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You Don't Have to Suffer in Silence

“You don’t have to suffer in silence”–my midwife’s words stood out in my mind as the rest of the world around me started to crumble. I didn’t hear much else of what she said clearly—I’m sorry. No baby. D and C. Blighted Ovum. Not your fault. Blood test. 1 in 3 women. The rest of the words swirled around me and came in and out, but I very clearly heard the message, “You do not have to suffer in silence.” And something inside of me made me latch on to it. Nothing else made sense to me, but that message I heard loud and clear.

Minutes after I left the birth center, I texted pretty much everyone in my phone. Part of it was shock. Part of it was not wanting them to feel the false hope I had experienced. But I think a big part was not wanting to suffer in silence.

The day after I found out that the baby I thought I was carrying was not there, I stayed home alone and cried. All. day. Long. I wrote a blogpost about how I was feeling and something inside of me made me share it in one of my facebook groups.

You don’t have to suffer in silence.

People reached out to me from that group. One person also had a miscarriage but she never talked about it. Another had one and her mother told her to get over it. Another told me about a support group that she knew of. I joined.

You don’t have to suffer in silence.

The women in the group were so welcoming and kind. They shared their sorrow, grief, and pain. They also shared laughs and gifts that their babies had given them. Their strength was inspiring. Their suffering was heartbreaking. Still I am grateful for the experience and connection.

You don’t have to suffer in silence.

You don’t have to suffer in silence about the emptiness that you feel.

You don’t have to suffer in silence about the pain you feel when you get your period– the harsh reminder you are no longer pregnant.

You don’t have to suffer in silence about the jealousy you feel when you see others with their healthy baby bumps.

You don’t have to suffer in silence about not knowing if you even want another child.

You don’t have to suffer in silence…whatever you are feeling and wherever you are in your healing journey.

But you. Don’t. Have. to. Suffer. In. Silence.

So I took this vow, and I started openly talking about my miscarriage. It made some people uncomfortable.

How are you?

I just had a miscarriage.

Awkward silence (Internally–I was hoping she would just say fine and we could move on).

Our mothers–they felt like they had to suffer in silence. And our grandmothers–no one talked about it. And our great-grandmothers–God forbid they be anything less than a martyr. They all suffered in silence. Because they thought they had to. Because there was a shame in what they were feeling. Because no one talked about it.

But it also helped some people heal. It connected me to those I never expected to be connected to. An old roommate reached out to me after something I posted on social media. A friend’s wife cried with me at a wedding over her own loss. And I realized something—when we open up and make the choice not to suffer in silence, we allow others to do the same.

Our stories connect us. Our scars define us. Our pain makes us human. Our vulnerability helps us relate.

I have made the choice not to suffer in silence, and I want to invite you to do the same.

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