“I wonder why they don’t have children yet.” “Maybe she’s too focused on her career.” “Maybe they’re planning to try later.”
You’ve heard the whispers, right? You’ve seen the shifty eyes. The uncomfortable looks when you mention infertility or miscarriage. Maybe you’ve been the one whispering. Why are these topics so taboo? Why do they require the ‘whispers?’ I get it. Some people don’t want to talk about it. That’s their personal choice. But, many, don’t feel comfortable talking about it because the subjects have been deemed ‘taboo.’ It makes people uncomfortable to hear about it and I understand. But it’s more uncomfortable to hear the whispers. To feel alone. And to hear insensitive comments.
I started thinking about all of this when I read in a news article today that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, announced the pregnancy of his baby girl to the social media world on July 31, but that prior to this healthy pregnancy, he and his wife had three miscarriages. He used his position of power for good, and spoke out about the loneliness and heartache miscarriages and trying to conceive can cause. And I applaud him. See his post below:
Priscilla and I have some exciting news: we’re expecting a baby girl!
This will be a new chapter in our lives. We’ve already been so fortunate for the opportunity to touch people’s lives around the world — Cilla as a doctor and educator, and me through this community and philanthropy. Now we’ll focus on making the world a better place for our child and the next generation.
We want to share one experience to start. We’ve been trying to have a child for a couple of years and have had three miscarriages along the way.
You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you — as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own.
In today’s open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn’t distance us; it brings us together. It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope.
When we started talking to our friends, we realized how frequently this happened — that many people we knew had similar issues and that nearly all had healthy children after all.
We hope that sharing our experience will give more people the same hope we felt and will help more people feel comfortable sharing their stories as well.
Our good news is that our pregnancy is now far enough along that the risk of loss is very low and we are very hopeful.
Cilla and our child are both healthy, I’m extremely excited to meet her and our dog Beast has no idea what’s coming. In our ultrasound, she even gave me a thumbs up “like” with her hand, so I’m already convinced she takes after me.
We’re looking forward to welcoming her into the world and sharing more soon when she’s ready to come out and meet everyone!
This post sparked an amazing amount of comments and photos from other individuals who have suffered from the pain of a miscarriage or infertility. It brought people out of their shell and gave them the ability to feel comfortable sharing their story. Photos and experiences were shared by so many.
I’ve also kept track of Bobbi Thomas, TODAY Show style editor, who shared her infertility story on the TODAY show several months back. She was getting the whispers. The comments about her weight change. So she spoke out. And let the world in on her journey. And again, I applaud. Someone using their public position for the good. She started a campaign called #NoMoreWhispers to help spread the word about infertility and just had her baby girl from IVF on July 21st!
So you all knew I was an open book, but just remember when you see someone else who might not have a baby yet, it may not be their choice. And they might not be talking about it because they might feel lonely. They might need a hug, a fun night out or a shoulder to cry on. You don’t have to have the right words to say; nothing you say is going to fix ‘it’ anyway. I can’t speak on behalf of those who have suffered a miscarriage(s), but I can speak up in reference to my own infertility experience.
And I’ve never been one to whisper much. I like to shout. Or talk loudly. Shoot, even when I think I’m whispering, I’m usually not! If I have to travel this journey, you can bet your ass I’m going to shout about it and use my experience to reach out and let others know they’re not alone. #NoMoreWhispers