sharing your stories and remembering your children
By Carissa Caples EPLA Staff Writer
I was sitting in my high school journalism lab when I first found out about the “12-week rule.” I distinctly remember my teacher explaining to me that the social etiquette is to not reveal that you’re pregnant until the second trimester of your pregnancy in case you have a miscarriage. I remember feeling confused and unsettled—I’m someone who always tries to let people in on what’s going on with me, so the thought of hiding something so pivotal was very foreign to me.
I thought about my future and really expected that when I was pregnant, whether I was going to lose the baby or not, I’d want people to know about it. But I also succumb easily to the pressures of social etiquette, so I just accepted the upsetting truth that those were the rules and figured that someday I’d understand. As I got older and became more involved in conversations surrounding pregnancy and motherhood, I began to run into many similar startling “rules” that lead to women struggling in silence.
But there’s good news! Now that I’ve gotten older and observed the rise of authenticity culture in media, I’ve been thrilled to learn that there are so many people and organizations learning to break stigmatizing “rules” like these and bring early pregnancy loss into the spotlight so grieving women can access support from a community of women who have experienced the same type of loss. Here are a few articles I found helpful in my research about how women are breaking the silence and sharing openly about their grief.
1. Katy Lindemann: “The 12-Week Pregnancy Rule Makes the Pain of Miscarriage Worse”
This lively opinion article from The Guardian explains why rules like the “12-week rule” that were originally meant to help women can actually be harmful, and argues that we need to be more open about both pregnancy and miscarriage. Katy shares her personal experience with miscarriage and talks about how changing our societal rules around pregnancy announcements could benefit women.
2. Erin Magner: “How to Talk About Miscarriage, According to a Psychologist”
It’s great that people are explaining why our society’s approach to talking about miscarriage is bad, but sometimes we can get so bogged down in what not to do that we lose sight of the things that could actually be helpful. Since we do need to change the way we talk about pregnancy and miscarriage, here are some constructive tips surrounding how to talk about a miscarriage. It specifically covers how to talk to a friend in a helpful way if she’s had a miscarriage, and how to speak about your own miscarriage in a constructive way.
3. The Bump Editors: “18 Celebrities Who’ve Opened Up About Miscarriage”
Looking for examples of how to open up about your miscarriage? Or have you been hoping to hear stories from people you’re familiar with? This article highlights 18 celebrities who have shared their stories of loss, in an attempt to make you feel less alone (because even Beyoncé deals with this stuff).
If you have always felt like someday you’d like to share your experiences with miscarriage, our goal is to provide a place to start. Feel free to comment below or contact us to share your story with people who truly care, or to ask us questions about how to go about sharing your experiences with others. We are here as a resource for you, and we want to help you as much as possible.
If you have a friend or loved one who is currently experiencing grief from losing a child, we are here to help you as well. Try to reach out to them today and use some of the tips provided in article #2, and let us know how it goes! And as always, if you have any questions for us about how to go about it, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carissa Caples is a Senior Professional Writing and Information Design major at Cedarville University and staff writer for the Early Pregnancy Loss Association.