We’re delighted to welcome two new ambassadors for the Miscarriage Association: journalist and broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer and Educating Yorkshire’s Matthew (Mr) Burton.
Both have talked openly about their experiences of miscarriage. Both have raised funds for the M.A. and declared their support on national television*. And both are committed to helping bring miscarriage out of the shadows and make it easier to discuss.
Julia wrote about her experiences in a powerful article in the Times on 21 March.
Commenting on the word ‘miscarriage’, she wrote:
“It wasn’t just a “miscarriage”, an unfortunate medical event, it was the very real death of my very real child.
“And yet, when you lose a baby before it is born, before anyone else has the chance to meet them or hold them, they’re not real. Legally, they never existed. But to me, my baby was real, a living, breathing person filled with all of my plans.”
She noted too how difficult it can be to talk openly about losing a baby in pregnancy:
“I know from talking to other women, many of whom only confided about their miscarriages when I spoke about my own, that I am not alone. In fact, many millions of women — and men too — have suffered the same harrowing pain, feel the same grief and want, despite everything, to be able to talk openly about the babies they have lost.”
Matthew, too, feels it’s crucial to raise awareness and reduce the taboo that can surround miscarriage.
In writing about his experience, he noted:
“It’s a private loss, but it’s not like any other loss. There are no memories made, only hopes never realised; there are no pictures to remember that little person by, just the cold medical terminology and the gut-wrenching pain of the moment when the word ‘miscarrying’ is mentioned; there’s no goodbye to the human being who was going to be someone – who was going to be a little part of me.
“Although that moment of loss will never go away, it’s certainly taught me a few things. Firstly, to talk about it. It helped. Those who knew about it thought they couldn’t say the right things, I’m sure, but every supportive word helps. Sometimes it’s clumsy and awkward, but it’s dialogue, and it’s airing the issue.”
We are delighted to have their support.
* Julia appeared on BBC1’s quiz show “Pointless Celebrities” in September and donated her winnings to the Miscarriage Association.
* Matthew appeared on ITV’s “Celebrity Chase” in December, and donated his team’s winnings to the Miscarriage Association.