I don't know where the idea of hiding miscarriage and infertility originates from but I'm not a fan of it, clearly. Who declared that this should be a topic that's unspoken of? Who said you must wait until 12 weeks to announce your pregnancy because you shouldn't have to then tell if you miscarry? Who said infertility issues should be a private struggle between only husband and wife? Aren't we supposed to have a support system of girlfriends and family that we can turn to in our darkest times? And if we have that, why is this topic so taboo that we often don't share it, even with them? (I love ending paragraphs with questions - it makes me feel so Carrie Bradshaw)
I recently read an article titled " My Miscarriages Are the Reason I'm Announcing My Pregnancy Early". Jenny Evans, the author, discusses how in previous pregnancies, she waited to share her pregnancy news until after the first trimester "just in case". And then "just in case" happened. Three times. So this time, she decided to share her pregnancy news before the 12 week "safety zone" so if she miscarried again, she'd have the support she needed the previous times. She says, "Why I'd ever believed that keeping to the 12-week rule would safeguard me, I really don't know. I still endured the grueling physical process of miscarriage and struggled with the messy emotions of grief, sadness, frustration and anger. I just did it alone." She then goes on to discuss how she wished someone had known what she was going through so she could talk about it.
Her sentiments ring true for me as I'm sure it does for many others who suffered pregnancy loss or infertility in silence. When I miscarried, I was initially thankful that no one (but a few family members) knew we were pregnant. I didn't have to cry in front of others or share our devastation. I didn't have to correct people when they said congratulations or dodge questions about my due date. But what I did instead wasn't any healthier. I simply, or not so simply, went on like nothing happened. I hated feeling like I had to hide what I'd just been through. If this stigma wasn't there and we didn't feel the need to avoid these uncomfortable conversations, it would've not only been easier to be open and honest, but healthier. It would have been beneficial to share what I was going through so that I could have the support of others, but also so that I could help inform others of how common it is. And while I've somewhat accomplished this now, with this blog, I wish that I would've done it at that present time.
As the author of this article states, it's okay that some women prefer to keep their miscarriage and/or infertility struggles private. However, it's a problem when they feel like they have to. Now that my story is out there, I'm grateful that more women know they aren't alone. I'm grateful that I've given a platform for others to share, vent, open up. And on this one year anniversary, I'm grateful for the work that we as a group have done in slowly breaking the need for secrecy. As a result, when this happens to someone else, because unfortunately, it inevitably will, I hope they know others around them who have been there before and feel comfortable speaking up. With that said, I look forward to accomplishing more work that remains. It's only if we work together and speak up, that we can slowly remove the stigma, embarrassment, and secrecy, and finally support each other, out loud.