On May 10, 1995, I heard my doctor say, “This baby is dead.”
Baby and dead should never be in the same sentence and getting my head around that new reality took a very long time and a lot of hard work. Nineteen years later, it still hurts and still counts as the loneliest chapter in my life.
I don’t want other bereaved parents to feel so alone, which, for me, only amplified the feelings of sadness. When you glimpse the statistics for stillbirth, infant loss and miscarriage, you’re looking at an awful lot of grief-stricken moms, dads and grandparents. One of the things that helped me get through this dark time was meeting another mom who had also had a stillborn baby, but unlike many others I’d met, she managed to find her sense of humor and rediscover her hunger for life.
An equally healing life raft turned out to be writing. Putting pen to paper helped me make sense of the incomprehensible and unacceptable fact that my little girl was gone.
If you’re still reading then I’m thinking you’re probably a lot like me. At least, like I was. If you’re a suffering soul who doesn’t have a friend handy who truly gets it, a friend who has the experience to pluck you out of the bleakness, my hope is that by reading this memoir you’ll start to feel better in some small way.
Since you know the alphabet, and then some, you can write about your own experience. Why bother? Because writing about traumatic events helps people heal. The term for it is expressive writing.
Don’t take my word for it, according to the Harvard Medical School Newsletter, expressive writing can help people cope with stressful life events.
You are not alone.
“Love Mom” has been excerpted in”Voices of the Women’s Health Movement” and appears on many recommended reading lists including:
Texas Pediatric Society
SANDS miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death support community (Australia)
Little Fingers Parent Advocacy (UK)
Northern Nevada Miscarriage, Infant Loss, Stillbirth center
Maple Leaf Counseling Resources
Florida Friends of Midwives Perinatel Bereavement