Kippenvel! In deze indrukwekkende fotoserie vertellen vrouwen over hun miskraam

Een miskraam of doodgeboorte is iets wat relatief vaak voorkomt, maar waar toch weinig over gepraat wordt. Veel vrouwen die het meemaken hebben het gevoel dat ze gefaald hebben, of dat hun verdriet er niet mag zijn. De Amerikaanse arts Jessica Zucker, die zelf ook miskraam meemaakte, probeert hier iets aan te doen door het taboe rond miskramen te doorbreken. 

Samen met Instagramaccount Skin on Sundays maakte ze een fotoserie waarin vrouwen die een miskraam of doodgeboorte meemaakten hun ervaringen delen. Letterlijk, met een tekst op hun huid die hun ervaringen beschrijft. En het resultaat is kippenvelopwekkend prachtig.

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Heart-Shaped Things __ A shape that forms from your deep wilderness. It’s not just your uterus. Your mind, your fear too is heart-shaped. Does that change how the darkness moves, how the light? __ 👸🏽: @judeelocks 💡: @ihadamiscarriage 📷: @rebeccacoursey_photosandfilm __ You hear that miscarriage is “normal.” That 1 in 4 pregnant women go through it. That does not make it any easier when you go the ultrasound expecting to hear a heartbeat, then all there is is silence. When it happens again, the grieving multiplies, as does the fear, yet the sadness you keep inside. You don’t want to tell people what happened because you feel ashamed. You wonder if there was something you did to make this happen…twice. And then you find out your uterus is shaped like a heart, and that may be the cause of your pregnancy losses. It seems ironic that a heart-shaped uterus could be behind this, because hearts are symbols of love. Now your heart-shaped uterus has left you in so much pain—physical, emotional, and spiritual—has made you feel ugly. You feel like your body is against you, and the shame keeps piling on. Judy, you said the same emotions of those two dreadful days come in waves. They probably always will. Your experiences make up who you are, not just the happy ones, but the sad ones too. It’s ok to feel angry, to feel numb from what you went through. It’s ok to have a heart-shaped uterus, even if it’s not what you imagined for yourself and how your life would go. When you are ready to share your story with the people around you, I hope they will tell you the same thing. I hope they will hug you tightly and tell you you have nothing to be ashamed of. That you are a beautiful person, that you could have a million miscarriages and still be a beautiful person, and that you are allowed to feel grief forever because of your losses. __ Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. You can join in honor and remembrance of their loved and longed for babies by lighting a candle tonight 💛 __ #skinonsundays #ihadamiscarriage #physiopoetry #pregnancyandinfantlossawarenessday #pregnancyandinfantlossawareness #miscarriageawareness #miscarriagesupport

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Body Broke __ The light in my body broke and the darkness changed me into someone that could heal it. __ @paulamallis is a doula. She created @wmnspace, a place for women to gather, speak, breathe unhindered near Los Angeles, California. She also had a miscarriage, and although she made this beautiful space for women, sometimes you still need someone else to make a space for you, to tell your story, to feel heard and supported by way of others rather than your own doing. When Paula was being photographed, she asked that her poem be read there to her, straight from her skin, and in that moment, the ritual of honoring her loss felt like the moon coming out behind a cloud. It felt like there was this tangible thing, the words being spoken aloud, as if the act of this whole project was so much more than what the actions, the emails, the phone calls, the organization, the tears, the writing, the face-to-face meeting, the printing of the poetry onto the skin, the photographs and videos, the hugs, all of it, could possibly add up to on their own. I guess we do things like this for a higher purpose, and in the midst of it, it can be easy to get lost in the process. I feel so grateful for those moments that bring us back into the moment and help us feel the meaning in what we are doing. This art, this ritual, is more than the sum of its parts. __ This collaboration with @ihadamiscarriage seeks to bring awareness, understanding, and healing to pregnancy and infant loss through artistic ritual. Pregnancy and infant loss is an issue women are too often silenced and shamed about, and as a result, are too often left feeling alone during a traumatic and heartbreaking time of their lives. Why does society silence (and shame and belittle and fail to recognize and thus create further pain) to women who experience miscarriage or any kind of pregnancy and infant loss? My hope is that representing this loss through physiopoetry can serve as a vehicle in creating awareness for these losses, an awareness that leads to a change in how society treats them. Photo by: @rebeccacoursey_photosandfilm __ #skinonsundays #ihadamiscarriage #physiopoetry #rituals #poetryinmotion

