A miscarriage is absolutely heartbreaking, and if you ask just about any woman who has had one, she wouldn't wish the experience on her worst enemy.
Having had one myself, I was absolutely sickened by reports today that the celebrity couple Geoffrey Edelsten and Gabi Grecko had faked a pregnancy and miscarriage earlier this year for self-serving publicity.
Edelsten and Grecko were married in June this year in a Melbourne registry office; four days later, Grecko posted a photo of a positive pregnancy test to her Instagram account claiming she and Edelsten were expecting. At the time there was controversy around whether the image was fake, with some sleuths on the Internet revealing the photo had been taken from a website about positive pregnancy tests.
A week later, Grecko was hospitalised, claiming she had fallen down the stairs after taking pain medication for endometriosis. She shared selfies of herself bruised and in a hospital bed on Instagram, and denied she had created drama for a stunt.
Then, after a few days, Grecko claimed she had miscarried, posting a photo of a baby with wings and asking her followers to "pray for what has been lost".
Now Edelsten is claiming that what many suspected at the time was true: the pregnancy and miscarriage were faked for publicity. Grecko, for her part, is denying this. It now boils down to a classic case of "he said, she said" in their bitter public split.
If what Edelsten alleges is true, this is an insult to every woman who has ever suffered the trauma – both physical and emotional – of a miscarriage. Every woman who has grieved the loss of a much-wanted life, a much-wanted addition to her family, knows that miscarriage is no joke.
News Corp reports that Edelsten said he "went along with" the fake pregnancy and miscarriage to keep Grecko happy. If this is true, Geoffrey Edelsten is a disgrace and should be deeply ashamed of himself. He should have known better, and not just because he's 72 years old.
Long ago, before Edelsten was the flamboyant, withered old cadaver with the colourful clothing, unconvincing dye job and the living punchline to jokes about gold-diggers that he is today, he was a GP. Twice he even owned chains of medical clinics.
Sure, his track record is shonky – he was deregistered in the 1980s and jailed for soliciting a hit on a former patient. But back in his days as a GP he would have seen first-hand what a woman experiencing an actual miscarriage is going through. He would have seen the anguish and grief, perhaps even refering some on for counselling. And yet he says he was able to go along with a stunt like this.
I'm glad he's no longer a registered doctor.
As for Grecko ... well, I don't know how to feel about her exactly. If what Edelsten is alleging is true, is she a narcissist driven to achieve fame and attention at all costs, no matter who she hurts?
It's true she's done a lot of bizarre things for publicity: walking naked through the streets of Melbourne then putting the video on the internet, and the very public marriage proposal while wearing some sort of deer antler hat at the Melbourne Cup.
It is abhorrent to think that anyone would do this just to get their name in the papers. It's abhorrent to think anyone would do it at all, for any reason.
Or perhaps she really is a troubled young woman with serious mental health issues. In which case, again, the former doctor Edelsten should have known better than to indulge any of her publicity stunts. Especially this one. If someone is fragile and vulnerable, unrelenting media attention is not going to do them any favours. And if she is troubled, what a disgusting human being Edelsten is for hanging her out to dry like this.
There is some irony that Edelsten has made these claims in October, which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. This month women who have lost a baby to miscarriage or stillbirth pause to reflect on their loss. Their real loss. Not a sick, twisted, manufactured loss for Instagram likes. We hope Grecko and Edelsten never have to experience the real thing.
Caroline Duncan is a freelance writer. You can follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/whatsthestoryAU .