……I’m presenting a 3-hour-a-day radio show for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire these days (12-3pm every week day….where have you BEEEEEN???) which is a poor excuse for my extraordinary writing laziness, I know, but does go some way to explaining why my blogging rate has hit an all time LOW (bar the time I got some spinach stuck between my back molars and had to take a month off to wrestle with the dental floss, interdental brushes and a hoover. It came out in the end…)
The upsides of this job, however, are that a) I LOVE IT and b) I LOVE IT.
Oh yes, and c) I get to interview some REAAAAALLLY interesting people about REAAAALLLY interesting things every single day.
‘tis a great privilege indeed, and I’ve made some news friends, learned a lot and kissed a lot of cheeks.
One such person was Katie O’Donovan, the Biggest Cheese of Communications from Mumsnet, the Grandest Fromage of the online parenting community.
They have so many users you can see them from space. Especially if you use a really strong telescope and point it at the nearest school at 3pm.
Anyway, Katie and I have met before on BBC Breakfast, and I was delighted to be able to welcome her onto my show and offer her some watery BBC coffee. (Actually she didn’t even get that, because, what with my private helicopter breaking down yet AGAIN, she joined me down the line from London.)
Katie was on the programme to talk about a new campaign launched by Mumsnet, called the Miscarriage Code of Care.
Here is the link to the interview, in which this important campaign, and the reason Mumsnet has launched it, is explained in detail. Katie comes in at about 1hrs 20 mins. The rest is me waffling a great deal and some music that I didn’t choose but I have to say I love….
(If you’re reading this after the 24th October then it won’t be available on Listen Again any more, for which I apologise. It’s out of my lovely hands….)
The reason I was so keen to get Katie on to talk about the campaign is that I, like so many millions of other mothers, have suffered early miscarriage (two that I know of, and possibly more that I never knew about if they happened very early on, as is so common) and while I dealt with it reasonably well on my own, I do know women who have been through the most awful miscarriages, only to find that they are given very little information, care or support to deal with it.
It sometimes feels as if we ought to EXPECT it, and just pull up our stockings and get on with it if it happens, and wait for Nature to be more favourable next time. And while we’re at it, dears, how about a cuppa tea and putting away the laundry, eh..?
It’s not just the miscarriage itself and the physical and emotional pain associated with it at the time that can leave women wrecked, but the delayed trauma that can come many months after the event, as the sadness, guilt, and confusion about the loss hits home.
There are rarely answers to burning the, never-ending question, WHY?? Why did this happen to me? Why to us? What’s wrong with me? What did I do wrong? Will it happen again? What are the chances of it happening again? Who can tell me what to expect? Who can explain why this happened?
The answer, in the majority of cases, is the same: it just happened. There IS no reason.
For many women, losing a baby is unbearably painful, and we really do need to make sure that they are looked after well and are offered the support they need to recover properly.
We’re not cars that need servicing if parts get rusty or drop out.
We’re humans. Yes, even those of us who nag our husbands and don’t like taking the bins out and sometimes pick our feet in the bath.
We’re humans who, thanks to a GENIUS bit of planning by Mother Nature, have to grow other humans inside us in order to keep the Human Race going. When this process starts our whole bodies, our minds, our hormones and our LIVES become geared to doing everything they can to make that little human according to the Making A Healthy Human manual that, helpfully, nobody is ever given.
We eat, breathe, sleep, dream, LIVE for that little human.
And if, for reasons we are never given (because there simply AREN’T any that we can say for certain), that little Baby Us doesn’t make it, we need a huge amount of love and support to cope with that loss – physical and emotional.
Even the simple things discussed in the interview, such as making sure women who are facing the prospect of miscarriage are not asked to wait in a room full of glowing, happy, expectant mothers, can make the difference between coping well and not coping at all with the trauma of losing an unborn child.
It’s an important issue, so please take some time to stop Googling ‘celebrities whose pants were visible when they got out of a taxi’, listen to the interview, and then visit the Mumsnet website, www.mumsnet.com where you’ll find links to the campaign and information about how to get involved and help to raise awareness.