1 in 5 women will suffer a miscarriage. That was the statistic given to me by our fertility clinic. I’ll assume it was offered up to help me feel less alone. But truthfully, the statistic just made me sad. If so many other women have also suffered through this horribly tragic, unimaginably heartbreaking and physically traumatic experience, why do I not know their stories? When I decided to start speaking openly about our infertility everyone had something to share… whether it was a story about a friend/cousin/sister who had also dealt with infertility issues and now had a happy family, a fertility boosting smoothie recipe or advice on surviving frequent blood drawers (lots of water=‘juicer’ veins) and daily injections (ice the injection site first) people wanted to engage in our infertility.
Infertility did not scare people. But my miscarriage does.
People do not ask for details about a miscarriage. People seem afraid to ask how I’m doing. I get the sense people are walking on eggshells around me, afraid to address the elephant in the room. A co-worker who I’m extremely close to (she also had fertility issues and has been a great person to vent to through this whole process) stopped me the other day and said “I don’t know how to act around you anymore… I don’t know what to say to you.” Apparently, infertility was fair game to discuss (once I made our journey public) but our miscarriage is off limits.
But it shouldn’t be this way.
Think about that… 1 in 5. The sad truth is-you’re going to know someone who has a miscarriage. Chances are you’re going to love someone who has a miscarriage. Sadly, you may very well be someone who suffers a miscarriage. So we owe it to ourselves and the people we care about to talk about this. All I have really wanted over the past few weeks (aside from you know the miscarriage to have not happened and to still be growing Baby L) is to have someone make this easier for me. To have someone share their story with me… to tell me about their friend/cousin/sister who suffered a miscarriage and now has a happy family, to recommend a book they read during their own time of loss that helped them survive, I’d even welcome unsolicited advice on surviving the brutal cramps (heating pad, loose pants, extra strength Tylenol).
Sharing our infertility has been a way for me to lift the burden I felt like I was carrying off my shoulders. It allowed me to acknowledge that I was not in this alone, that there are women like me everywhere, living with and, more importantly, surviving infertility. Infertility was like joining a club (that I NEVER wanted to be part of) filled with fellow warriors. But the miscarriage club is different… it’s quieter, people do not advertise their membership, friends will not tell you about the club member they know.
For a club so big, its initiation feels isolating.
So I’ve chosen to not isolate myself…I’ve decided the next few posts on this blog will be about my miscarriage. The helpful words I heard…and the not so helpful…and the words I wanted to hear. The emotions I felt over the first few days (anger, resentment, sadness) and the emotions I’m still working through (anger, resentment, sadness). The guilt that, at times, consumes me. Why I kept asking my husband if he planned on leaving me (for someone more fertile and without SMA carrying genes) and why a weekend away with him drinking dirty martinis and eating fried clams might have been the best decision we’ve ever made. The actual physical miscarriage (I promise I won’t give too much information) but I felt uninformed and I shouldn’t have been (and neither should you). And other parts of my own personal miscarriage story that may help when, inevitably, you have to help someone who also become 1 in the 1 in 5 statistic.
Robert Frost wrote “the best way out is always through.” So I’ll take you all through this with me…hopefully we all come out better.