Miscarriage and baby loss is something that often isn't openly talked about. Debate over when, where and how women share their miscarriage stories has grown over the weekend after 31 year old Joan Bremer shared her hugely personal tattoo on the popular US Today show.
It's since gone viral with thousands of shares across social media. The tattoo, which shows a tiny heart nestling in a swirling outline of a bump, is in remembrance of the baby she miscarried at seven weeks. She hopes that by sharing her tattoo she will encourage other women to do the same, saying:
"This is so incredibly common, but it's not a subject that people want to talk [about]. It happened to us, and it's happened to countless other people. I want to be able to share and talk about it, and in talking about it move on from the pain and disappointment."
Joan's story has prompted a huge outpouring of support and encouragement, with many applauding her decision to speak out about her loss, saying, ‘Miscarriages are super, super common. It's time to end the stigma surrounding them and talk more about it when we talk about reproduction.’ Many more have posted their own miscarriage tattoos online, explaining the stories behind them and expressing how cathartic they found talking about their babies could be.
Joan went on to describe how she would keep adding to her tattoo;
"I will add a rainbow baby to this design since 'rainbow babies' are babies that are conceived after a loss, just like how something beautiful can come after a storm. If I end up having a second miscarriage, I will most likely add another heart to this design."
However response online however haven't all been completely supportive of Joan's decision. One dad who had gone through a miscarriage with his partner asked,
'It's beautiful - honest q though: Is a constant reminder of that event helpful?'
Here at Tommy's we see women suffering from miscarriages and baby loss every day - and in doing so see grief as varied and as different as the colours through a prism. Some women grieve through talking openly of their loss, others prefer to process their emotions themselves or with a few very close family members. Tommy's believes that women have a right to cope in whichever way that works for them. What is most important is that they have the support and the resources that they need in order to cope and heal, and the answers to whatever questions they have.
Well done Joan for sharing your story and sharing your beautiful, creative testament to your baby.