Tag Archive for: yael ernst

לידה שקטה

Talking About Stillbirth

stillbirthOn September 6th, 2010, I was on the 37th week and three days of my second pregnancy. I was feeling under the weather, so I spent most of the day in bed. That afternoon I wasn’t sure I felt my baby move, so I went to the ER.
After several attempts to hook up the baby monitor, one of 3 doctors who were standing in front of me said: “I’m sorry, but there’s no pulse.”
Or, in other words: your baby died inside your womb.

When that happened to me, I felt utterly alone, like I was the only one in the world who went through stillbirth.
Of course, this was not the case:
6 of every 1,000 childbirths in Israel end in stillbirth. In Australia, those numbers are double.
There’s no way I am the only one who went through stillbirth.

We see this with other traumas as well; when something so profoundly significant happens to us, we feel we’re the only one this happened to. To that, we add the element of silence.
Generally speaking, traumas tend to be hushed. As if it’s best not talking about it, not let it be a part of our lives. Just go on with life. We have nothing to do about this now. We need to let go. Don’t deal with it. Don’t dwell on it.
“Time heals all.”
I don’t think time heals anything.

Silence only deepens trauma. Trauma grows well in the dark. Silence continually feeding it, and it exists inside us in isolation.
It’s not clear when silence became an unwritten law when it comes to traumas, but if we look at traumas in general, silence is there, and everyone agrees on this code: something happened, and we’re not talking about it.

What does it mean “talking about stillbirth”?

Today we can find many stillbirth stories almost on all social media:
On YouTube, we can see women sitting in their bedrooms, in front of a camera, sharing with us all that has happened in the delivery room.
On Instagram, we can find photos of babies who were born still.
On Facebook, we can find many groups about stillbirth and now and then someone will share she went through stillbirth and write what she went through.
A lot of pain and many tears come up from all these stories.

But stillbirth does not end in the delivery room. It just begins there.
In my opinion, talking about the stillbirth itself is just one part of our healing. The title “stillbirth” includes all that happens after the birth itself: the stares from people I know at the supermarket or in the street, crying, the phantom pains I had in my arms because my baby girl Ayelet wasn’t in them. The loud silence that filled my house and my life after I came home from the hospital, the inability of many people around me to contain my pain and loss. The society we live in which rushes us to “get over it already,” which promises me that I will soon have a new baby, long before they acknowledge my baby existed, and now she’s dead.
How jealous and bitter I was whenever I saw a woman with two children, or a pregnant woman, or a woman who had her baby around the time I had my stillbirth. The fact that I had to deal with being envious and bitter, two feelings I never felt before.
This experience taught me what deep, real sadness is, from the deepest place there is, my womb. All these and more are parts of “talking about stillbirth.”
Talking about stillbirth is also the healing process I went through, feeling all those emotions everyone wants to help you avoid: grief, loss, emptiness.

Talking about our spouses, who also lost their baby, they too mourn and feel the loss. This, too, falls under the title “talking about stillbirth.”

Let me assure you, time doesn’t heal anything. We heal ourselves.
Time allows us the time to go through our journey. Time does not make us forget or dims anything; many times, time is a painful reminder of all that we have lost.
At other times time passes by.
And where are we in all this? We flow along with the minutes and seconds that go by?

We choose how to live our lives. We will meet our experiences again and again in the course of our lives. It is the choices and decisions we make that will determine the life we have after this experience.
We are much stronger than society thinks we are.
We are much stronger than we think.

So here it is:
During these nine years since my stillbirth, I had a physical and emotional fight in birth, loss, and healing. I gave and received great love with my husband, my son, and the people who helped me along the way. Fear from another pregnancy, another stillbirth. Joy from another pregnancy, movements of a living baby inside me again, joy for all that I have. Loss of a baby and a lifetime I will never have with her. Hope that I will be happy soon, that I will heal, that I will be able to draw meaning from this experience. Pain for having to go through this sad experience, that a baby died in my womb. Healing from this experience and everything that comes with it, looking it straight in the eye and understanding that it’s another experience to what is called “Yael’s life.”

Nine years after and I wish to share my story with others who went through stillbirth and loss because I want to talk about stillbirth and not be silent anymore. It’s important to help others know they are not alone, and also, please remember: there is hope after stillbirth.


