S2E6 - How I Grieved the Loss of my Daughter w/ Madli

Episode 6 October 25, 2023 00:35:41
S2E6 - How I Grieved the Loss of my Daughter w/ Madli
Start to Finish Motherhood with Aisha
S2E6 - How I Grieved the Loss of my Daughter w/ Madli

Oct 25 2023 | 00:35:41

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Hosted By

Aisha Jenkins

Show Notes

In this poignant episode, Aisha and Madli discuss the challenging journey of single motherhood by choice, with a trigger warning for the loss of a child. They emphasize how such losses change lives and the need to acknowledge these struggles, especially in October, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month. Madli shares her personal experience of a stillbirth and its physical and emotional toll. They talk about the grief process, challenges of the medical system, and advice for those dealing with loss. The episode aims to create awareness, understanding, and support for those affected by pregnancy and infant loss.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Speaker A: Welcome to start to Finish Motherhood, a podcast for those thinking or already single mothers by choice. Just looking for practical advice for navigating life's relationships. When you decide to have children on your own, it doesn't mean that you're completely alone. I'm Aisha Jenkins, and I'm partnering with you every step of your journey. Want to open this episode with a trigger warning that we will be talking about the loss of a child. And so the loss of a child changes you. And while you move on, because you have to, you put 1ft in front of the other. Our losses, they stay with us even as we continue to parent our living children. And there's just no getting around it. So the single mother by choice journey is not for the faint of heart. It has a lot of ups, but it also can potentially have a lot of downs. And while we talk about the success, we talk about protocols, we talk about do I try for two? Do I not, do I buy a house? We talk about all of this other stuff. But we don't always talk about how long some of our journeys can be or how we don't talk about the losses. How just because you get a positive pregnancy test doesn't always mean you get to the take home baby stage. We don't always talk about how many losses some of us experience along the way. We don't talk about it. And oftentimes a person will have multiple losses aside from the first one that you hear about, and we just don't talk about it. So today I am here with a guest who is a dear friend in my heart. We ended up together on the long journey boards in the Single Mother by Choice forum. We met as single mothers by choice trying for our second children. We both encountered forms of secondary infertility. We experienced the joys of starting the journey. We went through the full range of emotions that led us to a place we never imagined we'd be. We both suffered losses. Ultimately, we ended up with our second take home babies. I thank Madly for coming on to share her story with us. And so I'll ask Madly to introduce yourself and then we will kind of ground ourselves in the episode and then just get on with it. [00:02:36] Speaker B: So aisha. Thank you. Yes, I'm Natalie, I'm from Canada. And yeah, I have two children. One is Zavi, he is seven years old. And then I have a two year old, his name is Toby. And yeah, they're my world and they rule. My know, they're my boss and they're my everything, so, yeah, and we know each other from a long time now. Yeah, it's been a long time. [00:03:00] Speaker A: It's been a long time. And this is our first time seeing each other face to face. [00:03:03] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. That's right. A real privilege. Yes. [00:03:09] Speaker A: Okay, so I just want to ground us in and give a trigger warning that we will be talking about loss in this episode. And so just to get our heads and our hearts in the right place, take a quick breather and then so madly how are you feeling? [00:03:28] Speaker B: A little nervous, but I feel pretty privileged to be talking about loss, especially this month. It's October and so it's pregnancy and infant loss month. So I really feel, yeah, this is the right time to talk about it. And I'm finally in the headspace to be able to talk about it, I think. [00:03:45] Speaker A: What drove you to become a single mother by choice? [00:03:48] Speaker B: Well, I love kids. I'm basically a big kid myself. I love playing with them, sharing in their imagination, their sense of wonder, their optimism, their innate sense of right and wrong. And they really helped me see the world in a new way or maybe the right way. Good. As good and beautiful. Right. And I didn't find a partner, though. I tried for like 20 years and in my late thirty s, I realized that I'd never have that, this experience of motherhood if I didn't take it on myself. Right. And yeah, other single moms inspired me. I looked around, I found some role models, and I thought even more when I went online and joined the SMC forum, for example. But yeah, my journey was pretty long. It was more than six years long now that I kind of calculated it. I did 27 interventions, so a crazy amount. And in some cases it was a little painful. A little painful. It was painful. Like, let's