Carmens’ losses have had a profound impact on her outlook on life. As a registered nurse, she has also been involved with many bereaved families experiencing child loss.
This October and November Carmen raised funds and donations for Bereaved Families through her Baby Wrap Fundraiser. This was also an important opportunity for Carmen to spread awareness and light on the darkness surrounding Pregnancy and Infant Loss.
You can read more about her experiences and her suggestions on supporting someone experiencing pregnancy loss further down on this page.
** In total $1,450 was raised in support of our organization! We are so appreciative. **
A Note of Thanks from Carmen to Everyone Who Supported Her Fundraiser…
Dear Contributors & Supporters 🙂
Every small act is no small act and has a huge impact making a difference in lives of countless people 🙂
As I reviewed the amounts and saw the final total (including donation amounts that I didn’t know about) my screen went blurry as I couldn’t hold back the tears. I immediately just wanted to swarm my supporters in endless thanks although some donors remain anonymous. I so appreciate you beyond these words!
Sometimes with doing campaigns; though you do it from a place of such empathy and compassion you don’t want to shove the fundraiser in peoples faces and there are times you get discouraged and feel like you aren’t doing enough or want to do more and then I see this and remember…I am the dreamer but it is the power of people who make these beautiful dreams a reality we can all be so proud of!
I do believe people are inherently good and am happy to know we can all wrap each other in loving kindness…supporting Bereaved Families a little more this holiday season…it is people like you who are the found Hope!
Sincerely moved… Carmen 🙂 xo
We will be continuing to accept donations for Carmen’s Finding Hope campaign until January 2022.
To make a donation online click here or on the button below and you can choose Carmen’s Finding Hope fund in the options.
If making an online donation we also suggest submitting it to the Finch Match My Donation program. Information available here.
To make a donation by mail, please make out your cheque to “Bereaved Families of Ontario-Southwest Region and mail to PO Box 22067 London, ON N6A 6H8.
Funds raised will be used to provide support to Bereaved Parents through initial phone support, and monthly peer support groups.
We very much appreciate Carmen’s support and also want to recognize the support of Mary, Carmen’s friend Karen, and her dear Oma for assisting with all of the sewing 😊
My name is Carmen
My name is Carmen, and I have experienced the heartbreak, isolation and challenges of pregnancy loss.
I have been pregnant 9 times and have lost 6 pregnancies. The losses occurred at different stages ranging from early on in the first trimester, to losing Jude at 21 weeks and Kaia at 24 weeks.
We have also been blessed with 3 children – Case born in 2017, Maelie in 2019 and Ayda in 2021.
I was asked many times ‘why do you keep trying, haven’t you lost enough?, aren’t you scared it will happen again?’ Absolutely I was, but it was also due to what I gained in so many aspects. A wise high risk obstetrician once told me, “some families are complete at 1 and others are complete at 5. You are allowed to want what you want.”
Pregnancy loss is such a shock. One minute you’re pregnant and the next you’re not. When you head home empty handed and un-pregnant, nothing can prepare you for this kind of trauma.
Throughout my pregnancy losses I was able to return to a sense of hope. My lost babies are the lights that guide my life. I do believe we feel deeper and see more clearly the world and the beauty in it, after we have lost. We are more mindful of the little pleasures that come our way. We see life and cherish it in a different way somehow.
As a registered nurse, I have also been involved with many bereaved families who have lost a child. I’ve seen parents in utter disbelief and in shock, not registering the world around them, when their child has died. It has been a great honour to be with them at these times as they navigate the despair and unimaginable circumstances they are faced with. I always think of how our children, even in death, are wrapped into our lives forever and will always be intertwined with us.
As a grieving parent, we may feel many different things. We might feel anger at the happy families who seem to so haphazardly have babies or have not lost a child. We might recognize that in life, there is so much we cannot control, but still crave control. We might lean into symbolism, or different spiritual beliefs, and take comfort in these beliefs, even if it feels woo-woo or crazy.
There is no right way to grieve. Some days I found myself rolling on the grass like an animal, and other days I found myself unable to get off the kitchen floor, convulsing in tears. Know that some days are harder than others and that’s ok. We are also allowed to have good days in grief. And some days we may be side swiped unexpectedly. Grief becomes part of our journey in life.
Carmen’s Suggestions on How to Support Someone Experiencing Pregnancy Loss
Say something. Do it even if it means engaging in uncomfortable conversations rather than saying nothing at all. Not saying anything at all only deepens the silence and isolation that we feel.
Speak the babies’ names. This helps confirm they were here with us, and they mattered.
Listen. Sit with your person without offering any advice. This may feel tough as you want to feel helpful, but by just lending an ear for others to process their feelings you are being supportive.
Try not to use cliches. Saying ‘at least you weren’t very far along’, or ‘you can try again,’ and/or ‘everything happens for a reason’ can make you feel better, but minimizes the loss and your acknowledgement of it.
Use supportive statements.
- I am here for you.
- I love you.
- I am deeply sorry for your loss.
- If you want to talk, I will listen.
- I cannot believe what you’ve just been through.
- This sucks.
These statements help validate the loss and recognize it’s significance.
Continue to check in. Even if they say they are okay, don’t leave it at that. Send freezer meals, flowers, and notes so they feel comforted, even a week, months, a year, or years after the loss. This means to us someone is thinking about us in the depth of our despair when the world has moved on and we are still grieving. There is no time-line or finish line for grief, you never get “over it”.
Know this…. When we talk about pregnancy loss, we help break the silence surrounding this type of loss. It helps get rid of the shame, guilt and stigma surrounding it. Millions of women worldwide go through pregnancy loss, and it’s scary. We need to talk about it, and the grief and trauma it presents. Thank you for being part of this movement.