How Stillbirth Affected My Life

stillbirthMany women refer to their stillbirth as the “before and after” changing point, the life they had before the stillbirth and the life they have after it is not the same, it’s changed.
That’s not the case for me. While it is a significant point in my life, I don’t think I lived my life after stillbirth wholly changed and is now different from the way I was before the stillbirth.
I think the reason for this is the fact that before my stillbirth, I went through death and loss several times. I lost my grandfather and grandmother during my early twenties and lost my parents around my late twenties. My mom passed away in October 2001 when I was 26 years old, and my dad passed away two years and seven months after my mom.
Losing my parents are the losses that divide my life to “before” and “after,” especially my mom’s death, which caught me when I was going through a storm in my life, and her passing just made everything so much harder.

Stillbirth is not the point where my life got turned upside down. It is the experience that taught me what deep sadness is. “Sadness” is the best word to describe stillbirth for me.
Other experiences taught me of great anger, of compassion to the little girl I was when I went through other traumas and difficulties. But stillbirth is such a bitter experience, on every level possible, soul and body.

Sometimes I wonder how stillbirth affected my motherhood. Am I a different mother than I was before the stillbirth?
I’m not talking about the first few months, processing and grieving. Obviously, things at this time will be different.

To answer this question, I feel I need to look at a broader one: Did stillbirth change me?

Deciding to celebrate

I think I learned certain things from stillbirth as a whole experience, but I don’t think it changed anything essential in me.
Women who went through stillbirth talk about losing their innocence. They say every joy comes with concerns and doubts. I’m glad it didn’t happen to me.
But one of the things I remember is deciding to use every happy occasion in my life to have grand celebrations.
I think the only force that can stand against death is life. Therefore, the decision to celebrate was, for me, equal to choosing to live my life as good and happy as I can.

The first time I felt I want to celebrate after my stillbirth in 2010 was my boy’s Shahar 5th Birthday, which came four months after the stillbirth.
Since we planned a party, I decided I’m going to celebrate through the roof.
I saw that Angie from Bakerella not only makes the most amazing cake pops, but she also made it even better when she introduced me to cupcake pops.
Oh, how I LOVED cupcake pops!
I rehearsed, got sent ingredients from abroad, made some changes, and created about 40 cupcake pops, hand made by me.
Later I realized that it was occupational therapy for me. This little adventure helped me move to the next phase in my healing and brought great joy into my life at a time I needed it most.

“I choose to be in the light.”

The decision to celebrate every happy occasion changed throughout the years and is now a need and wish to be happy.
It’s quite easy to make me happy, generally speaking, but I feel my need to be happy grew with time, and that need stems from that decision I made after my stillbirth.
Alan Cumming, who is my greatest inspiration for writing and talking about stillbirth (and an inspiration for so many other things in my life), said in one of the thousands interviews he gave (yes, I saw many of them): “I have both darkness and light inside me, I choose to be in the light.”
He’s right, you know.

It is a choice. There are times in my life in which I had to make that choice every day consciously. Other times, the choice is like a reflex; I just do it.
I do believe it is a choice. From the moment I understood that I knew what I had to do, I knew I needed help, and I asked for it. I knew I needed to take steps each day, even little ones, which will lead me towards the life I wanted to lead.

I did not “move on” from my stillbirth. It’s not “over and done with.”
This experience walks with me after processing it, after healing. It’s integrated into my life.
I keep dealing with it, each time on a different level.
It is a part of my bundle.

Pregnancy After Stillbirth

Pregnancy After Stillbirth

Pregnancy After StillbirthMany women have asked me about the pregnancy that follows a stillbirth.
I’ll begin by saying- each woman has her own pace. Each woman has her personal decision to make. It can be a complex decision, it is always a brave one, and the only partners for this decision are, in my opinion, the spouses.
I got pregnant four months after my stillbirth with Ayelet. It felt right to my husband and me. Before I got pregnant, I went to therapy again for three months with my favorite therapist, which means I got pregnant after the initial process of the loss I went through. I knew I had a firm ground to stand on and try again. Even if I go a few steps back, I won’t fall apart.

Still, it can be scary, and I was afraid and had my share of anxieties.
It’s not news to me, having anxieties. I dealt with different forms of them and fear throughout my life, and I learned to live with them. I think that in the past ten years or so, those anxieties retired.
But on the pregnancy after Ayelet, fear was present, and my anxieties came back from retirement for one more round. I can understand that, I mean, it has to be a bumpy ride, getting pregnant again after stillbirth. How can I not be afraid?
I realized quite quickly that to go through this pregnancy and keep my sanity, I will need to do things differently than I did when I was pregnant with Shahar and Ayelet.

