This week is Grief Awareness Week (2-8th December). Each day is dedicated to grief from a different cause, and today (7th December) is dedicated to baby loss. The purpose of this week is to try and normalise grief, encouraging people to talk about a topic which often feels uncomfortable.
It is great to see baby loss has its own day. Along with Baby Loss Awareness Week in October, this really does help to try and break the silence and overcome the taboo. Baby loss can be particularly difficult for people to talk about, and I have found this sometimes too.
Perhaps it is because other people have never had the opportunity to meet the baby and therefore they struggle to visualise and see a real person. Maybe people were never aware of the pregnancy, the loss may have occurred before there had been an official announcement, and so it can be really difficult knowing how to start a conversation. It could also be that we do talk about it, but people just don’t know what to say. In some cases there is the painful experience of people disappearing from our lives because of our loss. Sometimes we might be saving another person from feeling awkward, but often this can leave us feeling guilty that we left our baby out when what we wanted more than anything was to talk about them. Regardless of the reasons, days/weeks of raising awareness such as this are so important in helping break down barriers and making it a normal part of conversation.
It is also really important to acknowledge that it is OK to feel grief for the baby you have lost when you are pregnant with a rainbow baby. They are different babies, being pregnant again does not take away from the feelings you have around another baby. Grief and joy can coincide throughout pregnancy and far beyond. This photo is a beautiful demonstration of how one family decided to integrate their angel baby into their family life. It is also a very poignant reminder of what is missing, even when a rainbow baby is here safe and sound. There is always that space held in your heart for the baby that couldn’t remain.
If this has stirred any emotions for you, then please know you aren’t alone. The road to having a rainbow baby can be a tough one, full of so many emotions. It is OK to feel all of those emotions, and it is also OK to talk about it.
If you are struggling with the loss of a baby and feel you need more support then please do visit one of the following charities who can offer additional help and guidance, or my inbox is always open.
www.cedaroak.org.uk (local service for those in the Fareham/Portsmouth area)
If you’d like to share your journey through pregnancy after loss then do please get in touch.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Peters Photography (www.rpetersphotography.com/)