Miscarriage and Baby Loss w/ Himmat Co

Miscarriage and Baby Loss w/ Himmat Co
In February 2022, Taraki’s Punjabi Women’s Forum was joined by guest facilitator, Sarina Dosanjh, for a discussion on miscarriage and baby-loss.

Since this forum, Sarina, has gone on to set up the Himmat Collective, working with Punjabi communities to reshape approaches to fertility. A year after our forum with Sarina, she returned to speak about her journey with IVF, as well her journey with Himmat Co. Discussion included the stigma surrounding fertility and IVF in the Punjabi community, support available and the importance of raising awareness of this topic.

Since experiencing two miscarriages, Sarina and her husband, Vik, have been on a journey of both reshaping the conversation around fertility in our community and redefining their own journey.

From a young age, we are programmed to believe that our body has particular capabilities, and being able to conceive a child naturally is one of them. Many of our key life decisions are dictated by this belief in particular, whether or not you are planning to have a family. Sarina shared that this led to a lot of self-blame and internal shaming following her miscarriages. This feeling of ‘failure’ can be prevalent during the infertility journey, made worse by the secrecy and idea of ‘bad luck’ that surrounds the topic.

Forum attendees opened up about their experiences of miscarriage, baby loss and infertility, with one sharing that they were struggling to maintain hope. Sarina shared her own challenges, from jealousy and resentment, to joy and excitement, and back to sadness. She described the fertility journey as a rollercoaster that goes on and on.

Upon finding out that IVF was her only option of conceiving, Sarina realised that this was a new loss that she had to process in order to move forward. Her fertility journey required her to shift her perspective on the situation, so it was important that she allowed herself to grieve, not just for her miscarriages, but also her pregnancy journey.

In a full circle moment, Sarina quipped that stigma can delay the grieving process.

If we don’t grieve, we are unable to move on.

Working on Himmat Co has been a source of strength for Sarina, as she has been able to use her experiences to help others, change the narrative and provide ‘safe spaces’ on a monthly basis. Earlier in February, Sarina and Vik held their first in-person session in Birmingham, with more to come.

If you are currently undergoing or considering IVF, support available includes:

  • Check in calls with a counsellor if you choose to pursue private treatment
  • Online fertility support groups such as the Himmat Collective; South Asian Fertility Group; and Community of Cultures.

If you know someone that is going through IVF, you can support them by:

  • Asking them about their experience
  • Don’t downplay their treatment
  • Take note of important dates and check in when you can

Sarina encourages people pursuing IVF to do ample research on the various clinics and support available, as this is crucial to ensuring you have the best possible experience during this time.

Awareness of this topic is crucial in breaking stigmas, educating ourselves and generations to come, as well as improve our understanding and empathising with those currently going through this.

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