My husband and I asked ourselves- what is important to us?
I knew I wanted an OBGYN who could stir this ship, this pregnancy. I started going to an OBGYN who came highly recommended by someone I trust but found this OBGYN was all wrong for me. I felt this doctor got carried away with every little thing someone threw into the air as an idea, which brought way too many tests into my life, and it felt wrong.

During my pregnancy with Shahar, I went to a great OBGYN called Dr. Ber, an excellent doctor with a lot of experience and a good sense of humor (which is always a plus in my book). After Shahar was born, I switched to a different health program and met another good OBGYN, Dr. Dekel.
After Ayelet’s stillbirth, I went to a very well known OBGYN in Israel who told me, based on an un-clear blood test result, that I should start injecting Clexane daily. That surprised me! I don’t have a clotting disorder, never had one, how did that thing enter into my life?
The OBGYN insisted, so we decided to go to a second opinion with Dr. Ber.
Dr. Ber looked at my file, looked at me, and started talking. As he began to speak, I began to relax.
The conclusion was clear; he is the OBGYN I needed for this pregnancy. As I was seeing him, I also continued seeing my other OBGYN, Dr. Dekel. I felt safe and covered between these four hands.
I felt I was doing something right, which gave me some peace of mind.
I should mention that I had another blood test, which showed I do not have a clotting disorder.

One of the most important things I did was using the “day by day” strategy.
Look, nine months is a LONG time! Forty weeks is A LOT of weeks. Can you imagine how much stress can bottle up inside me during this time?? It can be endless!
For me, the only way to make sure I don’t lose myself in anxieties and fear during this pregnancy was to break this time up into shorter periods of time.
I broke it down to days. I didn’t look ahead, I sometimes looked back (but mainly to pat myself on the back for a well-done job in taking it one day at a time). I only looked at was the present day.
I didn’t look at other weeks, didn’t look at the 37th week. I was not interested in tomorrow and the day after that. Sometimes I jumped ahead in time to set dates for tests, but other than that- nothing.
I know, I know, it’s difficult and not that simple. I agree. But it is doable, and when I was able to make it happen, I found it very calming.

To sum up, what did we have?

* The “day to day” strategy.
* Two OBGYN’s I trusted. Both suggested I should be connected to a monitor every other day as of the 36th week (yep, you read that right).
* A supporting husband who is my best friend and my partner in this experience.
* Therapy sessions for three months, which helped clear the soul before this new pregnancy.

And how was the pregnancy?

It was good. I had my moments of losing it, but I also learned to appreciate little things that made me happy and made me laugh, like strange movements that my girl Noga made when she was in my womb, like waves.
I don’t think it can be a stress-free pregnancy. But it can be a positive experience. I feel my pregnancy that followed the stillbirth was a good positive experience.

On a wider resolution

I want to say something in a broader resolution.
I could have prepared myself as much as I wanted.
I could have been with three OBGYN’s, have three more on call, be hooked to a monitor 24/7, have a live-in nurse…
And still.
I can’t control everything.
This is a profound and challenging understanding to handle. But once I understood that, something inside me was set free.

Pregnancy after stillbirth is like life after trauma. I can’t control things, and sometimes something bad happens.
I don’t know exactly what, but let’s face it, there are so many possibilities.  Of course, there’s also the possibility that everything will be just fine.
So I can go on preparing as much as I want. I still have to accept the fact that I simply can’t control everything.
It’s not something about me.
It’s just life.

So I can avoid being pregnant again, that’s one road to choose.
Another road to choose is getting pregnant and going through endless anxieties and fears.
A third option is to get pregnant, do the best that I can, and accepting the fact I can’t control everything.
I remember feeling I wasn’t enjoying my third pregnancy, that I’m drowning in fears, that I wasn’t able to be joyful of feeling a baby moving in my womb again. Granted, I was pregnant for the accumulated time of a year and a half, I felt like a huge elephant! How much fun can I have, feeling like that?!
But not giving this pregnancy it’s well-deserved place is simply not fair. It stands in its own right. It’s not just relative to the previous pregnancy, which ended so very badly.

Does the fact that a million things can go wrong is a good enough reason not to try again? Is it a good enough reason to see only the things that could go wrong and not see the good things that this pregnancy brings with it? Can this pregnancy be looked at solely as a pregnancy that is supposed to correct the previous pregnancy?

So I can busy myself with endless projects, watch movies and binge on great series, get a ton of work done, read, practice pilates.
But those moments of fear will always strike. It usually happens when we’re tired and feel like we are not the greatest creature on this earth. That’s when our anxieties will get the best of us, and our soul will not know how to calm itself.

