We Just Don’t Talk About That

I know there aren’t a lot of sacred topics in the world anymore. I can accept that, somewhat. Sexual preferences, hatreds, illegal activities, amoral and moral views/ bashing, those are all splashed across social media like a Jackson Polluck. There’s really only three things we try and keep hush hush:

1. The exact recipe for Colonel Sanders’ chicken

2. that one friend who hasn’t seen The Princess Bride

3. miscarriages

For the life of me, I don’t know why it’s not acceptable for a woman or a couple to express that they are mourning an unborn child who didn’t make it. It’s a heartfelt tragedy that the people involved are told to keep to themselves.

How do I know that miscarriages are still considered taboo to talk about?

People’s responses. They all fall into one of two categories: deal with it or I know the feeling. And both come out really quickly when someone’s brave enough to want to express it.

Anyone who says deal with it hasn’t had it happen to them. Some argue that an early miscarriage isn’t even a person because there isn’t sufficient genetic material to create a human being, or that it’s just a clump of cells, it’s so easy to just rinse and repeat. Or they’ll mention some friend who had five miscarriages before their first child and they turned out just fine.

Those people I want to shake them until the stupid falls out. To anyone trying to be a mother, and I should say parent because a miscarriage does emotionally affect the man trying to be a father, the first sensation that tells a woman she’s pregnant isn’t the first time they will bond with the baby, it’s before conception has even taken place. Those first signs of life provide validation, happiness, and a whole new vista of purpose that can be filled in no other way.

And then it all stops. No more hormones filling the mother-to-be with craziness and elation. No one and nothing to blame, no way to bargain or prevent. It just stops. That grand new purpose becomes an empty void.

It's everywhere

What makes it worse is that there are some people crass enough to suggest that having an abortion puts them in camaraderie with those who have faced the terrible emptiness of a miscarriage, as if their choice has anything to do with the pain of spontaneous loss. When someone has seen a loved one deal with the pain of a miscarriage, it’s hard to see why someone would give up voluntarily, as if parenthood were some video game that always had a reset button for when you stopped enjoying the game or it became difficult.

Luckily, there are women who have a friend that will understandingly give condolences without denigrating what’s occurring. Usually its because that friend has gone through it themselves and don’t feel to pass on the so-called comfort others tried to provide. Those wonderful women are the only hope that someday we can express why we feel bad, why it hurts, and feel confident that someone receiving this information will truly help.

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4 thoughts on “We Just Don’t Talk About That

  1. Oh Tony. As one who’s lost 3 to miscarriages, I completely understand. My last miscarriage, the doctor spent the whole unpleasant process trying to convince me that it’s normal, it’s just “products of conception” and it shouldn’t bother me. At church, I was primary president, the whole family came down with Influenza B during the process -including me -and I felt like people just expected me to shrug off everything and to be okay again immediately. Well, I wasn’t.

    The most beautiful thing I heard months later was a friend who was pregnant at the same time, but is Catholic told me how her priest found out and immediately set up a small funeral. That’s what I needed, though I didn’t know it at the time. I needed someone to acknowledge that there had been a life inside me that was desperately wanted and I would never get to hold that life in my arms. Thank goodness for a loving husband who held me and let me cry several times.

    Thank you for talking about this. It’s real. We need to grieve and we need others to validate that need.

  2. The very idea of miscarriage brings a deep sorrow in my heart. I do not know it’s pain first hand, but I believe it to be somewhat similar to the pain and loneliness of longing to have a child and not being able to, which I am familer with, except a million times worse. I hope I can be the kind of friend who can show compassion when it is needed, especially to those dealing with this loss.

  3. I agree Tony. I remember telling a coworker about it when my wife had a couple. He made light of how it was affecting me and he made it sound like no big deal at all. I wanted to punch out all of the stupid in him, so he could at least feel a tenth of what my wife and I were feeling about it.
    When she had had those miscarriages, I felt so powerless to help her besides holding her and just being there for her. I have learned that we, as mortal men, can’t fix something like that for our wives, but we can at least comfort them and be there for them.

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