Kent-based blogger Al, from The Dad Network, has shared the heartbreaking news that he and his wife Jen have just suffered their sixth miscarriage.
Al initially made the sad announcement via a simple blog post entitled ‘6’, but has since taken to his Instagram and Facebook page to thank thousands of followers and commenters for their support, and to remind everyone that the pain of loss isn’t always obvious.
Alongside a black and white photograph of his wife Jen and the couple’s son Ted, Al explains that you can never know the heartache that people around you are going through.
‘I took this photo this afternoon when Jen & Ted got back from their morning out together. I begged Jen to stay home and rest this morning but she insisted Ted and her were off for their usual Tuesday morning together and that she didn’t want to miss it,’ he writes.
‘It struck me today whilst she was out at the toddler group that she will have been in a hall with a hundred people acting as if nothing were happening to her. No one would know she was miscarrying, right there, right then. No one would know she was in pain or that her heart was hurting. To the room full of mums and dads she was just another mum having fun with her boy.’
‘It just goes to show that you never know what other people, those around you, are going through. The person sitting next to you on the train, the parent in the playground, the mum at toddler group. They might all be having a hard time, be hurting, be sick, be in pain.’
The Instagram post has been liked nearly 800 times and recieved support from across the social media community, with countless fellow parenting bloggers sharing the image and offering their condolences. On the Facebook page of The Unmumsy Mum, the picture has received more than 13,000 reactions.
‘So sorry for all you are going through. But also, thank you for sharing. I firmly believe the more we talk about it the more we understand. When it happened to me (twice) the hardest part was wanting to talk about it but many people around me being awkward and uncertain,’ said one commenter.
‘It’s one of the hardest things to go through. How awful for this family. I’m sure they’re a great support to each other. Ask that mum you don’t know how she is. Being nice to a total stranger can often really make their day. Everyone is going through something.’ agreed another.
In January, after sharing the news of their fifth miscarriage, Al released a candid video delving into the rawness of the emotions he was experiencing.
‘It’s not uncommon for people to have severe depression and severe anxiety after one miscarriage – and five is taking its toll on me,’ he said at the time.
‘For all the others, people have said “How are you? Are you doing okay?” And I’ve gone, “Yeah, I’m okay, I’m hanging in there – we’re doing what we can.’
‘But this time – the answer is, rubbish. I am dreadful. I have never been worse.’