I can suggest that you let it be for a while, breathe, and understand that it is a part of our bundle.
We can count movements according to the week we’re in, and we can talk to our spouse and go through this together instead of alone.
We can open the TV and let a movie or a series to wash away every part of our freaking out mind.
Whatever helps us overcome these moments.

Yes, I can hear all those who are questioning just how well I remember being pregnant after stillbirth. After all, It’s been a while.
Don’t worry, I remember it well.

And I still think that understanding I can’t control everything even when my body is involved, along with being prepared for the things I can control, is the key to having a sane enough pregnancy.

Stillbirth And After- The Playlist

Stillbirth And After- The Playlist

Stillbirth And After- The PlaylistMusic is an un-separable part of my life.

Every experience in my life has a soundtrack of artists I love and respect.

First in line are, and forever will be, Queen. Queen is my favourite band since a very young age, their songs are with me throughout my life and are a great source of inspiration for me.
But there are other wonderful artists who are there by my side.

Even after stillbirth.

I was searching for playlists which were created with stillbirth in mind, and yet again I found an effort to maintain the loss and the sadness. It really seems weird when it comes to music, especially when we remember music’s ability to lift the spirits.

So why not let it be a part of our healing process?

I created a playlist of my own, which gives loss it’s place, because it is the right thing to do. At the same time, there’s room in this playlist for hope and strength that we all posses, which allow and help  us continue with our lives.

Yes, I think the first step is grieving and processing the loss. But from my experience, I think that flickers of hope come up much faster than we think, and these too should get the respect they deserve. This is why there are two kinds of songs on my playlist:

Those who re-connect to the loss I went through, and those who re-connect me to the strength and hope I have inside me.
You can find Queen songs on the playlist (of course), alongside songs by Amanda Palmer (who released the most perfect album on March 2019 and quickly became the sountrack for writing my story), The Cure, Regina Spector, The Smiths, Cindy Lauper and more.

You are welcome to listen to the playlist on this attached player, and also follow the playlist on Spotify by clicking here.
And if you know of a song that you think could fit this playlist, please write me so I could listen to it (and maybe add it to the playlist).


Stillbirth- Lectures For Practitioners

Stillbirth- Lectures For Practitioners

Stillbirth- Lectures For PractitionersAs I finished writing my story about stillbirth, I felt the next step will be to start talking about this experience.
I have a lot to say about it.
I didn’t know how one starts booking lectures through. Of course, I need to write one, that’s a given. But how does one actually books lectures for people to come and listen?
Yes, sometimes I can be a bit clueless.
A few days later I got an e-mail that there’s a conference by the Israeli Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The subject-  women’s health.
I contacted a fellow colleague and told him all about my story and stated “listen, I really want to talk about stillbirth in front of Chinese Medicine practitioners”.
My colleague said it sounds like a great idea and he’ll bring it up in front of the rest of the committee and let me know.
The next morning I got a text message “you’re in”.
And that’s how my first stillbirth lecture came to happen.

Stillbirth and Chinese Medicine Practitioners

It was a lecture/conversation between Yael Saslove-Shani and myself. In addition to being my soul sister, Yael is a wonderful Chinese Medicine practitioner for more than 20 years.
She was one of the first practitioners who focused on Chinese gynaecology in Israel and she’s one of the busiest teachers in the field. And as if all this is not enough, she was with me in the delivery room, trying to help inducing labour for my stillbirth.
There’s no better partner for this lecture.

Is there anything special that Chinese Medicine can offer women who went through stillbirth?
Generally speaking, I think Chinese Medicine has delicate abilities to go deep inside us, whether with manual techniques (such as Tuina or Shiatsu), or with the acupuncture needles.
But I think that in the case of stillbirth, and trauma in general, the most important thing is the meeting between practitioner and patient, the connection between them; and the ability of the practitioner to create a safe place for the patient to talk freely, and just feel freely. Feel all emotions with no need to apologise for it or explain.

Yael and I quickly understood that the kind of dialogue that exists today about stillbirth is very limiting for the woman who went through this experience, and the things that are being said to those who went through stillbirth are hurtful and can add un-necessary pain. Somehow, the immediate reflex is silence, or strange sayings such as “but you didn’t really know the fetus” or “don’t worry, soon you’ll be pregnant with a new baby”, that are being said freely around those who just lost their baby.

