This is a post that may be a trigger for those recently suffering from loss or who are feeling vulnerable. Please be warned, and avoid. I totally understand. Take care of you.
Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my miscarriage. I was eight weeks along.
I thought I might write about it. I thought about telling the story of how I started to miscarry at someone else’s baby shower, a shower I had planned. I thought of writing how I plastered a smile on my face and played hostess and pretended I didn’t feel the physical pain. I thought about telling you I pretended that my heart wasn’t breaking into tiny bits. And how no one was the wiser.
According to this MacLeans article: this is exactly what I should do for the rest of my life. I should pretend it never happened. Because I might make other people uncomfortable.
F%$& THAT S$^&*!
My dad the journalist tells me I need to fight fire with fire. Fight this steady stream of media stories denigrating or marginalizing the Adoption/Loss/Infertility community by writing my own series, “Faces of ALI”. I am working on another profile.
But, I am so offended by this article that I feel I cannot let it stand.
“Slate’s ‘Dear Prudence’ columnist Emily Yoffe ﬁelded a question from a woman whose sister delivered a full-term stillborn child and wanted to send out a ‘birth’ announcement with a photo of her and her husband holding their dead child. Yoffe advised against it: though the couple had ‘suffered a crushing loss,’ she wrote, it would be wiser to circulate the image among intimates only; a ‘birth’ notice would be ‘confusing and disturbing’ since an actual birth hadn’t occurred.”
A birth hadn’t occurred? Are you fucking kidding me?
For too long, women have suffered in silence and often shame because it was not culturally acceptable to talk about “such things.” Finally, with Jay-Z’s song, the Duggars’ memorial service and the Facebookization (yes, that’s a word) of milestones like pregnancy, there has been an intersection of the public with the private. Celebrities like Kelly Brook and Lily Allen have grieved babies born too early in a media glare.
And an incredible blogging community has sprung up to help women support each other through these terrible, terrible things when no one else will.
MacLeans has some choice words about that blogging community, BTW.
But, as blogs attest, mobilizing around loss can amplify it, and extend the mourning process. ‘Mother of an Angel,’ a regular poster on Ling’s website, reports she’s so mired in grief three years after losing her child she’s neglecting her other children. David Morrison, president of the Strathmor Group, a health consultancy in Charlottetown specializing in grief and palliative-care counselling, has seen the focus on perinatal death stall the healthy grieving process. Putting a lifelike photograph of a stillborn child in an ofﬁce, for instance, could create awkwardness with co-workers, he says: ‘Such a public parade of grief risks alienating people who could provided important support.’
Yeah. Because we have all found so much support amongst the general public. We could be comforted by people saying, “It was for the best.” And “You can try again.” “The good news is you can get pregnant!”
Also, I love that a MAN is telling women how to mourn perinatal death.
Without the support of this blogging community, I would be a shell of who I am today. You have bucked me up and helped me understand I am not alone, you have abided with me on bad days and you have shown me by example how to get through the pain.
And MacLeans: I suggest you read this before you write a story and patronize us all.