“All I ever want to do was fulfill my duty as a woman. I married the man of my dreams. I supported his career. I sexed him from the mountaintops. Yet the one thing that is expected of me, I can’t do. How can I even consider myself useful when I can’t reproduce?”
Chelsea Maria, Our Type of Love
Delilah had the perfect life. She had a husband who adored her, in-laws who took her in as their own when her parents died, and a best friend who was there through thick and thin. So why did she feel like her life was incomplete? It was because she had been a survivor of three miscarriages. Three. Although she was able to be a stepmother to her husband’s son, whom she loved with everything in her, she still longed for the day she could be able to say that she had birthed her own child.
Delilah could be selfish. There were several times throughout the story where she made decisions without any regard for how it would affect those around her. But there was one thing about Delilah that I admired. Her resilience. Despite having three miscarriages, she was able to work with babies every day and see it as a blessing. She turned her trauma into a career by becoming a midwife. She loved her illegitimate stepson as if he were her own. And even though she and her husband had suffered such loss, she never gave up hope that one day, she would bring life into the world—and eventually she did.
Delilah’s story was probably very familiar to most readers. That is because 10-20% of pregnant women suffer from miscarriage. What’s even more disheartening is that Black women are up to four times more likely to suffer from miscarriage than White women. Although practitioners are unsure of why Black women suffer from miscarriages more often, researchers hypothesize it could be due to tobacco use, obesity, lack of resources due to low socioeconomic status, and diabetes. Therefore, strategies to prevent miscarriage include remaining physically healthy by maintaining a healthy diet, seeking prenatal care, and abstaining from tobacco and other substances, including alcohol.
Often times in the Black community, we are taught to sweep things under the rug. Even serious topics, like miscarriage, become secret burdens because we don’t talk. We just deal and keep it moving. If you have suffered from a miscarriage, regardless of how long ago it may have been, please talk to someone about it. Like Delilah, we are a resilient people, but we have to face our demons. Research shows that even after years of surviving a miscarriage, one can experience symptoms of anxiety and depression, which could have dire consequences if left untreated. One way to start facing the trauma caused by having a miscarriage is to start talking and a support group is a great place to do so. Sistersinloss.com
is a website dedicated to educating, empowering, and supporting Black women who have gone through miscarriage. The website includes resources, including licensed therapists and counselors you can connect with, if you’re willing.
We are strong, beautiful, powerful, and Black. Our type of resilience is unmatched—revel in it.