Why I'm Not Going to Hide My Miscarriage (VIDEO)

talking about miscarriage

It is no secret that many women suffer a miscarriage at some point. Some moms feel shame or that it's somehow their fault. Some feel such an abject sadness that they can barely bring it up, while others want to tell everyone about their lost little one as a way of making sure they aren't forgotten. Every woman reacts differently to a miscarriage, but the thing we all need to remember is that there is no shame in a mother choosing to talk about her pregnancy loss and there is no shame in miscarriage, period. A new video from BuzzFeed highlights the experience of one woman, and you'll see why it's so important that moms are able to openly discuss their miscarriages. 

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BuzzFeed writer Jennifer Chen was pregnant with her first child when she found out that she was having a threatened miscarriage. Her first ultrasound should have shown a developing baby, but instead it revealed no signs of a growing fetus. She was told to wait and come back to see if the pregnancy was viable. This video tells her story, and please be warned, if you've experienced a miscarriage, you may find it upsetting.

Watching this video brought up some emotions for me as I went through almost the exact same thing last fall. Unlike for Chen, this was not my first pregnancy. I was already the lucky mom of two beautiful school-aged children. I found out I was pregnant last September with what would have been my third baby. It was a bit of a surprise for us, but we were elated. Nervous, but elated. I hadn't seen my OB yet when I had a feeling something wasn't right. Based on my experiences with my prior pregnancies, something felt "off" to me. I didn't feel pregnant, which I knew could be normal for some women, but it wasn't normal for me. I called my OB and requested a blood draw to check my HCG levels.

More from The Stir: How to Comfort a Friend Who Survived a Miscarriage

When the result came back, it was low for how many weeks along I should have been, confirming what I felt deep down -- that this baby might not be happening. This was the beginning of weeks of going back and having my levels rechecked and being denied an ultrasound, as my doctor said my levels weren't high enough to expect to see anything on the screen. They were going up, but not fast enough. Those weeks of wondering and waiting were incredibly difficult. I hadn't told many people of my news, and now that we knew the pregnancy was in jeopardy, we decided not to tell anyone else. The less people we had to "untell," the better, we reasoned. 

Once we got the verdict -- that my levels were indicative of an impending miscarriage -- we had to have that dreadful ultrasound to confirm it. As my doctor thought, there was nothing beyond a malformed yolk sack, even though I should have been about nine weeks along. I couldn't bring myself to look at the screen of nothingness, crying on the table and begging that it be shut off. My husband thanked the very kind radiology tech and we were sent to the nurses to schedule a D&C, as my body wasn't releasing the "products of conception" on its own. Miscarriage terminology can be so sterile and unfeeling, just to add insult to injury.

Luckily, my doctor was not unfeeling at all. He was so compassionate and loving toward us throughout the whole process. I arrived for my D&C the following day, and it went well. I was on my feet quickly and back to my same old life as the mom of two active kids. However, I found myself wanting to talk about what had happened to me. Even though I hadn't shared the news of my pregnancy with many people, it felt so sad to talk about my two kids and to not mention the existence of my third, however brief.

I started to talk about it with friends and family. I was always quick to let them know that I was alright, that I was handling it as well as could be expected. That my kids helped me to stay positive and that I knew my body had done the right thing in recognizing that my baby wasn't going to make it. Despite my cheery disposition when discussing my loss, I could sense a palpable discomfort from some of the people I told. They didn't want to hear about it, it seemed. This saddened me and made me wonder if I should be ashamed. While I felt I was handling my loss pretty well, I knew other women had a harder time. What if talking about their pregnancy loss truly helped, and all they were met with was blank stares and people shifting in their seats, eager for their sad tale to end?

That is why I talk about my miscarriage often, now that I've worked through it. I don't make it a dark secret, because it isn't. There is no shame in what happened to me and the millions of other women who have been through what I experienced. Pregnancy loss happens and it needs to be discussed openly so these mothers don't feel shame or like their journey needs to be hidden. If a woman wants to talk about her miscarriage, let her. You have no idea how much it may help her in her quest to move forward and to remember her baby.

If you've experienced a miscarriage, does it help you to talk about it?

 

Image via BuzzFeedYellow/YouTube

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