My friends all know that Broadway queen and actress, Laura Benanti is my hero. Laura Benanti has helped me truly accept myself for who I am. She helped me realize that no one judges me… A constant thought of mine that fueled most of my anxiety, especially when I was in college. I will always remember what she told me, “No one is ever really judging. They are thinking about themselves.” I needed this during a time where I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin, I was extremely shy, and my anxiety controlled my life. I believed that everyone around me could see right through my facade, and they judged me for the way I was. Because of Laura, I was able to accept myself, my personality, and my struggles with anxiety. She helped me, and I will be forever grateful. But, this article isn’t about me. This article is about Laura, this article is about women. Laura Benanti opened up about her miscarriage, and she’s helping other women do the same. It’s time to shatter a taboo and break the silence. Women can and should talk about their miscarriages.
Recently, Laura Benanti wrote a touching, eloquent, personal essay for the Huffington Post. In it she shared that about a month ago, Benanti and her fiancé, Patrick Brown, found out they were expecting a child. Benanti describes the joy and excitement she and her fiancé felt upon hearing the news of their pregnancy. Benanti and Brown saw the baby’s heartbeat when she was a little over seven weeks. But, after that appointment Benanti began experiencing symptoms, cramping and bleeding. After eighteen hours, Benanti and Brown returned to the doctor. They had suffered a miscarriage. Not only did Benanti experience the physical pain of losing a child, but she experienced the emotional pain of losing a child in a society, in a culture, where miscarriages are considered taboo.
How many women have experienced miscarriages in their lifetime? No one can answer this question because no woman talks about her miscarriage. Instead, women hide their experiences and suffer, alone, in silence, ashamed of what happened. Benanti calls miscarriages the “Voldemort of women’s health issues.” It cannot be named. It cannot be discussed. However, instead of hiding, instead of staying silent, Benanti decided to come forward. She shared her experience and she encourages other women to do the same. For Benanti, a miscarriage shouldn’t be considered taboo. For Benanti, a miscarriage shouldn’t be a silent health issue. There shouldn’t be shame associated with a miscarriage. Women should talk about their experiences. Conversations need to start and never stop.
Since her essay was published, Benanti has recieved support, and kind, loving words from everyone. Women are sharing their experiences with Benanti, and other women who have experienced miscarriages. Women are vocal. Women are no longer hiding. Women are no longer silent. Women are no longer ashamed of their experiences. Voices are being raised. Sentences begin with “I’ve never talked about this until now…” Conversations are occurring everywhere. Benanti began a dialogue of “I’m here for you,” “I love you,” “Let’s talk,” and now it is up to us to continue the conversation. Reach out to someone you know, listen to their experience, talk, shatter the taboo, and break the silence.