November 25, 2020 03:40 PM | by Farida Abdel Malek
Women Who Have Opened up About the Reality of Miscarriage and Grief
I had a dream when I was younger that I lost a baby. Until this day, I have never forgotten that dream or forgotten how it made me feel. After a couple of years I had a couple of other dreams that revolved around the same thing, and ever since then it created this enormous fear inside me that I wouldn't be able to have children or that I would lose one.
Today the world heard for the first time the news that Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, had sadly gone through a miscarriage back in July. She bravely shared her story in an essay for the New York Times. She emphasized the importance of asking each other if we're okay and that 'that' question to her husband in the hospital was the start of the healing process for both of them. She talked about how talking about miscarriage is still unfortunately considered a taboo despite how many women struggle with it. Her essay was titled 'The Losses We Share' and here are a few of her words...
"I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second. Hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears. Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal."
Also back in October we all woke up with to news that made our hearts heavy. Chrissy Teigen bravely shared on her Instagram that she had lost her baby. Her pregnancy was difficult, she had been on bed rest because her placenta was really weak. She talked about the pain she and her family are going through and it really woke us up. It made us realize that not enough people know about the reality of something as difficult as a miscarriage, both physically and emotionally. Her post opened up a space for so much bravery and love. Along with people sending her and her family prayers and love, others shared their stories giving her support and saying beautiful positive things in hope to help her feel lighter. She also wrote a beautiful thing at the end that I think every women, man and parent should read to remind them that it's okay to grieve and mourn, but also to be grateful and love and believe you can get through this.
"We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience. But everyday can’t be full of sunshine. On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it."
Beyonce has also opened up before about her miscarriage before her first baby. She told Elle, "Having miscarriages taught me that I had to mother myself before I could be a mother to someone else. Then I had Blue, and the quest for my purpose became so much deeper. I died and was reborn in my relationship, and the quest for self became even stronger."
Shay Mitchell talked about her first pregnancy and miscarriage after 14 weeks. People quoted her from her pregnancy series, “I know other women and other friends of mine who’ve gone through a way harder journey. It’s just really tough because you feel broken, as a woman, and that’s not a great feeling.”
Gwyneth Paltrow has a difficult experience with her third pregnancy. Her children were asking her to have another baby, “And you never know, I could squeeze one more in. I am missing my third. I’m thinking about it. But I had a really bad experience when I was pregnant with my third. It didn’t work out and I nearly died. So I’m like, ‘Are we good here or should we go back and try again?’”
Hilarie Burton said some really powerful words, to People, about her experience and the difficulty of losing a baby and it's after affect. "When you get blindsided by your body, that betrayal of your body is very hard to overcome, I didn't think I had PTSD. I had other people tell me I had PTSD. Every single ache and every single pain, all of a sudden you're scared it's a death. It's got to be the worst-case scenario. And I didn't realize I had that, but every time I would have a cramp, I was scared it was something serious."
I remember hearing stories around me being said by my friends that their moms have had a few miscarriages. It was very confusing for me how these women were able to bear going through this not only once, but a few times. I now know that it is unfortunately very common and a risk with any pregnancy. 10 to 15 in a 100 pregnancies end in miscarriages, however, most women who have miscarried before go on to have healthy pregnancies later.
I think no matter how hard your try, you can never actually be emotionally prepared for something like that, but I still feel like there is not enough talk, support and discussion about how miscarriages are a extremely difficult loss for parents. They grieve, say goodbye and mourn their baby, even if the pregnancy didn't last long.
Mothers always say that from the moment they find out they're pregnant, there's an instant connection and this baby, even if it's still the size of a pea, feels like their entire world. And so it can be extremely difficult and an immense shock to have to say goodbye to something you knew was a part of you and was growing inside you. So, with a miscarriage, some mothers find it very difficult to recover from it. However, it is a lot easier for others, so there really isn't a right or wrong way to feel. I think the most important thing is not to try and resist or push any certain feeling. Let yourself feel whatever you're feeling and give yourself time to grieve if you want. However, if you feel ready to move on, do that freely and don't feel guilty about that at all.
After anger and grief, depression can be very hard to get out of for the woman and her partner as well. As a woman your body is also going through that loss with you and there can be a lot hormonal changes that can really affect your mental health. So it can be really difficult having to grieve and deal with postpartum depression at the same time. Depression and anxiety can get you in whirlwind of thoughts, like whether you'll be able to have children, if you did something wrong or if you'll ever stop feeling this way again. It's important to remember that so many women go through this and go on to later have many children, and that your mental health now is the most important thing. You and your partner can lean on each other and remind each other that you will both get through this. Also, there is no shame in seeing a therapist. Therapy can help you process your emotions, voice your fears and be able to recover and come out stronger.
Main Image Credits: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images Via Vanity Fair
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