sharing your stories and remembering your children
By Emily Carrington EPLA Executive Director
Seven years ago I started talking about my miscarriages. At the time, I was lauded as brave. I wasn’t noticed as brave for enduring the heartbreak of losing a child. I wasn’t noticed as brave for enduring the physical process of losing a child. I was called brave simply because I talked about my miscarriage.
And they were right. No one talked about miscarriage. It was newsworthy when celebrities opened up to tell their own stories.
It turns out there were a lot of people like me. Just ready to talk into the silence. The hushed culture inspired projects like “Don’t Talk About the Baby” and Grieve Out Loud. For a long time the conversation simply was “WHY ISN’T THIS A CONVERSATION?!”
But now it is a conversation. It is at least a growing conversation. We must still work against long-standing cultural norms of silence, but we also must look forward.
If we are going to talk, what are we going to say?
At Hope Blooms we hope to help answer that question. We still want to raise awareness, and we still believe there is a LONG way to go on that front.
But what are we going to say to those who are paying attention?
In keeping with our mission, vision, and values at EPLA, I believe it is time to educate, amplify, support, dignify, and love.
Educate: As miscarriage awareness grows, it is important we offer clear explanations and definitions so people can better understand the physical experience of miscarriage. While the word miscarriage is used broadly, there are many medical terms that explain embronic development, medical procedures, and female reproductive issues. As the conversation continues we must educate, educate, educate to protect against misinformation.
Amplify: We must amplify the voices of people speaking: the families, the doctors, the nurses, the other care providers. By giving these voices volume we are honoring not only their lives, but the lives of the little ones they lost.
Support - We must continue to increase support. This includes physical support, financial support, emotional support, and spiritual support. As we listen, we must hear what people need and seek to improve services.
Dignify: We are not here to just ruffle feathers, change procedures, or yell about our sadness. We are not here to ask everyone else to yell; in fact - I wish we never had to yell at all. I wish we could grieve quietly with dignity. I wish our lost children were given dignity. As we continue to talk about miscarriage we must do so with an eye on dignity. The same dignity we give all birth and death, because it is just that: a birth and a death.
Love: Perhaps this isn’t a different task, but the action that holds everything together. As the conversation continues we must continue to love. We must love each other and more specifically we must love human life.
We are honored to use this blog space to do just these things, and we are glad you are here to join us.
Emily Carrington is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and founder of the EPLA.