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Lucy Bannerman on her miscarriages etc in the Times magazine today

(31 Posts)
ErrolTheDragon Sat 31-Oct-20 09:52:38

I didn't know anything about Lucy Bannerman before, other than seeing her name on some Times articles which suggested she was clear as to what a woman is.

Have read this, that's not surprising.

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JingleCatJingle Sat 31-Oct-20 10:47:44

That’s an excellent article. Thank you for sharing.
I had a miscarriage years ago in my office toilets. It is one reason why I will NEVER back down on needing women only toilets.

JulesJules Sat 31-Oct-20 10:54:03

That you for sharing that, what a piece.

334bu Sat 31-Oct-20 10:59:53

An article well worth reading. Thank you for posting it.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sat 31-Oct-20 11:22:50

Thanks for the share token. Very powerful piece.

NewlyGranny Sat 31-Oct-20 11:40:48

So far, nobody commenting has accused her of weaponising her personal experience, so that's one good thing. Though clearly someone a caused her of pushing her 'brand' whatever that means.

I wonder how many transwomen would be so keen to buy into the womanly experience if it meant they got the whole package and couldn't just cherrypick the fun bits?

Me: 7 years of infertility, three surgeries for endometriosis, one ectopic pregnancy, one IVF pregnancy (miscarried at 8 weeks) one empty sac pregnancy, one v. early miscarriage, one assisted conception (live twins) and one spontaneous late pregnancy (age 38) resulting in DC3.

They were so worth all of it but I would not wish the bad bits on my worst enemy, if I had one.

That moment when the radiographer goes very quiet and turns the screen away and you just know it's all gone horribly wrong... Again.

NewlyGranny Sat 31-Oct-20 11:42:53

JingleCatJingle 💐

Digeridont Sat 31-Oct-20 12:16:58

It’s a fantastic article. A friend has just done exactly what Lucy describes - sitting through a zoom meeting while she miscarrried on to an old towel. She was very stoic about it, and I think I’m the only person she told (though of course her DH knew). It’s so much more common than most men and women who haven’t tried to conceive realise.

JingleCatJingle Sat 31-Oct-20 12:24:01

Thanks @NewlyGranny
I have 2 DC now which has helped but all the innocence of pregnancy went out the window.
Miscarriage is so dark and sad.

Datun Sat 31-Oct-20 12:59:21

Wow. That's an amazing article. She is a brilliant writer. But not just that. Such a delicate subject treated with both rage and sensitivity is something to behold.

I'm actually gobsmacked, and ashamed that I didn't already know, that there are more than 250,000 miscarriages a year in the UK.

That's an unbelievable number of women who are affected. Huge.

And makes such tremendous sense of this sentiment towards the end:

...the more we portray the everyday experiences and the ups and downs of being a woman, the more we normalise it, and then absolutely we will shift the culture.

Angryresister Sat 31-Oct-20 13:01:38

Nearly lost my daughter after unknown about ectopic pregnancy...after morning after pill . Luckily she was with me because of feeling so ill, and even more luckily emergency duty GP recognised it and said his teacher had always told him not to dismiss the possibility of this in women. Not so lucky in the hospital due to delays in operating , so only after the tube ruptured. But thank you to the GP for acting quickly.

ChattyLion Sat 31-Oct-20 13:22:00

That is beautifully written, fantastic journalism. Thanks for the share.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sat 31-Oct-20 13:43:22

It's a very interesting point she raises. She says we should be more open about our experiences so that other women go into pregnancy with a less rose-tinted view of what it may be like, and so that everyone is aware of how common and distressing it is to have a miscarriage or fertility problems. She thinks people would be more sympathetic and less likely to come out with tactless questions like 'So when are you starting a family?'

She's right, of course, in principle, but as some of the comments have said, women are not treated as equals in the workplace. Some women experience being sidelined as soon as there's even a hint that they might be TTC. Our female biology is treated as a problem and an inconvenience to employers. I'm sure that's one reason why we keep stum about early pregnancy so much.

FFSFFSFFS Sat 31-Oct-20 14:00:30

On a tangent - but did anyone read the BBC article on the difference between the words women and men use in writing? (they seemed to actually mean women...)

