‘You have the right to feel sad and to grieve a loss, no matter the stage of pregnancy’: Pippa O’Connor Ormond and Síle Seoige open up about pregnancy after miscarriage
The two women shared their experience of being pregnant after pregnancy loss, stressing how important it is to have self-compassion and community during this time.
Beauty entrepreneur Pippa O’Connor Ormond and TV presenter Síle Seoige recently opened up about their heartbreaking miscarriages, sparking a much larger conversation on pregnancy loss awareness and the additional support womens’ health supports.
Pippa recently shared her story publicly for the first time, hoping that other women who’ve experienced this trauma will know that they are not alone. Taking to Instagram, she shared the news that she is expecting along with a photo of her bump. And while she’s thrilled to welcome her third child with her husband Brian Ormond, she revealed that this pregnancy comes after a experiencing a miscarriage.
“We’re just on cloud nine, Brian and I are so thrilled. We love babies and we always knew we wanted another baby. […] I didn’t want to be always wishing for another, but we always said if it happened, amazing. When it didn’t happen for so long after Louis we thought, that’s okay, we’re fine with that. We’re more than happy with what we have,” she said.
“And then last summer I got pregnant, which was the biggest shock. I literally could not believe it. And then unfortunately I had a miscarriage in October. I went for my second scan, and there was no heartbeat. I know so many people have been there, and I know there’s a lot of people watching this who have just gone through this today or last week and we all know how common it is, unfortunately.”
Know that you are not alone
“I still think it’s unsaid and to be honest, I don’t even know when or if I’d have said it if I wasn’t lucky enough to be pregnant again,” Pippa said. “I suppose we don’t want to show vulnerability and I personally don’t want to feel sad. But I know how I thought at the time and how I wanted to hear someone else say ‘that happened to me’. You know you want to be able to relate to someone.”
Pippa went on to say that she is “so conscious of not wanting to upset people”, but just wanted to share her story to let those who have experienced this trauma know that they are not alone. “It made me feel better when I came across people online or people in my own life that said, ‘I know that’s shit and I’m really sorry’. You want to hear someone say, ‘I’m sorry and I know how it feels’.”
TV personality Síle Seoige also revealed her own pregnancy on her Instagram with this supportive intent in mind. She recently posted an IGTV, sharing her own experience with miscarriage and news of her rainbow baby on the way. It comes just a few months after her documentary on TG4, in which she spoke about her two miscarriages.
“I just wanted to share some personal news but I am very conscious of how I say it,” she said. “Anybody who’s been following me here for the past while will be aware that the past two years, on a personal level, have been challenging because I’ve gone through two miscarriages. It was tough.
“My news is that I’m pregnant. I am 16 weeks. I am so happy and I know I’m so lucky but it hasn’t been an easy road. I am obviously feeling overjoyed even if I’m not looking it right now. Maybe doing an Instagram Live wasn’t such a great idea. I didn’t expect to be this emotional.”
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“My emotions are heightened to an unbelievable degree. I feel the sense of responsibility to set a good example for her which means I have to do a lot of work on myself continually, as we all do. I was very scared, I had to manage my fears and really work hard at it. It wasn’t easy. Because when you’ve been through loss, there’s a part of your brain that wonders will it happen again.
Like Pippa, Síle wanted to share her story of loss to help women feel less isolated. “I’m feeling this way because I know it can be so hard to hear news like this and at the moment it seems like there’s a lot of baby news on Instagram which is beautiful and wonderful and gorgeous,” Síle continued.
“But I also know what it’s like when it’s something you really want yourself. It’s important to exercise self-compassion and show kindness to yourself. […] Be aware of what you are surrounding yourself with too. It’s okay to mute someone [on social media]; mute my account if it’s difficult to watch. Do whatever is right for you.”
Stigma surrounding pregnancy loss
Sadly, miscarriages are very common, especially in the earlier stages of pregnancy. According to the HSE, at least one in five women experience a miscarriage before 24 weeks. If a pregnancy loss happens after that time, it is called a stillbirth and there are approximately 300 deaths by stillbirth every year in Ireland.
“I can only imagine what it feels like to go through that multiple times because I know unfortunately that so many women face this on multiple occasions,” said Pippa. “It’s so unfair. It’s heartbreaking.”
“It definitely is being spoken about a little bit more, which is really healthy and comforting to see, but I think it definitely is still a stigma. The day I was told that when I went in for the scan, my first reaction was, ‘okay, that’s fine’. I just leapt up out of the bed and I just wanted to get out of there. I did not want any comfort, I was nearly embarrassed, which sounds so silly but that’s how I reacted anyway.”
The former model went on to remind us that it is okay to take time to grieve and be said, to prioritise what you need most right now.
“When I was in Holles Street, this lovely nurse said to me, ‘Pippa, it doesn’t matter if you have six babies at home or none. A loss is a loss and it’s okay to feel sad.’ That sentence really stuck with me and helped me. […] You have the right to feel sad and to grieve a loss, no matter what stage of pregnancy that you’re at.”
Both women hope their stories can comfort those who have experienced such loss and know that there is a community of women who understand what they are going through. Most importantly, it’s okay to not be okay.
“I hope that it can give a little bit of comfort to anyone sad or struggling at the moment. Thank you again for all the love yesterday. It was niggling in my mind, it was important for me to just talk about what we had been through because it just didn’t feel right for me to not say anything,” Pippa said.
“It’s important to know that there is common humanity,” Síle added. “What you’re going through, whether you’re trying to have a baby and it hasn’t happened yet or having gone through miscarriage and pain, you’re not alone in this.”