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Five Hearts __ Tragedy and love are filled with the same relentless, predictable wildness. __ 👸🏼: @jessicawright1 💡: @ihadamiscarriage 📷: @rebeccacoursey_photosandfilm __ @jessicawright1 is a warrior. In some way, all women are, just in being women, the same way any group stifled and repressed by society is. But we all have different jobs, different roles, and when I call Jessica a warrior, it’s because of the way she speaks out about what she believes in, how she empowers people with her words. I’m a writer too, so perhaps I feel an extra connection with those around me whose superpower is words. I learned from Jessica that in Texas, doctors are allowed to withhold information about generic abnormalities from pregnant women to remove from them the choice of how to proceed with their pregnancy. I learned about what happens to your soul when you want a baby so, so bad, and the doctor, a doctor you are so grateful for, for telling you the truth, gives you the news that breaks you, that your baby has those generic abnormalities that leave you with the hardest decision of your life, and you decide to terminate the pregnancy. And then it happens again. And that decision of what to do didn’t get any easier. At all. The other two empty hearts in that tattoo on her arm there, those are two miscarriages. The one filled in is her son. And maybe, maybe she will be adding another heart filled in. She’s pregnant now. She writes about all of this breathstoppingly difficult life experience in a powerful and shattering and inspiring way, which, let me tell you, is not easy. It’s not easy to go through it, it’s not easy to express it in a way that provides a realistic, ñmoving portrayal of what you went through, and she does it. Jessica is a warrior, and I want to thank her for sharing her story with me and with all of us, for being a light in her own darkness, both forces which have to exist alongside each other now. I hope you get your sixth heart, J. __ #skinonsundays #ihadamiscarriage #physiopoetry

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The Soul Doesn’t Start at the Body __ The secret: love is bodilessly (the soul doesn’t start at the body). The murmur here is like the moving air left behind starlings. They are using a tongue so huge, it will break you until you don’t miss it. __ This collab with @ihadamiscarriage seeks to bring awareness, understanding, and healing to pregnancy and infant loss through artistic ritual. My hope is that representing this loss through physiopoetry can serve as a vehicle in creating awareness for these losses, an awareness that leads to a change in how society treats them. Photo by: @rebeccacoursey_photosandfilm __ Meet @drawnbymary – Miscarriage number 1 gutted her heart, but hopeful, she and her husband tried again. 3 more heartbreaking miscarriages followed due to a uterine abnormality. Mary surgically fixed the issue and got pregnant again, only to be shattered for the 5th time. Maybe for some things practice dealing makes it easier, but I don’t think that’s the case here. Instead, a boat of sadness takes sail in the ocean of your soul. Not long after the last miscarriage, Mary discovered she had breast cancer, and because of the treatment, she can’t get pregnant again for 5 yrs, which will put her at 40 yrs old. That kind of news is devastating, and while you can learn to live with it, freeze your eggs and hope for the best, nothing can erase the depth & darkness of emotion that accompanies so much loss. I say that, but Mary might be an angel. She believes, and I believe her, that her last miscarriage was a physical manifestation of her grief, that the universe and her last miscarried baby saved her life. Without that miscarriage, she may have nvr noticed the lump on her breast in time to save herself. Life is a nearconstant give and take, a forever whirling of emotions, and taking what you’re dealt and becoming your best self in spite of so much grief, that is special. Mary, you are so special. Whether or not motherhood is in your path, your gifts to the world are abundant (please check out her beautiful drawings), and so many of us are beyond grateful for what your presence brings to this earth. __ #skinonsundays #ihadamiscarriage #physiopoetry

