Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife Priscilla Chen, announced on Facebook that they are expecting a baby girl. Nothing shocking here—people announce their pregnancies on Facebook all the time! But Mark and Priscilla also announced that they had suffered three miscarriages in their struggle to start a family. Now that is unusual, and oh so welcomed.
As Zuckerberg said in his Facebook post:
It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you — as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own.
Apparently I’m not the only one who thought “YES!”.
Some of the 48,000 shares no doubt were just because of the pregnancy, but if you read through the 106,000 comments, you’ll see that most are focusing on the infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, and are thanking Mark for opening up the discussion!
Miscarriage and infertility will always be painful and sad, but it need not be lonely. 1 in 100 women will suffer recurrent pregnancy loss. 10 in 100 will have other forms of infertility.
You are not alone. We are not alone.
Let’s follow Mark and Priscilla’s example and start talking about our fertility struggles. You will find, as they did, that many of your friends and family have gone through something similar.
But go one step further: Join support groups, such as the Creating a Family Facebook Support Group. In infertility/miscarriage support groups you will find hundreds (actually thousands) of people who have walked in your shoes. You will feel surrounded by support.
Thank you Mark Zuckerberg for jump starting this discussion. And thank you for creating Facebook which allows us to join together with others to feel less lonely.
Did you/do you talk about your miscarriages and infertility?
Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Pregnancy Announcement
Priscilla and I have some exciting news: we’re expecting a baby girl!
This will be a new chapter in our lives. We’ve already been so fortunate for the opportunity to touch people’s lives around the world — Cilla as a doctor and educator, and me through this community and philanthropy. Now we’ll focus on making the world a better place for our child and the next generation.
We want to share one experience to start. We’ve been trying to have a child for a couple of years and have had three miscarriages along the way.
You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you — as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own.
In today’s open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn’t distance us; it brings us together. It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope.
When we started talking to our friends, we realized how frequently this happened — that many people we knew had similar issues and that nearly all had healthy children after all.
We hope that sharing our experience will give more people the same hope we felt and will help more people feel comfortable sharing their stories as well.
Our good news is that our pregnancy is now far enough along that the risk of loss is very low and we are very hopeful.
Cilla and our child are both healthy, I’m extremely excited to meet her and our dog Beast has no idea what’s coming. In our ultrasound, she even gave me a thumbs up “like” with her hand, so I’m already convinced she takes after me.
We’re looking forward to welcoming her into the world and sharing more soon when she’s ready to come out and meet everyone!