Helen sadly suffered two miscarriages.
She is now the proud mother of two beautiful children but can’t shake the feeling that her miscarriages are something that she’s not able to talk about, that she had to sweep them under the carpet and ‘get on with it’.
Here she shares her story with us and why she encourages you to reach out for support if you too have suffered loss or miscarriage.
Miscarriage is actually very common
With approximately 25% of pregnancies ending in miscarriage, it’s frighteningly common, yet there is still a stigma around talking about it. We purposefully wait until after the 12-week scan to tell the world we’re pregnant, but that means that we’re suffering alone if we lose the baby before then.
Some people even question the grief or infer that it’s not a real loss in early pregnancy. But at what stage are we allowed to declare and show our loss? At what stage is a miscarriage losing a baby not just a concept?
Grieving a miscarriage is so important
The grief is real, regardless of the number of weeks gestation or the size of pregnant tummy. The pregnancy was real to Helen and her family, the baby had a due date and her mind was already on the mummy journey – until suddenly it’s all gone.
“I felt paralysed by my grief. No doubt some felt I was being very dramatic. But my baby was gone and I had nothing to show for it. I remember when I went back to work, people didn’t know what to say. As I hadn’t told anyone I was pregnant, I think people felt awkward, and also they were quite distant. I felt like it was a dirty little secret almost. I felt people were thinking…just get on with your life, would you!” Helen Plass
She’s not alone in feeling like this.
“Our society often expects grief to be finished much quicker than what it takes in reality. Parents who are bereaved through miscarriage often feel as though people do not care about their baby and have no patience for their continued grief.”
Sands Australia – Early Pregnancy Loss
Let’s open up and talk more about miscarriage
Of course, it’s not an easy topic to talk about, but we know from a death at any age that openly talking about the person and recognising them in some way is incredibly helpful to those close by and hurting. It’s also incredibly helpful to acknowledge the loss of all the hopes and dreams that the parents had for that child as they are also mourning a future that never came to be.
We must allow women and their families to grieve openly, there needs to be more support out there and more understanding of the sheer magnitude of pain and distress caused by miscarriage and baby loss. Only then, when miscarriage comes out of the shadows and stops being a dirty little secret, can we as a society start to empathise and know how to respond to this all too common happening.
Seek miscarriage support
If you are grieving following a miscarriage, visit Your Fertility Toolbox for some specific coping and grieving strategies you can use to help you process and get support for your loss. Also, consider speaking to your doctor or finding a counsellor to talk through everything.
Nurture MamasHelen Plass is a Yoga and Active Birthing Instructor, and Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Specialist who over the years has been privileged to help over a thousand women through her popular yoga classes and birthing workshops in Dublin, Ireland. She now also shares her expertise through online courses on www.nurturemamas.com and as a contributor to the Huffington Post, Cow & Gate Baby Club and the M Word blog.