I can't remember the specific stats - but men used the word blood an astonishing times more than women.

Presumably mostly heroic blood in battles scenes etc.

And yet women - who bleed every month - nope - that's just a bit too icky to talk about...

(to be clear - I'm not saying that women are being "weak" in not talking about it - just that society doesn't want to hear about it)

Mishmased Sat 31-Oct-20 14:04:12

That is so well written. The best thing about my miscarriage is that I know now to shut up and not ask prying questions relating to people's reproductive plans.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 31-Oct-20 14:07:07

You have a point, Gaspode. I guess there needs to be more general awareness and campaigning, not putting the responsibility all onto individual women.

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Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sat 31-Oct-20 14:43:40

I would say it's the same issue we've faced since the number of women working outside the home in traditionally male jobs ballooned in the 70s/80s. Women had to try to be as much like men as they could. Mention of anything to do with having a female body was risky. Lots of outright sexism in recruitment and promotion decisions.

That's what needs to change. Humans come in two varieties, female and male. We need both or the species dies out. It's not acceptable to relegate one to the role of support human, written off as the inferior sex because we're smaller and physicall weaker and our bodies do icky female things and we're bound to be emotional and illogical at certain times of the month. We should be accepted as we are.

Cagedbirdsinging Sat 31-Oct-20 14:51:46

flowers for us , for our beautiful bodies and for all the babies we have carried , loved and lost .
( I want my Jesse back )

PearPickingPorky Sat 31-Oct-20 15:18:49

That's a hard bit very good read. She writes so well.

It's a hard thing to balance, isn't it. I recogniswhat she said about not wanting to tell anyone about the pregnancy because of not wanting to jinx it, but also because you don't want to have to fail publicly. As if it is a personal failure when a body doesn't do something perfectly. Nobody would ever think other spontaneous health conditions was a personal failure, why this?

Is it because it shows you're trying to radically change your life, and it didn't work? (Having children is the biggest change a woman can make in her life IMO, men's lives change less-so). Is it because it's related to sex? Despite all the "sex positive" and empowerment nonsense of liberal feminism, this topic remains just as taboo as ever.

I don't know. But we need to change it because it's just awful that women go through this so unsupported.

Ps - thank god for Mumsnet, having somewhere women can talk about this.

NewlyGranny Sat 31-Oct-20 15:36:25

I actually had to diagnose my own ectopic pregnancy to a disbelieving GP (mine was on holiday) who threw me out. It was his colleague who referred me the next day after we had paid privately for a scan and blood pregnancy test. Otherwise... 😳

NewlyGranny Sat 31-Oct-20 15:40:42

Older family member was lucky to survive an ectopic pregnancy in an ovary back in the 60s. Rare but life-threatening.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 31-Oct-20 16:34:48

* We should be accepted as we are.*

Novel concept, to be accepted for what we are.

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Oxyiz Sat 31-Oct-20 16:37:00

That brought back a lot of memories. Years of endless trying. Losing so much time because I was living in grief. Losing friends because I couldn't bear watching them have baby after baby when I was watching the tests fade away instead.

And this uniquely female experience which when I talked about it with other women, turned out to be shared by so many of them, at least once.

99% of the time I feel like we've moved way past infertility and onwards - and we are genuinely happy - but I'm feeling exhausted and small today. I saw a really happy-looking family with these adorable children earlier playing in the autumn leaves, and there's that deep sadness all over again.

So many flowers to anyone going through miscarriages right now.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 31-Oct-20 16:44:02

* I'm actually gobsmacked, and ashamed that I didn't already know, that there are more than 250,000 miscarriages a year in the UK.*

I'd take a bet that's the tip of the iceberg - how many miscarriages are completely unreported?

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Digeridont Sat 31-Oct-20 16:59:35

Honestly, of my 10ish friends close enough to talk about these things with, there’s only two who haven’t experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth. Those two experienced fertility issues (as did some of the others). As far as I can tell, it’s more common to miscarry than the official statistics- probably due to early miscarriages being under-reported.

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