US singer Beyonce recently released her new visual album, Lemonade, into the open ears of the world. What the world found was a piece that speaks to the very personal loss that accompanies a miscarriage; a loss so profound that many women never talk about it publicly.
Sadly, most couples end up suffering in silence. Dreaming dreams of children whose little lives float in their imagination, but in no-one else’s.
Indeed, until now, Beyonce had spoken publicly only once about her miscarriage, stating it “was the saddest thing I ever went through”.
Maybe with one of the world’s biggest stars now talking about one of life’s deepest pains, we may begin as a society and as a Church to talk more openly about what it means to lose a child you’ve never had the chance to hold. Until that point, we’ll continue to live with the pregnancy paradox.
The pregnancy paradox pits revealing the good news of your pregnancy against defending yourself against possible tragedy. Many couples choose not to reveal they are pregnant until the second trimester, past the “danger period” when at least one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage.
After all, if you go ahead and share the news before the end of the danger period, and then lose the baby, how do you avoid the awkwardness and heartbreak when people send their well wishes and gifts?
But if you don’t share the news and then suffer a miscarriage, who, besides your husband, can you turn to in your grief? And while he may be there for you, he too is deeply grieving for his lost child. Sadly, most couples end up suffering in silence. Dreaming dreams of children whose little lives float in their imagination, but in no-one else’s.
We chose a middle path. Wanting to keep our precious little happy secret to ourselves for a while, my husband and I told only our immediate family right away. I also shared the news with two close girlfriends because while I believe the Bible’s promise, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4), I also needed people around me if anything did go wrong. But then again, don’t we all?
Melody Tan is associate editor of Signs of the Times and is expecting her first child.