Pregnancy. It’s a time when parents dream of the child they will someday meet, when they look through baby books for names, decide on nursery decor, and imagine what life will be like when their child arrives.
When these dreams and hopes are cut short by miscarriage, still birth, or the loss of life hours or days after birth, the pain is unmeasurable.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
The statistics on pregnancies that end in miscarriage or neonatal deaths (less than 28 days old) are staggering. One in four women has experienced this kind of loss. And yet there continues to be a shroud of secrecy about it.
Some women feel ashamed of their grief and keep it to themselves. Others believe that something is wrong with them because months or even years after the miscarriage or loss they have to hold back tears when their friends celebrate a new birth, a coworker announces her pregnancy, or they’re invited to a baby shower.
If you have experienced the loss of a child in pregnancy or after birth, whatever you are experiencing is okay. Each person, each family, experiences loss differently. There is no one ‘normal’ or right way to grieve a baby who is gone too soon.
Loss of any kind is hard, but the loss of a child in pregnancy or after birth is especially so. The death of an infant is the death of the future you imagined. In many ways, you are forced to reinvent what you had thought your life would be. You’ll be reminded constantly of what you don’t have. You’ll be angry when parents complain of midnight feedings and cranky toddlers because it reminds you of your empty arms and that you would give anything to have a baby to feed and comfort.
As much as it hurts, it will get better. And healing doesn’t mean forgetting. You will never forget, but you will heal.
There are many good resources on the internet. Here are just a few of them:
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From Psych Central's website:
Pregnancy and Infant Loss: The Pain of a Life Cut Short – PsychCentral.com (blog) | Pregnancy Spotting :: Pregnancy Products, Ideas and Tips (October 3, 2012)
Pregnancy and Infant Loss: The Pain of a Life Cut Short (October 3, 2012)
Lastest Pregnancy Month By Month News (October 3, 2012)
Last reviewed: 3 Oct 2012