Capture Your Grief Project
I read avidly through my pregnancy: baby development apps, forums, advice articles about pregnancy, labour and caring for a newborn. I read ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ cover to cover and revised each week when I got to that stage. At any given time I could have told you what size my baby was and how they were developing that week. All of this ‘studying’ did me no good whatsoever. Despite everything I knew, I couldn’t prevent my placenta from cutting off Isobel’s oxygen supply. Now I am faced with books about infant loss. Books I never imagined I would see on my shelves. A new challenge I have to apply myself to and succeed at.
Although the books pictured have been useful to normalise feelings, the most helpful book I have read since Isobel died was ‘Wild: A journey from Lost to Found’ by Cheryl Strayed. It is not about stillbirth but about the loss of the author’s mother followed by the loss of her marriage and how she decides to find herself by hiking a trail across the USA. I found it inspiring how she used her time hiking to process her losses and prove her inner strength to herself, helping to reconnect with her values and rebuild her life after the hike was over. Unlike Cheryl’s journey, I don’t think my hike will ever be really over but I like to think that I will get stronger and the terrain will get easier.