Sharing the Pain of Stillbirth Stories

May 22, 2011

Stillborn stories are probably the most heartbreakingly painful stories to read and hear from others. We cannot often handle the idea of death happening to our adult family and friends even when we know that it’s the cycle of life. We can only imagine the depth of grief that expectant mothers feel upon knowing about the death of their babies in their own wombs.

What is Stillbirth?

Sharing stories can ease the pain

Each country has a different definition of a stillborn baby. Nonetheless, the widely-accepted definition is that a stillborn baby is one who has reached over 20 weeks of gestation and many babies are born still at full term.  Many stillborn stories talk of the death of the baby while inside the womb  where Mothers have experienced no movement of their unborn children, thus, leading them to seek medical opinion that eventually discover their death.

Unfortunately, stillbirths are relatively common occurrences that can affect any woman regardless of age, social standing and economic status. In the United States alone, the stillbirth rate is estimated at 1 in 115 live births. This translates to approximately 26,000 stillbirths each year so much so that one stillborn baby is delivered every 20 minutes.

Why is Sharing Your Story Important?

You will find many stillborn stories in the media, in books and in television shows, all of which will touch your heart especially when you have delivered a stillborn baby, too. The question is: Are you also willing to share your story?

It may be cathartic to share your story but only when you are ready to do so. When you tell your stillborn story, you are basically giving yourself – your emotions, your grief and your vulnerability – to the mercy of others and this is not an easy thing to do for most of us.

Still, your generosity in sharing your story, on a small or large scale, has its benefits for you and for those who hear of it. You are:

• Honoring your baby’s memory, thus, allowing him/her to live on in the hearts of others, too.
• Expressing your feelings in such a way as to make the retelling a cathartic experience
• Letting others learn from your story by becoming an inspiration
• Opening yourself to other people especially your family and friends who wanted to sympathize but were afraid of being rejected

In the end, you may be more accepting of your loss while still remembering the light of life that your baby has made in this world, if only for a short time.

Look at the stories in Beyond Pregnancy Loss and you will find inspiration of how others triumphed over their own losses.

Talk to you soon…

Helen

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