As women get older, close to 40 percent at age 40 will experience a miscarriage, a rate that is much lower for women age 20 to 30 (9-17%), states the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Although common, miscarriage is still a taboo subject that isn’t discussed much, leaving those who suffer it to feel isolated, alone and ashamed sometimes.
One mom has turned her miscarriage into a viral Instagram account with over 15,000 followers!
Jessica Zucker, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist based in Los Angeles who specializes in women’s reproductive and maternal mental health. Dr. Zucker is the creator of the #IHadAMiscarriage campaign, and a line of pregnancy loss cards.
Zucker created her account which began as a hashtag, #IHadAMiscarriage to share her personal story with others. Zucker was 16 weeks pregnant with her second child and had passed the first trimester time period when miscarriage is most common. In her first post where she used the hashtag, Zucker wrote, “I had a second-trimester miscarriage. That is a fact of my life,” she wrote. “I have no shame. No self-blame. No guilt. I did nothing wrong. I did nothing to deserve this. My body works. I don’t feel it failed. I embrace my grief fully and allow it to wash over me. I grieve still.”
The empowering message was well received and encouraged others to share their story and they continue today in beautiful prose, handpaintings, and other motivational and endearing messages that Zucker publishes on her now viral Instagram account in posts like this one.
# IHadAMiscarriage I had a 2nd trimester miscarriage. This is a fact of my life. An experience that changed who I am. Pregnancy after pregnancy loss changed me all the more. I have no shame. No self-blame. No guilt. I did nothing wrong. I did nothing to deserve this. My body works. I don’t feel it failed. I embrace my grief fully and allow it to wash over me. I grieve still. I don’t believe rainbow babies “replace” our lost loves. When we lean into heartache, we evolve. When we work vigorously to stave it off, we drown. I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. I know I am not alone, nor are you. _ This campaign is here for anyone who has experienced any type of pregnancy or infant loss. We are here to share stories with the aim of softening stigma and ushering in connection. Let this space be a life line. An anchor. A community. _ What an elating honor it is to have my work and specifically this page featured on @selfmagazine today. Link in profile. _ #IHadAMiscarriage #miscarriage #pregnancyloss #stillbirth #infantloss #motherhood #grief #loss #parenthood #pregnancyafterloss #rainbowbaby #1in4 // This sign accompanied the birth of the I Had A Miscarriage campaign in 2014. Lettering by @annerobincallig.
And this one:
WE ALL KNOW SOMEONE • 1 in 4 pregnancies result in miscarriage • 1 in 160 pregnancies result in stillbirth • Over 80% of miscarriages occur in the first trimester • 1-5% of miscarriages occur in the 2nd trimester • Terminated pregnancies based on medical complications, infant loss, maternal mortality • Countless women brave pregnancy after pregnancy loss • Grief abounds: it comes in all shapes, sizes, races, cultures, ethnicities, religions, ages • EMPATHY IS EVERYTHING // Illustration by @tylerfeder. _ #IHadAMiscarriage
and this one
@channelfrida shares: After the first miscarriage I thought about getting a small halo tattoo that only I would see and understand the meaning of. Never did I imagine I would go through it 3 more times in less than 11 months. _ Now that we have an answer and a hopeful solution, I decided to spend this waiting period before surgery and before TTC again to design this tattoo with the help of an amazingly talented and gracious tattoo artist. One birth month flower for every due date we will mourn. Two hearts, mine and my husband’s, amidst the garden. _ Sitting for this tattoo was a strange and emotional experience. The physical pain was rough, but nothing compared to the past year, and I kept thinking this tribute was oddly fitting. _ I look forward to the moment I will be able to wrap these arms around our rainbow baby, and one day share the meaning of my mural of flowers with them. _ #IHadAMiscarriage #miscarriage #grief #recurrentmiscarriage #loss #rainbowbaby #pregnancyafterloss #motherhood
and this one…
Rushing the Pain by @jazzandkate. Stories from around the world (Connecticut). Posted with permission. _ “Deciding not to have another baby was the only way I could garner some control over all that happened to me over the past year. Two baby boys that I’d never meet. Two baby brothers that my daughter would never have. There are worse things than having an only child, I told myself. It’s time to be grateful for what you have and move on. _ Six weeks after my second loss, I was steadfast to get all things baby out of my house. I packed boxes, organizing everything immaculately as I went. I considered selling but the process seemed too time consuming. I needed it it if my house as quickly as possible. Thousands of dollars of inventory, gone. It felt therapeutic in the moment but now that it’s gone, I sit here wondering, “what have I done?” _ #IHadAMiscarriage #miscarriage #pregnancyloss #motherhood #pregnancyafterloss #grief #loss #1in4 // Artwork by @Marco.demasi found via @jasoncampbellstudio.
Good stuff! Zucker also sells a line of cards and t-shirts to support miscarriage awareness and has also launched campaigns to celebrate post-loss rainbow pregnancies and rainbow babies eliciting the assistance of famed photographer Vaugn Dabney.
photo: Vaugn Dabney