Monday, October 31, 2011

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

By Diane Forrest, RN

A year ago a young man in our community committed suicide.  While I don't know the reason for this action, I learned that soon after his wife discovered she was pregnant with his child.  She went to the doctor the day before her due date, and it was discovered there was a problem.  She was rushed to the hospital where a c-section was performed only to discover the infant had died.   I cannot imagine the pain this family experienced.

The son's mother, and baby's grandmother spoke at my church recently.  Within seconds the whole congregation was in tears. She attributed her strength to her faith in God and the support of her friends and family.  Without them she would not have been able to survive.  She told us how they wrapped the baby up, placed him in her arms where she was allowed to hold him, sing to him and talk to him.

For those who have never experienced the loss of a pregnancy or infant, it is hard to imagine what the parents are experiencing.

It all starts as a dream. You have decided you want to have a baby. You dream of how it will feel to have a baby in the house, picture what you will do for it's room, but it is still a dream. What you hope for.

Then the day arrives! You find out that you are pregnant. Hooray! The dream has become a reality. You are going to the doctor, making plans. There is a little life growing inside you – your child.

Now you have the reality of your dream - a baby. And more dreams! Will it be a boy or a girl? You immediately start thinking of names. What will he/she look like?

We all know what is supposed to happen next. Having a healthy baby, of course. Yet, that doesn't always happen. Whether through miscarriage, stillbirth, newborn death, or SIDS some of us lose our babies. It is a shattered dream, and it is a shattered reality.

Even though they may not have had the time with the infant that you have with other people who are gone from their lives.  The loss is still the same.  This is a time that we need to remember these families have experienced a great loss, and need as much support and comfort they can get.

Remember those who are grieving this month, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and every month.

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