Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

I just wanted to take a moment to honor all of you mamas out there who have experienced any kind of pregnancy or infant loss. I’ve mentioned before that I have not gone through this personally, however I have many friends who have. I have also witnessed the emotions and sadness over a loss in the hospital. It is devastating and I want you all to know that I am thinking of you. I’m sending you lots of love for your strength and courage to push through such a hard time. It really does not matter how far along you were in your pregnancy; a baby is a baby, a loss is a loss. All the same. I am doing my best to learn how to help others cope. I feel so much emotion, no matter if it concerns me or someone else. Knowing what to say seems to be the hardest thing to figure out, yet I feel and I’ve been told that not saying anything at all is sometimes best and, instead, offer hugs, time and prayer.

If you have lost a baby and you want to remember your baby, I would be happy to share your story here. We need to talk about it. It’s not taboo but so many feel that it is.

Summer

Summer is here! I’m on a huge break from things like school and work because of the squishy little babe who is sleeping next to me as I type. I took a long break from the blog and I’m ready to be more active here. So hello to old and new followers!

My school schedule has shifted around come this fall. Due to personal and work-related reasons, I have to post-pone some classes, but thankfully I don’t have to take the semester off entirely. Being a full time working mama with an incredible husband and home to care for makes going to school really difficult. However, that won’t be stopping me! I am determined to keep going and I’m so thankful I have an awesome support system. Due to the timing and duration, I am able to obtain my CNA in about 8 weeks. I will also take another short-term class online called Customer Service in Health Care. This class will be really beneficial no matter what field of health care I end up in! I feel that I have already learned so much about ethics, empathy, and the business side of patient care that this will only enhance the skills I already have.

One of my favorite things to post is links to really awesome, interesting, educational, controversial, etc type articles, blogs and photos. So, here are some great links to check out!

  • Birth Stories: Michelle Garey Photography. She just posted some incredible c-section photographs. Truly beautiful!
  • Breastfeeding Laws. This site lists all the laws, state and federal for breastfeeding women, mostly in public and work places. Now that I do this on the reg, it’s nice to know the laws.
  • Still Birth Day. This is a very powerful, moving site. It’s not easy to read about little babes lost too soon, but the stories are inspiring and up-lifting. Those mamas who have experienced a loss are so incredibly strong.

On Pregnancy Loss

This is going to be a tough post. I have had a post like this brewing in my mind but have hesitated in writing it. How do you put something like pregnancy loss into words? How you talk about it without crying or brushing it aside? I have been fortunate enough in that I have not personally experienced a loss in pregnancy. However, I know I am not immune to it, even at nearly 14 weeks. And maybe that is where some hesitation comes from as well: I don’t have personal experience so why write about it? Though I may not have personal experience, I see it at work and that is why I am writing this now.

Our hospital birthing center will not see any patients for complications before 18 weeks gestation. Those patients are seen and treated in the ER. After 18 weeks, we do the best we can to treat any and all complications and complaints. Unfortunately, life is not guaranteed and sometimes it’s taken too soon. We see 2-3 fetal demise a month. Demise indicates the baby has already passed away and the mom is either in labor to deliver or is being induced to deliver.

Sometimes, baby is still fully alive with a healthy heart rate and mother nature starts the labor process much too soon. That is what happened yesterday. We had a mom admitted whose water broke at 23 weeks. Viability is 24 weeks and even our most high risk NICU in the state will not transfer a mom or baby until 24 weeks. Viability just means that the chances of survival are higher than in previous weeks, yet unlikely without the best medical interventions and advances to date. Even still, life may slip away.

I do not know the outcome for this mom or baby. She had not delivered by the time I left yesterday but my heart was in a heaping mess. To make matters worse, this was her 7th pregnancy and if she looses the baby, it will be her 6th loss. I was devastated for her. Pregnancy hormones plus natural emotions surrounding such a sad situation and I could barely hold it together. I realized that even with my healthy baby and pregnancy right now, that this life is not a guarantee. Loss can happen at any stage in pregnancy and no matter how early or late, the loss is just the same. A baby has died. A mother has lost a child. No one wants to join that club but so many have.

My words are starting to fail me so I will close with this: life has a value and pregnancy loss is something which is not shown enough value. I have seen and known many  moms who feel like miscarriage and loss is not talked about enough. Yes, they lost a baby but PLEASE go ahead and talk about it. This is a part of midwifery that I know will never get easy and I don’t want it to be. I want to be able to cry with my patient, hold her and her partner. To all you mamas out there who have angel babies, please feel the love and prayers I am sending you for comfort and peace.