Eyes Wide Shut
A lot of us have seen the movie, but I think you can probably guess this blog is not about an underground sex group.
No, I’m referring to the phrase, which means an inability to understand something based on preconceived notions. Before having a miscarriage, I thought I had a basic understanding of why it happened. Eyes wide shut. I thought it was something that happened to other people. Eyes wide shut. And I thought it was rare. Eyes wide shut.
Suffice it to say, when I had my miscarriage, I was completely clueless. I had no idea that one in four pregnancies ends in a loss. I had no idea the most common reason for miscarriage was chromosomal abnormalities, but that it didn’t mean there was something abnormal about me.
I was quick to think that miscarriage was due to something the mother ate, drank, physically did or didn’t do or because of her age. I guess we as humans always want an explanation for why anything happens, and this was no different. It was very hard for me to just accept that I was losing something that I wanted for no apparent reason.
It was heartbreaking and I didn’t know what to do or how to feel other than extreme sadness and isolation.
Shortly after I began talking about it (very quietly and only with trusted friends and family), I was told by many that they had also experienced some form of miscarriage (who knew there were different kinds? Eyes wide shut...). After reading an article written by Ann Zamudio about why people don’t talk about miscarriage and finding out she was producing a documentary on the subject, I knew I had to be involved. I jumped on board and after a successful Kickstarter campaign we began production. More and more people contacted us and began sharing their stories, and whether it was miscarriage, infertility or stillbirth the common link was always a feeling of incredible loss.
By sharing my story I opened a door to a safe place for so many people in my life.
Old friends, family members, co-workers, and even complete strangers shared their story or that of someone they knew who needed support. For many, this was the first time they felt like they could talk about their loss where it was met with compassion, understanding and most importantly, empathy.
I realized how many people were suffering in silence and it just reinforced my passion to create this film. I also realized the weight this film carried for so many.
That was a year ago. This weekend, we wrapped production and after being on location, I have learned and grown even more.
There is something about being behind the camera and watching these people bare their souls. As I monitor sound levels or frame a shot with tears streaming down my face, I know just how important this project is; not only to me and Ann, but to the audience that will see the finished film and especially those sitting in front of the camera.
I’ve been in their homes, met their families and saw first hand how they honor the babies and dreams that they have lost. The courage and perseverance that we have been witness to is inspiring.
These families do not falter because it may be awkward for others to talk about their loss, or let loaded questions like “How many children do you have?” shake their dedication to always honor their losses. Rather, they see these challenges as an opportunity to educate others and spread more awareness.
They are nothing short of warriors and although Ann and I have given them an outlet to share their stories, they have given us so much more. They are breaking the stigma every day. They are talking about the baby.