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Pregnancy and Infant Loss Advocacy Course - What I have learned so far

Sophia Cleary


I'm behind in writing my blog post for this course. The behindness and the procrastination is indicative, I think, of how I am reacting to some of the content in this course, as well as how I cope with difficult and emotional subjects. This course has taught me so much informationally — abortion procedures and their time limitations, still birth scenarios, fetal termination, various cultural contexts in which individuals make decisions about these life events. It is an incredible wealth of information, and on that level, I have learned SO much. 

But I have also learned that I need to take my time. I have learned that I can't necessarily absorb this information on a strict timeline, just as these individuals going through losses cannot and should not necessarily adhere to the pressures of medical timelines for saying goodbye to their child, or even timelines for when to try getting pregnant again -- or the timeline for how long to mourn. I am learning from these examples, these stories, and from myself, that every individual has and needs to honor themselves around these types of tragic losses. I have not experienced one myself—and I'm not trying to say that my grief in hearing these stories is any where near as intense as the people who experience it first hand—but I am noticing how I have to step back, breathe, and take care of myself. 

I am a birth doula, and as a birth doula I have worked so hard to nurture and bolster my belief in birth and healthy babies as a natural process—and to not be scared for my clients. This material, I have to admit, makes me scared. I know it is important for me to encounter and read about, and ultimately is preparing me for the (inevitable?) (possible?) (potential?) unexpected outcomes of childbirth, but wow—I'm worried about how it is complicating my faith in the birth process. I am being radically honest here. I don't want to worry for my clients. I feel like that energy is not helpful. I have only attended 5 births, and I have supported one abortion procedure as a doula. I am hoping with time and some prayer and centering myself I will be able to let go of some of the anxiety that this creates for me in my profession as a doula. Thank you so much for listening.