Miscarriage affects partners too

“When was somebody going to ask if I was OK?”

Pregnancy loss can be an unhappy and frightening experience for women – and it can be equally distressing for partners, whose needs often go unrecognised.

Today we’re launching an awareness campaign to let the world know that miscarriage affects partners too.  We’re accompanying this with a new set of resources that tell partners’ stories and provide information and support.

We hope you’ll help by telling others about the new resources, by sharing the link to our new web page www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/partners  and by using the hashtag #PartnersToo.

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Fifty pages of thoughts and experiences

We’re delighted to report on our project to develop resources for young people who might need support and information on pregnancy loss.

Clare Foster describes the work done so far, resulting in 50 pages of experiences, thoughts and comments from people aged 16 – 21, many of whom have experienced miscarriage themselves or know someone who has. With Clare’s help, we’ve also found some volunteers who want to stay involved, give us feedback on our plans and help us with the new resources.

Watch this space!

 

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Introducing Marjolaine Ryley, Artist in Residence

We are delighted to introduce Marjolaine Ryley, the Miscarriage Association’s first Artist in Residence.

Marjolaine is an artist working with photography, creative writing, found objects, archival materials and the moving image.  Crucially for us, she is now working on ‘The thin blue line / the deep red sea’ – a project exploring miscarriage and pregnancy loss, funded through Arts Council England and in collaboration with the Miscarriage Association.

She writes:

“In the project, I will be looking at the ways miscarriage and pregnancy loss have been explored (and ignored) in arts and culture. I will also be creating photographs and creative texts to explore both my own and others experiences of this important subject.”

You can read Marjolaine’s description of her first visit to the M.A. below.  You can also visit her blog, where she talks more about the project.  Please be aware that there is a range of images there, including from other artists and you may find some of them distressing.

Artist in Residence at the M.A. – My first visit, June 2014

Today was my first visit to the M.A. headquarters in Wakefield as their Artist in Residence.

I felt instantly at home in the offices at 17 Wentworth Terrace, partly as they are a converted house, but mostly due to the incredibly warm welcome from Ruth, Lisa and Ann and because of the significant role the M.A. has played in my own life.

During my journey to start a family, I had five miscarriages and was eventually diagnosed with a condition called Antiphospholipid Syndrome. Throughout this time the M.A. provided both support and valuable information.

Stepping into the M.A. felt so comfortable and familiar. There are cabinets and noticeboards, shelves laden with books and leaflets bursting with information. This is the world of miscarriage, one many of us enter unexpectedly as strangers but grow to know intimately.

thinblueline JoyandSorrow

It was a Monday and the office was very busy, so I could see first hand how the staff answered calls, offered support and dealt with challenging situations. The M.A. headquarters are modest and it has the feel of a family unit, but the work they do and the impact they are having is wide, arms reaching out in a myriad of directions.

thinblue line a day that matters

Today was about getting a feel for this special place and I started taking a few pictures: details of things; filing cabinets carefully labeled, piles of books, posters and maps on the walls. Ruth and I also talked at length about some of the challenges inherent in representing pregnancy loss. I’m keen to explore different approaches to this both in my research blog and my own photography, but I am also aware of the sensitive nature of this subject.

thinblueline blighted

I hope my work will take a metaphorical and poetic path aiming to explore feelings and emotions through still-life images and creative writing. I will also be undertaking interviews including visiting my Grandmother in Belgium who suffered recurrent miscarriage and who has been quite an inspiration for me.

thinblueline Me and Mirror

I was slightly surprised to find myself taking a few self-portraits today and asking myself (as all artists do in moments of doubt!) “What if I can’t do this?” but as I focused on my reflection in the mirror, camera covering my face, I noticed my Celtic silver ring with the red glass heart, glinting on my finger. I had bought this from a local artist during a holiday in Scotland to commemorate my five miscarriages, a symbol of each pregnancy and what it meant to me. This moment reminded me that however challenging, this subject is really important and worth pursuing.

Thanks to Ruth, Ann and Lisa for today and see you all again soon!

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Our thanks…

… to all the young people who took time part in our three-day online workshop to help us develop new resources for young people who lose a baby in pregnancy;

… to Clare, who planned and ran the workshop and didn’t panic when our website was down for a day;

… to Mark, Stefan, Spencer and Jon, who cycled, ran and walked this weekend to raise funds for the Miscarriage Association;

… to all our volunteers, who do such great job of offering support and raising awareness;

… and to our staff and trustees who work determinedly and quietly behind the scenes.

Thank you.

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Online workshop for young people starts today

We know that there is not much support out there for young people when it comes to miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.  We’re working to change that, with help from young people themselves and from Brook.

