October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month. It’s a time to break the silence about a tragedy that is all too common in the world, and remember the babies that are no longer with us.
Janis and Christian Lawyer have 4 beautiful, healthy children, all born at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. However, the road to parenthood has been hard, experiencing several losses along the way.
In 2014, Janis gave birth to her baby girl Haivyn at 33 weeks, but sadly she was stillborn.
They kept trying, but ended up having 3 miscarriages. Christian says it’s a huge loss that he wishes no one had to go through.
“To experience the loss we have, and know that other people have to go through it is heartbreaking,” said Christian.
1 in 4 women will lose a baby during pregnancy, delivery or infancy. While it is so common, it is not often talked about.
“A lot of people try to just not talk about it because a lot of people don’t know how to approach a family after they’ve had a loss,” said Copass.
Kate Copass is a registered nurse, and lactation consultant. She says, the staff on the labor and delivery floor are also affected when one of their families experience loss.
“We definitely feel that those babies lives are important from the moment that they’re conceived, and families treasure that baby in their hearts, and we want them to know that we do too,” said Copass.
Christian says, that as a husband, watching his wife go through the pain of delivering a baby that they knew they could never bring home was devastating.
“What was comforting in all of that was just the support and the love that was felt from the staff,” said Christian. “It really felt like they had invested themselves and really wanted the best for us. And they were just as sad as we were.”
For Janis, talking about it has been therapeutic.
“For the moms to know that you may feel like you’re alone, but you’re not alone,” said Janis. “Whether it’s just sitting in silence next to someone or hugging them or yelling and talking it all through, I think that ultimately we need community.”
On Tuesday October 15th, 2019 the Women’s Services Unit Practice Counsel Committee at CCMH is setting up a table in the cafeteria to offer information, handouts, talk to the community, and spread awareness on what the Women’s Services does during a tragic time for families. The chaplain will also be available for any spiritual guidance or counseling as well. This will be from 11am to 1pm.