Category Archives: miscarriage

Journey Into Mothering with Historian Sarah Knott

In Mother Is a Verb, Sarah Knott takes her reader on a historian’s journey into motherhood. It is a sort of train travelogue, riding along parallel rails: personal memoir and wide-ranging social history.

Book jacket cover for Mother is a Verb). (©Amazon)

The path of the narrative is dictated by the chronology of the memoir, starting with choosing to try for a pregnancy, and progressing through her first child’s toddlerhood and the birth of her second child…

Read the rest at Nursing Clio

This is Not a Culture of Life, This is a Culture of Un-Death

Last week at a Vatican conference on abortion, Pope Francis “argued that children who were not expected to live long after birth deserved to be treated in the womb ‘with extraordinary pharmacological, surgical and other interventions.’” He intimated that parents who did not use extraordinary measures were not caring for their children, saying that “Taking care of these children helps parents to grieve and not only think of it as a loss, but as a step on a path taken together.”

In other words, according to the Pope, a mother who chooses to care for her dying child by sheltering him in the safety and comfort of her womb, without medical intervention, is an uncaring, bad mother…

read the rest at Nursing Clio

Washington Post op-ed: What Michelle Obama’s Miscarriage Teaches Us About Modern Pregnancy

“In her new book, “Becoming,” Michelle Obama reveals that she miscarried her first pregnancy, and went on to conceive her two daughters by in vitro fertilization. In an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, the former first lady described feeling “lost and alone” and like a failure after she miscarried. She didn’t realize that early miscarriages are very common, ending about 20 percent of confirmed pregnancies.

“Obama’s revelation underscores a striking irony. Although the past two centuries have witnessed dramatic growth in knowledge and control of reproductive processes, that wealth of knowledge has simultaneously obscured what used to be commonly understood: Many pregnancies simply do not work out.”

read the rest at the Washington Post

Church Discipline and Miscarriage Mismanagement at Catholic Hospitals

Quick — is your nearest hospital affiliated with the Catholic Church?

This is a question I would not have been able to answer during my two pregnancies. It never occurred to me that it was relevant. But in fact, for a woman who has a pregnancy complication that sends her to the emergency room, it can make the difference between timely, effective care and callous treatment that leaves her with permanent damage to her health and fertility…

Read the rest at Nursing Clio

 

Enforcing Death Rituals after Miscarriage is Just Plain Cruel

The Indiana legislature claims it wants to protect unborn children and their parents. Last week Governor Mike Pence gave his blessing to a new bill aimed primarily at restricting abortion but also addressing miscarriage, explaining, “I sign this legislation with a prayer that God would continue to bless these precious children, mothers and families.” But knowing what I do about pregnancy and miscarriage, all I can see is increased pain and confusion in store for women who lose pregnancies in Indiana…

Read the rest at Nursing Clio

Yes, We Should Tell about our Miscarriages on Facebook

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg joyfully announced on Facebook that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting a daughter. More solemnly, he added that Chan had experienced three miscarriages before this pregnancy. He shared this personal story as a gesture of support and solidarity with other couples facing similar difficulties. It had meant a lot to him when his friends who had struggled to have children shared their experiences, and now it was his turn.

Zuckerberg’s Facebook post sparked an outpouring of tens of thousands of congratulatory messages, including a remarkable number of miscarriage stories. There is a real hunger for this kind of sharing.

Why are we eager for new ways to commiserate over our experiences of early pregnancy loss? Is this an expression of a long-suppressed need? Or has something about the experience of pregnancy changed?

As a historian, I see many ways in which dramatic, mostly-positive social changes of the past two centuries have had unintended consequences when it comes to early pregnancy loss…

Read the rest at Nursing Clio