Grieving the loss of a child is one of the most painful experiences a parent could ever go through. Sherokee Ilse has been there and she understands what it means to love and lose an infant child too soon.
For those who haven’t experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth delivery, it’s hard to know exactly what it’s like to walk through this painful valley. Sherokee elaborates,
“Pregnancy is such an abstract event. Until that baby is met, experienced, there’s some shared stories, etc., I think that it’s hard for family and friends to understand the depth of love, the depth of loss, and the need for support in the abstract.”
Anyone who has experienced this loss needs plenty of physical, emotional and spiritual support. Parents create a loving bond with their children from a very early age. According to Sherokee these bonds are often created long before conception.
“Is there are a love scale that measures the length we’ve known someone or the size of their body or how long they’ve been physically in our lives? Or do we actually begin bonding, loving and preparing for children when we’re little kids playing house playing dolls playing mommy and daddy.”
October is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month, but Sherokee’s hope is that our awareness and support for families would last throughout the year.
“My hope is that we actually have less babies who die. I wish that people would donate money towards research. I’d like to see more Cuddle Cots in hospitals, where babies can be held. The message is that your baby deserves to be seen and held in your room and not to go to the morgue afterwards.”
There is a need for improvement in the areas of miscarriage and infertility support.
“I wish that we would do more work with our families who miscarry and acknowledge those as real babies.”
“For those who have infertility, or don’t have any living children because of losses or infertility, that our hearts reach out to them and give them solace, love and talk about the loss of their dreams that help people to feel held and feel loved.”
“I wish that we would slow things down so that when the news is given, people would contact our Baby Loss Family Advisors and get help birth planning and feeling like they’re not alone and have an advocate to be by their side during that time; whether it’s in person, on the Internet, through e-mail or phone calling.”
There are helpful resources available for parents in the midst of the grieving process. Together, we can support those who have experienced the loss of a baby and remind them they are never alone.
“My goal is that every single person who has a baby die, that they will not feel alone; that they know that they are loved, and that those babies matter, and they will always be the parents of those children.”
Sherokee Ilse is President of Wintergreen Press and Babies Remembered, and Co-founder of Loss Doulas International. She is an International speaker, author, parent advocate, bereaved parent. She is the author of several books including, .Babies Remembered
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