An acute grief that should be shared

The Chronicle - - WELCOME // INSIDE TODAY -

ONE in four preg­nan­cies will end in a mis­car­riage. It is a statis­tic that still sur­prised me even though I know friends and ac­quain­tances who have car­ried that grief of a preg­nancy end­ing.

It is usu­ally a pri­vate pain, not of­ten shared pub­licly.

I did not un­der­stand, ei­ther, the fear of mis­car­riage un­til now. For the first 12 weeks of my preg­nancy it was al­ways in the back of my mind.

Wash­ing veg­eta­bles for sal­ads be­came an act of com­pul­sion af­ter read­ing about a woman who lost her baby be­cause of lis­te­ria (food poisoning that af­fects foe­tuses).

I went down a lot of Dr Google threads about what I should and should not eat be­fore I re­alised that my ac­tual doc­tor knew best.

My fear has eased with ev­ery scan, and ev­ery mile­stone of preg­nancy reached.

And I can­not imag­ine the pain that comes with hear­ing the worst has oc­curred. But we need to ac­knowl­edge that it hap­pens.

The fam­i­lies need to be able to speak about their ex­pe­ri­ences, and the rest of us need to know how to help them cope with their grief.

Two women and a man have shared their ex­pe­ri­ences of mis­car­riages in this edi­tion of Week­end in the lead-up to to­mor­row’s In­ter­na­tional Preg­nancy and In­fant Loss Re­mem­brance Day.

It is a tough read, but bury­ing our heads in the sand and pre­tend­ing it does not hap­pen is no longer an op­tion.

I want to know what you think about their sto­ries, and other col­umns and sto­ries, in Week­end. Email week­end@news­re­gional­me­dia.com.au.

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