In a tv drama or film a miscarriage is more often than not portrayed in a streotypical way. They woman doubles over in pain and sees some blood. She’s rushed to hospital. Cut to Dr telling her that she’s lost the baby. Cue ‘husband’ comforting her. That is usually it. Forget the fact that most women don’t double over in pain when their miscarriages start. For me I didn’t know my baby had died until I went for a scan at 11weeks. More importantly they rarely show the impact it has on your lives afterwards. You’d think watching it on screen that it is nothing more that a heavy period that can be made better with a cup of tea and a hug.
They rarely show the return home afterwards. The ‘father’ hiding any pregnancy books or paraphenalia. The ‘mother’s’ weeks of listlessly wondering room to room not having the energy to do anything but pace and cry. They rarely portray the numbness that comes with shock. We hardly ever see the sheer helplessness the ‘father’ feels knowing that his partner is in emotional and physical agony and not being able to take that pain away. Nor do they take in to account the fact that the ‘father’ has also lost a baby. In reality the emptiness and pain you feel never lessens. There is not a day goes by that I don’t think of the babies I have lost.
I went to see Disney’s UP at the cinema with my Gran the other week. The first 15 minutes are very moving. It is a montage of the couples life together. It all progresses as you would expect. They get married, buy a house and start decorating a nursery with hope and happiness. There are then 2 shots which tell the story of a miscarriage so beautifully. It cuts from the nursery decorating shot to a shot of the woman sat on a chair in the doctors office head in hands to a shot of her sitting in the garden looking lost. Its done so simply yet it captures the pure grief and despair felt by so many couples who have been through this.