I knew nothing about miscarriage until it happened to me. I also had no idea how many other women I knew had experienced it. Why? Because nobody talks about it. The same is true for mental health. I wasn’t really aware of the concept of mental health either until I was a teenager and mine dipped. Both times, my own experience opened up conversations that otherwise wouldn’t have happened about suffering in silence. In both cases, the suffering is worsened by the silence because there’s a sense of shame implied by it. I’m not ashamed of any of my pregnancies, whether or not they led to a healthy child. Because for however brief a time they have all been my children and always will be in my heart. My experiences of early mental health issues influenced my choice to train as a clinical psychologist because I believe in #be the change you want to see in the world. I want to help break the silence on miscarriage because to do so aligns with my values. I’m fortunate that due to my work I already knew about acceptance and commitment therapy when I miscarried but most women in my shoes wouldn’t. Nobody asked me how I was feeling emotionally when I miscarried other than when I got the news – I was numb then and pragmatic but it would have been a different story a week later. However, there was no follow up of any kind, physical or mental after any of my miscarriages. Indeed, they were only documented in my medical notes at my booking in appointment each time when I had my children. I was also struck by the rigorous follow up screening for post natal depression (death by questionnaire at regular intervals) after I had my children by contrast. So, not enough follow up when I needed it, too much when I didn’t. Sadly, too often that is my experience of healthcare systems. So rather than just rant and criticise – both of which I’m skilled at – I wanted to take my pain and turn it into something to heal other people and be a voice for change. Because that is who I want to be, who I am and what I want to do with it. And as I write we are in the middle of covid lockdown, and I know it would be that much harder to miscarry now than it was for me with reduced chances for social connection at present. I feel that blogging offers a way we can still connect with each other now, and want to play my part.
#zerotohero #mental health #miscarriage #ACT
Be the change you want to see in the world