Pregnancy loss and infertility are the topics on this episode of The Grief Relief Show. It’s a loss that can be disenfranchising—especially when a miscarriage happens early in a pregnancy. Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Chandrama Anderson, MFT, author of No U-Turn at Mercy Street: A Memoir and Resource Guide for Grieving Parents. Dr. Heidi Horsley has had two miscarriages and knows how difficult it can be to grieve. Many people don’t even know you’ve had a miscarriage, and Dr. Horsley points out that you’re not just losing the pregnancy, but you’re losing the future.
Others such as fathers and family members are also suffering a loss. If there is sympathy directed towards the bereaved, it’s often exclusively to the mother to be. Dr. Horsley remembers when she had miscarriages, her mother called her crying because she felt that she’d lost a grandchild. While miscarriages are relatively common, sympathy towards them is not.
A Quiet Loss
Anderson wrote her book about her daughter, Callie, who died at 13 from a terminal illness. Anderson had been keeping a journal to help her heal from her grief, which eventually evolved into a book. She’s had five miscarriages in her life, Callie’s death, and now has a teenaged son. Those seven pregnancies spanned just six years.
“As women, we really want to have these babies when we get pregnant,” says Dr. Horsley. Hearing about miscarriage experiences of others can help normalize the loss for the bereaved. It’s a critical aspect of healing and one that can be challenging when miscarriages aren’t openly talked about. Anderson encourages everyone to remember that men and women will react differently to the loss. However, both partners will be reacting, and it’s key to be sensitive towards one another.