The Importance of Family in Pregnancy After Loss

When we got the call that we were matched for a possible adoption two weeks after we lost Sarah and Benjamin, we told no one. Six weeks later, that match fell through, and our decision was validated.

We held in the news that we were chosen by our son’s birthparents until about a week before his due date, when the pressure of the unknown got the best of us, and we finally told our parents.

And when we found out we were pregnant with our youngest, we told our folks right away, partly because we were about to go on vacation with my in-laws and it would have been obvious that I wasn’t drinking and going to bed before the sun went down. But mostly it was because we were going to need the support.

Both times we swore them to secrecy, and at the same time, cautioned them about the possibility of another heartbreak. We wanted to protect them. After all, these were their grandchildren, and they had their own hopes and dreams about their futures—a future we weren’t sure was going to exist. Our families had been with us every step of the way, and felt the elation of each announcement, followed by the heartbreak of each of our seven losses. For Aaron and me, and I suspect many other loss Moms and Dads, PAL isn’t just about us. It’s about our parents, our family and friends too.

Parents Never Stop Parenting

Parents want to protect their children, no matter the age. With each pregnancy announcement we made, our parents cheered. And with each loss we endured, they were there, trying to pick up the pieces and hold us together. They wanted to be the strong ones, and at the same time, they were mourning the loss as well. Turns out, our parents were on the same roller coaster ride as us, just not in the front car.

Even though we wanted to protect them, our families wanted to be there to support us in whatever way they could. That means through the joy and the pain. The good and the bad times. During our multiple PALs, they were our cheerleaders to keep us looking toward the positive, and our gatekeepers in protecting us from outsiders, and sometimes ourselves.

At some point we realized that this is what family is all about, and that there’s strength in numbers. So why not maximize that? After all, isn’t part of the point of life to just be there for one another? To show up, knowing that it could be a mess, with the potential for a lot of pain, but hopefully much joy and laughter? That emotions can be an exposed nerve, but that we’re all going to need each other to get through?

Whether it is your family, or friends who are family, it’s OK to be vulnerable to get the support you need to survive PAL (and beyond). And while it’s OK to acknowledge their grief and worry, it is not something you need to put on your shoulders. You’re not being selfish, you’re being real.

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By | 2017-01-10T12:56:13+00:00 January 10th, 2017|Adoption, Emotional Health, Pregnancy|11 Comments

About the Author:

Erin Kuhn-Krueger
Erin Kuhn-Krueger is a 5x miscarriage survivor (including a daughter, Baby Krueger, at 16 weeks 6 days), and a 2x stillbirth survivor (twins, Sarah and Benjamin, at 20 weeks 5 days). After her 4th loss, Erin created the blog and resource portal, Will CarryOn, for those experiencing baby loss, and learning to live and survive life after loss. She writes from the heart, touching on oft-taboo subjects, showcasing the struggles, determination and hope that have kept her (and her husband) together, and moving forward. She believes the more people talk about baby loss, the less alone those walking a similar path will feel. Erin received a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Drake University where she studied advertising and marketing. She uses her personal experiences and marketing background to shape her advocacy work and community outreach in the adoption, loss and infertility arena. In addition to her writing, Erin also works as the Community Outreach Director for The Blossom Method, a center providing therapeutic support and counseling for infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, baby loss, pregnancy after loss, postpartum depression, and more. Erin and her husband, Aaron, live in Chicago, and are parents of a son, C, by way of domestic adoption (May 2013), and another son, J, after successfully carrying a pregnancy to term (August 2014). You can find her on Twitter, and follow Will CarryOn on Twitter and Facebook.

11 Comments

  1. […] over at Pregnancy After Loss Support today talking about the notion of […]

  2. Mom & Dad Kuhn January 10, 2017 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Past, present and future, we are always there. Thank you for another beautiful article. We are family and that’s what counts!

  3. Edward Tucker January 10, 2017 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Thank you, Erin, for sharing your gifts and lessons of compassion & understanding to the world. It is a better place because of you. The papas out there will benefit from your intelligent insights too

  4. Audrey schwab January 10, 2017 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    We will never forget our angel baby grandson

  5. Marcia Shanin January 10, 2017 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Love you!

  6. Pushkarini Varma January 11, 2017 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Hi

    I am an Indian living in Japan, I lost my baby just a week back. I completed 8 months of my pregnancy and just after a week of my regular checkup, I had emergency and went to hospital but by then my baby’s heartbeat stopped. When doc informed us, it was a severe blow to both me and my husband. The doc suspected that that the umbilical cord would have got around his neck. And they started giving me medicine to get pains and I go for natural delivery, I bared the pains for more than 48hrs and delivered the baby, my husband saw the baby. It was devastating that after all our efforts we were empty. We had nothing in our hands. Now I want to get pregnant soon. I want to know how soon I can conceive.

    • Erin Kuhn-Krueger
      Erin Kuhn-Krueger January 11, 2017 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you and your husband find the support you need to help you through, and that you talk with your doctor about what’s best for you and your body. My thoughts are with you.

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