In the comments of my last post, it was apparent that besides all of our prayers that she’ll have her baby girl, we all wanted her to find the support she so desperately needs. We’re the “lucky” ones….we’ve found our voice, and through that voice, we’ve f0und this community. I’ve already been fired up about this before, but felt the desire to approach the subject again – how do we find a way to talk about this beyond our online community?
After my second loss, I felt like I was the only one to have ever known this kind of grief. I believed I was utterly and painfully alone. It wasn’t until I opened up about it here that I found others that shared my pain. The more I talked about it on my blog, the more I talked about in my real life, too. Just last week I was out to lunch with my boss and a couple of colleagues and we got on the topic of Twitter. I was asked if I had an account, and I mentioned I did. However, I quickly added that it wasn’t one that I’m willing to link to our organization’s account because it’s focused mainly on pregnancy loss. The woman colleague (who hadn’t yet heard of my history) hesitated, but we continued our conversation despite what I had just revealed. Today I receive a call from her telling me that her sister had just lost her pregnancy at 12 weeks and she wanted my advice on what to say. Because I was so open about my relationship with loss, I believe it allowed her to feel okay about asking me for help. Do you know how incredible it felt to have someone just pick up the phone and not be afraid to ask me about it? It was hard not to think to myself, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Because I’m dramatic and cheesy like that.
But guys! I helped someone — a complete stranger! — because I talked about it openly. Because of that, she won’t have to hear, “Everything happens for a reason,” or “It was probably for the best, you wouldn’t have wanted something to be wrong with your baby,” or “God knew you could handle it.” Instead, someone will tell her she’s so sorry this happened, and she will acknowledge that her pain and grief is real. And maybe as a result, she won’t feel so alone.
For so many out there suffering loss or infertility, their voice feels restrained, unable to speak about their loss. According to the recent Redbook article, “The invisible pain of infertility” (November 2011), 61 percent of those polled hid their infertility from family and friends. What’s more shocking…nearly half didn’t even tell their mothers!
I understand if someone chooses to keep this private – that’s of course their choice and they shouldn’t be forced to talk – but for those of us that are comfortable with talking about it, we need start telling people about our experiences outside of our blog so it can become a less taboo subject. For me, I tend to be an open-book kind of gal so I’m able to talk freely (sometimes too much) about my life to anyone who will listen. But for those out there that it doesn’t come naturally to, how does one do it?
What sparked this post was a comment from nobabiesyet in response to the PostSecret:
So ladies, how can we breach the silence and have our voices heard, so that others don’t have to feel as alone in their suffering? How have you done it? Do you think it should remain behind doors, or talked about freely on the streets? Let’s see if we can come up with some concrete ways to do it, because the side of infertility that the NYTimes refuses to cover, needs to be heard.