Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman: Lets Talk Parenting Taboos
#parentingresearch. Good talk
I’ll move on to taboo number two. You can’t talk about how lonely having a baby can be. I enjoyed being pregnant. I loved it. I felt incredibly connected to the community around me. I felt like everyone was participating in my pregnancy, all around me, tracking it down till the actual due-date. I felt like I was a vessel of the future of humanity. That continued into the the hospital. It was really exhilarating. I was shower with gifts and flowers and visitors. It was a really wonderful experience, but when I got home, I suddenly felt very disconnected and suddenly shut in and shut out, and I was really surprised by those feelings. I did expect it to be difficult, have sleepless nights, constant feedings, but I did not expect the feelings of isolation and loneliness that I experienced, and I was really surprised that no one had talked to me, that I was going to be feeling this way. And I called my sister whom I’m very close to — and had three children — and I asked her, “Why didn’t you tell me I was going to be feeling this way, that I was going to have these — feeling incredibly isolated?” And she said — I’ll never forget — “It’s just not something you want to say to a mother that’s having a baby for the first time.”
And I just remember feeling all these stories came out of the woodwork, and I felt like I happened upon this secret society of women that I now was a part of, which was reassuring and also really concerning. And I think, miscarriage is an invisible loss. There’s not really a lot of community support around it. There’s really no ceremony, rituals, or rites. And I think, with a death, you have a funeral, you celebrate the life, and there’s a lot of community support, and it’s something women don’t have with miscarriage.
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