On Tuesday, Glamour published an essay by The Big Bang Theory star Melissa Rauch, in which the 37-year-old announced she is expecting her first child with her husband, Winston, and revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage in the past.
Here is the only statement regarding my pregnancy that doesn’t make me feel like a complete fraud: “Melissa is expecting her first child. She is extremely overjoyed, but if she’s being honest, due to the fact that she had a miscarriage the last time she was pregnant, she’s pretty much terrified at the moment that it will happen again. She feels weird even announcing this at all, and would rather wait until her child heads off to college to tell anyone, but she figures she should probably share this news before someone sees her waddling around with her mid-section protruding and announces it first.”
In a section titled “Grief, Guilt, Hormones, and Hardcore Sobbing to HGTV,” Rauch, who has played Bernadette on Big Bang since 2009, wrote about struggling to come to terms with her loss, and not only the sorrow she felt, but also the pressure she put on herself to get through that sorrow. She also shared her hatred of the term miscarriage, which she calls one of the most “blame-inducing medical terms ever”.
To me, it immediately conjures up an implication that it was the woman’s fault, like she somehow “mishandled the carrying of this baby.”
Rauch’s experience also led her to reconsider the way she spoke to other women about pregnancy, children, and fertility, and how inquiring about a woman’s reproductive future puts a kind of pressure on her we never put on men.
So, before any of us ask a woman about popping out a baby, let’s think to ourselves: We don’t know what she’s going through, what her body is capable of, or what she personally desires.
Even though miscarriage “is estimated to occur in anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of recognized pregnancies” and can lead in some cases to a sort of postpartum depression, Rauch points out that many women still don’t have the information necessary to get the help they need.
“So, to all the women out there who are dealing with fertility issues, have gone through a miscarriage or are going through the pain of it currently, allow me to leave you with this message,” she concluded. “You are not alone. And, it is perfectly OK to not be OK right now.”