One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage.
It’s a statistic you hear all to often if you’ve been through it and one that probably doesn’t really register if you haven’t.
Losing a baby at any stage is an emotionally devastating time, with some experts claiming the grief is akin to the death of a living loved one. Complexities of the trauma can impact relationships and friendships, something Doctor Jessica Zucker knows a fair bit about.
“As a psychologist, I specialised in women’s reproductive and maternal mental health long before experiencing a second trimester miscarriage first hand,” Zucker told Mamamia.
“In 2012, I had a 16-week miscarriage at home alone. This loss gave birth to a passion that seems to increase with each passing year. I am fiercely dedicated to being part of changing culture when it comes to the conversation surrounding loss and grief.”
Following her own experience Zucker launched the #IHadAMiscarriage campaign in 2014 with the hope of normalising loss through sharing the details of her story. In 2015 she then created a line of pregnancy and infant loss cards as an antidote to the comment all too often said: ‘I just didn’t know what to say so I didn’t say anything at all.’
“I wanted to establish a way for people to connect after loss, in a concrete way, so that loved ones could support grievers in a meaningful way.”
From there Zucker set out to further expand the conversation around miscarriage, exploring the topics of rainbow babies and what pregnancy loss was like for our mothers and grandmothers.
“If we think miscarriage is shrouded in silence now, just imagine how much quieter things were in previous generations.”
Right now Zucker’s passion point is the controversial ‘12 week mark’, and all that comes with it.
“This campaign zeros in on early pregnancy and questions why we are typically advised not to share pregnancy news until we are “out of the woods” after the first trimester.”
@glowhq shares: I got pregnant with my daughter after 3 miscarriages and a chemical pregnancy. There is no such thing as “normal” after loss. And there is especially no such thing as “normal” physical pains or cramping in a subsequent pregnancy following loss. With every little twinge, I was convinced that I was about to lose, again. I trembled. _ In the first few weeks of this pregnancy I was so scared I might find blood that I didn’t want to go to the bathroom. Ever. I was terrified beyond words. I ended up with a UTI from holding my urine so long. Fear overtook me. _ This is what trauma can do. My losses rendered me ruthlessly afraid of every tiny thing I felt inside my body. _ I credit my OB with creating a context for me in which I felt safe: to fall apart and come back together again. She was available and nonjudgmental and simply extraordinary. She assuaged my fears by directly addressing them with compassion and expertise. _ I didn’t talk much about my pregnancy. It was too difficult for me to imagine having a successful pregnancy. I really wanted to be as happy as everyone else was about it, but I protected myself through not fully believing it was possible. My reproductive journey was so circuitous, I couldn’t wrap my head/heart around a positive outcome. _ I hated being asked “Is this your first?” It stung and ached and ate me alive. Now, my daughter is almost 2, and I still haven’t figured out how to answer this question in a way that feels honoring or satisfying or altogether true. _ #IHadAMiscarriage #pregnancyandinfantloss #pregnancylossawareness #miscarriage #pregnancyloss #stillbirth #infantloss #grief #loss #motherhood #1in4 // Photo by @sjvonier // Pins available in my shop.