‘I had a miscarriage’ Instagram account aims to support women through loss

An Instagram account called ‘I had a miscarriage‘ is giving women who have miscarried vital emotional support through social media.

Jessica Zucker suffered a miscarriage 16 weeks into her pregnancy. As a psychologist specialising in women’s reproductive and maternal mental health, she knew what other women go through when it comes to loss, but suddenly she was faced with the same experience.

Jessica set up the Instagram account to try and help not only herself but other women to cope through their loss and process their grief, gaining thousands of followers in the process.

Let's talk about loss. And the terror that can follow. Last night I connected with another writer who published a remarkable piece about the isolation of miscarriage. In her email to me she wrote, among other things, "I'm so sorry you had a 2nd trimester miscarriage. Every woman's nightmare." I paused, unable to read on. Stunned. She's right: my 16-week miscarriage experience is "every (pregnant) woman's nightmare". What does this mean about the way we stack loss in a hierarchy? This exchange reminded me of the piece I wrote in January for the @washingtonpost about how prone we are to comparing and contrasting trauma/pain/heartache. In this photo, taken a couple of weeks before my daughter arrived, I was terrified. Through and through. What I lived through, aka "every woman's nightmare", changed my experience of pregnancy altogether. How could it not?! To live in a body, a pregnant body, for 10 months with concern and preoccupation, is something I can barely describe in words. Loss is different for everyone, but let's remember that @ 1 in 4 women are walking around in bodies that have lost something they wanted. Let's resist comparing and contrasting loss and remember that we all ache in different ways. _ #IHadAMiscarriage #pregnancylosscards #pregnancyloss #miscarriage #grief #loss #pregnancyafterpregnancyloss #motherhood #rainbowbaby #1in4

A post shared by Jessica Zucker, Ph.D. (@ihadamiscarriage) on

Many of the posts describe her own experience: ‘What I lived through, changed my experience of pregnancy altogether. How could it not?!’ she explains. ‘To live in a body, a pregnant body, for 10 months with concern and preoccupation, is something I can barely describe in words.’

‘Loss is different for everyone, but let’s remember that 1 in 4 women are walking around in bodies that have lost something they wanted. Let’s resist comparing and contrasting loss and remember that we all ache in different ways.’

Through the Instagram account, which has 13.5k followers so far, she wants the campaign to help unite other women who have lost a baby through miscarriage: ‘This campaign is here for anyone who has experienced any type of pregnancy or infant loss. We are here to share stories with the aim of softening stigma and ushering in connection. Let this space be a life line. An anchor. A community.’

# IHadAMiscarriage I had a 2nd trimester miscarriage. This is a fact of my life. An experience that changed who I am. Pregnancy after pregnancy loss changed me all the more. I have no shame. No self-blame. No guilt. I did nothing wrong. I did nothing to deserve this. My body works. I don't feel it failed. I embrace my grief fully and allow it to wash over me. I grieve still. I don't believe rainbow babies "replace" our lost loves. When we lean into heartache, we evolve. When we work vigorously to stave it off, we drown. I don't believe everything happens for a reason. I know I am not alone, nor are you. _ This campaign is here for anyone who has experienced any type of pregnancy or infant loss. We are here to share stories with the aim of softening stigma and ushering in connection. Let this space be a life line. An anchor. A community. _ What an elating honor it is to have my work and specifically this page featured on @selfmagazine today. Link in profile. _ #IHadAMiscarriage #miscarriage #pregnancyloss #stillbirth #infantloss #motherhood #grief #loss #parenthood #pregnancyafterloss #rainbowbaby #1in4 // This sign accompanied the birth of the I Had A Miscarriage campaign in 2014. Lettering by @annerobincallig.

A post shared by Jessica Zucker, Ph.D. (@ihadamiscarriage) on

And her followers have shared their stories too, with one saying: ‘Thank you for your words. We women heal by sharing our stories. This is a beautiful community – thank you for creating empowerment for women who understand the strength in solidarity. #ihadamiscarriage #weareneveralone’

Another shared her story and thanked Jessica for creating the supportive account, saying: ‘This community has been a lifesaver for me since my second trimester miscarriage. Your work is vital and so important to so many – thank you for creating and curating such an incredibly safe and loving place for all women.’