Hello Reader 👋 -
This issue of Tinkering With Ideas is a little different. I'm not going to share productivity tips and apps. But I'm going to share some resources about a topic that's very important to me.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S., about 10-25% of known pregnancies will end in miscarriage. About 1% of pregnancies will end in stillbirth.
If you have lost a baby, I'm so sorry. I know how much it hurts, because I have lost two babies. And if you haven't experienced pregnancy loss, I guarantee you know someone who has.
Yet the topic remains taboo. Parents often bear their grief in silence and navigate their days in isolation.
Grief has no timeline. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you should "get over" your child's death. And if you're grieving right now, I can't tell you how long it will last. But there are some resources available, so you don't have to feel so alone.
It took me more than a year to go to my first support group meeting. I thought that no one else could possibly understand my pain. I was wrong. Some of the women I met in my support group have become my closest friends. Because they know. They understand, when the rest of the world doesn't.
Over the years, I've become very vocal in my quest to raise awareness around pregnancy and infant loss. I speak because not everyone feels comfortable sharing their stories. I speak because I'm in a place where my grief isn't all-encompassing. I speak to honor my daughters.
Yet grief will always be something I carry. It never goes away. On the first day of school, I look at my living children and think about Nelle and Iris. I think about them every time I write something about pregnancy loss in my blog or on social media. And I will always wonder who they would have been.
I am incredibly lucky that my local hospital has a very active support group. If there isn't a group near you, there are some online resources available.
Share is a national organization in the U.S. with local chapters (my support group is a Share affiliate). You can check to see if there's a Share group in your community, and there is also online support.
If, in the future, you know someone who will be delivering a baby born sleeping or expected to die shortly after birth, I urge you to contact Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. NILMDTS provides remembrance photography at no cost to parents. It may feel uncomfortable, but parents have stated that those photos are priceless.
You don't have to look at them right away, but you can never, ever get those moments back.
Refuge in Grief is an online community led by licensed therapist Megan Devine. Megan lost her partner, unexpectedly, at age 39. Her community isn't specifically for pregnancy loss, but for anyone who is grieving.
Megan realized after the death of her partner that most grief resources completely suck and she wanted to change that. I took her grief writing course after losing Iris and it was very cathartic. She also has a book, It's Ok That You're Not Ok.
I also recommend the book There Is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful and Unfair to People You Love by Emily McDowell and Kelsey Crowe. If you're on the outside, it can help you provide support to people who are hurting.
And for children, I recommend Cry, Heart, but Never Break by Glenn Ringtved. It's a stunningly beautiful and poignant book.
If you are missing someone, my heart is with you. Please reply and let me know who you've lost, so I may hold that person in my heart and hold space for you.
Anna Burgess Yang
→ I was recently on A Fresh Story podcast, sharing my story of pregnancy loss and grief. You can listen here.
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Writer. Productivity geek. Always tinkering.
I share tips, tools, and resources to make your daily life a bit easier.
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