This week’s topic is going to be a hard one. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month in the United States. This refers to any loss of a baby at any stage of development either in utero or after birth and beyond.
One in four women has experienced pregnancy or infant loss. According to the CDC 15-20% of pregnancies in the United States ends in miscarriage or still birth. I am one in four. I hope that by getting my story out there it will help someone else. After having my first two children we knew our family wasn’t done yet so we tried for another baby. And even though the first two were easy to come by, when trying for a third baby I experienced secondary infertility. I experienced an early miscarriage at least once (though I suspected twice). It was so early that I only knew I was pregnant because I had taken a pregnancy test and gotten a positive. I often felt very guilty that I felt so sad because surely other women have had it worse when they have lost a baby further along in the pregnancy. But I did feel pain and sadness and anger. Luckily I had a very supportive doctor who helped me understand that a loss is a loss. I will be forever grateful to her for the time she spent with me comforting me and crying with me and helping me to heal.
I want this blog post to offer support and comfort to those who have experienced loss. I want you to know your feelings are valid. You may feel a lot of different things at different times or at the same time, and that’s okay. You may grieve differently by yourself than with your partner or your other family members. Each person and each family experiences loss differently. There are many ways to grieve but it’s important to feel that grief in order to eventually find healing. Suppressing grief may be easier for now but it’s harmful to your mental health in the long run. Take your time and feel things in your own way.
Here are some tips I found online from a licensed psychotherapist that I believe would be helpful to one who has experienced pregnancy or infant loss:
Any type of loss is difficult but the loss of a baby can be especially painful. You lose the hope of the future your family might have had. There’s now a hole in your life where the baby existed. Depending on the stage of development you may be constantly reminded of your loss and the pain will resurface. You may even feel resentment towards other parents who still have their own children living. That is normal and it’s important that you face those feelings so that you can find healing of your own pain. Seek help from a therapist if you need help to find that healing. Even if it’s not a therapist, talking with someone else about your raw emotions can be cathartic. Even just writing this post I had some feelings resurface but I feel like I acknowledged some of my feelings that I had struggled with in the past and that by writing it has helped me to heal just a little bit more.
As much as it hurts now, it will get better with time.
Healing doesn’t mean forgetting. You will never forget, but you will heal.
I would like to take this little bit of time at the end now to let you know about the “Wave of Light” that is a time for people around the world to remember their children that have passed. It takes place annually on October 15th (two weeks from now) at 7pm local time. It is called the Wave of Light because everyone is invited to light a candle on behalf of the baby you lost and to let that candle burn for one hour as you remember and grieve and heal. Please share this post so that we can all participate in this Wave of Light as we support each other in our grief and healing.
This blog will feature new parent advice, what to expect when working with my business, as well as an ongoing series about safety when interacting with newborns
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