'The losses are so awful': Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day
Oct.15 is recognized as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, with the intention to honour grieving families and empower women to speak about loss and infant death.
“One in four pregnancies end in loss,” said Chantelle Meadows, who knows all too well the grief of pregnancy loss.
“In January 2018 I gave birth to my daughter at 18 weeks. It was a tragic and sudden loss that we weren’t prepared for,” explained Meadows.
After suffering two miscarriages, she turned to the Pregnancy & Infant Loss (PAIL) Network for support.
“Getting the word out that you are not alone in this journey and that saying ‘I’m sorry’ is just enough when you’ve met someone that’s suffered a loss,” says Meadows.
Meanwhile, some women, like Katrina Hesman, are going to incredible lengths to get pregnant.
“We really do want a family,” she told CTV News London. “When you have infertility, there is a timeline. The clock starts ticking and if you have to do something like IVF [In vitro fertilization], timing really matters,” said Hesman.
She and her husband, Gideon, have been trying to conceive for two years.
“The losses are so awful when you’ve been wanting something for so long and you get a little glimmer of hope and then it’s just gone,” Hesman explained.
After three miscarriages, Hesman is now going through a government funded IVF treatment in Toronto, but it does not include travel, testing or the extra medications needed.
“At this point it’s transfer three, we want to throw everything we can but it’s getting expensive, especially when you’re throwing all this money at a cycle for the chance of a pregnancy and once you’re pregnant, it’s for a chance that pregnancy lasting and when you have reoccurring loss you’re just worried the whole time. You spend two weeks hoping you’re pregnant then the rest of the time hoping you stay pregnant,” said Hesman.
She is now taking to social media to share her personal struggles, letting others know they are not alone.
“Infertility, the loss, continued infertility, recurrent loss. It’s just becomes so much. It’s hard not to feel alone. I would really love to be more of a community, more open honesty about our losses and our struggles,” Hesman explained. “There are so many women who are ashamed to talk about their losses or it’s too painful to talk about it to people who don’t understand. I think raising that awareness and raising the ability in people to support others who have had losses is one step in the right direction.”