The reactions to these comments can be cynical (as I react to them often). Others react angrily to them. But more important is the understanding that these sayings are just hurtful. These comments denies the existence of this baby in hers/his mother’s womb, the loss of that baby and dismiss all feelings a woman who just lost her baby might be going through.
In my case, Ayelet lived inside me and with me for 37 weeks and 3 days. And I was told she died.
And one simple thing is clear: before one dies, first one must live.

Proposing A New Dialogue

A woman who went through stillbirth lost a baby. The baby was alive in her womb, which is where he/she died.
This woman went through loss on a very deep level.

The dialogue in the clinic should be adjusted to that experience. The dialogue should acknowledge that this woman is a babyless mother, who went through (or is going through now) a mourning period and is processing what she went through.

How do we do this?
We choose our words carefully, and form questions that will give this woman the clear message that the practitioner respects and acknowledges her loss.
As mentioned above, those comments and the silence surrounding stillbirth leave the women who went through this experience feeling very lonely, feeling that there’s something wrong with the loss and grief they are going through. The suggested dialogue allows the space to feel the wide range of emotions they are feeling and talk about it, if they choose to share.
When this dialogue is being offered, the treatment is whole.

And How Was Your Lecture?

Wow. I was so nervous, but at the same time I felt I was at the right place doing the right thing.
Telling and sharing my story is a privilege.
Giving practitioners the help they need to give the best care for their patients who went through stillbirth is another privilege, just as important as the first one.

Voicemail For Jill

Voicemail For Jill- A Conversation With A Song

Voicemail For JillConversations with a song. Ever had that?
I did, with Amanda Palmer’s heart crushing and soul empowering album “There Will Be No Intermission“, especially with this song, Voicemail For Jill.

It’s weird what I’m about to say, I know, but I knew all the songs on this album long before I heard them. Once I heard them, on March 8th 2019 (when the album was released), I was overwhelmed by Amanda Palmer’s powerful voice, and that piano- how can a piano sing my heart?! I love the piano, I used to play it and I think it’s one powerful instrument, but AP takes it to new levels of expression. How does she do that?? I fell in love with her, her piano and the album became the soundtrack of writing my story.
I went through stillbirth,  and although AP’s song is about abortion, I found myself having a conversation with most of this song. It brought back many thoughts and memories from the time after the stillbirth. I heard a line and just answered out loud (I’m not that weird, I just sound it sometimes… come on, admit it, you do the same!):

`Life’s such a bitch, isn’t it?`says AP.
Yes, yes it is.

`But no one’s gonna celebrate you
No one’s gonna bring you cake
And no one’s gonna shower you with flowers
The doctor won’t congratulate you
No one on that pavement’s gonna
Shout at you that your heart also matters`
I didn’t feel like celebrating much after a stillbirth anyway, so whatever.
I didn’t want cake, I didn’t want to eat anything. It all tasted bad anyway.
And someone should have shouted that my heart also matters, you know? Because it does.

`You don’t need to offer the right explanation
You don’t need to beg for redemption or ask for forgiveness`
And even if I wanted to, what kind of explanation can I offer?? I have no idea why my baby died on the 37th week (+ 3 days), no one does!
But how is this not my fault? Or at least part of it?
Of course I have to beg for forgiveness, from my baby girl Ayelet.  Maybe there’s something wrong with me that no one knows about, that caused my baby girl to stop living. Or maybe I just did or didn’t do something really important which caused her death? The doctors told me over and over again “it’s not your fault”, but please, what do they know.

`And you don’t need a courtroom inside of your head
Where you’re acting as judge and accused and defendant and witness`
Oh but I’m so good at it.

`It’s a strange grief but it’s grief` she says, and she’s right.
I didn’t feel that my grief was whole. How can you say goodbye before you even say hello?
It’s always amazing to me that I am the only one who knew her, I’m the only one who felt her and knew my baby girl Ayelet. But it’s not the same as knowing my baby once she’s born, is it.

What would I want?
`We can talk for hours` she says, that sounds good. Or just someone who’ll listen and won’t be paid by the hour. Just listen and will be able to handle all this pain that is being talked and cried out of me.

`No one’s gonna celebrate you` she says, again, and I ask- why not? Do you have any idea what I went through? But sure, I understand why not. Because my baby’s dead, that’s why. And although I went through labour, and although it was probably the closest I could get to a glimpse of hell- and I came back to tell the tale, my baby’s dead, and therefore, I have nothing to show for it, and therefore- no one’s gonna celebrate *me*. If you don’t have a baby to show for it then… nothing.

