It seems that having a miscarriage has been a big topic on TV recently – both in reality TV and scripted TV. After watching a bunch of shows dealing with women experiencing miscarriages – I wanted to see who (reality TV or scripted TV) was doing a better job of portraying a miscarriage (based on my own and friends experiences with miscarriage.)
Scripted TV shows which recently talked about miscarriage: 2 examples would be Grey’s Anatomy (character: Meredith Grey) and General Hospital (character: Brenda Barret).
In both shows, the women each cried about the experience but in the days/weeks that passed, the miscarriage did not affect their everyday life or much of what they thought about or discussed. The dialogue and the feelings of the women on the shows did not represent what 99% of women who have had a miscarriage want to talk about or how they think. There was no mention about feeling alone, that their world was turned upside down or how afraid they might be about getting pregnant again (would they miscarry again?). These are thoughts that real women experiencing a miscarriage think about on a daily basis.
Reality TV shows which recently talked about miscarriage: 4 examples would be LXNewYork (Sara Gore), Real Housewives of New Jersey (reruns on NBC), Giuliana & Bill Rancic (reruns on Mystyle.com) and Lisa Ling on The View.
I was watching LXNewYork –NBC from 5-6pm – the day they had Giuliana & Bill Rancic on talking about their miscarriage experiences and all of a sudden –Sara Gore – the LXNY person started to get upset/tear up during the conversation & it turns out she tells everyone live that she had a miscarriage recently. Her face said it all – she was surprised at how much the topic got to her -a professional interviewer/news person – how brave of her. I don’t think she realized until that moment how much her own miscarriage affected her.
Real Housewives of NJ, Jacqueline Laurita, was talking about having her miscarriage and her thoughts about getting pregnant again. Would she be able to be excited and enjoy getting pregnant again or would the dark cloud of the miscarriage hover over the new pregnancy. The thought of not being able to fully enjoy her new pregnancy (if it did happen) made her very upset.
Giuliana & Bill Rancic (reruns on Mystyle.com) – The episodes I watched dealt with the couple going through IVF, finding out they were pregnant and then they miscarried at around 7 weeks. (This was the same amount of weeks that I miscarried over 10 years ago.) Giuliana wondered what she had done to cause the miscarriage. Even though your doctor usually tells you that miscarriages “just happen” and most times it was nothing that the woman did to cause it – I think as a woman you are always second guessing everything you did from the time you were told you were pregnant till the time you find out you miscarried.
Seeing Bill get upset for his wife and what she was going thru was a nice change from the usual stoic man response that is played out on TV. (At http://www.OurHopePlace.com there is a whole section on how men and woman grieve differently and also about how the man may be feeling. (http://www.ourhopeplace.com/PaulaLevyExpert.html))
The View & Lisa Ling – she talked about how she recently suffered a miscarriage and how surprised she was to feel all these emotions related to the experience. She share’s her story here on the View . In addition, she started a company: The Secret Society of Women.
Based on my research above I would have to say that Reality TV wins – for honestly and compassionately portraying miscarriage as the devastating experience that it is.
Do you agree with me????- let me know
Since 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage; that translates to almost 1 million per year in the US, I am always surprised when the miscarriage topic is touched on for “shock” value but then either downplayed or not discussed in the rest of the scripted TV show at all. This can leave a lot of woman wondering – “what is wrong with me” when in reality they are left with lots of feelings and thoughts that they do not see portrayed by their favorite TV character.
Our mission at OurHopePlace.com and OurHopePlace.wordpress.com is to change that… we want to demystify miscarriage. We want to help women and their families. Come visit, learn how to help, send a bracelet of hope… help heal, help give hope.