My name is Amanda Braschuk. I’ve been married to my amazing husband Paul for 5 years, together for 8. He works away from home which can make life a little crazy when I’m parenting solo. My daughter Zoey is 2.5 years old, she is the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen. My son Asher is one, he is incredibly handsome and really mischievous. I also have two dogs who think they are human, which is only fair because in this house fur babies are family too!
Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Maybe you have been trying to conceive for a while. Possibly you are among the percentage of women who have struggled with fertility complications. Perhaps you are fortunate to have conceived without difficulty. Regardless of the circumstance surrounding your conception, you now have a life inside you, a baby on the way. You are excited and instantly begin dreaming of the joyful wonder soon joining your family. So, what happens when your happiness and anticipation turn into suffering and anguish? When your enthusiasm at your ultrasound quickly turns to agony upon hearing the words “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.”? When the vision you have endlessly awaited is torn from your existence and your grief if is unbearable, what happens? Experiencing a miscarriage, enduring a stillbirth, having to cope with the passing away of your newborn child; you can feel so isolated in your pain. The uneasiness surrounding the death of a child dissuades us as a society from communicating about the shattering impact on families. It’s time to break the silence.
I miscarried the first child my husband and I were expecting, it was overwhelming and soul crushing. We had been trying to conceive for almost a year. I deem myself somewhat a perfectionist, I’m reasonably confident in my capabilities and genuinely attempt to achieve success in my endeavours. I had never faced a greater feeling of failure than when I lost my baby. My husband was my rock despite his own breaking heart. My friends were unwavering in their support and encouragement. My Mom repeatedly listened to my anxieties and uncertainties. There is no timeline for bereavement, it is unique to each individual. You will never fail to remember what it feels like to lose a baby. You lose birthdays, milestones, and a lifetime you imagined loving your child. Your life will never be the same. Allow yourself time; time to grieve in its entirety and grant yourself permission to experience your loss. The pain will never fully go away but you will get better at managing it. An increasing awareness enveloping pregnancy & infant loss confirms you are not alone.
Several people find it challenging to talk about death, particularly the passing of an infant. Knowledge on how to communicate this sensitive topic will help significantly in the event you are faced with such tragedy. Acknowledge their profound loss right away. You may be afraid you might say something inappropriate but it is far worse behaving as though their baby never existed. Don’t be afraid to speak about the baby or say their child’s name. You will not be reminding them of their loss, they are thinking about it constantly. Even and especially once they appear to be “over it”, they will still be hurting and will very much appreciate knowing people have not forgotten about their child. Many grieving parents need their pain to be recognized. Reassure them their thoughts and emotions are not only warranted but necessary for them to grieve and heal. Tell your friend in mourning you love them, it really helps hearing someone cares about you. On the website http://www.october15.ca the menu provides several resources within Canada for coping with pregnancy and infant loss. Share this information with anyone you know requiring support to prevail through their hardship.
In 1988 when he designated October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Ronald Reagan said “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” The families experiencing these tormenting circumstances deserve acknowledgement for their loss and assistance to persevere a future they never expected. October 15th is widely observed as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, serving as a day for bereaved individuals to connect and celebrate the short life and existence of their child. The love we have for our children will never go away even if they are not physically present with us. This is the awareness we need to raise. The sorrow and grief we suffer are not proportional to the time they spent with us. Yes, life will go on but the life gone too soon did matter, does matter and will continue to matter to everyone profoundly influenced by their absence. The website previously cited details concepts for what can be done to raise awareness and improve understanding on this exceptionally important subject. We have a responsibility concerning our neighbours who are suffering. We have to remember their lost little ones, keep their memories thriving and recognize their lives. Don’t be silent, speak up for the voices who will never be heard.