If you’ve followed this blog for long, you’ll know it’s not a secret that I’ve had ten miscarriages in the space of six years. October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and I thought this might be a good time to remind people of what miscarriage looks like.
I dug a little into our photo archives and found pictures of the very day (or day after) I started miscarrying each of my pregnancies. Can you tell?
(10/10, 12/10, 3/11, 12/12, 2/13, 4/15, 2/16, 5/16, 7/16, 10/16)
Wait, what? You can’t see that I’m in the throes of a miscarriage in each of these pics?
Miscarriage is the ugly stepsister of pregnancy. The one no one wants to hang out with because it is so painful, so awkward, so untimely. It’s the grief we cover up so we can move on quickly, because that’s what we’re expected to do. (I mean, talking about babies is so much fun, but dead babies? Not so much).
One in four women has had a miscarriage (and that number is likely much higher if you consider those not counted/reported or very early losses). So chances are a woman around you has suffered, very likely in silence.
Two years ago, I created An Invitation to Grieve, a 21-day e-course for women who need a space for healing and reflection around their miscarriage experience. With very little publicity on my end, over 130 women from around the world have taken this course. (You can listen to my NPR interview about the course here).
In their post-course evaluation, many of these women told me they most appreciated the suggestions on how to deal with thoughtless comments from well-intentioned friends. And in the countless conversations I’ve had about miscarriage, it seems many people are at a loss when it comes to how they can help a friend who’s had a miscarriage. And so I created another e-course, this time for friends, called (wait for it), Helping a Friend Through a Miscarriage. It’s filled with personal stories from me and from women I surveyed, as well helpful suggestions on things to do and say (or not do and say, which is oftentimes more important).
There is a huge movement to lessen the stigma of miscarriage. Just google #ihadamiscarriage and you’ll see the incredible stories of brave women around the world who are sharing their stories of grief and loss in a very public way. (Scroll through my own blog posts and my published writings to see my own stories to read more of my own experience with miscarriage!)
Just a friendly PSA from me today to remind all the ladies out there that you are NOT alone. There is a community of us out here who know how it feels to lose something you so desperately wish you could hang on to. And how to keep on going when that seems impossible.
p.s. I’d love it if you’d share the link to my e-courses with anyone you think might need a little extra support!