Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan made a big announcement today: they’re expecting a baby girl! The happy parents-to-be also shared their very personal experience trying to conceive and revealed that Chan had three miscarriages before this pregnancy; they even waited a while before making their announcement to ensure that the riskiest period had passed. It’s an emotional admission that will probably make other women who have suffered miscarriages feel like they’re not alone in their conflicted feelings:
You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you — as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own.
In today’s open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn’t distance us; it brings us together. It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope.
When we started talking to our friends, we realized how frequently this happened — that many people we knew had similar issues and that nearly all had healthy children after all.
We hope that sharing our experience will give more people the same hope we felt and will help more people feel comfortable sharing their stories as well.
No matter what you might think of Zuckerberg, this is not just sweet news to read, but it really does take a considerable amount of bravery to discuss such personal issues with a huge audience. Of course, this was posted on Facebook, so it’s not too surprising, but still. Reading Zuckerberg and Chan’s words probably made at least one woman feel a lot better.