Miscarriage DADT

As Hollywood hyperventilates over Beyonce's new baby, what has my attention is not Blue Ivy or Ivy Blue, but the fact that Jay-Z just revealed that Beyonce suffered a 'tragic miscarriage' before the celebrated birth of Blue Ivy. Like millions of women who have miscarried, Beyonce decided not to talk about her loss - the pain of red life flowing freely from her womb must have been too much to bear…

Having lived through the trauma of my older sister's tumultuous journey with pregnancy, I confess to being a card carrying member of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell, family-only club for victims of miscarriage. However, as an increasing number of people I know are suffering alone and in shame, I think it is time to have an open discussion about miscarriages. About 70% of pregnancies do not reach full-term, but because we do not share our stories with each other, miscarriages seem like a rare occurrence that happen to a select few. Nothing could be further from the truth.

One of my aunties suffered 8 miscarriages before giving birth to two healthy children. 2 years after the birth of her first son, a close friend lost her new baby in the second trimester. After years of dating, my colleague and her boyfriend started trying for a baby. 4 miscarriages later, she just does not trust her body. She is certain there is something wrong with her! Why else would her body reject something as natural as reproduction? When she finally crossed the 3 month threshold, a girl I worked with finally told friends, family and clients that the glow on her face was the result of new life growing in her. In her 6th month, when the registry had been created and the shower was being planned, she saw red dots in toilet. 24 hours later, she lost the baby. Her pain cannot be described.
Her coping mechanism was silence combined with something more sinister - shame and blame. She blamed herself for not being able to do what seems to come naturally to so many women, so sh
e clamped up. She felt her loss was too rare and too personal  to share with even her close friends.

The code of silence that surrounds miscarriages is really a subset of a greater code of secrecy that shrouds the entire female reproductive cycle. After all,  we call our periods weird names like aunt flow,  and commercials for pads elect some unnaturally blue fluid to depict blood. So when something as grave as a miscarriage occurs, we lock it in a closet and blame our anatomy.  But if after a miscarriage women feel isolated in their grief, then their male partners must feel abandoned, because whilst society understands the grief of the mother, the men are ignored, so they too seek comfort in silence.

To anyone who feels alone, abandoned, shame, loss or pain because they lost their baby: "
You are not a failure. You did not drop the ball, so don't suffer in silence. Reach out to the person next to you, her story may bring you one step closer to healing."

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  1. This is uplifting………..i guess u hit the nail right on the head. I do not have a personal experience but I believe more women need to acknowledge it and not bury themselves in shame or blame themselves. They shd. accept and have faith that the Good Lord will provide.

  2. You know what is so weird? I was just thinking about this the other day. I have a friend who miscarried two kids, and an aunt and a cousin who both miscarried twins. I can’t imagine what their grief must have been, since they only chose to share the information years later. When they did so, it was very matter of factly. Miscarriages are tough. I think it’s very much like losing a part of yourself, especially if you want that baby so very badly. Some women never recover fully from it.

    Maybe silence is the only way to deal with it. Perhaps it has more to do with unspeakable grief and less to do with shame? I dunno.

    Great piece my friend!

  3. Malaka, it seems like we are all having this conversation in the privacy of our own homes. I can't even wrap my mind around the depth of the loss. I want us to start talking about it because people who are experiencing this think it is a problem exclusive to them. Many feel like a failure and they suffer alone, I wish i could change that

  4. I am silenced by my sorrow. I have spent most of this entire last year pregnant. Yesterday I had my second, second trimester miscarriage. There are no words that give justice to the void that one feels after the loss of a pregnancy. The Infinit thoughts and  possibilities that consume ones mind after a pregnancy loss  are paralyzingly. There is nothing that anyone can say to make it better. Sometimes the grief is too much and we can only wait for time to help heal the heartache. My heart goes out to everyone that has experienced a miscarriage. Hang in there and take it one day at a time.

  5. Lulu, you are not alone. My heart breaks with yours. I am so so sorry for the pain you are going through. I have no sufficient words to console you my dear one, but I send you my love, where ever you are. I admire your courage for taking the time to even write this post. Facebook can be a tough place, with pictures of babies, ultrasounds and the rest. Take all the time you need to grieve, healing is on the way, hope is coming. I send you prayers from the greatest source of Love where the soul of your child resides. God keep you and give you strength

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