Community

With technology the way it is these days, you can connect to anyone, just about anywhere. And for just about anything. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes this is bad. I suppose one of the “good” things about this is finding support in others who have experienced the same thing you have.

After our first miscarriage, I ventured out onto the web and found numerous websites that offered support, whether it was through written articles or other’s stories. I found websites that were very helpful and some that were not so much. I quickly found myself getting sucked into the stories of others, many of whom had far greater losses then my own. I had just lost my baby whom I carried for 11 weeks, but many of the stories that I read were from women who had lost babies at 30 weeks, 36 weeks or even full term or after. I couldn’t imagine going through something like that. If I had only known what was ahead …

I became devoted to reading a handful of blogs about these women. I even continued to read their stories after I became pregnant with baby #2. Reading their stories while pregnant should have set off a fear in me for my own pregnancy, but it didn’t. Once Oliver was born, my time quickly diminished and reading blogs was no longer on my to-do list.

I always wondered why I continued to read about the tragic stories of people I did not know for so long. Now I know. It was preparing me for what was to come, even though I didn’t know it at the time. Those stories have always been in the back of my mind. I just never imagined that I would walk in their shoes someday. Over time, I would check in to see where the lives of these families had taken them. Most of the blogs had turned from sorrow to joy. They were documenting more of everyday life, the good times. Some were still documenting the pain, sorrow and tears.

In the past week, I have started researching again, looking up websites that deal with grief, loss of children and loss of newborns. I have signed up for newsletters, liked them on Facebook and bookmarked them for later use. As I have been researching, I have once again stumbled upon the stories of others. One website, in particular, is nothing but stories. It is specific to miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. You can submit your story, as well as your blog, for those that have one. I have read a handful of the stories and clicked on a few of the blogs. These women are bearing their souls for all to read. In my opinion, some of the information is too personal to share with the entire world. The idea is that women who have had a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss can find comfort and support through the stories of others. While I can see some of the content as beneficial, some of it is not so much, at least not yet.

One of the benefits to many of these baby loss communities, as they are called, is that you can find others who have been through what you are going through. While certainly nobody’s story is the same, there is a sense of comfort in knowing there are many, many other people out there that have gone through what we are going through. We have a wonderful network of family and friends that have supported us beyond our expectations. Having connections outside of this network, even with people we don’t know personally, is a positive thing as well. We have been blessed to be connected with two families outside of these baby loss communities who have also lost baby girls to stillbirth. They have been a great support and sense of strength during these early weeks of losing Kyleigh. Sometimes it is beneficial to have someone to talk to who has been in the same valley as you, whether it is face-to-face, through email or a blog.

The jury is still out as to whether I will find any of these baby loss communities helpful. I’m sure over time they will be. I have to be careful not to get sucked in though. Quite honestly, a lot of the content is depressing to read. I don’t need to read other people’s depressing stories. My goal is to find two or three blogs that are not only helpful, but inspiring. I don’t need to read about someone who lost their baby a month before or after me. I need to read about someone who lost their baby two years ago or ten years ago. I need to see that it does get better. Life does move from sorrow and tears to joy and smiles.

I have not decided yet whether or not to add this blog to the list of others within these baby loss communities. I’m not sure that now is the time. If I decide to in the future, my hope is that Kyleigh will be honored through posts of happiness, not sadness. That others will see the progression from pain to healing and that they will see a love for a baby girl like no other.

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