Yet women and their families often feel like they have to keep an early pregnancy loss in the first trimester under wraps.
It's so sad when you can't share your worst kind of grief with those who you share your biggest joy.
I want you to know that you are not alone. Through your grief and pain and loss you have joined the club that no one wants to be a part of. But the most astonishing thing is that this club is made up of some of the most powerful, compassionate, and inspiring women.
I could see my four-year-old son playing on the slide, but my two-year-old son was out of sight -- not unusual as we had a very large, gated yard. I didn't even have time to cover myself before a woman came around the corner, a look of fury on her face and my two-year-old on her hip. "DO YOU KNOW WHERE I JUST FOUND YOUR CHILD?" she screeched.
The holidays are a joyful time of celebration and coming together with friends and family. But for families who have lost a loved one, the holidays can be especially difficult. Old memories and traditions offer reminders of loved ones no longer there. Families who have lost babies can find the holidays particularly bittersweet.
Emily was two and a half years old. She was a beautiful blonde toddler with a shy and quiet nature. For most of her life we lived in Niger. I always thought (and I still do) that it was a wonderful place for our children to grow up. I look back on the nine years we spent in Niger as among the happiest years of my life. I vividly remember the afternoon we spent relaxing at the pool of the old French club. Emily was full of life -- jumping and splashing in the pool with all the others. We went to church on the Sunday evening in a nearby village the night before she died.
While the majority of people haven't found the courage yet to talk with expectant parents about the risk of losing a child, how to survive such tragedies and continue to live, we need to be even more diligent in ensuring that we have experienced specialists in place that are available every time parents are facing the tragedy of losing their baby.
The shifts in friendships and relationships are extreme. The negative ones go all the way to a feeling of being shunned. Here comes the living nightmare, take cover. A couple who lost two children. Sometimes it feels like we have a contagious virus that others try to dodge by avoiding bereaved parents.
Unlike most emotional injuries, the core and source of the pain never changes at all -- I can go right back to December 5, 2006 literally in a heartbeat. I try not to do that, and therein lies one of the fundamental truths of the matter. Even I thought that by now I'd be free of the worst effects of my experience, I've come to realize that that sort of wishful thinking doesn't ring true.