel alone during this experience.

No matter the reaction of those around you, you have the right to feel what you feel.

Doctors and well-intended friends try to point you to the hope of “trying again,” and forgetting the loss of the unknown little person that was going to join your family here on earth. For me, that did not get rid of the sadness I felt for my child that I would never meet on earth.

I do believe that I will meet him or her in heaven, but it does not make the time here on earth easy.

I feel like there is someone missing from our family. My husband and kids (4 and 6) feel it too. We all wonder what it would have been like, we all miss on meeting and growing with Brydson #3. I dream about a third child as part of our family, I long for him or her. I see photos of families that have 3 or more kids and I miss that potential life.

Miscarriage can have lasting effects that you can’t minimize. Leis-Newman in an article on Miscarriage and loss, explains new research that demonstrates both women and men may mourn for much longer than previously believed. Miscarriage is life-changing and many people experience it, yet when you go through it for the first time like my family has, it seems that you are alone. No one reveals that they too have experienced this traumatic experience.

How many opportunities for deeper relationship and sharing God’s love are we missing by keeping it quiet?

Leis-Newman’s article continues, “Because it is medically common, the impact of miscarriage is often underestimated,” says Janet Jaffe, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Center for Reproductive Psychology in San Diego and co-author of the 2010 book “Reproductive Trauma: Psychotherapy with Infertility and Pregnancy Loss Clients.” “But miscarriage is a traumatic loss, not only of the pregnancy, but of a woman’s sense of self and her hopes and dreams of the future. She has lost her ‘reproductive story,’ and it needs to be grieved.”

I would also add that it is a loss for the entire family, the husband, other children and grandparents.

This article reminds us that even after having a healthy child after the miscarriage(s), the sadness for the lost child does not disappear. Our lives are forever changed by the short life that was.

It makes me wonder why medical physicians do not recommend grief counselling, support resources or advice about how to care for yourself and family after miscarriage.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that you might need your space to grieve privately. I needed that time too. It was too late for us to choose complete privacy because everyone knew about our pregnancy, even the teachers at my children’s school – ugh. If you chose not to share at all, I completely respect that choice to deal in your own way, on your own time.

If you are anything like me, you might even be furious with me right now for some of the things I have shared! And that’s ok, especially if this helps you to let those emotions out.

Instead of keeping my experience a secret, I have chosen to share so that I may help others on their journey.

I hope and I pray that this helps you.

Romans 5:3-5 ESV

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

James 1:2-4 ESV

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Resources:

Leis-Newman, Elizabeth. 2012. Miscarriage and loss Losing a pregnancy can affect a woman — and her family — for years, research finds. American Psychological Association. Vol 43, No. 6, pp. 56. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/06/miscarriage.aspx

Anna Sklar’s Blog: http://annasklar.wordpress.com/pregnancy-loss/

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