Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month is difficult. It’s sad. It’s awkward. It’s uncomfortable. It’s…complicated.
The truth of pregnancy and infant loss is so much more than what most choose to believe. It is shattered hearts. It is hopeless parents reaching out to be saved, grasping at anything to survive. However, this month is not only for the grieving Mother or Father. It is for the family and friends who will help breathe life back into the grieving parent.
Below are messages from bereaved parents. The hope is that after reading this, you will have a better understanding of how to help a loved one who has experienced pregnancy or infant loss. Some of these women have had a miscarriage, some have had multiple miscarriages. Some have gone through infertility. Others have carried their babies for nine months only to then birth and bury them. Some have spent days with their child in the NICU before saying their goodbyes. Here is a glimpse into their grief:
“I wish more people understood how devastating and lonely pregnancy loss can be. It’s something you don’t forget and you carry it with you every day. Not only does it take a toll on you emotionally but it’s also physically difficult.”
“While each of our pregnancies ended early, there have been so many in a short amount of time. It's been overwhelming and extremely difficult physically and mentally. I wish people could understand that even though they were early losses it does not necessarily make it any easier to move on.”
“For me, one of the triggers after loss is when people ask ‘so when is #2 coming ?!’ I know that’s a pretty normal thing to ask but all I can think is ‘if only they knew the struggle I’m going through.’ ”
“For some people, I think it was difficult to comprehend my sadness over the loss since it was so early on. This might be me projecting but I imagine them thinking the loss was insignificant. It brought my husband and I closer and it strengthened our resolve to grow our family.”
“Since losing my son I realized how little people know about stillbirth. That my son was born, held, kissed, and buried. That I delivered my son and went home with empty arms. My son is not a figment of my imagination. He was here and he changed my life.”
“Grief is not a single moment in time but a constant. It looks different each day but it is always there. Some days my grief feels like gratitude for the chance that I had to fight for his life with all that I had and other days grief feels all consuming. I am learning to live with my grief and understand my life around it.”
“I wish people understood that you could love someone so deeply and so much that you haven't even met and that I never stop thinking about my loss.”
“I know a lot of people who think that because they've seen us laugh and smile that we are over our loss. And this does something dark to my soul. We will never get over losing our son; we are learning to let joy live alongside our grief.”
Each of these women shared a feeling of isolation and loneliness. They all felt others viewed their loss as insignificant or thought that their pain would be finite.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month is uncomfortable. But it is far from insignificant. To this day, when people don’t acknowledge Noelle, or when they refer to me as being a Mother if three children rather than four, those are the moments my grief resurfaces. I need my loved ones to remember her because she is forever a part of me. No matter how uncomfortable it may be, please, talk about her.
Don’t leave your loved ones alone in the darkness… light a candle with them tomorrow, October 15, 2022 at 7pm for the Wave of Light- this is a global event where those who have been affected by pregnancy and infant loss honor their child and their journey. Remind them that although they grieve, they are not alone.
Where there is heartache, there is love. Where there is love, there is hope.
Please follow along on our Instagram tomorrow and the duration of this month to read more quotes and learn about how to help grieving parents.