Laura Byrne talked about suffering her second miscarriage with Matty J on Tuesday's episode of Life Uncut, her podcast with fellow Bachelor alumni Brittany Hockley.
In the episode, she talked about both her first miscarriage, before the birth of her first child, Marlie-Mae, in June 2019, and her more recent experience, just two months ago.
"I feel there's still this stigma," Laura explained, describing her first experience. "I felt so incredibly alone. I didn't feel that there was a community of people who I could go to. I felt a lot of guilt, and I felt that there must be something wrong with me."
She said that it felt "raw and very bizarre" to speak about the recent miscarriage. "I feel very very passionately that miscarriage is a conversation that needs to be had in an open forum.
"It is painful and it is lonely, and it doesn't need to be quite so lonely," she continued, adding that hopefully speaking openly about this subject means she can help people feel more supported. "The lack of conversation around this topic is really what creates this oppressive silence, and that silence really adds to the feeling of 'What's wrong with me?'"
Speaking about her recent experience, Laura said that she and Matty J had gotten "really excited" about falling pregnant. "A week later, I felt different and I knew something was wrong and I knew it was happening again. I never thought I would be someone who would have one miscarriage, let alone did I think I would be someone who would have two miscarriages.
"It's been really important to talk about miscarriage because it's been an inextricable part of my pregnancy journey. I do also think it does a disservice to just be like, 'Hey, I've got a beautiful healthy baby!' because maybe there's another woman out there who's struggling to have children, and you see pregnancy announcement after pregnancy announcement on Instagram, and it seems like everybody has it so easy. So I think it's really important to talk about the dark side and the difficult side because they go hand in hand."
Laura described telling Matty J she was pregnant while they were sharing a pepperoni pizza at home. Pregnancy plays havoc on your tastebuds, and she complained that the pizza tasted like soap. Matty J countered that the pizza tasted fine. "I'm pregnant, so it tastes like soap, OK!
Revealing their pregnancy in that way, Laura was, in her words, "being defensive because I was so, in my mind, so fearful of the thought that maybe I was gonna have another miscarriage". "So I was like, if I can't be excited about it, no one's gonna be excited about it."
It's something she's struggled with since her first miscarriage, saying she didn't allow herself to be fully excited about the birth of Marlie-Mae until she was six months pregnant. "I guess this time, it's taken the shine off it. It's taken the shine off pregnancy, it's taken the excitement off pregnancy, and that's sad."
In the episode, Laura stressed that women's experiences of miscarriage vary. She talked about knowing that something was wrong because she felt a lingering sharp pain in her left side, severe cramps in her lower back, and experienced spotting. "Over the course of the next 24 hours, the pain increased and the bleeding increased and it increased to a point where I was like, 'It's undeniable what's happening.'"
The difference between the two miscarriages was being prepared this time for the physical side of the miscarriage — a pain akin to contractions and bleeding for a number of weeks, she said.
"The more that people talk about it, the more that we normalise it, the more conversation that there is, then the less stigma that's attached to it," Laura concluded. "There is this real therapeutic healing that comes from having a conversation about something and talking through an experience and seeing other people and meeting other people who have had that same loss, because it makes you realise, 'Oh, there's nothing wrong with me. That's happened to them as well.'"
If you have experienced pregnancy loss and feel that you need help, you can access 24-hour support from Sands on 1300 072 637.