Thursday, May 3, 2012

Statistics and Reality

I used to live in a world where seemingly everyone I knew had healthy babies.  I was completely oblivious to reality.  

Do you know that 1 in 4 women will experience the loss of a baby at some point in their lives?

But that would never happen to me. Until it did.
Suddenly my world is very different.  I have met so many people who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss resulting from various causes.  No one talked about it before (other than the occasional miscarriage).  Now that I am in "the club" I am much more aware of how frequently it happens.  And it happens to healthy, low-risk women who do everything they are supposed to do to have healthy babies.

I found this site after we lost Joan.  It is eye opening.  Why is this still a taboo subject?

Since we lost our daughter, Joan, we have attended the local Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group meetings.  And each month it seems that there is a new couple joining us. The losses range from miscarriage to stillbirth resulting from various causes, and often no known cause at all.  We are not the only couple there that has experienced a stillbirth due to chromosomal issues.  And that is just our local area.

Chromosome disorders and other life-limiting prenatal diagnoses happen more often than people realize.

Just six months after we lost Joan we heard that another couple we know received the devastating diagnosis -- a chromosome disorder.  The documented statistical likelihood for these "less common" chromosome defects is 1 in thousands (not including the suspected large numbers that result in early miscarriage).  Surely this could not happen to anyone we know.  But it did.  

The reality is that there are many different disorders that can take the lives of our unborn and newborn babies.  And current prenatal tests are discovering more of them earlier in pregnancy.  Unfortunately, doctors do not have many answers.

We were fortunate to find amazing, supportive resources throughout our journey with Joan.  But it was not easy.  It took time, effort and persistence.  All while going through the most devastating emotional experience imaginable.

I can't stop wondering... What if other couples in our situation don't think to ask the questions we did?  Will they ever realize there is help out there? 

They need to hear that there are people that have survived this journey.  And been changed for the better.

Statistics only go so far... when you're living the reality.

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