Well who knew Mark Zuckerberg talking about his and his wife's miscarriages would cause such a media frenzy?
Whenever a well-known person or public figure speaks out about baby loss suddenly it becomes an issue worthy of discussing. Does that mean when Jo Bloggs down the road loses her much wanted child it's less important? I don't think it does, but I know many people feel that way.
When famous people speak out it helps... Why?
Well it shows that loss happens to anybody, it does not discriminate, whether you are:
Rich or Poor
Black or White
British or Chinese
You may lose a baby.
The crucial fact is also this....whoever you are
Not just a little bit, it hurts so bad you feel like your heart may break in two.
(Photo courtesy of Pixabay)
In the past few days many shows and papers have discussed this now 'hot topic', which is great, but one thing has come to my attention, one niggling thing actually....
Has it bothered me as a CEO of one of the leading support charities - yes!
Has it annoyed me as a lady who has lost babies - yes!
So what is this thorn in my side?
It really annoys me when people or the press insinuate that the baby they or someone else lost, was a baby - but only to them! i.e. that they are a tad deluded or over emotional about it.
Here are my thoughts on this!
1, from the moment someone is pregnant they are carrying a child...a baby.
2, whether you choose to acknowledge my baby or not - it was a child that I lost, it will always be a child and when you insinuate it was just a mass of cells or a foetus, it hurts.
(Photo courtesy of Pixabay)
Here are some great quotes on life starting from conception:
Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, professor of paediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, stated:
"I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.... I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life....
I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty...is not a human being. This is human life at every stage."
Professor Hymie Gordon, Mayo Clinic: "By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."
So whether someone miscarries a baby at 4 weeks gestation, or at 23 weeks the couple lost their baby.
This is not just the case in their minds or in their opinion, it's a scientific fact, and when the world finally acknowledges this, I feel loss will be taken way more seriously and people will feel their grief is valid and accepted, which will encourage more conversation and will help people heal. I often share our story of loss, as when people hear other individuals stories, it makes them feel less alone in their darkest hour.
In conclusion I applaud Mark and Priscilla for speaking out.
You have spoken about an issue that affects around 250,000 people each year in the UK and around 1,000,000 a year in the USA. You have showed the world that this is something we should be talking about and I would like to personally thank you.
Mark when you spoke out about your pain, you were also speaking for the millions without a public voice and for this we are grateful.
Zoe Clark-Coates is one of the founders and CEO's of the Mariposa Trust. The Saying Goodbye division offers support and national remembrance services for anyone who has lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in early years.
Website: www.mariposatrust.org & sayinggoodbye.org