As much as we’d like you to read this, we’re sorry that you landed on this page as it might be reflecting an agonizing period in your life. A parent is never prepared to see their child go before them and when it happens, we can never make sense of it. We can try to imagine the parent’s pain, but we won’t be able to; it is too deep and far beyond.
But it doesn’t have to be bleak throughout. There is so much that you can do for yourself and your loved ones around you to help you move on with your life after the loss of a baby.
Infant loss could be from a stillbirth, a sudden death for any number of reasons, or perhaps the baby could not be saved from any complications at birth. We know that intense grief after losing a baby can cause overwhelming, and frightening emotional and physical reactions.
Despite all of this, you can piece your life back together again and hopefully this brief read will help you.
There will always be people around wanting to help you. Help comes in many different forms, be it the hugs and comfort from those closest to you, to a neighbor cooking you a meal, to professional help from doctors. Seek out face-to-face support from people who care about you.
Take care of your physical self
You probably don’t feel like eating or drinking, and experiencing disturbed sleep. You can combat stress and fatigue by getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. Routine can bring on comfort so get back to the activities that bring you relaxation.
Hold a memorial
Some of your friends might not have even seen the baby yet. Tell them about him or her by holding a memorial. Depending on your beliefs, some babies might be buried after death, others cremated. If you choose cremation, a keepsake urn to honor your baby could be used to keep the ashes. Keepsake Urns hold a small portion of one’s ashes and are meant for sharing or keeping near you to remember a loved one. It is common for each surviving family member to receive a keepsake urn.
Deal with your emotions
At some point, you will feel angry. Helpful outlets for anger could be crying, writing, talking or exercise. This and other difficult emotions become less intense as you begin to accept the loss and start taking steps to move forward. Focusing on the positive events and experiences in the relationship you had with your baby will help.
Overcome the guilt
Feelings of guilt may cause you to think you could have done more to prevent this. You could judge yourself as a parent, because parenthood means carrying the responsibility. It’s important to know that you are not powerful enough to invite death or prevent it. Feeling guilty is part of grief and is totally different than actually being guilty.
Everyone grieves; pain is inevitable and so is recovery. Sometimes writing down your feelings and talking to other parents going through the same challenge will help. There are plenty of forums and support groups that you can join. It’s a must-know that eventually, one day you will remember your child with more joy than pain. No matter how much it hurts, move through the pain, not away from it.