Life is a funny old thing. You spend most of your twenties doing everything to avoid getting pregnant, then you hit your thirties and find yourself worrying if you've left it too late, wondering if you should settle down immediately, or maybe just freeze your eggs. Well, at least I did!
With it being 'Babyloss and Miscarriage Week' (9-15 October), I thought it was time to write a post on how this subject affects so many women, yet is seldom talked about.
Like most of my friends, I waited till my mid thirties to procreate. My body was more than ready, but mentally I was just about there. Whatever medicine, or medics tell us, no woman can put down roots until she is ready. And at 35, I was only just about there, but I also knew the risks that being 'older' would bring with it.
Thankfully, despite a history of 'bad smears' and being older, I was blessed to have a healthy straightforward pregnancy. But, it's something I will never take for granted, because as any woman who has been pregnant will tell you, those nine months are scary. You worry constantly that something might go wrong, that you might one day not hear a heartbeat or be told that there's something not quite right.
And for some, that fear becomes a reality. According to the Miscarriage Association, miscarriage affects one in four pregnancies. That's an awful lot of women, so why is it something so little talked about and what can we do to change that?
Well, I guess it will only change if we talk more openly to each other, and show those affected that they're not alone.
We also need people in the public eye to do the same. I thought Lily Allen was extremely brave and courageous when she opened up very publicly about her miscarriage loss. It made me realise that miscarriage doesn't discriminate, it can happen to anyone for any reason, and with someone like Lily coming forward, I'm sure it made other women feel less isolated on the matter.
She's not alone, Amanda Holden, Gwyneth Paltrow and most recently The Zuckerberg's all publicly shared their loss too, and I salute them for it. Grieving is one thing, but to do so publicly must be terribly hard.
It's not just celebrities though.
During my research I came across a wonderful documentary called 'First Heartbeat' which follows one couple's intimate and emotional journey of recurrent miscarriages over a two-year period (follow Lisa on Titter @lfnand). It coincidently airs on 15 October, which is 'Infant and Babyloss Day' and is well worth watching to understand the matter more - it's an emotional journey (on TLC at 10pm).
As a final thought on the matter, what do you say to someone who is going through the heartache of babyloss? Or should you say anything at all?
Well, my view is that if someone volunteers the information, then they want to talk about it, and just being a listening friend is sometimes all they need. You don't have to make a speech, or be profound, just saying 'I'm sorry, I know you must be hurting, but I am here for you' can be a huge comfort.
On a final note, it goes without saying that men also need to be supported through the heartache of babyloss too. Today is about parents - whatever formation that takes.
To understand more about the subject, or for more information, please visit The Miscarriage Association at miscarriageassociation.org.uk