Why I Created Not Broken Illustrated
Miscarriage is common, but we still don’t talk about it. Pregnancy loss is no one’s fault, but it’s surrounded with feelings of guilt, shame, and isolation. Some cultures honor, respect, and recognize the grief that surrounds miscarriage, but most do not. In Japan, it’s customary to place a Jizo doll in cemeteries to protect over the souls of lost children, regardless of how far along the pregnancy loss occurred. In the United States and many other cultures, women are advised by medical providers not to share the news of a pregnancy until after the first trimester, ‘just in case.’ Most miscarriages occur in the first trimester, before women are showing, and with one in four pregnancies ending in miscarriage, most women suffer this loss in isolation far too often. Just when someone needs support the most, they are grieving alone.
Unfortunately, many of us do not know what to say and how to comfort someone who is grieving a pregnancy loss. Well-intended advice and personal stories can be inadvertently hurtful. Hearing “Everything happens for a reason” or “I know a woman who had 10 miscarriages before she had her baby” or “Maybe it was stress” can make a woman feel worse rather than supported.
I’ve created Not Broken Illustrated: A Gift for Those Who Have Suffered Pregnancy Loss to help comfort anyone healing after miscarriage. It’s meant to be a source of hope and inspiration, and I imagine people sharing it with each other as a way to show support. In my humble experience, in the midst of grief, what we need is recognition of loss and the awareness that others care. Being supported when we need it most can be the greatest comfort.