TV Series 'Nashville' Schools The Public On Miscarriage

 

Last week’s 'Nashville' episode was a tough one.  For the record, not very long ago they killed off the main character and now this - they’re in serious competition with 'This Is Us' and 'Grey’s Anatomy' for the show that makes you sob the hardest.

'Nashville’s' season 5, episode 19 depicts the trauma of a miscarriage through the character Scarlett, played by the beautiful Clare Bowen.  It was very difficult and an emotional trigger to say the least, so I caution you to be prepared if you want to watch.  However, I’m proud of Nashville for getting so raw and speaking out about this topic.  

Scarlett goes to the hospital after bleeding and pain at home, where the doctor informs her the baby’s heart has stopped beating.  The doctor explains - and it cannot be said enough - that the loss of the baby was “NOT BECAUSE OF ANYTHING SHE DID OR DIDN’T DO.” That the majority of the time pregnancy loss is caused by “a chromosomal problem.”

They then show her in labor pains which is gut wrenching.  But it’s when she finally returns home, tells her boyfriend she needs to be alone, slumps to the floor and lets out an all too realistic wail that my heart shattered into a million pieces.  That pain is so real and accessible, no matter how much time goes by.

Where the show goes next gives me hope because of the messaging and the example they set. Character Jessie Caine, played by Kaitlin Doubleday,  learns of Scarlett’s loss through her uncle, and delivers a care package to her door (including red raspberry leaf tea*).  Scarlett hears her and catches her before she tries to anonymously slip away.  Jessie reveals she’s experienced two miscarriages of her own and did not want Scarlett to feel alone.  They sit together and Jessie shares some advice.  Jessie shares that her Mom told her to “take the love she felt for her baby boy and turn it into herself” and that she “needed to forgive herself before she could start grieving.”  She also tells Scarlett, “There’s no reason for you to think that you’re not going to become a Mom.”  Through my own sobs I think, “Yes, Nashville, yes. Thank you.”

I can see the bonding and support happening as eventually Jessie gets Scarlett to laugh over the WebMD medical term “incompetent cervix.”  Which is, as they point out, a ridiculous and offensive diagnosis!  

At the end, Scarlett needs to say a speech at a benefit for a local women’s health clinic.  She reveals to the crowd that she recently had a miscarriage and says, “I had imagined a future for my daughter that was absolutely limitless, and the only way we can get there is strip away the secrecy and the shame, because that is what makes us stronger.”  

The important take aways here are:

  • We are more powerful in numbers.  If you know a friend is hurting, do not be afraid to reach out, even if you do not know what to say.

  • Pregnancy loss is more common than we know and is nothing to feel ashamed about.

  • If you have experienced a loss:

    • It is not your fault.  Be gentle with yourself.

    • Loneliness after a loss is part of grief. Support is not only helpful, but important for moving forward.

    • Identify your support system.

    • Allow yourself to grieve your loss.  It’s also important for moving forward.

    • Forgive. Forgive life. Forgive science. Forgive yourself.

    • You are not alone.

    • Love yourself.

How did this episode of 'Nashville' affect you?  Leave a message in the comments section below!

*Additional Resources:

Raspberry Leaf Tea - https://www.yogiproducts.com/teas/womans-teas/womans-raspberry-leaf-tea/

Raspberry Leaf Tea is packed with nutrients and antioxidants that ease cramping and nausea, but its unique blend is most beneficial to the female reproductive system.  It strengthens the uterus and pelvic muscles, helps with menstruation and has been found to be helpful with conception. It is also beneficial to drink during pregnancy to help with a faster and easier labor.  I will point out there are conflicting reports on whether it is safe to drink during the first trimester so if you choose to drink it and are trying to conceive, consider talking to your doctor or simply stopping after ovulation.