news item collection: the things we don’t talk about (and the things we do)

There have been a number of articles and op-ed pieces coming across our computer screens this week. Instead of choosing just one to highlight this week, we thought it would be more valuable to talk about several news items and the intersection between them.

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When it comes to pregnancy loss, neonatal loss, post-partum depression, and grief, there is often a pervasive silence. There are statistics to tell us, for example, that at least 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, but what does that mean for the women we see every day? We may know how many of our close friends have been affected by loss, but what does that mean for the women you see out in the world? How many women who have experienced loss do you pass by on the street, in the grocery store, in a classroom, at work?

Most of the time, you won’t know. We don’t talk about infertility or loss in those spaces. It’s too personal, it’s taboo.

But when we do talk about it, what do we say? Who do we say it to? How do we say it?

Sometimes we talk like it’s a competition— sharing war stories, lining up our pain next to other’s, maybe unintentionally as we strive to simultaneously share our pent-up experiences and show understanding.

Sometimes we’re so ashamed of falling to pieces– or we can’t articulate, focus, or tap in enough with someone else to ask for help– that we don’t say a word even to the people closest to us and don’t know how many others have been through what we’ve been through.

Sometimes the things other say to us are so well-meaning and simultaneously ignorant and out-of-line that we feel completely disconnected from the people we love.

Whatever our experiences: in retrospect, what would we tell ourselves?

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What would you tell yourself if you could go back to your darkest moment and be your own support?

What do you feel you can share with others to help them through dark times?

What do you think is the most important thing you can share about your infertility and/or loss experience?

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