In 2014, my husband and I lost 3 babies to miscarriage. Twins at 4 months and another baby at 8 weeks later that year. If you are even vaguely familiar with me, I am sure you already knew that. By 2016 we had already had our two beautiful rainbows and I suppose the expectation was that life was now well and that we were all done mourning and talking about our miscarriages. And maybe that is an opinion that you, dear reader, also share. However, the truth is that I will never stop speaking about it. Not because I need a constant audience or I am still wallowing in self-pity but I believe that there are benefits to making miscarriage and women’s health issues a part of open and honest discussion. So here are just a few reasons I would never stop talking about my miscarriages.
1. It happened
Just like years after my wedding day I still laugh at all the things that went wrong and all the funny things guests did or said. Just like years after my father died, I still remember him and speak about him. And just like I will always share the incredible story of how a midwife saved my daughter’s life, I will keep talking about my miscarriages because they represent a significant and life altering event in my life.
2. We need to talk about it
Miscarriages occur in approximately 1 out of 4 pregnancies, which is significant. This has huge implications regarding women’s physical health issues as well our mental and emotion health. Hundreds of thousands of women have miscarriages every year, yet many of those women do not speak about it or seek support to heal from the fallout of the loss. And this is why I will keep speaking about it. We need to understand that a miscarriage is not a scarlet letter etched on our wombs. It is not a family shame to be shrouded in secrecy and misinformation and most importantly, it is not a female burden to be carried alone. The more we talk, the less stigma needs to be attached to our already grieving hearts.
3. Healing words
My miscarriage occurred shortly after I had made my 1st pregnancy “Facebook official”. There had been happy pictures and hopeful post about motherhood, and then my world came crashing down. I had so quickly shared my joy that I felt foolish and ashamed, like I had failed. But the decision to be public with my miscarriage allowed me to take ownership of when and how my story was told. I didn’t want people gossiping about my health or why I lost those babies. Instead, I wanted them to know that miscarriages happen. And it happened to me. I was 1 in 4 and should anyone else find themselves 1 in 4 I wanted every word I said to bring encouragement to someone somewhere.
4. A million voices
I am one person, but I lent my voice to a much bigger conversation. A conversation championed by other women before me, who decided for themselves to share their story. So my one voice joins others and as more and more voices are added to the conversation, we can create meaning and impact that changes the way women view themselves and their bodies. Women talking about their miscarriages can have implications on healthcare and support for women in similar situations. And that’s a positive step for everyone.
5. I’m alive
I keep speaking because I survived. Many women enter hospitals to give birth and never leave. I may never be able to tell their story, but I can tell mine. I can talk, I can question and I can encourage others to do the same. My miscarriages were the absolute worst experiences of my life, but they did not kill me. I am stronger because of them; I am more loving and appreciative because of them. And just as I remember and celebrate my children (born and unborn), I will continue to speak up to remember and celebrate that I am alive and I must use my time wisely while I am here.