Sunday, 17 February 2013

There's nothing common about common

The one thing I'm really over hearing at the moment is "it's really common." Miscarriages are really common. Having a low egg reserve at my age is really common. Having ovarian cysts are really common. Funnily enough, knowing that millions of other women have suffered or are suffering the same afflictions I am does not make it better. I don't care about these millions of other women. I don't care about what’s common. I only care about what’s happening to me.
I know people say this because it’s supposed to make you feel better. It’s like if you know this happens, and women go on to have children safely, you’ll feel better about your own situation. But knowing this does not make me feel better. Knowing this just depresses me that so many women have to struggle so violently to have a child.

What matters to me is I had a miscarriage and it was horrible. I have excruciating cramps that fill me with dread every time they hit. I have a cyst on my ovary which could become a potential ticking time bomb and cause immense damage. This is what matters to me in my life right now and these things are anything but common.

When people say "it's really common" it feels like they minimise what's happening to you. Having cancer is common but no wants it. Dying is common but people rarely choose it. Just because something is common doesn't mean it's wanted, needed or asked for. It just is.

The ironic thing with all of this is giving birth to a healthy baby is probably one of the most common things of all. But it wasn't for me. No, I got stuck with the common miscarriage. It's funny that no one ever says to a woman who has just given birth, "oh that's not exciting because it’s so common." So why do we say to a woman who has had a miscarriage "that doesn't matter because it’s so common" I know that's not what people mean when they say it but it certainly feels like that at times.

I'm the only one who knows what is common in my life and what isn't. I'm the one who has to decide what matters to me. So in my world, having a miscarriage was not common. Having a cyst is not common. They are both unexpected and extremely scary and devastating events in my life. And when you’re faced with things like that, I can assure you there is nothing "common" about it.


  1. I could not agree more Fiona! It's heartbreaking not common. My husband and I had to giggle when we pictured someone telling someone who just had a baby, "who cares it happens every day." Think I'd be looked at as a bad person if I said that to the next person I know that tells me they are pregnant?

  2. Thanks Robin - yeah could you imagine saying that to someone! It just doesn't feel right does it. But a good indication that while having a baby for the first time is common in the world, it's a total uncommon thing in that woman's world!
    Here's hoping we get to experience the wonderfulness of something so uncommon soon!



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