Towards the end of July 2016, my husband and I lost our son at 22 weeks in utero. He was due to be born in late November. This was a first pregnancy for us so we were super excited at the idea of becoming parents and building up our family. At that stage in our pregnancy, we thought we were out of the said danger zone where you are at a higher risk of miscarrying.
I have been open about sharing about our loss because it isn’t anything to be ashamed of. Also, personal experiences and lessons from loss online helped me know that this happens to so many women and reading other people experiences gave me hope that I will always remember, it just won’t hurt as much as time goes on.
Grief and loss at any stage of life is bound to happen. And we all deal with things differently. As someone who has been through pregnancy loss, I will share what meant the most to me in the days and weeks after.
Having my husband at home
My husband took almost 3 weeks off work which was amazing because he could help me around the house, take care of me, keep me company and help deal with the loss. No one should be alone after such a loss and it is something my doctor mentioned to me before I was discharged from hospital. Someone should be there to help out in the first few weeks and also be company when you need a hug or want to talk. It can be anyone from a spouse, family member or a trusted friend.
Visits from immediate family
I wasn’t in any mood to have anyone visit but I allowed for immediate family members to visit us at home the first week. Be courteous and ask before you visit at the hospital or house. If the person declines, respect that. If they agree, don’t stay too long, keep the visit under two hours.
As friends and family, you don’t have to say anything
I know it was hard for people to tell us anything and the awkwardness sometimes leads people to say things that may not be taken kindly. I had a few things told to me that I honestly wish I didn’t hear. Some comments are not as comforting as we would like to think. It is ok to just say ‘sorry for your loss’. You can’t fix the pain the person is experiencing no matter how hard you want to.
Acts of service go a long way
I really appreciated that I had home cooked meals in my fridge for at least two weeks. I didn’t have to worry about that thanks to my mother, my sister and mother-in-law. It was such an amazing gesture that we appreciated so much. People who visited would help out by washing dishes, shopping, running an errand and such like acts. At this point in life, acts of service was definitely my love language. Ask if there is anything that needs to be done and offer to do it.
These are not necessarily confined to pregnancy and infant loss but any type of loss. So next time you are in a position where you are not sure what to do, hope my tips will be of help to you.