The Silence of Miscarriage
“You’re not alone” is a phrase we use a lot here at TTH and in the pregnancy loss community. It’s true – when you experience a loss, you join a large group of people who have gone through the same thing. But truth is, while you may not actually be alone, it’s really easy to FEEL alone. During my last miscarriage, I was alone when I passed the huge blood clots that I can only guess contained the sac of my unborn child.
I went about my day like normal, stopping at the post office, the bank, and Target. Everywhere I went, I was just another lady, not the lady who was walking around having a miscarriage. No one knew, no one cared. We’ve all heard the saying “be kind because you never know what someone is going through” and it has never resonated with me more than it did that day.
When an elderly lady stopped to smile and wave at Ryan in his stroller, I didn’t smile back and say hi like I normally would. I didn’t know if she was judging me for ignoring her, and I didn’t care. While I did have to continue living my life, I didn’t have to be happy if that wasn’t how I was feeling. I wasn’t sure if my baseball cap masked my dirty hair and blotchy skin, but really, did it matter?
Even when we choose to talk about our losses it’s still really difficult to completely break the silence. I’ve told my story a thousand times and yet there are still parts that I have not shared. In November I started writing a blog post about grief. When I re-read the scattered thoughts the next day, I realized it wasn’t something I wanted to make public, at least not at that point in time. For the majority of us, there are always some thoughts, some emotions that are purely ours that are internally silenced.
I find it an odd struggle to determine what should be said and what shouldn’t. We want people to open up and share their stories, their heartache, their reality but we also don’t want it to be TOO messy.
A few weeks after my second loss, I was in a situation that spiked my anxiety and caused me to blurt out something I normally would never say: I told a lady that both of my children were dead. When I recall this moment, I think “Did I really pull the dead kid card?” and I’m slightly mortified.
At the same time, it was the truth. But should I have chosen different words? Should I have kept the comment to myself?
Silence is fluid. It is part of the process of grieving, accepting, and healing. Sometimes we need to tell the ugly, horrible truth of our loss and sometimes, we just need to keep it inside.
Sometimes it’s just not that obvious which one we need.