I was catching up with a good friend of mine a few years ago when suddenly I got a funny feeling. She was newly married and I knew they’d been trying to get pregnant. Don’t ask me what that feeling was because I still don’t know, but whatever it was, it made me ask her if she was pregnant. (Yes, I know this is a total no-no most of the time, but please spare me your admonitions! This was seriously a good friendship, I promise.)
Her face fell. And I mean, fell. And she told me she was, but she’d had a miscarriage the day before, and hadn’t told anybody besides her husband.
We both dissolved. I knew she wanted to be a mother more than anything in the world. I’m not married, nor do I have kids, nor have I ever tried to get pregnant, and I knew her grief was simply beyond anything I could comprehend. But we both dissolved and I sat with her as we grieved the loss of her child.
Miscarriages are devastating. And, heartbreakingly, they’re often nearly invisible — after all, most miscarriages happen before 12 weeks gestation, which is the point at which you start to publicly announce your pregnancy. Many couples haven’t announced their pregnancy yet when they’ve miscarried, and now, they won’t — how do you translate the overwhelming emotional rollercoaster of ecstatic joy and heart wrenching loss? Being vulnerable in that way is just another emotional toll on top of what they’re already dealing with; so, many of them navigate the road of healing from a miscarriage in relative isolation.
But some people are speaking out about miscarriages, stillbirths, the loss of a young child. Most notably, celebrities are starting to share these moments with us. Celebrity vulnerability matters, especially when it comes to grief, and celebrity miscarriage stories are devastating — but they’re also opening new avenues for healing for many women who have dealt with the same loss.
Celebrity Miscarriage Stories
Miscarriages are more common than we may realize — about 10-20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriages. It’s incredibly important that we realize this! Why? Because it’s not a struggle women/couples should have to go through alone — chances are, they know someone who’s experienced a miscarriage, too.
There’s something about celebrities opening up about their struggles that makes us feel it’s okay to share ours. When we admire someone and can all of a sudden identify with them in a really deep way, it can give us the courage to speak out as well. And celebrities sharing their stories of grief and loss goes a long way in normalizing grief and traumatic experiences. Celeb stories are shared far and wide, which is why their openness in sharing with the world is really invaluable to helping all of us open up to receive the healing we need from any number of experiences.
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Chrissy Teigen was incredibly vulnerable and transparent about her stillbirth last year. She even shared photos from the hospital and insisted her delivery of Jack was documented, saying, “I absolutely knew I needed to share this story.” Chrissy’s determination and willingness to share her experience deserved serious praise, which it soon got — her openness was “praised by many who saw it as an important step in demystifying an extremely common experience for women but nevertheless one that is often incredibly distressing” (Source).
Shay Mitchell, Pretty Little Liars star, suffered a miscarriage in 2018. She said it made her “feel broken as a woman”. She shares her pregnancy journey and reflects on her miscarriage, which you can watch below.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, also opened up about her miscarriage last year. As she went public with her story, she emphasized that it’s okay to not be okay. When she found out how common miscarriages were, she said, “Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”
Dealing with the emotional toll
Miscarriages can be a heavy source of guilt for the mother. Our bodies were designed to carry children, and having a miscarriage can trigger feelings of failure, like your body “failed” to protect the baby. These feelings, if carried and dealt with alone, can cause some serious self-sabotage and depression.
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It’s so important that women who have suffered miscarriages get the proper emotional support, and that will really only come when miscarriages are destigmatized. This is why celebrity miscarriage stories are so important — as devastating as they are, they can inspire other women who have suffered miscarriages to open up and get the proper help and support.
In 2018, a documentary titled Don’t Talk About The Baby was released. Its goal is to tackle the stigma surrounding miscarriages and other fertility issues. It’s the first documentary made on the subject, and can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video.
The more we talk about miscarriages and the less stigmatized they become, the more women will be able to be supported when dealing with one. Celebrities sharing their own miscarriage stories is a huge step in that direction, and offers a measure of comfort to the many women going through the same thing.
If you’ve had a miscarriage, you’re far from alone. We welcome any stories you may want to share in the comments section below.
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