Talking about Miscarriages should not be a taboo

Emmanuela Maikem-Manzie
Posted July 5, 2019 from Cameroon

In 2015, I discovered I was pregnant and it was the happiest day of my life. Truth is I was scared because I wasn't married to the guy who by the way is my husband now - some girls will say I should be angry and go in for an abortion but that didn't cross my mind for a second. The moment I saw those two famous stripes, I knew I wanted to keep the baby nor matter what the father wanted. Luckily for me, he accepted the pregnancy but later traveled to the US for greener paatures - leaving me with this cute human growing in me like weed. My pregnancy was healthy till the end of my second trimester - my whole world turned upside down. After returning home from work one day, I noticed I was bleeding. I was so scared and confused but has no money to go to the hospital that evening. That night I couldn't sleep nor eat - all I could think of was my baby. The next day, I borrowed money from a friend and rushed to tge hospital but behold it was too late. The doctor instructed the nurses to give me forced labour while telling me with no emotions that trying to save the baby will only harm me. I pleaded but it was of no use - I had to chose between the baby and myself. 

It was a painful process but I had to bare the pains till my dead 6 months old baby boy was taken out of me. The midwife wrapped him in a nilon paper and said "dear girl, here is your baby. Give h to your people to go bury". I told him, walked out of the delivery room like a lost soul. 

Healing from that experience was toug. The first question the baby's father asked me was " has any lady in your family had a miscarriage? " - the question got me confused and I said "NO". He then told me "well it means it doesn't run in your family". I asked myself if miscarriages are hereditary. 

Some family members and friends kept asking me queations like "what happened? What did you do?". Why should anyone think I did something? They all asked in low voices like the next person should not hear of it. Why should women discuss such pain in the shadows? 

Few weeks back I met a young girl who had a similar experience and feels so ashamed to talk about it. I could see fear in her eyes.  The society will place such guilt on a woman who only wanted to bring forth another life into this complicated world. This made me realize how traumatized women are after losing their babies. 

Our health institutions should consider incoporating mental health services for such women. 

As I journalist, I use my platforms to enable women talk about their pain, hoping it can inspire others to fight for their mental health after miscarriages. Couple of ladies out there have had such experiences repeatedly and keep the pain in rather than letting it out. 

We only take about it when celebraties testify to haven gone through it themselves. Let's break the silence. 

 

This story was submitted in response to Our Bodies, Our Health.

Comments 10

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Hello, Emmanuela,

Thank you for your bravery to speak your truth. That is such a painful experience. I don’t know how will I be able to handle it myself. I’m so sorry for your loss.

It’s not your fault, dear. This is a situation when empathy is greatly needed than trying to find fault on what happened. I hope society will be kinder to women.

Thank you for breaking your silence! Please keep writing.

Hello Karen
Thank you so much for support. Society really need to understand the pain and struggles women do endure in life for their families and communities.

Jill Langhus
Jul 06
Jul 06

Hello Emmanuela,

Thanks for sharing your sad story, and for spreading awareness, and sensitivity about this challenging life experience. I can relate because I had the same experience. I do feel like people aren't very emoathetic about it, in general, and don't want to talk about it. It's a very good idea to have mental health services for women, and men, that have gone through this. It plagued us for a very long time, and even still does me when I think about it. The sense of loss os real. I have to admit I couldn't really relate that well to others that I knew that had gone through this until I experienced it myself. I kept wondering if i had done something wrong and I felt very alone since I hadn't share my pregnancy or miscarriage with hardly anyone. I hope you are feeling better about it now and that you have been able to mostly reciver from the experience now?

Hello Jill
I am feeling better now and talking about it has helped me a great deal. Sorry for your loss too. You experience is the best teacher that is why most people with only understand the pain of a miscarriage when they go through it themselves.

Jill Langhus
Jul 08
Jul 08

Hello dear,

Great to hear:-) Thank you!

I agree.

I hope you have a great week, dear!

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Jul 08
Jul 08

Hmm. Very strong and thoughtful of you to share. I think Mental Health should be taken seriously and made available and accessible for Women and Men who have experienced any kind of loss.
Please follow me back

Hello Olabisi
As women, if we don't tell our stories who will? I only hope my story gives others the strength to talk about theirs. It has taken me 5 years to talk about mine.

Tamarack Verrall
Jul 09
Jul 09

Dear Emmanuela,
I am so sorry for all you went through. Writing and speaking out about your experience is a courageous ac that will no doubt create a more supportive world. Women are blamed for so much, from our choices in life to what is completely beyond our control. I hope your story emboldens many to speak out. Your openness creates a beautiful wave of new understanding and compassion.

Hello Tammy
Thank you so much for your kind words. Speaking your truth helps you face your challenges.

Anita Shrestha
Oct 07
Oct 07

Dear
Plz share other more. Thank you for sharing