The Loss of a Preemie is never easy. A parent is a parent no matter how long their child lives; the love is there. When a child is born prematurely, the confidence moms and dads commonly have concerning the expanse of time they will get to have with their offspring is denied. Although no parent knows for a fact the exact number of days or years a son or daughter will live, problems with a baby’s health can shorten all estimations.
As Bianca Seidman of CBS News reported, 1 in 9 of all babies are born prematurely, which has translated into approximately 450,000 preemies being born in the U.S. yearly, yet pre-term birth is the cause of as much as a third of infant deaths.
While it is happening that the survival rates for preemies is improving, however gradually, too many parents are being left to cope with the loss of a preemie. Even years after being born, children born prematurely are more susceptible to perishing from health issues than those born full-term. Many preemies only get to live for a few short hours – the grief is often just as devastating to their parents as to the parents coping with the loss of a child who lived for many years.
What Helps Parents Cope with the Loss of a Preemie?
Light still shines in any dark place – you just have to want to see it; the death of a baby is never easy, but some parents transform the sadness of the loss into a celebration of love and life. Consider, for example, April’s story:
Sharon, Mike, and Their Preemie Son: A Love to Remember
Sharon and Mike have a story that is filled with both love and pain. At The Gift of Life, we are thankful that they are open in sharing their story and experience with us. Although there is much sorrow here, there is also much joy. Here are just a few of the points we’ve found in their testimony that can be helpful for other preemie parents:
Grief to Joy: Lessons from Sharon and Mike’s Story
A foundation of real love:
From the moment Sharon found out she was expecting, she and her husband filled with love for their baby. Of course, at that time everything was going smoothly with the pregnancy. They could not foresee the coming troubles, but when the adverse health started setting in, Sharon and Mike’s love never turned around.
Hoping on despite confusion and grief:
The sorrow didn’t wait until the passing of their son; for them, it came with the news that something was wrong with their son. Despite how dim the outlook was, Sharon and Mike continued to press on through the pregnancy, hoping that at least they would get the chance to have some experience of their new born son – their hopes were realized when he survived the birth and they got to see and hold him, and hear him cry.
Showing grace and giving back:
Sharon and Mike could have let the pain of the loss spin their lives out of control, letting depression, guilt, regret, and sadness rule over them, but it didn’t happen that way. Instead, they are now connected with The Gift of Life. They openly share their experience so that others can learn from it, and that those going through the same thing can know that they are not alone. Moreover, Sharon’s employer has organized and an event – The 2016 Creative Inspiration Journey School’s Journey Showcase & Extravaganza. The event will take place on April 2, 2016 in Winter Springs, Florida. In honor of Sharon and Mike’s son, a generous 10% of the proceeds will go to support The Gift of Life. We welcome you to attend.