October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Our hearts are with those who have suffered the unimaginable pain of losing a baby.
Losing a baby is one of the most painful things that can happen to a family. It’s so unfair. Babies are the beginning of life, not the end.
Some parents may wonder about their pain. But having a loss, like a miscarriage or a stillbirth, can be as painful as losing a child after birth. So much of what you wanted and planned for are lost. This can leave a large, empty space inside you.
Grief is all the feelings you have when someone close to you dies. You may feel like you can’t believe that your baby is no longer with you. How could this have happened? You may feel sad, angry, confused or alone. You may want to shout or scream or cry.
You may want to blame someone. Or you may want to hide under the covers and never come out. At times, your feelings may seem more than you can handle.
Losing your baby can cause intense pain.
You may feel the pain in many ways. You may:
• Feel sad or depressed
• Get angry with yourself, your partner or with other people
• Get sick easily with colds or stomach aches
• Forget things or have a hard time concentrating
• Feel guilty about things that happened in your pregnancy or after your baby was born
Hopes of being parents
Now that your baby is gone, you may feel like your hope of being a parent dies, too. The dreams you had of holding your baby and watching him grow are gone. So much of what you wanted and planned for is lost. This leaves a large, empty space inside you. It takes time to heal this empty space.
Dealing with loss
You may grieve for your baby for a long time—maybe even your whole life. There’s no right amount of time to grieve. It takes as long as it takes for you. Every person grieves in his or her own way. There are no rules about how long grieving takes. Take as much time as you need to grieve.
Even though you may feel better over time, you won’t forget your baby. But you can move through your grief to healing. As time passes, your pain eases. You will make a place in your heart and mind for the memories of your baby. Over time, you can find peace and become ready to think about the future.
Talking about your baby and your feelings can be helpful and comforting. You can talk about your baby and your feeling with:
- Your partner, friends and family
- Your health care provider or a social worker
- A grief counselor
- A religious or spiritual leader
- Members of a support or bereavement group
Tell your provider if you have intense feelings of sadness that last more than 2 weeks that prevent you from leading your normal life. If so, you may need treatment for depression. Treatment can help you feel better. If you’re thinking about suicide or death, call 911.