The box under the bed: making miscarriage visible

The baby box pinterest

The problem with miscarriage is that as well as being silent – i.e. no one really talks about it – it’s also invisible. Often there’s been no pregnancy announcement, there was no visible bump, no scan pictures, no ‘gender reveal’; no evidence at all, in fact, that there ever was a baby. And it’s hard to understand what you can’t see. What you can’t picture.

Well, it’s Baby Loss Awareness Week this week, so I thought I would share with you a snapshot to give an idea of what miscarriage means.

This is The Box Under The Bed. It’s all the discarded things from our pregnancies, hastily shoved aside. Our pathetic little basket of hopes and dreams.

Take a look.

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This is what miscarriage is. It’s baby books you don’t know if you’ll ever need. It’s names picked out, but never shared, never uttered out loud by anyone other than the two of you. It’s half-finished packets of Pregnacare. It’s pages of pointless midwife notes and redundant Bounty folders from your booking-in appointments (the striped green, white and pink folders you can see in the bottom right-hand corner). It’s folders full of pamphlets about labour options and breast-feeding (choices you never got to make), leaflets for ante-natal clubs (friends you never got to make), and inanely chirpy magazines that cover every aspect of pregnancy, apart from miscarriage; folders that you don’t quite know what to do with now.

You will never use them, as they make you do a new set of notes (and effing blood tests) with every pregnancy. You should, by all the laws and by-laws of de-cluttering, chuck them. They certainly don’t bring you joy. But it feels wrong, somehow.

OK, so ‘Bounty Folders, Never Used’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as ‘Baby Shoes, Never Worn’ – but it’s the same sad story.

And it’s time you saw it.

It’s time we spoke about this more openly. Not just a conspiratorial whisper, woman to woman, long after children have eventually appeared and grown. Not just when it’s ‘safe’ and there’s a happy ending.

Miscarriage’s veil of invisibility makes it easy not to think about as long as it’s not happening to you. It’s a funny issue (not funny-ha-ha, obviously) as almost everyone has  heard of miscarriage; you know it happens, but that’s not the same as it being understood. Even the word ‘miscarriage’ gives an impression of not-really-there-ness; an aberration; a miscalculation. Just a heavy period.

Well, I call bullshit.

This is happening to more people than you know. It’s physically and emotionally devastating. It leaves women and men feeling like wrung-out dish rags, in a world that seems to be looking the other way. Please don’t. Please look – this is what a miscarriage looks like.

#makemiscarriagevisible #captureyourgrief

 

7 thoughts on “The box under the bed: making miscarriage visible”

  1. What a wonderful post. I have my own boxes of things around the house. Including the half empty box of Pregnacare also. And the “his and hers” conception vitamins that we started taking after our loss. My partner then changed his mind so they sit there still. I cry every time I look at them. We even have our baby’s bedroom. Empty. With a cupboard full of boxes marked “baby’s room”. Thank you for sharing this. May I share it on FB? xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We are in the same boat. Three missed miscarriages. Glad to feel like myself again but the little cloud never goes away. The lack of support and plans from here is terrifying. Thinking of you and sending you love.xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is just exactly it! That sad collection of bits and and pieces is the only physical evidence for there ever having been a baby. Unfortunately miscarriage is something that can only be fully understood by those who’ve been through it, and that’s probably why finding support is so tricky. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, I think you’re right. It is hard to understand if it’s not happened to you. But I hope by talking about it a little more, people will recognise the very real sadness that goes with all this. Thank you so much for reading. X

      Like

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