An ultrasound tech.
An absent heartbeat.
And then come the words.
Almost always inadequate, these words, but yet they frame a couple’s experiences of pregnancy and infant loss for years to come. When they remember that tiny life gone too soon, they will also remember the words. In my many years working within the pregnancy and infant loss community, I have heard many stories. Women being told it was “just cr*p luck”. Women being told that it was so early they didn’t even need to count their pregnancy in future medical records. Women being denied testing for possible causes. Women being told their milk wouldn’t come in because they didn’t really have a baby, but then it did.
Because of course there was a baby.
The words a provider chooses in this moment matter. And it isn’t just the medical profession either, I’ve heard numerous stories of priests and pastors who didn’t choose their words with compassion. While the negative stories get more traction, shock, outrage, and overall reaction, within the community of men and women who care for families facing pregnancy and infant loss, there are those who know a better way. Those who compassionately, respectfully, and empathetically support these families.
When we faced a poor prenatal diagnosis for my daughter Siena, our longtime OB told me that faced with the same situation he and his wife would be making the same choice we were. To carry to term not knowing the outcome. Later in that same pregnancy, a high risk doctor confessed to me that despite having worked with moms who “made the other choice” he had over and over again observed that those who chose to carry to term tended to be in a “better place” six months after their child’s death.
Those are words to be clung to.
Words to remember.
And providers to be celebrated.
These two providers, and many others, are working tirelessly every day to compassionately care for the men, women, and children affected by pregnancy and infant loss. They are fighting for us.
They are doing this in a world where it is normal to discount the value of the unborn child. Where it is easy to make the “other choice” when things aren’t going as planned.
This year during October, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, I would like to invite you to thank these providers for the difference they make. Join our GoFundMe campaign to send thank you care packages to providers around the country. Each care package will include a personalized thank you card, a copy of my book (Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb: Rosary Reflections for Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss), prayer cards, and other goodies. Every dollar counts and it is my personal goal to raise funds to ship at least one box to each of the 50 states. Two would be even better! You can make a donation above, and even nominate a worthy provider (medical, spiritual, or other) to receive their own care package!
Be sure to follow #BlessedIsTheFruitOfThyService and #SayThankYou on social media and add your own stories to connect with other families and outstanding providers!