Fetal Health Foundation’s Executive Director, Dalia EL-Prince shares her story of coping after the loss of her baby in 2003.
“Does it get better?”
Today I was asked, “Does it get better after the loss of your baby? Does it?”
It’s a question I often struggle to answer.
My story, I am learning, is way too familiar. I lost my first child in the delivery room at 37 weeks on July 27th, 2003. I remember the details to the day. I remember what I was told when I woke up from anesthesia. I remember what nurses told me as they entered my post-birth delivery room. I remember my screams from pain and not knowing how I was going to survive. Every detail, every moment and it’s 12.5 years later.
How do I survive this loss? I am not sure how I got to where I am today, but I am sure you never forget. You try to survive day-in and day-out. You will have moments where you recall the pain and break-down, and then you remind yourself you are blessed in other ways.
It’s not easy, even 12 years later.
Don’t go down the path of regrets. I wish I held my child before they took her away. I wish I wasn’t put to sleep for my emergency C-section. I wish I had asked for a baby monitor during delivery. I wish .. I wish… I wish… but going down this path, I have learned is a dark one, one it’s hard to get out of.
So I try to look at my surroundings, what I have become, my children that now jump on me with joy.. and think, “Today is going to be okay, I will get through this.”
I am writing this post to share that the struggle to survive is not an easy one, but you will be okay. You will make it to the next day. As hard and inconceivable as it may seem, you will be ok.
You will be asked, “How many children do you have?” and struggle with the “right” answer. You will hear women talk about their delivery and how amazing it was, and wonder, “Why me?” You will hear articles tell you about how breastfeeding is better than bottle, and think, “I just wanted my baby!” You will go through many thoughts and wonder, “Am I alone? Does everyone not know the pain I am in?”
I am writing this blog to tell you, You Are Not Alone.
I have been spending my last 12 plus years just moving forward, breaking down when memories are triggered, or when I need to use my baby’s name on another child. I have not shared my story before. I do not want to hurt my family around me by making them go through the pain of remembering, or my children as they become aware of this loss that was before they were born.
Today, though, when I was asked by a Mom, “Does it get better?” I opened up and shared my story and wanted to share it further to let other moms know You Are Not Alone.
Now I try to make a difference by investing my time and corporate experience in the Fetal Health Foundation in hopes of bringing more awareness to fetal syndromes, in hopes of supporting any mom anywhere that experiences loss, and in hopes of making a difference so no mom loses a baby.
“Does it get better?”
Hour by hour, day by day.
There is hope for a brighter tomorrow even if it feels like there is none.
Please know You Are Not Alone.
If you or someone you know is affected by a fetal syndrome, a difficult pregnancy diagnosis, or a loss, the volunteers at Fetal Health Foundation are here to listen, and help you find resources. There is hope: get in touch.