Kristen R. Moore said people who suffer miscarriages need support, at home and from the government as it takes a huge toll on the person.
Trigger warning: This article discusses miscarriage that some readers may find distressing
Miscarriage is a topic that most avoid. It's considered taboo despite being an everyday reality for so many people. Roughly 10-20% of known pregnancies end in a miscarriage according to Mayo Clinic. So there's a good chance we know someone who has experience or will it experience it at some point in their life and we may never hear about it because no one likes to talk about it. Miscarriage can be incredibly traumatic and that makes it all the more important to raise awareness on the subject and the reality that comes with it. Twitter user Kristen R. Moore suffered a miscarriage and decided to speak openly about the topic and what she went through. The thread proved to be an eye-opener and spurred many others to share their own experiences on miscarriages.
Today, I paid over $1000 out of pocket for my miscarriage. They didn't tell me it would cost so much to lose a baby. Here are other things they don't tell you about miscarriages. A thread based on my experience. CW: miscarriage & infertility.— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
Here is Kristen R. Moore's thread:
1. It takes a long time. It's not an event that's suddenly over. It's like a fucking marathon. A sad, dehydrated marathon with nothing on the end but empty.— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
2. Practitioners who support birth don’t necessarily know how to support miscarriage—the joy of birth is so stark when compared to the grief and loss of miscarriage. Some of y’all need training.— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
3. There is medication to help the miscarriage along. It is used for abortion, too, and your pharmacist may treat you like you’re entering an abortion clinic when you want more information about how it works.— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
4. The most commonly used medication is officially prescribed for ulcers; all use for miscarriage management is “off books.” This gives your pharmacist permission (tacit or explicit) to deny you information about vaginal (rather than oral) use.— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
5. The informational inserts for the medication—Misoprostol—warn you about how it can trigger miscarriage. If you have a decent pharmacist, they’ll give you supplemental information that they print off from the internet.— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
6. When you’ve been through infertility treatments, a natural pregnancy doesn’t always feel like a miracle. Sometimes it feels like a tightrope walk, a risk, a pain waiting to happen.— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
7. Miscarriage is so, so lonely. Y’all. The emptying of your body like that…bless it. You really DON’T want to talk about it, but you sometimes want to scream about it. Where can we go to scream?— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
8. You want it to speed up and slow down all at once. Hurry, hurry, hurry up, and then no, don’t go--please don’t go.— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
9. Non-birthing parents are ignored in the miscarriage experience: their grief and pain and suffering is real, too.— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
10. When the miscarriage happens at 13 weeks, the weight stays on; you still have to pull out the pregnancy pants, as a reminder of your previous maternity state.— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
11. No one talks about it, so you don’t know how to talk about. People say the wrong thing, but you’re so sad that you don’t want to say, “don’t ever say that to a person miscarrying.”— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
12. Related, do not recommend: “But you can try again soon, right?” upon hearing the news. Also, do not recommend: “Everything happens for a reason.” Or “This is all part of God’s plan.”— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
13. There are humans who feel like little angels, the tech who asks if you want to hear the lack of heartbeat, the friend you can scream with, the partner who'll hold you in your grief. Mostly they feel like blips on a terrible painful road.— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
14. It's expensive and painful (like birth) and at the end you don't get anything except a bill and a new playlist called, "Shit to help you get through the baby that never was."— Kristen R. Moore (@kristen4moore) November 1, 2021
As Moore explained, miscarriage is not a one-time event and can have long-lasting effects, that require support from loved ones and from their workplace. The financial aspect also highlights how important it is to have affordable healthcare. Kristen herself said one of the reasons she wrote the thread was because of the $1200 bill that she was handed. "We have enough money to incur a surprise bill like that now. But a few years ago, that would have really sent us into a financial tailspin," she told Buzzfeed News. Kristen, who hails from New York, has one child who was conceived via IVF. She learned the fetus didn't have a heartbeat after 12 weeks. She believes those who suffer miscarriages need more support. "I believe we should implement comprehensive healthcare reform, especially for women. That healthcare reform should include post-miscarriage support, including time off after birth and miscarriage, therapists/doula support, and a more holistic approach to training medical professionals dealing with this kind of loss," she said.
I'm so sorry. My child would be 16 now, and I still sometimes mourn for him. I promise it will get easier, just not today. There are more of us out there than you can possibly imagine. ♥️— Kristi Waterworth (@TMFMaldivesBlue) November 2, 2021
Many who read Kristen's thread shared their own experiences with miscarriage. "Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm sorry for your loss. It's been 10 years and I can still hear my wife's cries in the middle of the night after our first (of many) miscarriages. She was subsequently told repeatedly to be thankful it happened as early as 8 weeks," wrote one Twitter user. Another commented, "My heart breaks with you and I am sending you so much love. I experienced one in April — I ended up having to do a D&C (Dilation and curettage, a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus) and it was the loneliest, hardest grieving experience I’ve ever been through. Talking to others who went through it helped me a lot. I’m so sorry for your loss." Many said they could recognize their own experiences in her thread. "Also, totally agree with feeling awful with some of the stupid stuff people say — it can make you feel crazy. Journaling helped me a lot. you mentioned wanting to scream - yes - screaming and wailing - I did this into my pillow and often. it helped release pain," wrote one person.
So many of us have known this pain but so few talk about it. Sending love and prayers for your loss with appreciation for this thread.— Lurie Vaxxed & Masked Daniel Favors, Esq. (@LurieFavors) November 2, 2021
My son would be 23 & the moments are rare now, but still real enough to bring tears, even the ugly & loud kind. Sending light & care your way— bam (@bethannempower) November 2, 2021
World Health Organization states it's important to talk about miscarriage. "It takes an enormous toll on women. Many women who lose a baby in pregnancy can go on to develop mental health issues that last for months or years– even when they have gone on to have healthy babies," states their website. "Cultural and societal attitudes to losing a baby can vary tremendously around the globe. In sub-Saharan Africa, a common belief is that a baby might be stillborn because of witchcraft or evil spirits."
Your body isn't pregnant, but it doesn't know it yet. Like having duct tape over a knife wound ripped off again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again.— Colleen Morrissey (@Colleen81359796) November 2, 2021
I took a few days off but at the end of the year in my performance review it wa a mentioned how I took additional time off without having any accrued time left (even w/o pay!) I was dinged in my bonus pay for the year because of it.— Debra Lewis (@DebbieLew60) November 2, 2021
Those who need support following a miscarriage can call American pregnancy support at 1-800-672-2296.