Oct 17 2012

Grief Relief – Multiple Losses

In honor of pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, in conjunction with our three-year anniversary, we are launching the “Grieve Out Loud Grief Relief.” Read about Grief Relief here.

Today’s submission is about multiple losses. Here are some things you could consider including in your piece.

What kind of losses did you experience? (1st tri, 2nd tri, stillbirth?)
Time between pregnancies/losses?
Any medical explanation of losses?
What keeps you motivated to keep trying?
Are you afraid to try again?
What eventually brought you a live baby?
What advice do you have for RPL (repeat pregnancy loss) families?

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E-Mail Submission Guidelines are as follow:

1) All submissions are to be sent to with the subject “Multiple Losses.”

2) Copy and paste your original piece into the body of the e-mail. No attachments please.

3) Please include a one paragraph bio including your name, your baby’s name, type of loss, and blog URL if applicable.

4) All submissions are subject to editorial review and may be edited for clarity. We may only utilize a small portion of your work.

5) Submissions due by 11/01/12


Jun 18 2012

Your First Day Back to Work?

What was your first day back at work like after your loss? Did you return to the same job or find a new one? How did you tell your co-workers/boss what happened? How did they treat you afterwards? What advice do you have for families returning to work after pregnancy and infant loss?

Share your comments here, post on our Facebook Page, or follow us on Twitter!


May 5 2012

Much More Muchness

I had a lot of apprehension about turning 30 last year (September 2011). It wasn’t a vanity or ageist thing, it was a me thing. I wasn’t happy with where I was in life. It felt like there were still so many things left to achieve, one of which was motherhood, something that was ripped away from me on September 18, 2009 when our first child was stillborn at 37 weeks.

In the years to come I had to learn how to incorporate grief into my everyday life. It was a painful transition and my muchness was something that became completely masked by the darkness. I missed my muchness, but it seemed hopelessly lost forever.

On September 1, 2011 I announced my first muchness challenge. During those 30 days some huge milestones were reached including: attending my first baby shower since my own, my husband’s birthday, our son’s 2 year mark and my 30th birthday. (Unfortunately due to technical issues most my original posts were lost).

Participating in the challenge made me see my life different. Instead of living days or weeks or months or even years in advance, I learned to find the beauty in today. Live for now, not the past or the future.

In the end my muchness beat out the darkness. Found the strength to survive another year without my son AND survived turning 30.

Exactly 30 days later (well, 31 because it was Halloween), we found out we were expecting another baby!!!!! And just like that, I had another shot at finding my motherhood muchness.

We’re currently 30 weeks pregnant and ready for round two of Finding my Muchness: Motherhood Addition.

I am very excited to share this journey (and baby) with you. Pregnancy after Loss is an unnerving roller coaster just like grief. Every day brings on new challenges and what better way to stay focused than to fill my days with MUCHNESS?!

My new challenge will begin May 6th, 2011. You can find my journey at julie.findingmymuchness.com
For more information on baby Buttercup visit my personal blog at Tales from the Womb

 

Want to take on your own Muchness Challenge? For information on how to join please visit findingmymuchness.com


Feb 27 2012

What was your First Craving?

What was your first craving? Food or drink? Savory or sweet? Junk food or health food? How long did the cravings last?

Share your stories with us!


Dec 30 2011

Let Go

As the new year approaches, it always amazes me how little control we have over time. We go from living minute-to-minute, to day-to-day,  week-to-week, month-to-month — until we are face-to-face with a new year.

It’s okay to let go now.

Don’t be afraid to let go.
Let go of the past.
And the future.
Because we don’t need a map to find it.
We don’t control it,
we carry it forever.

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Happy New Year’s from all of us at Grieve Out Loud.

Image by J. Granelli


Jun 29 2011

The Nest

The Story Behind ‘The Nest’ by

“After marrying my high school sweetheart and waiting for our college graduation and his graduation from medical school, we were more than ready to start a family two years after that. After trying to get pregnant for more than a year, we were thrilled when I found out I would be having a baby the following summer. Whirlwinds of buying maternity clothes and outfitting the baby’s room occupied the first few months. Oh, how happy and excited we were! But deep down, I knew something wasn’t quite right. I had been cramping since the third month with some spotting. My doctor told me that most likely everything was fine. But it wasn’t.

