Episode 04: Show Notes.
Today’s guest, Jackie, had both the benefit and the disadvantage of being a medical professional with more in-depth knowledge of the situation when she lost her third child Cooper. She joins us to share the story of how she first discovered her pregnancy, how things progressed normally, and how she first realized that something was wrong. She explains how having already had two children, together with her nursing background, worked against her when she realized what was happening. Jackie sheds light on the experience of delivering her stillborn son and how the staff at the hospital handled the situation with a great deal of care and sensitivity, despite the lack of education Jackie feels she received in nursing school about caring for grieving parents who find themselves in this situation. She also fills us in on what it was like to navigate the grief and the joy of having another child after Cooper and shares her advice to other parents in the early stages of grief. This podcast discusses miscarriage, pregnancy, infant and child loss, so please listen with care.
Key Points From This Episode:
- An introduction to Jackie and how she discovered her surprise pregnancy with Cooper.
- The story of their Christmas pregnancy announcement.
- The first sign that something was wrong.
- How her nursing background worked against her when she realized what had happened.
- What it was like for her to be induced and to deliver.
- How they honored Cooper’s life while in hospital.
- How hard and unnatural it felt to leave the hospital without him.
- The lack of education Jackie received at nursing school about stillbirths.
- Shocking statistics about the prevalence of miscarriages and stillbirths.
- How the culture around this type of grief is shifting.
- How Jackie was able to move on and what led her to want to have another baby.
- The healing and purpose Jackie found in pumping and donating milk.
- The role of journaling in Jackie’s healing.
- The first time Jackie was able to laugh again after having Cooper, and the conflicting feelings she had about this.
- Jackie’s advice to other parents in the early stages of grief.
- How her fourth baby was born on Cooper’s birthday and how she navigated those emotions.
- How having Cooper has shaped her as a person.
“Nurses grieve, too. They grieve for their patients, not only in child loss, but they grieve for their patients losing function, strokes, or heart attacks. Nurses are caring people and they have that empathy and it hurts them, too. They cry for their patients. I know that was hurting them.” — Jackie [0:11:48]
“It was a very compassionate approach, and I appreciated that time. Because really, that was the only time. I know you know this, that we’re trying to fit in a lifetime in a day, day and a half.” — Jackie [0:18:26]
“Again, my nursing background was a curse, because I was looking through medical journals, looking at statistics. I wanted to know why I was a statistic, what I did or what I could have done to prevent it. Searching for that ‘why’, that rationale.” — Jackie [0:23:12]
“Trying to experience the joys of a pregnancy; it’s really hard to honor the child you lost with the sadness, but also, feel the joy for the new baby, the new life you’re growing.” — Jackie [0:42:41]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: