With October 15 being Pregnancy & Infant loss day, this is still a taboo topic for many to talk about. There are many who want to be there for someone who has had a loss, but don’t know what to say, or how to be there. I’ve been on both sides myself. I’ve had multiple miscarriages, one which almost killed me after I hemorrhaged and lost too much blood, requiring emergency surgery.
I noticed that this can be a very lonely place. Not so much because people don’t want to be there, but because they don’t know what to say to make it better. It’s easier for them to avoid the uncomfortable part of it. Clinical psychologist Dr. Jessica Zucker realized the same thing. Specializing in women’s reproductive and maternal mental health, she didn’t know the full impact of this type of loss until she suffered a miscarriage herself.
She realized that this type of loss was still stigmatized, and decided to make greeting cards to bring a sense of comfort and normalcy to it. She started a Twitter hashtag campaign that eventually went viral with the hashtag #Ihadamiscarriage. Her hope “was to show the world how many women are experiencing this and to show women ‘you’re not alone.’” She also wanted to honor the losses instead of pretending they didn’t exist.
“This is not a disease,” Zucker says. “This is part of what happens when we endeavor to create life, we run the risk of losing life.” Zucker hopes the cards will make this type of loss more “normative”—although losing a parent or grandparent can be traumatic and painful, people tend to be better-equipped with sympathetic sentiments. Often, we finds that with miscarriages, people just don’t know what to say.
Zucker created 8 cards that she refers to as her “public health announcement”. Her cards cover the full range of pregnancy loss sentiments to families with stillborns, or infants who never make it home from the hospital. She also decided to create baby loss announcements for parents who still want to celebrate their child’s short life. Zucker says “Talking about loss does not create loss,” she says. “I think it’s all the more important that we somehow live in a culture that sees this kind of loss as normative… whatever feelings emerge, should be able to be talked about. As though we’re talking about anything else.”
To find Dr. Jessica Zucker’s cards, you can go on her website: Click Here