Breaking the Silence

A few weeks ago I came across an adorable pregnancy announcement between Sam and his wife Nia. Sam took a fresh sample of his wife’s urine from the toilet, and used it on a home pregnancy test. When it came up positive, Sam filmed Nia’s reaction to the surprising news. I found the video captivating and disarmingly honest: the whole family was in their pyjamas, simply going through their morning routine when Sam outed the little stowaway in Nia’s belly. Between Sam’s playful antics, Nia’s shock and awe, and their kids’ priceless reactions, it’s no wonder that within a matter of days their video went viral. Sadly, the celebration was short-lived; Nia suffered a miscarriage shortly after the video was posted.

The couple’s next video was raw, real and heartbreaking. Nia and Sam cried, sharing their sorrow with online viewers all over the world. I can’t even begin to imagine the grief that they must be experiencing, but I am so in awe of their courage and their honesty. In our society, the death of children through miscarriage or still birth is so unspeakable, it has actually become taboo. It is even common for parents to hide their pregnancy from friends and family until they reach the three-month mark when the risk of miscarriage decreases dramatically. Why is this? Why would a couple choose to postpone sharing one of the happiest moments of their lives with their loved ones? It is likely because of what Sam and Nia are now experiencing: grieving their child’s death in the public eye.

Sam and Nia posted on their Youtube channel: “There is a stigma regarding miscarriage that says we need to be alone in it and keep it private, but what happened is nothing less than losing a baby. The hurt and pain is real.”

Perhaps some parents choose to grieve in silence because our society is so divided about life before birth. If we publicly celebrate the life of a newly-conceived child, it becomes harder to justify choosing to end that life. If we grieve the death of a fetus when he or she was wanted, we might be forced to consider the unwanted fetus’ death also as “nothing less than losing a baby.”

Everyone has a different way of processing grief, and I respect that some would rather do so privately. If you have suffered from any form of child loss (such as miscarriage, abortion or stillbirth) please know that you are not alone. Sam and Nia opened up their home and allowed us to come in and experience with them the joys and pains of parenthood. Together, we celebrated the life that two people brought into existence. Then, we were there to “mourn with those who mourn, and grieve with those who grieve,” as Nia said. Sam and Nia’s openness will hopefully remind us that every human life matters, no matter how short that life is. Parents and families need and deserve support after experiencing the tragic loss of a child; it is just as worthwhile as it is difficult to talk about.

 

 

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