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Unknown __ I am walking through the frozen fields of myself where I find you on the other side of a steel door. If love were a substance it couldn’t reach you here. Only what remains when love is stripped of touch. __ This collaboration with @ihadamiscarriage seeks to bring awareness, understanding, and healing to pregnancy and infant loss through artistic ritual. My hope is that representing this loss through physiopoetry can serve as a vehicle in creating awareness for these losses, an awareness that leads to a change in how society treats them. Photo by: @rebeccacoursey_photosandfilm __ Trisha • @paciaanne • never got to meet her baby alive. At 24 weeks, the heartbeat disappeared without explanation, and she was induced into an excruciating 11-hour labor, knowing her baby girl was already gone. She got to meet her, hold her, but then she had to say goodbye just as fast. The depth of pain of that experience. The hole it leaves, she has to live like now. Loss is permanent. Sure you can find a way to move forward, but you won’t be the same. And you shouldn’t be, I suppose. Not only will Trisha’s eyes likely fill with tears every time she thinks of it, but she can’t go back to not having felt those things, and that is a weight to carry through life. Talking about pregnancy loss more openly as a society will make the world safer for those who have gone through it. It’s so easy to be insensitive when we don’t understand something. A person who has gone through trauma, well the last thing they need is insensitivity from others. If we as a society can do something to help people who are hurting hurt even just a little bit less, we should. Talking about it will make us all more sensitive and empathic, because talking about it will give us at least a semblance of knowing how to talk about it more and more as time passes. Even that little thing can help a person who is grieving pregnancy loss. Thank you, Trisha, for participating in this ritual to recognize your loss. I truly believe this is the kind of thing the world needs to help us begin to understand. __ #skinonsundays #ihadamiscarriage #physiopoetry

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The Size of a Blueberry __ The soft beat of a blueberry when it falls to the earth versus the vacant silence on the body’s pavement when it’s suddenly gone. __ This collaboration with @ihadamiscarriage seeks to bring awareness, understanding, and healing to pregnancy and infant loss through artistic ritual. My hope is that representing this loss through physiopoetry can serve as a vehicle in creating awareness for these losses, an awareness that leads to a change in how society treats them. Photo by: @rebeccacoursey_photosandfilm __ This is Claudia – @theclaudbee – Her blueberry tattoo represents her baby that was never born, as that’s how big it was when she miscarried. This is her memorial, a treasure. For some time, the grief was unmanageable, living without her blueberry baby and with the realization that getting pregnant may never be an option. It’s so little talked about, pregnancy and infant loss, that it’s hard to know how to handle the emotions that come with it. Even if you can think in your logical brain that the pain will become manageable at some point, the hardest part is managing it when it is in the present. There are so many facets to this loss, and being hushed by society only makes it harder to deal with. Now, I said this in my previous post, and I will say it again. I think the repetition is not only necessary, but helpful in showing how profound it can be to be a witness, empathic, open to others baring their soul to you. Thank you Claudia, for sharing this piece of yourself with me and all of us, for participating in this ritual to recognize your loss. Many who have experienced pregnancy loss will feel less alone because of what you have shared here. Others who have not will be more available to provide women who have experienced this the support and love they need, because of what you have shared here. I am included in the latter group. I want you to know that because of you, I am now forever an ally with my heart and ears always open to women who have faced the trauma of miscarriage. __ #skinonsundays #ihadamiscarriage #physiopoetry

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A History of Loss __ Seasons come with rain, come without. The silence, the stunning hope, the branches fallen from a storm that were cleaned up and hauled off. __ This collaboration with @ihadamiscarriage seeks to bring awareness, understanding, and healing to pregnancy and infant loss through artistic ritual. These losses are an issue women are too often silenced/ shamed about, and as a result, are left feeling alone during a traumatic and heartbreaking time of their lives. Why does society silence (& shame & belittle & fail to recognize & thus create further pain) to women who experience miscarriage or any kind of pregnancy and infant loss? My hope is that representing this loss through physiopoetry can serve as a vehicle in creating awareness for these losses, an awareness that leads to a change in how society treats them. Photo by: @rebeccacoursey_photosandfilm __ This is Shannon • @helloshannoncowan • During her first two pregnancies, she never got to feel a heartbeat. Now, being pregnant again has been filled with profundity and joy, but it also carries with it the weight of anxiety. Loneliness and pain and frustration and confusion and grief have become intrinsically part of her body’s memory of pregnancy. However, there is also hope, in and that hope, there is room for light to enter. This is the first time she has gotten to hear a baby’s heartbeat inside her belly. Celebrating is more difficult with the history of loss that accompanies it, but it is not impossible. It takes courage and strength and vulnerability to even exist as Shannon exists day to day. Thank you Shannon, for sharing this piece of yourself with me, for participating in this ritual to recognize your loss. Many who have experienced pregnancy loss will feel less alone because of what you have shared here. Others who have not will be more available to provide women who have experienced this the support and love they need, because of what you have shared here. I am included in the latter group. I want you to know that because of you, I am now forever an ally with my heart and ears always open to women who have faced the trauma of miscarriage. __ #skinonsundays #ihadamiscarriage

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Lees ook: Als je een miskraam krijgt (en onverwacht toetreedt tot een geheim genootschap)

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