On May 19, when I was more than six months along, I experienced the worst pain imaginable both physically and emotionally. I lost my baby. They called it a miscarriage and I wasn’t allowed to see the baby that was delivered – too small to live. To make things worse, I was told my baby was “flushed away” and that I was silly for wanting some sort of funeral service or memorial.

I was devastated. I felt empty. I didn’t think the sun would ever shine again. I didn’t want to go on. Nobody understood. I was alone.

I did not grieve properly. I was told to “move on” with my life as if my baby’s life didn’t happen. No one seemed to understand. It seemed best to try not to talk about it. To try not to think. To try not to feel.

And so, I buried the pain for many, many years. Some say I was not the same after the loss of my baby. Some say it caused the breakup of my first marriage of twenty-five years – to the father of my baby.

A couple of years ago, I was watching a bird build her nest in our backyard. Every morning I went out to check on the progress of the nest. The mama bird was building her nest at eye level so I could see each step of the way. Finally the nest was built and the mama bird laid just one egg. I waited with eager anticipation to see the baby bird come into this world. One morning I went out and I found the nest empty – no egg. Nothing. I saw the mama bird on a phone wire nearby. I was overcome with sadness – more than what would be normal for a situation like this I cried for hours. My husband encouraged me to write my feelings down. The words raced from my mind onto paper. And then it finally became clear to me. The empty nest was symbolic of the loss of my baby years earlier.

Through the words I wrote down, I was finally able to grieve my loss. And it was finally “okay” to grieve – to let it all out, to cry, to scream, to get angry and sad. My husband has been in the music business for many years. He took my words and composed a melody to go with them. My words became the lyrics to the song he wrote. It’s called “The Nest.”

Although the song is sad, it helped me work through my grief. I am a happier, healthier person today because I finally grieved the loss of my baby that I lost almost exactly thirty years ago.

I invite you to listen to my song. To those of you who share a loss similar to mine, please know that it’s ok to be sad, to grieve. But, please, PLEASE do not be alone. There are others who understand and can help you through this terribly difficult time in your life. I wish Grieve Out Loud was available when I first lost my baby. How wonderful this organization is!

Thank you for listening. If you have any comments, please feel to leave them on the YouTube web site or you can directly through e-mail.”

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Thank you Cindy for sharing your story and beautiful song/video with us! Hope this inspires our readers to put their words of grief into such beautiful and creative works of art.


Jun 9 2011

When Another Pregnancy Isn’t an Option

So many of the families who experience pregnancy/infant loss have a strong desire to fall pregnant again. “The sooner the better” becomes their day-to-day tagline. We feel it is important to share stories from families that cannot try again. This particular story comes from our own Team Member, Susan F. It is one of our submissions from our Giveback Project.

Thank you Susan for pouring your heart out to us. I know this piece will help families dealing with a similar situation.

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“I was asked to write a piece for this project a couple months ago and I just did not know where to start – I think about it everyday and things really start sounding good, but then when I have the chance to start actually writing, my mind draws a blank.

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Susan, the mother to four angels; Jordan Donise born at twenty-seven weeks, Alexander Michael, born at twenty weeks, Alisia Noelle, born at twenty-three weeks and Gabriel Ryan, born at twenty weeks and my one miracle daughter, Madyson Leah, born at thirty-eight weeks!  Those are the only children I will ever have.

Last November, I made the heartbreaking decision to have my tubes tied (tubal ligation) and put an end to the chance of another pregnancy. I knew deep in my heart and soul that for my own well being and to those around me that I could not go through losing another one of my babies. I have learned to live with the grief that surrounds me.  Anyone meeting me on the street for the first, even second or third  time would never know the pain that I have had to endure or the thoughts I have almost every day.

Growing up, I wanted at least two kids, a boy and a girl. Yes, I have that, but not the way I always wanted. Yes, I have had five beautiful babies, but that is all I will ever have. I have had to learn to live with knowing I won’t ever be able to be pregnant again when everyone around me seems to be getting pregnant.

I seem to be at the age where everyone has decided to start having babies or talk about it. I agree, it’s hard to be happy for someone that is pregnant and that can go on and have a successful pregnancy. I also agree that sometimes life just is not fair when we cannot have healthy babies, but someone who is sixteen and could care less about a baby has one.  I ask myself everyday why did I get dealt these cards? Did I do something in a past life to deserve this?  Am I really that bad of a person and I just don’t know it? But, on the other hand, I know that I didn’t do anything. I cannot change what has happened to me, but I can make a difference in what does happen to me. I can take each day and enjoy it the best that I can. My family deserves that.  I deserve that.

