Pregnancy can be a time of great longing and joy. Enduring nine months of discomfort, extra vitamins, having to fit into new clothes, putting off that glass of wine, and many other sacrifices is all done to bring a healthy new life into the world.
But when the planning, preparing and sacrifice ends in a stillborn child or miscarriage – or even losing a baby to SIDS or other cause – all that joy can turn into deep sadness and loss. Sadness that can turn into long-term depression, despair and anger.
For those who have experienced this, it can be a lonely journey. You lost something – someone – nobody ever got to see, hold or love like you did. People, even well-meaning and loving family and friends, may come across as callous and hurtful in their attempts to help.
You try to put on a smile and fake your way through the pain. Your suffering can be silent and behind closed doors. Some women never even tell their spouse or significant other about the pain they are going through.
October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month. In 1988 President Ronald Reagan declared the month of October as a time to bring awareness and support to those grieving the loss of a child or unexpected end to a pregnancy. Nobody experiencing a significant loss like this should have to do it alone and should know what resources are available.
If you know of someone who lost a child – whether last week, last month, or last year – check in on them. You may just be the listening ear they need to get through a tough time. And be aware of the resources available for grieving families. Powerful resources are available from the Star Legacy Foundation which is focused on healthy pregnancies and preventing stillbirth. (starlegacyfoundation.org/resources)
And if you or someone you know is currently pregnant, do everything you can to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Doing the basics like seeing a healthcare professional throughout your pregnancy, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking or drinking can significantly improve your chances of having a healthy birth.
If you’d like to talk to someone about your situation, or even have questions about a friend, we’re here to help. And don’t forget we now offer Teletherapy so we can meet via the internet. Just reach out to us to schedule an appointment. Feel free to leave us a written message on the contact page or call us at 234-466-6274.