ANN ARBOR – After suffering a miscarriage on Sept. 29, Rubina Tahir began the seemingly impossible process that countless women have faced: coming to terms with pregnancy loss.
When she began presenting symptoms at 9 weeks, she called triage at Michigan Medicine’s Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital.
“They didn’t want me to come into U-M hospital because of COVID,” said Tahir. “They are encouraging women to stay at home and go through the process naturally. It was hard.”
She went about her days telling others she was fine, but said one day she decided to share her story.
She posted on the Ann Arbor Area Mamas Network - a nearly 9,000-member private Facebook group where local moms regularly seek advice in a safe and nonjudgmental space. Posts about sleep training, safe activity recommendations, struggles in homeschooling and everything in between flood the feed daily. Many members post anonymously through admins if the nature of their question is particularly sensitive.
In Tahir’s case, she posted as herself, simply looking for advice and words of support from other women who have suffered pregnancy loss.
“The comments and private messages just started coming in,” said Tahir. "I just kept re-reading them and I shifted from this dark place to an acceptance of a reality that other people have gone through. It really helped me map out what was going to happen. I didn’t want to live a lie I didn’t want to lie about it.”
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Tahir said she searched the group for past posts about miscarriage and was surprised to see that there were only a few. Miscarriage is often a topic that simply isn’t talked about, and she hopes to change that.
“It’s something I believe we need to desensitize,” said Tahir. “We need to make it normal and we need to understand that women need to talk about this.”
Her post received nearly 200 comments and she received 15 private messages soon after. She said many women thanked her for coming forward and sharing what they hadn’t been able to.
“What surprised me was it’s so common,” she said. “At Briarwood, they just recently changed their statistic to be one in three instead of one in four. It’s so common, but why aren’t we talking about it?”
A board certified chiropractor, Tahir is also the co-founder of The Positivity Charge, a community centered around women’s wellness and empowerment. A self-care advocate, she believes that support groups on social media are more important than ever as families continue to isolate themselves due to the ongoing health crisis.
“These support groups can provide us with valuable information from women who have gone through it," said Tahir. "Part of every woman’s plan in life should be to connect or be in a group of some sort. Whether you’re posting regularly or not, there’s benefit of seeing the messages that women write to see the journey that we all go through.”