My heart goes out to Lilly Allen. Having lost one baby already, this second miscarriage must be devastating. No matter how talented, wealthy or fiesty her public persona, right now Lilly Allen is just a heartbroken young woman who is going to need all the help she can get from her partner Sam, her friends and her family.
Lilly was very careful in announcing this pregnancy. She waited throughout the first trimester, no doubt on nettles the whole time, until that danger period had passed before letting everyone know that she was expecting to be a mother. To have lost her baby so far along is a crushing blow and one that no-body should have to bear alone.
Having a miscarriage is a dreadful, bone-deep loss that is made all the worse by a general misunderstanding or lack of empathy of what it means to those affected. Sam and Lilly were expecting to be parents. They already knew they were having a boy. No doubt they lay awake at night, giggling about names and planning his future. They did not lose a pregnancy, they lost their son.
Platitudes like ‘Maybe next time…’ and ‘It wasn’t meant to be…’ may be well meant but they can sound extremely insensitive. Putting aside for a moment the fact that the bereaved mother fears there may never be a next time and she may never be able to carry a baby to full term, she is grieving. She wanted that baby; the one she lost. Not the next one that comes along.
Like any other bereavement, there will be people who find the situation extremely awkward. Not knowing what to say to the grieving parents, they may choose to avoid them altogether. The bereaved, who may have a need to talk about their loss, are suddenly trapped in silence. This isolation is infinitely worse if you have made the choice to live abroad and have no network of friends and family to console and comfort you.
Unless you speak good Spanish or are paying for private English-speaking doctors, you may feel lost in the medical system in Tenerife; desperate to understand what happened but unable to communicate at any deep level. Doctors may appear brusque and uncaring when in fact they are the opposite. Their assurances that yours was a one time ‘aborto espontáneo’ (and thus unlikely to happen again) may seem like a callous use of language when in fact the medical term for a miscarriage is ‘spontaneous abortion’ in both English and Spanish.
One thing you can do to help yourself if you have suffered a miscarriage in Tenerife (or anywhere else) is to inform yourself about the facts behind miscarriage and seek support. I do not know of any specific English speaking support groups in Tenerife. Hopefully someone may send in contacts for one in the comments section but in the meantime here are some informative websites and online support groups that might be helpful.
For those whose loved one has experienced a miscarriage, the document Someone you know… by The Miscarriage Association may help you understand and acknowledge their loss in a caring and supportive way.