[I wrote this in a fit of anger last night and then didn’t want to post it today, after I calmed down & reassessed my feelings. BUT I think transparency and honesty are super important, especially in this journey, so I’m going to share anyhow. Grief is real and raw, and it’s not always rainbows & sunshine & inspirational Bible quotes. Sometimes its anger at the people who expect you to be okay.]
Yesterday, the World Health Organization put out an amazing article on pregnancy & infant loss, what we can do about it, and – just as importantly – why we should talk about it. This isn’t meant to shame anybody who prefers to deal with their losses privately – whether to share or not is a private decision and I respect all bereaved parents regardless of whether they tell their story or not. But I want to talk about my sons, I want to share their stories, I want to honor their memories.
Regardless of when or how you lose a baby, whether at 8 weeks pregnant or when your child is 6 months old, people expect you to just “be okay” after a while. They turn away at the mention of your loss and express discomfort if you keep bringing up your child weeks, months, or years after their passing. People tell you that you mention “it” too much, like the death of your children is some dirty secret to be hidden away. Guess what? It makes me uncomfortable that my children died, too. I’m the lady with two dead sons, two pregnancy losses, two little ones in Heaven. Yup, thats me.
But I’m not going to stop talking about Noah and Omie, not today, not tomorrow, not ten years from now when I (hopefully) have a household of children. In no other loss do we expect people to pretend like their loved ones didn’t exist. I can mention my Maga without anybody batting an eye. Why are my sons any different? Just because they didn’t get to live here on Earth with us doesn’t mean that their lives are meaningless or without value.
I will not allow societal stigma to shame me into silence, I will not allow false narratives to make me feel blame or guilt for their deaths, and I sure as hell won’t let anybody tell me that it’s time to “get over it.” I won’t feel bothered by sharing too much or loving them too often. Healthcare professionals, friends, family, and anybody else in the support network need to get comfortable with talking about pregnancy & infant loss, supporting parents experiencing loss, and understanding that (1) this shit sucks but (2) it happens to so, so many parents and they all deserve compassion and support. So, let’s talk about losing a baby.