A couple of days back my bff, we’ll call her Zen, posted something about Rainbow babies. For those of you who’re unfamiliar with the term, a Rainbow Baby is a baby born after a miscarriage. My Peanut is a rainbow baby and so is Zen’s firstborn Nash. Actually, although me and Zen were good friends, (Zen is actually a friend of TS. He still complains I stole her form him but that’s material for another post) it was after our mutual losses that we became super close. One thing I noticed during my miscarriage was that, most of the people I talked to, didn’t want to talk about it. Some were dismissive, saying it happened to a lot of people. Some said it was good it happened so early (third month) and not later. Some said its not like I’d had the baby and then lost it. And even some who had experienced a similar loss, didn’t seem to take this as something that required talking about.
I just couldn’t talk about it to a lot of people. Of course a lot of my close friends were very supportive and understanding, and I’ll forever be grateful for that, but for the most part, people were acting like this was something to be avoided at all costs.
And to this day, I find the situation is similar. I had Zen to talk to thankfully, and she understood exactly what I was going through. When one in five pregnancies end in a miscarriage, why do we not talk about it? To be honest, up until I was pregnant and was told by the doctor that I might suffer a miscarriage, I had no idea what it was. I didn’t know of anyone who had been through this. I knew no-one in my immediate family had and even if they had, no-one talked about it. Why? Why do we not have a discussion about it? I only found out after my miscarriage how common this was. And it was only when I was blaming myself for the loss that I found out that it wasn’t my fault; it wasn’t anything that I did. This was just my body’s way of ensuring I only had a perfectly healthy baby. But instead of finding all this out via google, I’d have loved to have been able to talk to someone about it. And even if that didn’t happen, its always nice when your loved ones tell you its all going to be ok. Makes it a lot more easier to believe.
Also, people just refuse to consider a miscarriage as something that required mourning. Why? Why this apathy to someone who’s been through it? Why so dismissive? Only a person who’s been through that loss understands the raw anguish that accompanies it. For me, my babies were a reality from the moment I found out I was pregnant. In spite of their level of development, they had ten fingers and ten toes and everything as far as I was concerned. And when I lost them, it was very very real to me. Every time I bled, there was a voice in my head reminding me those were my babies dying. My time in the hospital is something I don’t remember much about. I was in so much pain, mentally, that nothing registered. And then were the days after when I went over every minute I was pregnant and wondered what I had done wrong. The tendency to blame yourself and the resulting depression is even worse I tell you. And there’s also the fear if motherhood will ever happen to you. And all this is happening in your mind. It is a time when you need to talk to someone. You need to hear it’s ok. You need for people to listen to your grief. I might sound selfish here but I guess when you’ve been through a loss its ok to be a little selfish.
I still don’t understand the taboo that comes with miscarriage. I mean when you’re pregnant people have no qualms asking you about your birthing plans or touching your stomach or asking if you’re having a vaginal birth and giving you unwanted advice on whether to breastfeed or not. But when it comes to miscarriage people suddenly go mum. They have nothing to say. They shift awkwardly and look away or mumble an, “I’m sorry”, and change the topic.
When I was going through the pain and loss, I desperately needed to talk to people. Of course, I had my family and TS but more than all that, it was talking to Zen that helped me. It was when she told me, more than a year later, that she was carrying Nash, that I also started believing that I would also be a mother someday. Nash and Peanut were born six months apart, and like we shared our pain and loss, me and Zen shared our joys as well. And now we share our motherhood woes as well.
The point I’m trying to make here is that we need to talk about miscarriage. It isn’t something that needs to be shoved under the carpet or ignored or considered bad luck. It is a real issue, one that needs to be addressed. So all those who’re reading this, if you know someone who’s been through this or if you have someone trying to talk to you about this, just listen to them. You’ll have no idea as to how much you’re helping them.
(image copyright: Google Images)