We have to break the silence on miscarriage in the workplace - Laura Collins, YEP Editor
It was just an average day at work - on the surface I looked cool, calm and collected.
As I directed a team of journalists to report on the big stories of the day I had to remain composed.
After all, there is a huge responsibility weighing on my shoulders to keep focussed to make sure that we hit our deadlines online and in print.
I couldn’t falter at the heart of the news operation. I had to keep going.
But deep down I was falling apart as I grieved for the little life I knew I was never going to meet.
What nobody in my office knew at the time was I was going through the incredibly raw heartache of a miscarriage.
Just earlier that day my dreams for what could be were literally flushed down the toilet.
I had dared to let myself get excited about what could be but it was cruelly taken out of my hands.
For me in that moment it hit me - it was a fight or flight response.
Quite simply I just wiped the tears away from my face as there was absolutely nothing I could do.
Instead I took the feeling of helplessness and submerged myself into the world of local news to block away the pain.
Having a busy job was a huge blessing as I just threw myself in with both feet.
I felt guilty about not telling my boss at the time but I didn’t even know how to approach the conversation.
Where do you begin? By the way I was pregnant but now I’m not?
It all just sounds so wrong doesn’t it?
I hadn’t even told my family about what had happened and I had absolutely no idea where to begin to tell those who I was working with.
I didn’t want to be judged and ultimately I didn’t want to be seen as a failure with my body letting me down.
But what I’ve come to realise after finding myself in the situation again is that opening up and speaking about miscarriage isn’t a dirty secret.
It is a bereavement, a grief and a sense of loss that has to be recognised and more importantly acknowledged.
And it is only very recently that I’ve felt as though I can finally open up about what has happened - it has taken me a long time.
After I spoke openly about my experiences I was so incredibly touched by the response of readers who told me they had been there and knew how it felt.
Finally I realised that I was no longer on my own.
So many people have been through this but we just don’t talk about it.
That is why today I am proud to be able to back the call by the Miscarriage Association to support the Pregnancy Loss Pledge.
And today we are calling on businesses to follow in our footsteps and commit to supporting employees through an often extremely difficult and distressing time.
There are often feelings of guilt and shame around miscarriage and, as a society, not speaking about it, can compound those.
But by encouraging people to open up in the work place and seek support is a great step in the right direction.
Ultimately this is about breaking the silence and realising that you are no longer on your own.
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