90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, July 17, 2014

Why It’s Good To Talk About Miscarriages

More than one in seven pregnancies result in miscarriage, but miscarriage is still often misunderstood by many couples. (George Ruiz/Flickr)

More than one in seven pregnancies result in miscarriage, but miscarriage is still often misunderstood by many couples. (George Ruiz/Flickr)

Miscarriages are fairly common. One in seven pregnancies end in miscarriage and the number increases as women age.

Many women experience great emotional loss with miscarriage and despite the fact that miscarriage is a very natural part of pregnancy, it is widely misunderstood and rarely talked about.

Karen Gibbons was 29 when she had her first miscarriage and she says that she and her husband felt very much alone because they did not tell anyone about it.

“No one knew what we were going through and other than my husband, I didn’t really have anyone to turn to,” Gibbons told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson. “I would sometimes just burst into tears for what other people saw as no reason, or somebody would tell me that they were pregnant and I’d have to leave the room because I could feel the tears starting. So that was difficult, putting [ourselves] in that position with no support system.”

“Don’t let anyone set a timeline for you, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have the right to grieve. This was your child. This was your hopes and your dreams.”
– Karen Gibbons

Since then, Gibbons has miscarried twice more and also has given birth to two sons, 8-year-old Neil and 4-year-old John. She says the medical system was not very compassionate when she miscarried. She now has changed careers — she has just finished nursing school. She hopes to counsel couples and help them through pregnancy.

“I will tell them that they should allow themselves to grieve,” she said. “Don’t let anyone set a timeline for you, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have the right to grieve. This was your child — this was your hopes and your dreams, and you have every right to grieve that.”

Gibbons also wants to help couples avoid the difficulties she faced in her first two miscarriages.

“I would encourage them to also make sure they have a support system in place, make sure they have friends and family that can support them,” she said. “I would encourage them to consider looking into a support group, because there is healing in telling your story.”

Guest

  • Karen Gibbons, recent nursing school graduate and resident of Stoughton, Mass.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Here & Now resident chef and cookbook author Kathy Gunst shares her list of the best cookbooks of the year.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

December 18 Comment

College Counselor: ‘A Deferral Is Not A Denial’

Lisa Micele shares tips for applying to college — especially for students who have been deferred under early decision.

December 18 17 Comments

America’s Political Dynasties

Americans under 38 have only experienced one presidential election that did not involve a Bush or a Clinton.

December 17 2 Comments

Atticus Lish’s ‘Preparation For The Next Life’

The author's debut novel centers on an unlikely romance between an Iraq veteran and a Uyghur from China.

December 17 3 Comments

Diagnosing Ear Infections With Your Smartphone

The CellScope Oto is a clip-on gadget that turns a smartphone into an otoscope — the tool doctors use to check out a patient's eardrum.