This story is brought to you by Women’s and Children’s Services at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. EIRMC offers compassionate and quality care during pregnancy.
Coo’s and oo’s are the most cherished sounds when I think of a newborn baby.
But the heartbreaking reality is that one in four pregnancies end in loss. Mine did. One day, feeling like I was ready to face the world, I mindlessly walked the grocery store aisle. Then, I was struck by overwhelming grief; it came on so fast and so intensely that I had to stop to gather myself.
In that moment, as I looked around, I realized all those people had no clue about my suffering. The feeling of loneliness was immense.
I didn’t expect random people to treat me differently, but a part of me wanted them to know I was in pain. I wanted to yell STOP to everyone in hearing distance. I wanted to share my grief, hoping it would ease my pain a bit. Logically I knew it was unrealistic but emotionally I wanted it. This insight has stayed with me all these years later.
Loss in utero, at birth, or beyond — it all matters and it can trigger grief in individualized forms.
To help, EIRMC embraces a bereavement program called Rachel’s Gift that was established by a grieving mother who identified a gap between physical and mental healing. Rachel’s Gift provides support resources for parents during their grief process. It also provides a gift box, bracelet, blanket, and bear for parents wanting a physical keepsake. EIRMC was the first Idaho facility to partner with Rachel’s Gift.
Communicating support to those who are grieving can be tricky to navigate. We may not know the exact feelings or experiences of others but we can consider that everyone carries a burden.
It’s human nature to want to fix, or to share wisdom. And the fact is, you may have experienced loss, too, and have insight to share. Although your experience is valuable, there is a time to share and a time to support.
My advice is to show support and your love during the early stages of infant loss when parents are processing what they won’t be able to do with their infant.
Rachel’s Gift is a nonprofit organization and relies on donations to provide much-needed resources to our grieving community. EIRMC is hosting the second Annual Angel Dash on Oct. 21 to raise funds and to honor those who’ve experienced pregnancy and infant loss. It’s a one mile run/ walk with a memorial balloon release to follow.
To register or donate log onto angeldash.org.