Style Network stars Giuliana and Bill Rancic came out in People magazine and on The View to publicly discuss their struggle with getting pregnant and their unfortunate miscarriage. They underwent in vitro fertilization and while the treatment did get her pregnant, Giuliana lost the baby at 9 weeks. She says on going public:
"Hopefully (we) can help people understand that there's nothing to be ashamed of. It's such a taboo subject, but it's a very common problem."
It's certainly painful for women to experience and therefore it must be difficult to discuss, but Giuliana points out that there may be an element of shame. A woman's inability to keep a pregnancy may make her feel inadequate. Is the silence perpetuating shame when there's nothing to be ashamed of?
Startlingly, 10 to 20 percent of all known pregnancies end in miscarriages. The likelihood of losing a baby increases with a woman's age and with the number of children she has had. Of course there are other factors involved as well, like pre-existing medical conditions that can add to the risk percentage.
I personally know many women who have lost their pregnancies. Some have told me directly, but some I've heard about through word of mouth. It sounds so gross that there's gossip about something so serious, but that's the way of the world. This also proves how taboo it is to discuss the subject. It's always very hush hush.
I have never had a miscarriage, but I doubt that I'd be shouting from the rooftops about it if I had. It's an incredibly uncomfortable thing to talk about even when I haven't gone through it. I wonder if people's discomfort about the subject makes it tougher on women who have had one. It's hard to talk about a lot of things, but once they're out in the open, I always find it makes things easier. Illness and death are difficult to discuss, but people are forced to do so and as time goes on, people heal from venting. But, you cannot hide death or illness usually, so maybe it's more that people are forced to discuss it.
I wonder if we opened up the communication about this if it would help women. I can't help but feel that the silence makes it seem like it's something to be ashamed of. It's horrible to think that women are suffering silently so as not to make themselves and others feel uncomfortable. Silence never seems to be the answer to anything. Kudos to Giuliana for sharing her story.
Image via david_shankbone/Flickr