Miscarriage remains largely invisible. Despite the fact up to one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage it is, most often, experienced privately.
So the physical and emotional pain of losing a baby is hidden and shrouded in silence.
You can easily look at a group of mothers and have no inkling that they are suffering or that they have suffered.
You can’t see the scar it leaves. You can’t see that the number of children in a woman’s family can bear no resemblance to the number of times she has been pregnant.
For women of child-bearing age miscarriage is impossible to avoid. If she doesn’t experience it herself, chances are her sister, her friend, her colleague will. They all might.
And the invisibility is a double-edged sword: the privacy it allows might be welcome but the isolation it engenders isn’t.
The loss, the despair, the sadness of a miscarriage is often revealed after the fact by the 103,000 families impacted by miscarriage each year.
Which is, perhaps, why there is something utterly heartbreaking about learning that a woman is experiencing it right now.
Over the weekend, comedian and radio host Em Rusciano revealed she had lost a baby boy just before 13 weeks.
In a raw and grief-stricken post she spoke of the exquisite pain she can’t fathom because of the loss.
As the host of a high profile radio show she can’t readily take a break without any explanation, which is why she revealed the reason she will be off air for a while.
Rusciano can’t pretend she’s not grieving and she doesn’t want to. Her team and employer have given her their blessing for her to take a break, and so she is.
It is a fate you wouldn’t wish upon anyone and yet it’s a fate hundreds and thousands of Australians are intimately familiar with.
Lots of men and women don’t have to try and imagine Rusciano’s grief right now: they know it themselves. Far too well.
Some will, undoubtedly, be navigating it right now, and they may take solace in knowing they are not alone.
In every instance miscarriage is devastating. There is no blessing to losing a baby. Ever.
And the fact it is hidden from view and not openly discussed doesn’t help.
Perhaps Em’s public acknowledgment and her work’s acceptance of the devastation of miscarriage will help lift the taboo of this turmoil. Perhaps it will help the men and women who are suffering now to know they are not alone. That their pain and grief is real and it’s seen.
For Em and everyone else mired in the heartache of miscarriage, I’m sorry for your loss.
If you are affected by the loss of a baby, SANDS Australia offers support through local support groups and a 24/7 phone line on 1300 072 367.