I never imagined I would be sharing my pregnancy loss journey in a room filled with hospital care staff. But I did. Irene, whom I had reached out to about contributing a letter to the comfort box, invited Florian and I to speak at their bereavement workshop. She asked if we could share our experience in order for them to better understand how to support patients. As such, a patient’s perspective would be most helpful.
Returning to Memories
Florian and I were both happy to share. However, Florian had a work trip that weekend so I decided to go ahead with Mum and Dad for company.
On the morning of 12 October 2019, we were back in KKH. It was my first time returning since we lost our babies. Memories flooded my mind as I walked through the hospital, recalling my last admission here. Unlike when I left, I felt a lot stronger. I was able to look at pregnant mothers; women with children, and not feel the intense ache of longing.
We managed to bump into Dr. Thia, my gynaecologist. He asked how I am and I told him I was very well. The truth is, I am! I saw him the following Monday for a routine 6 week post-miscarriage (postpartum) check.
We were whisked into their Seminar Room after a quick catch-up with Irene over coffee/tea. Faces of nurses, doctors, and various healthcare workers sat before us. I wasn’t sure what to expect and had a script prepared. It wasn’t needed.
The sharing was more casual: Irene prompted me with questions, while I answered. Sharing about our pregnancy loss meant winding through memories once more. From the events leading up to labour and delivery, to the aftermath of emotional and physical recovery. It was more cathartic than I had expected.
As I spoke about the journey Florian and I went through, I could hear the sniffles and sobs of some of the audience members. At times, I also felt myself breaking down.
Mum and Dad were invited to share a little as well. Mum shared about how she grieved over the loss of their grandchildren; how she kept their gender reveal balloons; how she gave them each a kiss every morning until the balloons were no more.
I felt privileged sharing our pregnancy loss journey to the people who make a difference; to people who work hard every day in hospital to keep patients comfortable and happy. They are patients’ first point of contact after loss. As such, they have the propensity to touch a life, comfort a life, and give renewed hope to a life.
We spent 40 minutes discussing our journey, and how healthcare teams can better support families before, during and after their ordeal. As we had run out of time to open up the floor for discussion, our segment came to a close.
Still, there was a nurse who stood up to share her thoughts. She encouraged me and shared her story of miscarrying. She has three children and two in heaven. A doctor spoke of losing her daughter before being blessed with two sons. Their courage in standing up to share warmed my heart. This is how it should be; this is why we need to talk!
Sitting before them, I had no idea who may have gone through a miscarriage, a still birth, or the loss of their infant. Our tragedies are not written on our faces, but talking about them can bring healing. It brings healing to both the people sharing, and to others listening.
Being in the room, I am all the more sure that this is what I want to do. It reiterated within me the need to raise awareness on pregnancy/infant loss so that no woman will ever suffer alone, in silence. I am adamant about sharing our story so that others may find comfort and hope. My hope is for others to share their story too. <3