After we lost Gabriel, I knew that the only thing I could do was to get my tubes tied. It was a gut wrenching decision. I cried every night. Because of insurance reasons, surgery kept getting delayed, and it just made my grief all that much worse because not only did I just lose my child, I was starting to lose my relationship. My fiance and I grew apart. I didn’t want him to touch me, I was so scared to get pregnant again and have to go through yet another loss. I finally came to terms with everything and KNEW that my life wasn’t over, I could learn to live with the cards that I was dealt. Sure, I still think about wanting another baby, but know that I cannot.

My life is not over, not by a long shot.

I know each of you are thinking, I want another baby, I cannot wait six, or even three months to start trying, I want to be pregnant NOW.  You will probably always have those thoughts, but they do not have to consume you and do not let them!

Take time to grieve the baby you lost, renew old friendships, put more effort into new friendships, enjoy finding out why you fell in love with your significant other all over again, and most importantly take care of YOU!!  It’s not the end of the world if you cannot get pregnant right away, maybe it is your body saying you need to heal from the loss of your child before you can really enjoy the pregnancy of your next child.  Yes, I know that is one of those phrases everyone hates to hear, but you want to be able to enjoy your next pregnancy not worry each and every minute and let the best times pass you by! And if you are like me, and have chosen to not have anymore kids, it does get easier, each and every day.

Yes, I still think about wanting another baby, and always ask myself if I did the right thing, but deep down in my heart, I know I did.  My daughter is eleven now, getting ready for middle school, I owe it to her to not let my grief get the best of me. There are still some days that I cry for what will never be, but there are other days where I am thankful that I have had the chance to see my babies and be able to kiss them goodbye.”

Susan F.


Mar 15 2011

Spring Ahead

A few days ago the dog and and I went on a neighborhood adventure walk. The weather was perfect and pushed us farther than we’d ever gone before. In the middle of an unknown road I caught a glimpse of something growing out of cracks in the road. (Something close to the picture below.)

I stopped in the middle of the road to marvel.
It amazed me that something so beautiful could sprout in the middle of nowhere.
A true work of art.
Nature nourishing itself.
Life.
It made me think of how beautifully odd life can be.
Made me wonder if my son planted those seeds for me.

Hope all of you are finding the beauty in life. Hope your memorial plants are springing and your children are sending you secret love notes. Mine certainly did.

Photo: http://www.orangejuice-etc.com


Sep 16 2010

New Pen-Pal

Grieve Out Loud is always striving to find new ways to help reach friends and families dealing with pregnancy and infant loss. Today we announce a very important Pen-Pal. Someone who has personally helped me through the roughest patches of my own grief. Someone who represents an entire generation of individuals who might not have a voice in grief.

She represents all the Grandparents of pregnancy and infant loss. The loss of a grandchild is just as heartbreaking for grandma and grandpa as it is for mother and father. Their grief is doubled. Seeing their son/daughter in pain along with grieving for their grandchild. They often grieve in silence as not to upset the family. Please take a moment to thank for joining GOL and read a little bit about her experience with losing a grandchild.

“At my senior center, I have encountered several situations that have truly hurt me. For example, some one will announce the birth of their new grand baby and show off pictures, or tell how they were in the delivery room. Most will avoid you like the plague once they know. Like losing a baby is contagious.”

Koko can also help with things such as the subject of explaining death (age appropriately) to living grandchildren, tips on how to interact with living grandchildren without becoming (overly) emotional, or crafting memorial projects with the grandchildren.

If you have any questions, or would like to join Koko as part of the Grandparents Pen-Pals please contact us at

*Photo Masterfile.com


Jul 16 2010

Directing Grief – Portrait of Grief

A few nights ago, grief overpowered me. My son’s first birthday is soon approaching and my mind went dark. As a bereaved parent, the bad days are beyond bad. I could not express my pain in words, so instead I took some photographs. I originally posted these photos on my personal blog, and wanted to share the result with you.

They are painful to look at, but this is what it looks like to lose a child.

In the end, the process made me feel better. Made it easier to show people what grief looks like instead of trying to use descriptive words that still do not explain the hurt and pain I suffer.

…and I know you feel it too.