Today we’re sharing the final reason for Hockey For Grace. Awareness. To start a conversation about Pregnancy & Infant Loss.
Did you know that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in a loss? We didn’t. It’s a staggering fact and one we didn’t hear through any of my pregnancy until we were 1 of those 4.
So many have personally been through a loss. A miscarriage, a stillbirth, a loss after birth. They all matter. They all hurt. As soon as you start trying, as soon as you see those pink lines on a pregnancy test, you start dreaming, you start planning, you start loving. Yet when a loss happens so many stay silent.
Chris and I have shared Grace’s story from the beginning. It’s one of the ways that we are dealing with our grief and the fact that she is gone. Being vocal about your loss isn’t for everyone but getting the support that someone needs to help them get through their grief should always be available. One of the incredible resources that is available and that we have been so lucky to access is the PAIL Network, which is now a part of Sunnybrook Hospital (https://pailnetwork.sunnybrook.ca/).
They offer support for families who have had a loss via peer support groups, phone support and soon online support as well as hosting memorial events and providing education for health care providers. We are so thankful for this organization as they truly were and continue to be a life line for us.
Through sharing our stories we have heard so many others. Many had never shared their story or only with a few people saying they felt like they shouldn’t talk about it, or that people felt uncomfortable when they did. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to talk about it, they felt like they couldn’t, that they shouldn’t. That should never be the case.
A child dying isn’t a pleasant topic. It defies the order in which things should work. People often don’t know what to say so they quickly change the subject or pull for words and end up saying something that upsets the parents like “you’re young, you can try again”. If you ever meet someone who has lost a child and they have shared that with you treat them like a parent. They are, their baby just isn’t here. Ask them about their child or if you don’t know what to say simply so.
It’s time that people are able to open up and share. To honor their child by talking about them. Gone are the days that we just “pretend” it didn’t happen. Hospitals are getting better, allowing families as much time with their child as they would like. Medical staff are being trained to provide the necessary care. We still have a long way to go, however. These families still must stay on the maternity floor. Follow up care still happens in OB’s offices where happy pregnant mom’s or new mom’s and babies are all about. So lets keep the conversation going. It’s time to talk about Pregnancy & Infant Loss.