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.
- Your loss is individual, and there is no clear road-map as to how your grief will be expressed and experienced.
- Many parents take pictures of their child who was born still, hold them, rock them, and talk to them. It’s natural to need to say goodbye.
- Allow yourself to grieve and mourn the life that could have been. There is no time-line as to when your grief will ease.
- It’s okay to talk about your child to others. Your son’s or daughter’s life may have been cut short, but it still mattered and it was still real.
- You may feel alone in this, but know that pregnancy loss is something that many, many women experience. Sadly, few people talk about it.
- It’s okay to reach out to others for support. It’s okay to not know what you need, or to need different …