This week, we’re looking for 16-21 year olds who would like to take part by sharing their ideas and opinions online. The activities will take 30 mins a day for three days on Thurs, Fri and Sat the 19th, 20th and 21st June and can be done from anywhere you have access to a computer.

There’s more information about the project and work done so far at http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/support/feelings-after-pregnancy-loss/16-to-21-a-place-for-you/.  Please share this link with anyone you know who might be interested. You don’t have to have personal experience of miscarriage to take part.

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Online workshop for young people – this week!

We know that there is not much support out there for young people when it comes to miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.  We’re working to change that, with help from young people themselves and from Brook.

This week, we’re looking for 16-21 year olds who would like to take part by sharing their ideas and opinions online. The activities will take 30 mins a day for three days on Thurs, Fri and Sat the 19th, 20th and 21st June and can be done from anywhere you have access to a computer.

There’s more information about the project and work done so far at http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/support/feelings-after-pregnancy-loss/16-to-21-a-place-for-you/.  Please share this link with anyone you know who might be interested. You don’t have to have personal experience of miscarriage to take part.

 

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Late miscarriage: second trimester loss

Miscarriage can be a devastating experience at any stage of pregnancy. But when it happens later in pregnancy, it can be even more of a shock.

As well as the distress of losing a baby, most women have to go through the process of labour and delivery.  It can be emotionally and physically exhausting for them and their partners.

If this has happened to you or to someone you know, you may find it helpful to read our leaflet Late miscarriage: the experience of second trimester loss. It includes information about the causes and management of late miscarriage as well as comments from women who have been through this experience.

You might also want to visit our forum, where you can share your thoughts and feelings with others who have been through a late loss.

There is a short story about late loss, entitled “The Anniversary”, in our Reflections section.

 

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June: thinking about the month ahead

For many visitors to our website, thinking about the month ahead is filled with meaning.

There may be hopes that this is the month of a positive pregnancy test; anxieties about a scan in this particular month of pregnancy; sadness thinking what this particular month should have meant…

In every case, we’re here for you.  We can provide information about pregnancy loss, help explain terminology and let you know about treatment and research.   We can offer you support and a listening ear, whether that’s over the phone or online, in a support group or by e-mail.

We may highlight a particular issue, publish a new leaflet or announce a new awareness campaign.  We might encourage you to support us by raising funds for our work.

But whatever we do, you are the core.  It’s your needs that matter and we’ll always do our very best to answer them.

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Developing a new resource for young people

Are you aged between 16 and 20?  Would you like to take part in a creative workshop to help us develop a new resource for young people who miscarry?  If so, please read on!

Photo of young people

The Miscarriage Association and Brook know that there’s not much support out there for young people when it comes to miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.  Your voices and experiences are missing and your needs are not being met. We’re working together to change that.

First we need to understand what you know, what you don’t know, what you’d like to know and what’s missing.  We want to understand more about the support that works best for you and how you like to get that support.

If you are 16-20 and live in London, we’d like to hear from you. We have an opportunity for you to join us at a creative workshop to start this project. This is a one off event to let you test the waters and see if you’d like to help more in the future.

[If you don’t live in London, we’d still love to hear from you – check out the end of this message.]

It doesn’t matter if you have experienced miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy yourself – we’re looking for a range of male and female perspectives and experiences. You won’t have to share any personal experiences but you will have a chance to take part in activities, give your opinions and influence the way that the Miscarriage Association provides support for young people.

The details

What will I get?

  • A one-off volunteer experience with two leading charities to add to your CV
  • A chance to get involved in the process of developing digital resources
  • A chance to help us help young people who experience miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
  • An increased understanding of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy
  • Delicious snacks and drinks
  • Your travel expenses (a travel card or equivalent)

When is it?

Tuesday 27th May from 5.30 – 7.30

Where is it?

Brook, 2nd Floor, 50 Featherstone St, London, EC1Y 8RT

How do I get involved?

If you’re interested in taking part, please fill in this form and we’ll get back to you.

I’d like to get involved but I don’t live in London?

If you don’t live in London, we’d still love to hear from you. We’re running a three-day online workshop with daily questions and actions to complete.

Fill in this form and we’ll get back to you with more details.

Thanks!

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Online shop suspended

We have had a report over the weekend of a problem that has generated spam and/or malicious content email from within the Shop section of our website. We do apologise if you have been affected by it.

Our thanks to ACTIV,our IT providers, who spotted the problem and who  immediately disabled the Shop on  our behalf.  We will restore it once it is securely fixed.  In the meantime, please contact us direct if you’d like to purchase any items.

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