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Why Jessie J's Second Miscarriage Post Matters

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I feel like every time I turn around, some celebrity is using their social media account to promote themselves or push some political agenda. Sometimes, though, celebrities share something so relatable that it moves me to tears. This is exactly what happened when Jessie J shared this Instagram post about her recent miscarriage. In fact, her words perfectly captured the emotional intensity and uncertainty that comes with such a painful loss.

When I experienced a miscarriage in 2017, I experienced this same feeling that “the show must go on.” I was a teacher at a time, and I knew my students needed me. I went to work the day I woke up to what I assumed was a loss of my pregnancy and used my lunch break to visit my OBGYN. I didn’t take any time off after I received the news either — that would only cause more work for me later.

I also have two small children who, at the time, were definitely too young to understand what was going on. At home, this meant there wasn’t time to really grieve the loss or even pause to think about how I felt. I just had to pick up the pieces and move on.

While that was hard, I think the hardest part wasn’t pushing through, but more the lack of empathy and understanding from the people in my life. As Jessie J said, “Losing your baby is one of the worst feelings in the world,” and it’s an experience that many of us bear alone.

In the weeks after my miscarriage, I had people who told me to “put my big girl panties on” and others who used completely insensitive wording like “natural abortion” when talking to me about my miscarriage. I had people who thought my grief was all dramatics and that I wasn’t seeing the silver linings in the situation. Most people didn’t understand, even other women and moms. Even my partner at the time didn’t seem to understand — it was incredibly isolating.

It took me a long time to recover from my miscarriage, and unfortunately, I had to do it entirely on my own. It was messy, uncomfortable and more than a bit distressing.

While there are so many things about the months after my miscarriage I wish I could “do over,” I think what would have really helped me during that time is exactly the type of candid post that Jessie J shared. This type of vulnerability is exactly what women need while they’re in the depths of despair of the loss of their child because it will help us feel less alone and validated in our emotional response.

What’s more, I think if we all spoke out like this, there’d be a lot less “the show must go on” and a lot more “it’s OK to step back and process.” We need to change the narrative on what’s expected of people while they grapple with their miscarriage (or any other loss). After all, how will we ever see change if we’re unwilling to speak up when change is needed?

Regardless of what people who don’t understand may say, the pain of miscarriage is very real. And as Jessie J so eloquently said, “You are allowed to be broken… you are allowed to do this however you need to.”

Image via Jessie J official Instagram

Originally published: January 20, 2021
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