Baby loss can be a difficult topic. For those of us who have pregnancies that ended without babies, it can be a time to reflect on our emotions, and the events that have filled the space between then and now. For those who haven't, it can be difficult to know what to say. I'm a huge advocate of #breakthesilence. My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage after just 7 weeks. I felt utterly devastated, and simultaneously guilty that I should feel this grief, when other women suffered many miscarriages, and later. I followed 'The Rule' that you don't tell anyone you're pregnant until after the 12 week scan, so when that pregnancy ended I simply carried on at work, carried on with life, got back on the booze and the partying and kept my physical and emotional pain tucked away. It was only when I lost a second baby, that I spoke to my Aunt about what had happened. I was surprised when she welled up, telling me about her own lost baby, nearly 35 years before. I spoke to another family friend who told me about the pregnancies she lost. And the more I heard those stories, the more I talked about my own. And the more I talked about my own, the more I heard other stories. And the more we talk, the more we understand that for lots of women, the loss of a pregnancy while it marks us profoundly, is part of life. It's hard. And it's sad. But it the scar forms part of who we are, and who we become. The far harder thing for me - and the thing I would love to see change - is that so many women continue to experience their miscarriages at work, unable to find the vocabulary or the sympathetic ear required to take the time off they need. Miscarriage, pregnancy loss. It's a hard topic to discuss, because it cover so many taboo things; grief, loss, women's bodies, blood, new life, death, anger, hope, disappointment. It's hard for many of us to find the vocabulary for this - and even harder when so many of those things are at odds with a commercial, business environment around us. So what can we do to help? I say #breakthesilence. Talk to friends & family. Encourage your business in this week - of all weeks - to make a policy around how they manage miscarriage and pregnancy loss. Ask them to be clear that they recognise this is an issue which affects men as well as women, and to commit to the legislation around it.
Here's love to all of you who are mourning this week.