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


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


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.


Aug 5 2010

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart – Monthly Book Review

This month’s pregnancy and infant loss book review features Empty Cradle, Broken Heart.

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Empty Cradle, Broken Heart by Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D. discusses the heartache of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. This book is for parents who are grieving and looking for encouragement.

This was the first book I read after the loss of my twins. Reading these stories from others made me feel that I was not alone.  It includes information about death of one or more babies and offers support. It includes quotes from others who have experienced this heartache and who understand.

Chapter One discusses the ‘D’ word, expectations, loneliness, and our losses. As I continued reading it made me realize that I was normal. As I grieved I thought I was having thoughts that no one else had. I thought I was losing my mind. This book showed me that all my thoughts were normal and even went into detail about some of the thoughts I was having.

As a mom I found reading this book helpful in the sense that it talks about physical recovery and how to take care of our bodies. Some have had a D & C while others had a Cesarean. We have postpartum visits and some need advice for breast care. There is information on how to handle these issues. If you are anything like me you may have had trouble sleeping in the early days of grief. There are tips to help with this and I found them very helpful.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to someone who has just had a loss. There is great information about making decisions after your baby’s death. We had to make so many decisions without any knowledge or help. If I had read parts of this book while I was in the hospital I would have been so grateful. It discusses burial, memorials/funerals, keepsakes, rituals, and memorializing your baby.

At the end of each chapter there is a section of points to remember. This is a good area to go back over certain points and even highlight things you want to revisit. I found this extremely helpful in helping to organize my thoughts.

There is a special chapter especially for fathers. It talks about the social expectations that are placed on fathers and their grief. This chapter touches on many key points that could be helpful in a father coping with grief and his emotions.

Not only is this book great for parents, but doctors and nurses could also benefit from reading it. Many hospitals do not give input or advice as to making decisions. This is so important as I know too many parents who have walked away from the hospital without photos or memories of their baby. Even if a friend or family member wants to read this book, let them. The more insight they have the more they will understand your grief.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is grieving, whether it is the first stages of that raw grief or later down the road. It was great for my husband and I to read after our loss and it has now been 9 months and I continue to pick it up and revisit certain chapters. You may cry as you read, but know that it is okay to cry.

– Submitted by Jill A.

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*Interested in submitting your own pregnancy and infant loss book review? Please to have your review(s) published on Grieve Out Loud. Please include book title in your e-mail.


May 7 2010

Life Touches Life – Monthly Book Review

Each month we will be posting a book review dealing with pregnancy and infant loss. Our first book review comes from our team member Melissa who has reviewed Lorraine Ash’s Life Touches Life: A Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing.

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Life Touches Life by Lorraine Ash covers loss, heartbreak and hope – dealing specifically with her stillborn daughter, but can relate to all babyloss.

This was one of the first books I read after my son Jack died. For me, these stories made me feel less alone and anything that does that is priceless. Now, five months later I still remember two distinct things about this book.

The first one is a quote said by a nun shortly after the birth of Ash’s daughter. In the book the author writes about “never being the same again.” This quote has come into my mind at various times since I first read it, almost like a personal reminder to myself. Like some sort of encouragement that I should not try to be the person I was before this happened to me. I think to me, it is one more thing I do to remind myself that I am normal and that the process that I am going through is normal.

The second thing is the first time I read this book I rushed through the last three chapters and was upset about the ending. I wanted to read that everything worked out in the end. I think at the time I needed to read things that would tell me that everything works out and that somehow I was going to be fine. The second time I read it, I read it with more compassion and took more time and realized that it does work out in the end.

I reread the book for this review and while I am sure I read the whole thing cover to cover the first time I took a bit more time to pause and think about things the second time and it has been valuable. It was like I did not read the same book before, this is the type of book that reaches out to you whether you are just first experiencing loss or it has been months, even years ago. There is something in it for many different people and if you can, read it twice.

There is a natural and spiritual side to Life Touches Life that I really connected with. Ash is religious and while I am not a religious person, I think of myself as a spiritual person. Ash described coming to grips with what happened as a force of the natural world, and that her baby will live with her in spirit.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone in any period of their grieving; it was great for me to read soon after my son died and now, five months out it was wonderful to read again.

– Submitted by Melissa

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*Interested in submitting your own pregnancy and infant loss book review? Please to have your review(s) published on Grieve Out Loud. Please include book title in your e-mail.