[Warning; I’m writing about pregnancy loss]
This project has been growing inside me for so long – I don’t even know how long. Perhaps it was from the moment my daughter was born. Perhaps it was in the months that followed. Perhaps it was in the weeks, months, and years (hard to believe it; it feels like just yesterday that my daughter was born) that followed as women gifted me their stories of pregnancy related losses.
Losses that Change Us
There are all manner of losses that can change how we are. Perhaps it’s the loss of an imagined future when a pregnancy and birth aren’t what we had hoped for, perhaps it’s the loss of a physical part of ourselves or a disability that arises from pregnancy, perhaps it’s a traumatic birth, or perhaps it’s the loss of a child.
A lack of language
There are so many losses that we can experience and what I’ve seen is that we do not have the language to validate these experiences and that, too often, women (and men) present later on with issues that are not always traced back to the pregnancy related experience that gave rise to it. I’m thinking, for example of the woman who keeps trying to lose weight who reveals that life changed after a miscarriage when she no longer liked or trusted her body; another woman who has never forgiven herself for undergoing an abortion. A beautiful man tells me about the loss of a child – he has never told anyone else and there are no words for how deeply this loss has changed how he is in the world. People talk to me all the time about the children their mothers lost and I know in how they talk and how they are that even though their mother did not talk about these other pregnancies and children, that the mother’s mothering was affected as were the interactions with her living children.
My daughter’s mission and mine
I feel strongly that my daughter’s mission in this life is to help us voice these pregnancy related losses. To acknowledge these experiences. To celebrate all our children. To understand that pregnancies and births are not always straightforward. To understand that loss in pregnancy can take different forms and profoundly affect the very identity of the pregnant woman as well as those around her. This is my daughter’s mission and I have been entrusted with it.
Last year, I made a recording of meditations for pregnancy related loss. I’ll be releasing this album in late September ahead of Baby Loss October. Please join me in spreading the word that we need to talk about pregnancy related loss with compassion and understanding.