No one can ever really be prepared to experience loss. Unfortunately for many of us, loss is something we have or will experience when it comes to miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death. I know this topic can make people feel uncomfortable — I understand that — who really wants to think about it?
The reality is that many of us will experience loss — with an estimated 20% of pregnancies ending in miscarriage and 1 in 160* pregnancies ending in stillbirth there is a large group of us who will live through this. It is not easy (to put it lightly) but when we come together as a community, we are able to survive it easier. Talking with those who understand helps in more ways then I can say.
While you can find a lot of medical information about what miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death are, it’s not easy to find information on what to do in case of or immediately after. I asked the community on Unspoken Grief what they wish they had known BEFORE or what they wish someone had told them BEFORE loss that they feel could have better prepared them.
Click through to read advice from parents who are living through grief and what they wish they knew beforehand:
- “To take hand and foot prints and a lock of hair (which I was lucky enough to get). Those small personal things that were a part of your child.” – Ruth
- “GET PICTURES! the hospital offered before he died but I was so “out of it” … I do have some but I can’t get enough of his perfect little sweetness. And take the time to get names of people who helped you, so you know who to thank later on” – Zena
- “Whatever you are feeling is okay” – Lindsay
- “I wish I had known that I could take pictures and hold our angel after she was born.” – Jen
- “That I would never, ever see the world the same way again.” – Kelly
- “How emotionally draining your next pregnancy is because you’re anxious and scared the whole 9 months.” – Shamima
- “That 12 weeks isn’t a magic number… stuff still happens later” – Ali
- “That I could request testing of my miscarried baby and that I could have whatever ultrasound pictures that were taken after being told that he had died.” – Amanda
:: What do you wish you had known before your loss? ::
More on Being Pregnant:
Taking Matters Into My Own Hands: Giving Husband Baby Fever
*source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). (2009). Evaluation of Stillbirths and Neonatal Deaths. ACOG Committee Opinion, 383.