Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The loss of a baby

I have struggled writing this and I have rewritten it on many occasions  (In fact this has been in my drafts since July 10) but I feel it is something that I must write about. The recent wave of light on Monday night where people who had suffered baby loss or been effected by it, lit a candle and put the picture on face book, has staggered me as to how many people are effected by it.  I cried more than one tear that night.  It touched me deeply when my sister lit one in support of us.  You never know just who is thinking of you and your lost babies.

Losing a baby is a terrible thing.  Whether as a Miscarriage, still birth, difficulties at birth, cot death or the many other ways it can happen.  Its a difficult thing to talk about and people still find it difficult to react and talk to people who have suffered about it.  We have Lost six babies,  so we know the pain and heart break it brings with it.  But when someone close to us lost a child we also found it difficult to talk to the couple involved.  I was really annoyed with myself because I didn't know how to react!

When we meet with people who have lost a child there is no perfect way to react.  No sure fire way to ease their suffering or make things easier for them.  The reality is you cant and it would be pointless  and possibly damaging to try and bandage the situation. After much thought, prayer and consideration these are my thoughts on the matter. 

        1.  Firstly don't pretend it didn't happen 
The couple will be deep in their own grief.  No matter when they have lost their child (early miscarriage or further along)  plans will have been made for He/she.  How they will fit in the family, where they will sleep, will mummy give up work, how will the baby be cared for etc.  Things will have been bought and stored away in preparation for the happy event.  The couple wont want to brush it all under the carpet and forget that the baby was a part of their lives.

2. Don't be afraid to mention it
Many people are afraid to mention it.  They maybe afraid to  make matters worse or to make the couple upset.  Crying is natures way of healing. It helps, that's why when we hurt, we cry.  Its OK to ask how they are feeling, how they are coping.  If they start to cry don't worry,  its not your fault, it was something they needed to do,  part of the healing process and something they need to do.

3.  Don't keep your own children away (although do be thoughtful and make each decision based on the situation)
  A week after we lost our first baby my sister-in-law gave birth to our Nephew.  We had always had a close relationship and saw her and my Brother mostly everyday as we lived in the same street.   When she had their baby she was afraid to come to see us, afraid she would be "rubbing it in"  That she would make our grief worse.  In the end My husband and I had to go and visit them.
We explained that we shared in their joy at their new arrival and rejoiced in the new addition to our family.  That their little boy was not ours.  As beautiful as he was, he was our Nephew and not our child.  We were pleased for them but still grieved for our child.  As I said judge each situation.  If necessary phone and ask before you visit.

4. Don't be surprised if they laugh and smile when you are there
This seems a strange one.  We had a situation where someone visited our house and we were in a "good mood".  (in other words we weren't in floods of tears and managed to hold a conversation) The visitors then later commented to my mother how we were coping and had "got over it well"
This couldn't have been further from the truth.  We were pleased to see the person, pleased to have a excuse to smile and talk about something other than our grief.  But we were still grieving,  inside we trying desperately to hold it together, to make it through the day and still be in one piece.  Just because you smile doesn't mean you have forgotten.

5. If they have other children don't assume the loss will be less

Just because a couple have a child or children already doesn't mean that they will feel the loss any less. We already had four children, Three of mine and one of my husbands, but the loss was as devastating each time as if we had no other children.
  Each child is unique and loved by its parents.  Each child and experience is unique and they will feel the loss no matter how many children they have

6. The biggest no no EVER
The thing that really hurt and we found hard to cope with was people saying things like, "it was meant to be"  Its for the best"  or as one good meaning doctor said,  "you are still young enough to try again!"

 Please remember that these are just my thoughts and feelings and not a professional opinion.  if you are looking for professional help please contact a person trained in this area.  There is a list below.


 photo Northwell_Alt-Hales-QueenofthePBFamily_zpszcfm3rtt.png


Anonymous said...

Just found your blog through your comment left on mine, and am reading from the start - this post really touched me...thank you xxxx

crafty-mum said...

thanks so much for your lovely comment x

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