DATE: September 17, 2020
Surviving Infant Loss: A Mother’s Story of Heartbreak & Hope
Episode Intention: To provide comfort to other mamas who have lost babies, either in utero, as infants, or even later in life. Loss is loss. Grief is grief. If we’ve experienced it, it’s sometimes helpful to hear from others who have experienced loss in the same kind of way.
When people ask Tala how many children she has,she says “Three — two on the ground and one who is an angel.”
- Talking about perinatal and infant loss makes people uncomfortable. But it needs to be talked about. Because it happens. A lot. And those who have experienced it need support.
- Tala lost her son, Hugo, at 32 weeks in utero. An emergency C section revealed that Tala had had a blood clot which caused a massive placental abruption, where the placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus.
- Tala and her husband, Vic, mourned the loss of Hugo differently, but also together. Losing a child can break apart your relationship if you let it, so it’s important to communicate and feel all the feelings and share them with each other. They repeated stories and shared their anger and feelings of guilt with each other and also with whoever would listen.
- Everyone gets closure in different ways, and how you grieve is your own personal experience. For Tala and Vic, they buried their son in a cemetery next to the cottage they frequent, and have included Hugo in their lives, and the lives of their children, Aphia and Oskar. They visit Hugo often, bring him flowers or anything the kids feel like he might enjoy.
- Tala processed her grief a lot by writing and journaling about it. She highly recommends that for anyone that that resonates with.
- Tala made sure that every day, no matter what, she got out of bed and took a shower, even if she didn’t want to.
- Tala also made sure she laughed every day, at least once, even if it was just a smile or small giggle. That helped with the grief.
- Tala discusses some of the things that her friends did that were really helpful in supporting her through Hugo’s loss, like sending her new books to read, sending her daily check-ins without needing a response, sending her jokes, etc.
- Tala explains that it would have been helpful for friends and family to make them meals or to do groceries or help with laundry, as she calls them: the mundane things. But because she and Vic were handling it so well, people kind of assumed they were fine, so not many people offered.
- For people wanting to show up for a friend who is grieving: know that you don’t have to say all the right things in all the right moments. You just have to be there.
- Tala wished that she would have been able to ask for more help, and she encourages anyone going through this kind of a loss to do so.
- It’s been 6 years now and Tala still deals with the grief. Sometimes it washes over her in the most random of moments and she’ll be overcome with tears and grief. But from the get go – when they knew Hugo wouldn’t survive – Tala expresses that she felt so much gratitude for the experience because they got the best case out of a worst case scenario: they didn’t have to choose to end Hugo’s life, he made the choice. They got to hold him and Christen him and take photos with him. Tala got to feel him move and kick around inside her. And she was able to have a funeral and bury him.
- Hugo made Tala a mom, and because of her experience with him, she believes she appreciates things about her two other children, Aphia and Oskar, that she may not have otherwise.
- Tala went on to have 2 healthy pregnancies, but she took heparin injections from 8 weeks to 32 weeks throughout both pregnancies to ensure there wouldn’t be any blood clots again.
- The first time you do anything after having a baby feels shocking: getting in a car, doing groceries, etc.
- Having Hugo changed how Tala parents but it didn’t change how hard parenting is.
- When a woman loses a baby, most people reach out to her. But Tala reminds us: don’t forget about the dad. He’s grieving too. He needs as much care and love as a mother does.
- In conclusion, Tala encourages anyone listening who has experienced loss to talk about it a lot. With anyone who will listen. Because it will help you process the experience.
- Also, when people ask Tala how many children she has, she says 3: two on the ground and one who is an angel. It sometimes makes people uncomfortable, but don’t let other people’s discomfort become your problem.
About Tala Bessette
Fun loving mom of 3 – Hugolin, my 6 yr old angel in the sky, Aphia 4.5 years and Oskar 2. I’m a Project Manager by day and a knitter by night (or anytime I can get my hands on a ball of yarn and some knitting needles). I will always find a silver lining and the last piece of chocolate.