Mis-Carry

Posted on | May 6, 2016 | 3 Comments

I’ve done a lot of thinking about why miscarriage is such a secret shame… why women don’t talk about it, why we don’t WANT to talk about it.

I’ve thought a lot about why it is we feel ashamed by our bodies, ashamed by our inabilities, ashamed by something that is often totally and completely outside of our control.

And it comes down to this… I think it’s time the English speaking medical community re-names this horrific accident that ripsĀ  women and men into pieces and leaves them shattered. Because “miscarry”? That doesn’t seem right to me.

See “mis-“, means “Wrongly” , “badly”, or “Unsuitably.”

And “carry” means “to have something with or inside you” or “to move something while holding or supporting it.”

If you put those two together, what we’re really saying to English-speaking women is “You carried this wrong.” “This was your fault.” “You were an unsuitable home for your child.”

Is it any wonder that no one wants to talk about it? Is there even a question as to why an English-speaking woman, ANY English-speaking woman, would immediately feel as though SHE did this. SHE caused this to happen. SHE carried her child wrong.

Can’t we rename this? Maybe “misformed”,”misattached”, “misgravidity” or maybe just “mispregnant”? Because semantics matter, you know. And when I hear the word “miscarriage”, what I hear is “your body screwed this up.”

And trust me, we women already feel like it’s all our fault, anyway.

Maybe it’s just another way our society, like to place the blame, and the shame, on the woman. Maybe it’s just another way the English language likes to beat up on the “weaker” sex. Because in French, it’s “fausse couche” or “false confinement.” In Spanish it’s “aborto espontaneo” or “spontaneous end to pregnancy”. It’s only in English that we place the blame on the woman… miscarried. Carried it wrong. Carried it badly.

Lost your baby.

Lost your pregnancy.

No, it wasn’t taken from you, you silly English women. This? This was YOUR fault.

Comments

3 Responses to “Mis-Carry”

  1. Sharon
    May 6th, 2016 @ 1:24 pm

    I agree: there seems to be a lot of shame and secrecy associated with miscarriage. There shouldn’t be. It is no way the mother’s fault.

    I prefer the term “pregnancy loss” to “miscarriage.” That sums up the real loss without the connotation of blame on the mother. (Of course, the medical term for a miscarriage is “spontaneous abortion,” which sounds even worse than “miscarriage.”)

  2. facie
    May 8th, 2016 @ 2:16 pm

    I read your blog title (I had missed your previous two posts), and I so hoped it was not about what I feared it was. I am very sorry.

    I never considered the connotation; you make great, sad, and frustrating points.

  3. Mother’s Day Isn’t Easy | Southern Bon Vivant
    May 8th, 2016 @ 2:21 pm

    […] a friend who recently suffered a miscarriage pointed out in her blog, the very word “miscarriage” means to carry badly– as if it’s the mother’s fault when the pregnancy doesn’t […]

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