Social media and mental health
That moment. When you see a post, of someone sharing their baby bump photo, or proudly sharing their healthy scan images on social media. That moment, where your heart jumps with the beauty, magic and wonder of it all, but almost at the same time sinks so low, causing a lump of pain so deep to rise to its place, pushing your heart out of the way and getting stuck in your throat, till it turns into tears that you thought you had already shed. Those simultaneous conflicting feelings of happiness for others - that truly are there but that you can’t quite feel to the fullest. To the re-emergence of a pain that you thought you’d ‘got over’. In reality, you never get over the pain of this loss. Of knowing the joy of feeling that the light of life is beginning inside of you, only to have to accept that for whatever reason, it was gone. Of the shock of a scan that reveals no signs of life, or reveals that implantation didn’t occur where it should have. And before you even know what’s happening, you’re rushed into surgery and wake up with a pain and emptiness that no one ever warned you you could feel. That moment, all comes flooding back, with the appearance of someone else’s happy bump on your feed.
It’s been a year and a half, and the pain is as real as it was then.
And the pain is silent - you’re expected to move forward, hoping there will be a next time, hoping that when someone else announces news of a baby on the way, you won’t want to crumble inside from the aching and longing. You put on a brave face, talk about how exciting it all is, ask about cravings, all the standard tick box questions. Never let your pain show, for fear of being accused of ‘not being happy for them’. The truth is, there isn’t enough dialogue around miscarriage. At least there wasn’t in my world. So it feels like no one really understands the complexity of how to handle it. No one would go up to someone who’s suffering from an eating disorder and wax lyrical about the joys of a cheeseburger (unless you’re a f**cking awful person) yet the feelings of women who’ve experienced miscarriages are not considered when new baby news is shared. ‘It’s not about her, it’s about me’. Well, it’s not that simple.
When you lose a loved one, you honour their loss with memorials and funerals. Families gather to nurture your pain, hold space for you to help you heal. When you miscarry - there is nothing. Really just nothing. (Unless you count the leaflet we got the next day.) So you’re left to sit in your nothingness, empty, with no sacred space to hold you and your partner while you try to process what happened.
It got me thinking, perhaps we need to develop more self awareness around what we post, when leading up to days like Mothers Day.
If I’m blessed with a healthy pregnancy one day, I won’t be posting bump selfies on insta. I won’t be sharing scan pics. Don’t mistake this sentiment - I do not object to women who choose to do so - that’s freedom of choice. I just understand the impact this could have on women going through a heartbreaking experience. I understand how much it can be a trigger.
Instead, I’ll quietly carry on with the business of being pregnant, and just pray every day that my child makes it out into the world alive. And I choose to do this in solidarity with my sisters out there who are quietly struggling with trying to conceive, or recovering from loss. Quietly putting on a brave face despite the loneliness and suffering. I’ll refrain from posting bump pics in my solidarity with you.
Maybe this Mother’s Day, lets send out messages of compassion for those women who are trying to be mom but not quite there yet. And for those who are mourning mothers they no longer have around. Let’s focus on sending out compassion. 🙏🏾
I just want to shout out and thank @jenniemonologues for her honesty and beautiful words in sharing her experience. I’ve been poring over her blog, nodding and feeling her words so deeply. Women like her inspired me to write this very difficult post. Thanks also to @thisisalicrose for her posts. Thanks to @sandragreenbank for the nutritional support and advice on all things fertility. I’m a big believer in connecting with women who can understand how you feel. Perhaps this is something I didn’t do enough.
Please feel free to share this with anyone you think might resonate or connect. And lets talk more.
The Uterus Monologues
#ttc #miscarriage #miscarriageawareness #ectopicpregnancy #divinefeminine #reallife #feministart #thoughtfortheday #mothersday #iam1in4 #togetherforchange #mentalhealth #recoverywarriors #breakingtaboo #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #stopthestigman #ectopicawareness #mothersoneday
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