THE silent bereavement — that is how one Cork mother has described the grief that is associated with miscarriage.
“I had never experienced grief like this. It brought me to a standstill. Many women, one in four, experience a miscarriage, but not many want to talk about it, ” said Laura, 34, from Douglas, who miscarried at 13 weeks.
“Women sometimes feel that they can’t talk about it or feel uncomfortable talking about it because it is still something of a taboo subject.
“There is very little support out there for women before 20 weeks,” adds Laura.
“Even though I had wonderful support from my husband, Frank, as well as our family and friends, I felt the need to talk to someone outside the family to acknowledge our baby. I wanted to read something, or find someone, I could speak to. Miscarriage is such a common trauma. There should be no need for women to be alone in their grief.”
Laura eventually stumbled upon a support group online, called Nurture, based in County Louth, a charity that deals with miscarriage and maternal mental health issues.
“I was speaking with a counsellor within two hours of getting in touch with Nurture,” she said.
Now Laura is holding a coffee morning on February 10 in the South County Bar and Cafe in Douglas to raise funds for Nurture and to raise awareness, starting a conversation about such a lonely, vulnerable time in a woman’s life.
“My baby was due that week of February,” says Laura.
“Chances are, somebody in your circle has had a miscarriage. But people are afraid to bring it up.
“If your mother dies, people will sympathise,” says Laura. “If your baby dies, people are afraid to sympathise with you. Nobody asks.
“Even though I had wonderful support from my husband, as well as our family and friends, I felt the need to talk to someone outside the family to acknowledge our baby.
“I wanted to read something, or find someone, I could speak to. Miscarriage is such a common trauma. There should be no need for women to be alone in their grief.”
Laura started researching and came upon Nurture.
“Nurture is an affordable, professional charity,” says Laura. “The service is subsidised if someone can’t afford to pay. It is money well spent.
“I paid €40,” says Laura. “My counsellor was brilliant. I found great comfort talking with her. It was someone to listen apart from family.”
Laura feels that opening up the conversation around miscarriage is helpful and healthy.
“However hard it is; you will get through it,” says Laura. “It really is OK to talk about it.”
She has had a great response already to her fundraising efforts.
“In the first 24 hours of setting up the ifundraise page in aid of Nurture, €85 was raised. People have been in touch, supporting the event.
“The coffee morning looks set to be a great success. Tom, from the South County is really helpful.”
Laura is getting on with her life with her close-knit family. The reminders of her lost baby will always be there.
“The coffee morning is a tribute to our baby as well,” says Laura. “We planted a cherry blossom tree in the garden. It will bloom in early spring when our baby should have been born.”
The coffee morning in aid of Nurture, takes place on Saturday, February 10, from 11am to 1pm at the South County Bar and Cafe, Douglas.
For more see www.ifundraise.ie/nurturecharity.
You can contact Nurture on 041-9822022 or email: email@example.com.