I woke up this morning to the news of Chrissy Teigen’s pregnancy loss. “Driving home from the hospital with no baby. How can this be real,” she tweeted.
My heart ached for her and her family, and I was instantly transported back to 2013, the day our son, Ethan, died as a result of complications with labour.
Since Ethan died, I’ve felt all the feelings: shock, sadness, anxiety, confusion, guilt, self-blame and anger.
I’ve also learned there is a supportive community. Through the Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Network, I connected with others who have had a pregnancy loss. Now, I’m a peer support volunteer, spending time speaking with and supporting families who have had a loss.
Here are some thoughts if you are experiencing a loss:
- Surround yourself with people who are kind, loving and able to support you and your family
- Talk about your thoughts and feelings with your partner, family, friends, elder, religious leader, community leader or health care provider
- Take a break from regular activities and responsibilities, and accept help from others when possible. You may want help making meals, with child or pet care and housework
- Honour your pregnancy or baby in a way that is meaningful to you: donate to a local charity, do something you enjoy while thinking of your baby, attend a memorial event, make a memento box, write a poem or letter to or about your baby, write in a journal, name your baby, have a ceremony for your baby, wear a special piece of jewelry to commemorate your baby or light a candle
- Connect with peers: join a bereavement support group, read other people’s stories, meet with a friend who will listen to you as you talk, or talk to families who have had a similar experience
- Take time off work, if possible: Your health care provider may be able to assist with the documentation you need. Social workers are often able to assist families with paperwork. For information on current policies, visit PAIL Network
Please remember, you are not alone in this journey of grief and loss. There is help and there is support.