Soundwaves Perinatal Bereavement Support

Bereavement Support For Parents Grieving the Loss of a Baby During or Just After Pregnancy

From the Depths of Despair February 7, 2009

Filed under: Bereavement Support,miscarriage,Stillbirth — Claudia @ 3:10 pm

A friend of mine whose baby Nora was stillborn, sent me the most beautiful note at Thanksgiving two years ago. I reread her words often, especially when I’m feeling unable to  cope with the challenges of the day. Here is an excerpt:

“Nora reminds me each day of how lucky I am to have what I have here on Earth, she has taught me how to grow out of the depths of despair to make myself a better person, and make my life a better life through helping others.  She gave me the gift of understanding pain and turning grief into action.  What can we do to help each other? How can we make a positive impact on this world while we are here? Nora taught me to look at each day as an opportunity to be explored, as an opportunity to reach out to each other.”

If you have just experienced the death of your baby, this sentiment may seem almost impossible to attain. Even though it is hard to imagine, you will get through this horrific time, with your baby to guide you. Some days may seem impossible, but take it one small step at a time.  And know that you are not alone. There are so many of us out here (over 26,000 stillbirths in the U.S. alone this year- that’s a lot of broken hearts). We are part of a club that no one wants to belong, but we are here, grieving, healing together.

I have added some more resources under blog roll on the right side of this page. Please contact me if you would like me to add more.

 

What To Say February 2, 2009

Filed under: Bereavement Support,miscarriage,Stillbirth — Claudia @ 4:34 pm

Often, friends and family are at a loss about what to say to someone whose baby has died, especially when a stillbirth or miscarriage occurs. Many times we hear “don’t worry- you’ll have another,” as if that will ease our pain. Those same people would never dream of saying those same words to someone who lost a grandmother, cousin, brother or father. Can you imagine…”Don’t worry, you have another”??

I have found that reacting calmly is the best way to cope in these situations, although thoughts of throwing a shoe at the offending party comes to mind (although I don’t recommend it!).  I explain to them that nothing- no new baby, no matter how loved or wanted, will ever replace the ones I lost. They are forever in my heart and a part of me that can’t and won’t ever be replaced.

I would like to recommend an article written by Claudia Kalb for Newsweek Magazine about momento mori photographing  with “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.” It is a touching and sensitive article about the “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” photographers who volunteer their time taking pictures of babies born still. You can find it at http://www.newsweek.com/id/182572/page/1.

 

Do I Regret Having The Twins? January 18, 2009

Filed under: Bereavement Support,Stillbirth — Claudia @ 6:22 pm

I am reading a book called An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken. It is the author’s story about the stillbirth of her first child, a son, and the events leading up to that  fateful day. In the book she writes, “I would have done the whole thing over again even knowing how it would end.” Pretty powerful, and made me think about my own experience.

Had I not had the twins, so many things would be different in my life today. They made me stronger as a person. Before they died,  never in a million years did I think I was physically and mentally strong enough to give birth to them and then to hold them as they lay dead in my arms… to examine every inch of their bodies knowing I’d never see them again.  It doesn’t make much sense, and I know not everyone who loses a baby feels this way, but I felt proud and privileged to have had that experience with them.

The twins showed me how much love I had in my life from family and friends.

They enabled me to connect with the “bigger picture” of death and the natural world.

Since their death, I have worked and formed friendships with a fantastic group of women all of whom experienced the loss of a baby. I probably wouldn’t have met them if it weren’t for the twins.

I now have two beautiful sons I would not have known had the twins survived. And the list goes on.

It’s taken me ten years to get to this place in my grief but I have to say yes, that I would do it all over again. My twins’ short lives were not in vain, and I don’t regret having them at all.

 

Comfort and Peace January 10, 2009

Two things I think most of us strive for in our lives are comfort and peace. These two elements can be illusive in the best of times. When you lose a baby, they can be virtually impossible to attain for weeks, even months.

It’s cliche, but time did allow those life components to naturally, slowly creep back into my life after I lost the twins. After the initial  heart wrenching devastation, time gave way to small bits of normalcy each day/week/month that passed.

For me, talking about my sons to friends who would listen, over and over again, helped tremendously. Speaking their names and telling their story to someone who would listen validated them and all that I was going though, and helped me make it though those early days of grief.

Creating routines and memories that included my lost children in my daily life helped as well. I felt as if I was honoring them each time I did something to purposefully remember them. That in itself helped me to regain a sense of comfort and peace after the completely life altering experience of their death.

 

“Move On With Your Life” January 7, 2009

How many times did I hear those words in the first years after the twins died? Well meaning people, my parents in particular, didn’t want to see me in so much pain. I don’t blame them. But their words hurt. I knew I would never “move on” from the memory of my children, who I held inside of me and desperately loved and anticipated for six months. My attachment to them started far before that- my husband and I had been trying to conceive  for four years, and I had had one miscarriage prior to conceiving the twins. 

Ten years later my intense grief has subsided and my memories of them are now bittersweet. But moving on was never a possibility.

 

Grieving For the Future January 3, 2009

John Travolta and his wife Kelly just lost their 16 year old son. I can only imagine the searing, intolerable pain they are going through right now. It brings back a lot of the same feelings I experienced when I lost the twins.  When someone you love dies, the pain is so intense… unrelenting at first. It is very normal for your feelings of grief to emerge once again when you hear about someone else experiencing the death of a loved one.

I had a friend whose 18 year old son died in a car accident several months after the twins died. She was beside herself at the wake, unable to stand, and at one point, couldn’t bear to be in the room where the wake was taking place. Later, she said to me that she felt my loss was “worse” than hers, because she had 18 years of memories with her son, and I had none with the twins.

When you lose a loved one, you grieve for what was. When you lose a baby, you grieve for the future that will never be.

 

How Many Children Do You Have?

That’s a tough one. I used to answer “Two in Heaven and Two on Earth.” But now I just say two, knowing in my heart that I really have four, even six (counting my two miscarriages). I lost my twin sons ten years ago this past September. I carried them for six months in what turned out to be a horrendous pregnancy. “Twin-to-twin Transfusion Syndrome” is what was stated as the cause of death on their death certificates.  What I went through was so much more than those five little words describe…

 

Hello world! December 31, 2008

Hello-
Welcome to my blog- Soundwaves. I am a housewife, mother and former elementary school teacher. I started this blog because I would like to reach out to people who have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or death right after birth.  I suffered two miscarriages and gave birth to stillborn twin sons due to twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.  I now happily have two live sons ages 8 and 6.

I have been RTS trained as a bereavement support person. Although I am not a professional counselor, I  hope my posts will help women and families  who have suffered the loss of a baby find solice and perhaps a sense of hope for the future. 

Take Care-
Claudia