I, among many others, had some time of quiet reflection this month. November 17th was World Prematurity Awareness Day, a day which marks both hope and heartbreak in the lives of so many families, and one which I personally mark every year.
There are so very many personal stories, those of clients I’ve helped to support, those of family and friends, my own journey into motherhood. So many high points and low points, joyous celebrations and devastating losses. The path to becoming a parent is never as straightforward as we may have anticipated, and can be very difficult to come to terms with, no matter which outcome we find ourselves living.
Those who are blessed and take home a healthy baby are often told that they ought to feel lucky, that so many others don’t get that ending, but though they may have the ending we all hope for it doesn’t undo or erase the grief and trauma they may have experienced along the path.
We still understand so little about the mysteries of childbirth – and there are still a great many people experiencing miscarriages who are expected to simply try again, and told “it’s God’s plan” or that “These things happen for a reason” when there is no reason that could possibly make it ok.
There are still births happening every day, even in the most medically advanced nations, which may have been avoided, which may never have an explanation. Infant loss and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome taking lives, and devastating families, with no way to ever understand how or why it happened.
For every mother who takes a baby home in her arms there are others who cannot – who may never – do the same with their own children. Many who do have living children, but who continue to mourn the loss of other babies, and are told to “feel lucky” as if a healthy baby ‘makes up’ for loss.
These are very difficult feelings to manoeuvre through. The combination of grief and joy, of love and guilt, of sorrow and hope. I faced my own pain along the way, so am in a position of unique empathy when I support someone through processing these feelings. My work as a counsellor means I can guide people through the complex and contrasting emotions, and with specialised training in bereavement for those mourning infant and baby loss I offer unique insight and support which those who haven’t faced the same issues can’t quite offer.
If you have experienced miscarriage, still birth or infant loss, or are struggling to conceive, and need someone to help you, please don’t feel you need to face your grief alone. I am qualified in bereavement therapy, and specifically in infant and baby loss, and I can be there with you as you move through these challenging times.
If you need support you can contact me through this website, through Facebook, LinkedIn or email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me on 07849 037095 (you can also message or call via WhatsApp on the same number, and I offer video sessions for those who are still unable to meet in person)