Lisa Ling is opening up a world of truth for women who have suffered secretly by talking about her miscarriage and starting the website she revealed on The View. The Secret Society of Women encourages women to open up about all kinds of secrets, not just pregnancy ones.
On the Secret Society of Women site, they can also talk about body image, their marriages, motherhood, anything that they can't say in real life. But why can't they say it in real life? That is the real question.
After Ling's own devastating loss when she was nine weeks along, she discovered that so many of her friends had also miscarried and kept it a secret. It's no surprise. From the moment the pee stick dries to reveal two pink lines, our bodies are public property and, for many of us, the only way to take back control over that is to keep it a secret.
Many women wait until the first trimester ends to reveal the pregnancy for any number of reasons, but one of the most oft-cited is the fear of miscarriage. Many women want to make sure the pregnancy "takes" before revealing it to friends and family. But why?
The result of that secrecy is more pain because no matter when you have a miscarriage, it's a devastating experience, and why would anyone want to go through that alone? Each time I was pregnant, I told everyone I knew (with the exception of work) almost right away because if the worst did happen, I would have wanted their support. Or, as Ling said on The View:
It's so great to find comfort in other people's experiences.
When to tell is obviously a personal decision, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to share our personal grief with the people we love and care for instead of being relegated to sharing it anonymously with strangers? Ling's idea is wonderful, but secrets are painful because we keep them secrets.
Ling says that as a successful person, miscarriage at 37 felt like a massive failure, something she was embarrassed to discuss. And yet, so many women experience it. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage and most of them are caused by nothing that the mom did. So why does it feel so different on the inside?
It would be great if at some point in the near future, we all felt safe to reveal our pregnancies when we wanted to, not when some etiquette rule told us it was OK to do so. It would be great if miscarriage felt more like a loss we openly grieve as opposed to a failure we must hide.
Let's hope Ling's bravery and openness has us on the right path toward that goal.
Do you think miscarriage should be less secretive?
Image via Facebook