The estimated pregnancy loss rate in the United Kingdom is 250,000 each year. But the experience of it is rarely spoken about either on public platforms or in our personal conversations. Understandably, because of the pain it can provoke and inflict on people affected by it. But, more quietly, because of the profound guilt and shame that women who suffer through miscarriage carry within themselves.
Losing a pregnancy that one had the intention of bringing to full term can cause a deep and lasting sense of shame. This shame can come from the overwhelming guilt of having caused the miscarriage, an unsure but internalised blame of being “defective” and “ill-equipped” to carry a child.
Across different cultures, early-stage childbearing women share this cult of silence about pregnancy for the first three months, with a deep and almost spiritual fear of prematurely celebrating life before something awful could possibly happen and take everyone’s joy away.
Not unlike some different contexts to which women are subjected because of patriarchy, this three-month silence reflects how women ARE already guilty and fearful of becoming “incapable” mothers BEFORE they even enter the second three months. And we are just talking about women who have not yet encountered any problems in their pregnancy.
But for women who suffer through miscarriage, that fear is realised, that guilt is a thousand times magnified, solidified and internalised.
Somehow, women have been taught through history that their bodies, roles and abilities are what they owe to the world.
In a sense, we are to be seen, to be wanted, to be touched, and in return we have to reproduce, to serve and to please. And in our teetering between the cracks of these requirements that cage and define our bodily value as women, any “slip” or “loss” is an offence we commit against our nature, our circle, sometimes our god, and the world.
And just as a woman is bound to either silently try again, or silently resign – the silence continues. This silence conceals the guilt and reflects the shame carried by most women who go through miscarriage, women who see their loss as a misfortune of their own making.
I have experienced the inability to get pregnant during IVF so can relate to many of the feelings associated with miscarriage. However, through different learning processes, therapies and conversations, I found healing and dedicated myself to the service of women struggling in the aftermath of pregnancy loss. Whether they want to try again or explore different possibilities and perspectives on motherhood and healing.
I have seen this shame in a lot of women, not through written symbols and letters or outright expressions of anguish, but through hesitation, long silences and fearful denial. Through history, women have mastered the art of masking, and the pain and shame of miscarriage does not escape this mask.
I hope to connect with women who are ready to come to terms with this guilt and shame. I am looking forward to working with women who, despite the pain of loss, are willing to fight for healing and to relieve themselves of the anger and humiliation that they have internalised because of miscarriage. My contact page is open to everyone who is looking to find healing and sense after pregnancy loss.