Last month was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and ARC Fertility wants to highlight the importance of recognizing the women and families that have experienced loss on their TTC journeys.
Losing a child at any point of gestation or age is arguably the most difficult thing any person can go through. It’s not the norm to outlive your children. It’s the kind of pain where nothing anybody says will ease the heartbreak. You are left mourning a piece of you that is no longer physically here with you; you’re mourning the hopes and dreams you had of watching your child grow up and live a life of their own. A child’s life is beautiful and innocent and the loss of a pregnancy or child is devastating, but unfortunately it happens every day and we must not turn our heads the other way because it’s too awful to think about. Instead, we need to open our hearts and arms to those who have had to live through losing a child. October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month and I encourage you to reach out a loving hand if you know somebody close to you who has lost a pregnancy or infant.
Going through a loss is something that will never fully leave you. Many put in hard work to work through the trauma and have learned to cope and live a happy and fulfilling life after their loss, but it doesn’t mean that their minds don’t often wander to the child that should be by their side. People deal with their losses differently – some find talking openly about it helps and some find the topic just too painful to discuss. I do think there is a consistent thread that connects all who have endured a loss: the feeling of loneliness. Simply reaching out to the person or people in your life who have had a loss will make an impact. You may not know where they are in their journey and how it may be best to approach the subject but just a text, phone call, or a visit can really go a long way. You don’t even need to tell them why you are reaching out if you think they will be too upset by the subject; the point is to give them a moment where they are reassured that they are loved and supported in their life.
If your loved one is the kind of person who is okay with talking openly about their loss, then let them know that you have been thinking of them and their baby. If the baby they lost had a name, use their name. Their name is so precious to your loved one and likely the only true sense of identity they have to hold onto for their baby.
If you bringing up their loss makes them cry, it’s okay…it’s a sad thing and they are comfortable enough with you to show you they are sad. Embrace them in their sadness and share it with them. Do not shy away from your loved one simply because you don’t know what to say or do. Nothing you can say or do will undo the tragedy in their life or take away their pain but if they feel your love, it will help them through.