If you had asked me five years ago how I felt about my miscarriage and secondary infertility, I probably would have found a way to avoid the conversation and, instead, turn it towards my then 3-yr-old daughter.
I’d most likely have told you how grateful I was just to have her and maybe I would've said something along the lines of how lucky I was and how things were probably working out just the way they should – even though I had always assumed I would have two kids. I would've acted like everything was fine and as if I was just going with the flow of the universe.
But inside, I was falling apart. Inside, I didn’t want to think about the miscarriage I’d already had and the guilt I felt over it. I didn’t want to think about the year of secondary infertility I had already experienced (having no idea there would be still another year to follow) and what a failure I saw myself as because of that. I didn’t want to think about those things and I SURE didn’t want to talk about them, because talking about them made them REAL.
When I was asked to write a piece about secondary infertility for Don’t Talk About the Baby, I had already come out about my experience in my own blog. When I wrote that piece, I thought I had said all there was to say – but I hadn’t. I hadn’t because, even years later, I hadn’t fully processed what the entire experience had been for me and I certainly hadn’t recognized how many people felt just like I did – that they COULDN’T talk about it.
We feel like we can’t talk about it, not only because it brings up shame and embarrassment toward ourselves, but because, when you are going through it, this already painful experience, it's made crystal clear to us that the topic makes other people uncomfortable. They don’t want to acknowledge our grief and frustration because it’s too taboo to do so.
So they say things they probably THINK are helpful, without realizing they are shutting down a conversation about something that hurts. A lot. They say things like, “Well, you got pregnant once, so you KNOW you can be again.”, or “Well, this miscarriage was just God’s/Nature's way of protecting your body this time. Don’t worry.”, Or “I had a friend who went through this and she has 4 kids now!”
And with each comment like this, you tell less and less people what you're going through until you aren’t talking about your infertility struggles at all. You’re just silently living with them.
After I wrote my piece for DTATB, it was me who actually approached the producer and asked to be involved in the film. Finally finding my voice about this issue by writing about it was so healing that, all of the sudden, I realized that the more people who talk about this – who don't shut down the uncomfortable conversations – the more we can help other women who are currently struggling to realize they aren’t alone. They aren’t failures and they don’t have to stay quiet either.
Being a part of this film – of this project overall – has meant so much to me. It’s given me the courage to continue talking about one of the darkest and scariest times in my life when I doubted everything that I am - and it's inspired me to reach out to women who are struggling now.
There’s no reason to feel shame, guilt or like a failure. There’s no reason to stay silent. Your pain is real. I know mine was. I’m so grateful I got to talk about it.
Celia is one half of Lil' Mamas, the no holds-barred, judgement free, hilarious mom site where no topic is off limits. She writes and reviews #lilmamaapproved products, events and venues for the site. Follow on Facebook and Twitter for more!