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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Comments

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

    I’d tell myself to open my eyes – the world is still moving, lean on those who have offered, and to acknowledge the pain.

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

    Not a damn thing. Anybody experiencing loss (in my opinion) needs a person who will sit with them, listen to them, and just be there for them. A hug goes a long way when loss is involved. Never avoid your friends when you don’t know what to say. Just freaking be there.

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

    Biology doesn’t matter one damn bit 🙂 If your dream is to be a mother – you will be. In whatever way you choose to do so. Love is not DNA.

  2. What would I tell myself?… I’m still not sure. I think I’m not quite “out the other side” of myself yet to have that perspective. I guess it would be something related to not stressing so much over details because in a few weeks I’ll be on to something new and the huge, important thing from a short time earlier is already forgotten.

  3. I am so grateful that the doctor at the emergency room for my first miscarriage shared the story of his wife’s miscarriage and told me “it [having children] is worth 10 miscarriages” and not to fear pregnancy. I took that to heart and it carried me through my journey. Being on the other side now, that is what I would share with others to help them through.

    I am glad I have been relatively open with my experiences with miscarriage as I have been able to be a resource to friends/acquaintances going through it- even if they didn’t want to talk about it, they knew they weren’t alone. I think that is the most important thing that we can share, whether it is IF or miscarriage, that this is happening to real people- your neighbours, your friends, your coworkers- all around you and you are not alone.

    If I could go back to my darkest time, I would tell myself that everything will work out and I will get to be a great mom someday.

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