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God has blessed me tremendously with an amazing husband, Doug, and two gorgeous little boys, Gavin and Joey. It has always been a dream of mine to have a large family but God may have other plans. I had a series of 6 consecutive early miscarriages when trying for baby #2. We are currently trying for baby #3 after our 7th miscarriage. I am faithful that God's plan is perfect, even when I am not happy about it. I love comments and meeting new followers so please don't be shy!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shhh... It's Personal

Last night I had an opportunity to participate in a twitter chat hosted by Unspoken Grief about why talking about perinatal loss is so taboo. While it was a really interesting topic of conversation, I must be too long winded (or whatever the typewritten equivalent is) to make a point in 150 characters or less. So, after the chat last night and thoughts lingering in my head today, I have a few theories.

The first is that people that have had losses aren't sure how to bring it up, when to bring it up, and who to bring it up to. When the WalMart Cashier offers the obligatory, "How are you today?" we may be thinking of nothing other than how we are still healing after the loss of a much wanted child but we say, "Fine. Thanks." If we run into an old friend at a grocery story and they ask us, "What's new?" it isn't easy to spill our emotions out in front of the cans of Chef Boyardee ravioli. We say, "Not much. You?" When our parents ask how we are feeling, we don't want to have them worry that we are are never going to crawl out of the dark place so we just say, "Doing okay. Still sad, but I'll manage." So, why don't we talk about our losses. I think we are trying to protect others from the sadness, hurt, and tears. We save those moments for when we are all alone.

Another theory is that there are a few things that people don't feel comfortable talking about. Bleeding from one's vagina is one of them. While we might say, "I had a miscarriage." and be talking about the emotional loss, someone who hasn't had a loss might think this comment is akin to saying, "Let me tell you about my menstrual cycle." Well, this is an awkward conversation to have now isn't it? If someone is having explosive diarrhea they would never dream of mentioning that in typical conversation with their next door neighbor. If they were asked about their health, for whatever reason, they would probably say they were having digestive issues or dealing with some "bug" that has been going around. They would never say that they have spent the last 3 days captive in the bathroom to the extent that there may be a permanent impression of the toilet seat encircling their nether regions. If they were gutsy enough to say, "I'm having diarrhea." The neighbor would probably give a sympathetic look and say, "Oh. I'm sorry. That really stinks." (no pun intended) Ironically, this would probably be almost the identical comment that the neighbor would make after being told about a miscarriage. Since no one wants to hear an apology similar to one that would be made for a horrid bout of the runs, we just skip mentioning it altogether.

Then there are the well meaning comments, and suggestions that no grieving mother wants to hear. So rather than subject ourselves to the advice, stories about people they know who had the same thing happen, and the "you'll have another baby" lines, we just keep our mouth clamped shut. Bring on the small talk so that we can get home and be alone with our thoughts.

For the past couple of years I have tried to be more open regarding my losses. When people ask me if I am going to have more children or learn that we are trying, I share my history. I don't get too in depth but I do tell people that I had 6 losses in between my two successful pregnancies. They do instantly give me the shocked look which is quickly followed by the sympathetic look. The shocked look isn't all that much different than the look I get when I say that I'll have as many children as God wants me to have. I hope that my sharing about my losses with help others not feel so awkward when it comes to talking about their own.

Do you talk about your loss(es)? Why or why not?


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