If you are reading this and you have experienced the loss of a baby, within the womb or outside of it, I am sorry. I see you.
The winding path of grief after loss looks different for everyone. Sometimes it’s all mountainous, as if the climb to the top where you can finally breathe is never ending. Sometimes it’s the ups and downs of rolling hills, although the reality of that isn’t nearly as comforting as it sounds. Sometimes it’s a plateau, of time and space and feeling, of nothing and everything all at once. Whatever your path may be, it is yours and you get to decide what it looks like and how long you’re on it.
While on this journey, it’s okay to rest, to stop, and to simply be. It’s also okay to run as fast you can with no plan or destination in mind. You get to decide the pace at which your body, mind, and soul move.
While on this journey, it’s okay to welcome everyone or no one at all. There will be people who understand deeply and see you. There will be people who don’t know what to say or do. You get to decide who comes along and who doesn’t.
While on this journey, it’s okay to curse and to cry, to throw things and to throw up, to sit quietly for hours and to fill the void with things and sounds and places. It’s okay to phone a friend at 3am or to quietly the fill the pages of 3 journals with nothing but lines and dots because there are no words to write. It’s okay to hold your breath for months. The time to exhale will come when you are ready.
While on this journey, please ask for the help you NEED and not accept the kind of support others think you need. It’s okay to say no to that which doesn’t serve you. Remember to say yes when all that is right comes along.
Should you find yourself in a place of wanting to connect with a story, with other mothers and families, or with information and support, below are a few corners to explore:
- I Had a Miscarriage
- Hand to Hold
- Carrying To Term
- Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support
- Still Standing Magazine
- A Heartbreaking Choice
- Grieving Dads
- Center for Loss in Multiple Birth
- Facts about Miscarriage
- Postpartum Support International
- Postpartum Progress
As you continue to navigate your journey, please speak your story. Tell your story, your partner’s story, your baby’s story. Speak of your loss, your grief, and all that it means to you. It’s important and it’s okay. I see you and so do many many others.
Jami is a birth and human rights advocate, who respects the fierce vulnerability and power in creating, welcoming, and nourishing every stage of a family. She is a certified birth and postpartum doula through Doula Trainings International (DTI), has also trained with DONA International, and received her Lactation Educator Counselor credential from the University of California San Diego.
Jami’s goal of supporting a thriving village extends beyond her role as owner of AustinBorn. She is an active member of her local doula and birth communities, and holds memberships with the Central Texas Breastfeeding Coalition and the Austin Young Women’s Alliance, and is the former Secretary of the Central Texas Doula Association.