Last week, I was looking for a bereavement club online and came across a club on Facebook called The Dead Baby Club.
Well. I thought, That’s definitely an easy name to remember. I checked it out and, lo and behold, it was all about people who have lost their babies, through early labor, stillbirth, miscarriage and early infant loss. I joined, posted my story and haven’t heard from anyone. Very helpful. Good to connect with ya’ll!
I decided to check on BabyCenter because I had been part of an awesome bedrest/cerclage group on that site and it had really helped me through my bleakest days while on bedrest. I was “excited” to see that there was also a Baby Loss group, so I joined, posted Cora’s Story and got, oh, 1234 responses within three days. 1234 responses from other people who’s babies have also passed away. It made me a little sick to my stomach.
Just out of curiosity, I checked the member roster to see how many members belonged – over 11,000 people have lost their babies since 2008 when the group was started – in the States and Canada. I sat back and thought about this for a minute or two and then I started balling my eyes out and couldn’t stop. All of those babies. All of those families who were waiting and excited to welcome new family members. All of that crushing, unforgiving heartache that so many people were experiencing. It is just too sad to process.
There is also a subsection of the club, In Memory Of…, where members can post photos of their babies. I started looking through it and started sobbing even more when I noticed that 12,000 photos had been posted.
I amazes me that I hardly ever hear about people losing their babies, yet it is a lot more common than people think. This makes me wonder why no one talks about it? Babies, no matter how small or how briefly they are here with us, are still people. They should still be acknowledged and talked about and celebrated, but it’s almost as though society thinks it is wrong somehow to bring it up.
Trust me, a parent who loses a baby – even if that baby was lost through miscarriage or through early term labor, even if that baby is so tiny and alien-looking that it barely resembles a person -NEEDS to talk about their loss. They need family and friends to understand that the baby, although briefly there and gone, was a HUGE part of their lives. Talking about it helps to get it out of the system and helps us to process our grief.
So, if you know someone who has lost a baby, don’t waste time trying to pretend that everything is the same as it was before. Instead, let your friend or loved one know that you are there for them and that you know they have suffered an incredibly huge loss and talk to them about the baby. Let them cry if they need to cry. Make them laugh if you can. Be a good listener and always remember that, once the initial shock of the baby’s death wears off and the flowers and cards stop coming, your life may go on as usual, but those parents are still stuck hip deep in a world of grief and loss and pain. It takes a long time until their world starts spinning at the same rate as everyone else’s again.
Have a good Thursday my friends. I wish you all enough…