health

The excruciating pain of announcing your miscarriage on Facebook.

When you reach a certain age you start to notice a difference in your social media networks. Heartwarming and creative pregnancy announcements begin to dominate your news feeds.

Your friends and family members excitedly announce their parent-to-be statuses online and you can’t help but share in their joy. It’s a really beautiful moment.

But what do you do when that pregnancy ends in a miscarriage? How do you announce that loss to your social media networks? How do you share that pain?

Recently, 31-year-old Tanisha Sharnee from Brooklyn, shared her story of The Public Pain Of Announcing your Miscarriage On Facebook with Broadly.

When Sharnee found out that she was pregnant she was ecstatic. Since experiencing a miscarriage four years earlier, Sharnee had thought that motherhood was never going to be a reality for her.

She announced her pregnancy on Facebook when she was two months along. Although some people were concerned that Sharnee had announced her pregnancy so early, overwhelmingly she received well wishes.

unfulfilled millennials
How do you announce that loss to your social media networks? How do you share that pain? Image via iStock.

"People were happy for me and showed a lot of support," she told Broadly.

However, three days after she made her announcement on Facebook, Sharnee found out she had an ectopic pregnancy and she lost the baby.

Three days after the surgery, she posted a heartfelt video to Facebook, letting everyone know what happened.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Telling people was hard and I felt happy to make it through," Shanee told Broadly. "By this point, I was happy to make it through all of it. Some people lose their lives with an ectopic pregnancy. I was OK, but I kept thinking, Maybe I'm not supposed to have children."

Sharnee's story is tragic but it's not uncommon. According to SANDS, up to one in four confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage before 20 weeks, but many other women miscarry without having realised they are pregnant.

On a recent babycentre.com forum, women who had experienced miscarriage shared their own social media stories.

Some of them had announced their pregnancy on Facebook and chose to let their social media friends know that they had miscarried.

"I was waiting to post to Facebook when I had my first ultrasound," began one user. "It wasn't exactly positive so another one was scheduled a week later. I went ahead with my announcement, and less than a week later I went to the ER for bleeding. I kept my post simple and to the point. That I had gone to the ER and there was no heartbeat. That was enough. The people who needed to know, knew the details.

"I ended up with private messages from friends who had gone through similar experiences and they were shocked I posted it... but I was excited to be a mum and I was not ashamed. I wanted this baby. And I wanted people to know that. My baby deserved to be acknowledged."

miscarriage facebook
"I regret not sharing my pregnant news sooner. I'm sad I never celebrated my almost 3 month pregnancy." Image via iStock.
ADVERTISEMENT

Another woman shared a similar experience.

"We announced our pregnancy on Facebook and then a week later we announced our loss. my husband felt like we should tell people because it would be awkward and painful to have people ask about the pregnancy and then you'll have to tell them what happened. he left it up to me what to do though and after I had gone through those first feelings of shame and embarrassment and fear I just had a very strong urge to share. I was only met with kind words and a several messages from women who had experienced miscarriage as well."

Some women had chosen not to announce their pregnancy on Facebook, but wanted to share the story of their loss with their social media support network.

What do you say to someone who's lost a baby? Listen now to This Glorious Mess. 

"I never announced my pregnancy on social media. I planned to but miscarried at 11 weeks. Then I had my miscarriage. For some reason I felt like I was hiding something. I felt uncomfortable not saying something. So I mentioned on Facebook that I had lost my baby, my uncle, and my husband's grandmother all in one week. For me, I felt I needed to share. I regret not sharing my news sooner. I'm sad I never celebrated my almost three-month pregnancy," wrote one user.

"We never announced our pregnancy but didn't want to sweep the loss of these two babies under a rug. We ended up posting the loss on Facebook and received loads of support. We did not have any negative feedback and it helped bring some healing since now the 'world' knew our babies existed," added another.

And others were still dealing with their pain privately.

"I have not posted a word or pic on social media since our loss. I feel like continuing to post about our life without mention or acknowledgement is a lie. Especially as I have half an album of happy summer holiday pictures so far.

"I'm glad I'm not the only one struggling with the need to acknowledge things. .. I guess I don't need to tell everyone our loss but to share only trivial happy things just seems like such a lie."

Have you announced a miscarriage on social media?

If this has post raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637.