`No one on that pavement’s gonna
Shout at you that your heart also matters`
Damnit, she’s right.
This is one of the best things to say to a woman who went through stillbirth.
You’re heart also matters.
All those feelings you’re feeling are exactly what you should feel.

‘We’ll throw you the best
Abortion shower’
So much love in these 7 words. Can you feel it?
All we need after stillbirth, after abortion, after any trauma I think, is love. Someone to talk to, someone to be with. Someone to show us love.

I love Amanda Palmer. For this song, but also for kicking shame and fear out of her way so she could speak and sing her heart and offer comfort and warmth to others.

and now what

And Now What?

and now whatThe grieving period is over, the tears are dry and they don’t visit as often as before. The pain feels different. Smiling and laughter come easier and more frequently, and suddenly a day goes by without thinking about my baby girl Ayelet.
So now what?

I think, this is what it means to “move on with my life”.

I don’t like this saying.
But I think the meaning is, at least for me, that the first phase of the process is over, and this experience is moving away from the centre of attention. This doesn’t happen quickly, it takes time. And time doesn’t heal. The only thing time does is allowing us (the time) to get used to this new situation. In my case, it was getting used to the fact that I went through stillbirth. That my Ayelet is gone.

And it’s a process, even now, almost 9 years after the stillbirth, I feel I’m still at a certain phase in the process of healing. I think it’s just the way that it is in life, right?
We are the sum of all our experiences. We deal with our most profound experiences throughout our lives, each time from a different point of view, according to where we are in life. After a while those experiences become a part of our bundle, hoping that these experiences will not determine our life’s choices. That our decisions will be made from a strong and confident place, not from a fear that is a result of a trauma.

As a graduate of very good therapy sessions, I feel safe to I say that the idea of healing from a trauma is accepting and understanding it. It’s like peace talks: no prior conditions, releasing all hostages (ourselves, right?) and just trying to live in peace with this trauma. Peace and acceptance. Acceptance and recognition- yes, this happened to me. Yes, sometimes it still hurts. It’s part of my life.
Life is a mixture of experiences and emotions, it’s not just “all good” or “all sad”.
All these experiences come together and are called “life”,  I will think happily about some of those experiences, others will make me miss someone, others will make me feel love.

How did I reach this point?
I went to therapy which really made all the difference for me and helped me on all levels. I also talked with my husband and close people about my fears, my pain and all the joy I had, and I continue to do so. I don’t go to therapy anymore, but I do keep close taps on myself, and when I think I need help, I ask for it and accept it.

Every stage of the process brings a deeper understanding, a wider acceptance and I would like to add, I don’t think about these losses I went through every single day.
There are days I don’t think about Ayelet or about my parents who passed away.
I would like to add, and wrap this thing up, that it’s Okay.



Why Am I Talking About Stillbirth?


First post on a new blog. What should I write, what should I write. Maybe it’s best to start with an answer to the question- why am I talking about stillbirth.
The first simple reason is that I want to.
I want to talk about stillbirth because I think it is not talked about enough. People try to avoid this topic. They do this because stillbirth is a difficult thing to hear about. So much pain, deep sadness, and the sheer thought that pregnancy can end with the death of our baby is a hard thing to handle.
But reality sometimes makes us face hard things to handle.
And life sometimes forces us to go through difficult things like stillbirth.
Conclusion: sometimes, life’s a bitch.

I don’t see this as a good reason to go on with the silence that surrounds stillbirth. I would suggest changing the rules and talk about all those things we “shouldn’t” speak of over the years: our struggles, traumas, loneliness, anger, sadness, and so on.
If we talk about it more, maybe it will be a little less challenging. Perhaps we will be able to help others who go through similar struggles. If we talk about it more, maybe we won’t feel so alone with our feelings.
I am not a fan of silences that hide emotions and feelings, especially around trauma.

This understanding brings me to the second reason why I want to talk about stillbirth:
I hope the loss I went through will have a meaning.
I don’t know why I went through stillbirth. I don’t know why I had to go through 37 weeks + 3 days of pregnancy, with all the check up’s and discomfort and everything that pregnancy brings with it, all this for- what exactly?
Why did I have to lose a baby?
There’s no one answer to this question. It’s one of those things that the answer is up to us. I can decide the answer to this question. If there’s a meaning that I can connect with, I just might feel more at peace with this experience. I might understand why I went through stillbirth.

One of four pregnancies ends in stillbirth. Why was my pregnancy the one? Why did this happen to me?
As I write this, I realize how much I need to give this experience meaning. And the meaning, for me, is to help others.
This is why I’m talking about stillbirth.