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Why I Share

A few days ago was the harvest full moon. A big, beautiful orb of light in the darkness of night. One that shone down on the bounty of nature, one to be thankful for. I sat and stared at the moon, reflecting on why I do what I do. And I realized that, in many ways, I want to be that harvest moon. I want to be the light that helps and guides someone through their darkest hour. But it isn’t always easy.

So I was thinking about why I really, truly share what I share, because I have eleven babies, though all are not physically here with me (though they are always with me). I share now because I felt like I couldn’t when I was going through my pregnancy losses. I share because they can’t be hidden anymore. I have to believe there is a reason for why some of my babies had to die.

Recently, a lady at a conference I was presenting at said “don’t stop doing this.” It was encouraging in the face of discouragement. You see, sometimes I feel like I’m “too much,” or that I’m doing too much with very little benefit. But I feel that we have to meet with others who have experienced pregnancy loss and go to those underground safe spaces to find others when they don’t exist in our real-life circle.

It can feel shameful, but it’s sometimes the only way to find our greatest supporters, those who get it, those who have been there. Loss families can be the best supporters for other loss families. We can understand and empathize more deeply, and we can validate each other. We know to ask, “how are you right now?” and then sit in silence and just be together. There is no oversharing or judgment, just listening.

Holding space for our stories is the only way they will come to the surface, or else we will press them down and talk about other things that don’t really matter. And then we don’t realize why we have outbursts. But, of course we do . . . when we can’t share.

When we share our losses with others, it can help to explain that there’s no timeline for grief. We don’t need to explain that our loss happened however many years ago, because our loss happened. It changed us forever, and we shouldn’t go on pretending like it hasn’t. I am no longer the same Carmen that I was, and that’s both sad and liberating.

We need to talk about how we never get that naive spark back, how we are now more cautious, how we lost a baby and people forgot we were pregnant, how we are changed not just physically but emotionally. How much this can take a toll on us and seem to defeat us, because we are just in such deep pain. Oh, the pressure to be the same and not talk about anything is unreal.

We all try to find ways to heal. We may want to punch a pillow and scream. But in a society where it feels like we can't cry or scream or talk about baby loss without the fear of being called crazy, we've got to let it out somewhere. We can be stripped of this, and silenced, and it’s not fair, which is why I will always share. Sharing the signs and beautiful moments my losses have given me helps to keep our story alive and helps the memories of my babies to live on.

I will never stop sharing with other families going through loss. I share so my words and any education I provide may one day support them and bring comfort to them, so they know how to do the same for others and offer out their own story. And even more importantly, I want to reach those who have not gone through loss, for them to be able to support us better.

I share to feel an openness. My dreams always feel so big, but I’m a regular person who went through loss, trying to walk other regular people through what that might look like. I remember that it’s not to just make people comfortable but to let them sit in the uncomfortableness of it all a little bit. No one wants that. I totally get it, which is why people don’t come up to my table at conferences, or they run away quickly and I’m left to sit in the awkwardness of it all, wanting so badly not to be that person causing the awkwardness. But I don’t really feel the awkwardness. I am never alone when I think about my babies. In fact, I never stop thinking about my babies that are no longer with me.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my three beautiful children are the most wonderful thing that have ever happened to me. Being their mom is my whole life’s work. But I do still look back at my pregnancy losses . . . in order to go forward, for my kids and for their generation. I look back, even though it’s hard and I find myself more emotional. But if it helps to create a community, and more importantly to educate that community, I will continue to share.

I am a compassionate mama, trying to help others to mother each other, trying to show that we should not be silenced. I vow to show up to keep doing the work, to speak for those who aren’t ready to, and to offer support and comfort for those who are going through loss. That is the best that I can do. For as long as I love and live, I will speak of and for my babies, to be a story of hope for mamas, and to offer support, listening, and community. It starts small, with a single conversation, to un-silence baby loss.

I want to be the harvest moon. I want to be the ray of light that offers hope.

And that is why I share.


Carmen Grover is an HHA IPLD candidate. More importantly, she is a mother, nurse, yogi, farmer, and journal-keeper turned writer. Check out Carmen's book A Diary to My Babies.

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