not minimize here. Miscarriages chemicals stillbirth. Yeah. And so yeah, that was a very defining part of my life. Right. So that's a bit about me and my journey. [00:05:00] Speaker A: Okay, so we're here today to talk about city. [00:05:03] Speaker B: Yes. Tell us about her. So CD is my daughter. She was born still on August 17, 2019 at 21 weeks. Yeah. And I love her deeply and I consider my daughter forever and still. Right. And maybe I should back up and say she was part of my very, very long journey for my second child. And so that was like 17 tries. So after 15 tries here I had this miracle baby. And there was questions whether she was genetically normal. And she was. I did an Amnio to confirm that. And I found out a few days, a few weeks before that she was genetically normal on every allele. And then on August twelveTH, I went to Ikea to get things for the nursery. And then I went to my ultrasound in Toronto and I found out Sibi had no heartbeat. So I completely lost it. It was awful. I ended up having to wait five days until I started bleeding. And then I went through labor and I gave their birth to Sibi on August 17. Yeah. And so Sibi is sybil ajalik. We called her Sibi because my son Savvy was going to have a sibling, a sibi. And then when she was born, I needed a name, and this was the name that seemed very right. [00:06:26] Speaker A: Thank you for sharing know, I think when you get to a certain point of your single mother by choice journey, when the months move into years, there's a lot of people in the community who are rooting for you, right? And so we were walking beside you, though we weren't physically with you, and I know I was rooting for you as well. So when you finally made the announcement, I think a collective bunch of us cried along with you. So thank you. Thank you for sharing that. I know that it is not an easy story to tell. So what's something you could share with our listeners that you learned about processing loss or losing a child, perhaps what you learned, what might have surprised you. [00:07:18] Speaker B: Losing a child is a very physical thing, a very visceral thing. I mean, in most cases, you have to give birth to a dead child, and so you have to go through labor and through all that, like the 15 hours and whatever you need to, and except there's no life child, right? So it's very physical and it's very traumatic, and in some cases, it's even more traumatic. Not in my case, but some hospitals are not set up for this. Right? You give birth an award where people are celebrating their live childs, or there's no cuddle cot where you can hold your baby as long as you want after. So it can be even worse than it was in my case. I mean, I was in a hospital that had a special room for me. It was far away. I didn't have to hear anyone else. The nurse was extremely experienced dealing with people who had stillbirth they made a bracelet for sidi. They had footprints and handprints and everything, right? But yeah, it was still horrible, but it was probably the best, as horrible as it could be. Yeah. And unlike other deaths, right, there's very few memories. It's not like a person who's lived a few years. There's no stories to tell. There are no real fond memories. Right? I mean, you have ultrasound pictures, you have memories of food aversions or of the kicks, right? But there's really very little tangible evidence of your child. Maybe some footprints or handprints or blankets and clothing and cremated remains. But one of the most difficult questions at a certain point for me was when people asked you well meaningly, very well meaningly, like, tell me about your loved one, or tell me about sibi. I mean, it's an extremely hard question because you don't have those memories. You just have this death that was also her birth, right? So, yeah, there's that. And so it's a really traumatic physical, and it's hard to grieve because it's a very personal thing or a family thing, unlike other deaths where you go to a funeral, and there's a whole community there. It's not a community. It's not shared with other people. Well, I feel privileged because of the SMC's forum that I could share it with you. And I really did feel all of your love for me and for Sibi. So I felt like you were there with me. In my real mean, I felt my church did make a memorial celebration, but in some churches, you can't have a funeral if a person hasn't taken a breath. So it was kind of an alternate ceremony, and there's no death certificate if your child is born at a certain time. So it's kind of like if it didn't officially happen. And I know that in the pregnancy and infant loss community, this is a great grief to bear, and it's the fact that other people treat it as if it never happened or it wasn't important. So that's another very difficult thing about pregnancy and infant loss, that it's a death people don't understand. And because they're not familiar with it, I don't know, maybe because they conjure up kind of female ichis and blood and placenta. I don't know. They don't know how to respond. And so they say some stupid things and hurtful things. And I know that in my case, that has been one of the more difficult things for me to deal with. The response I got from some other people, not from the forum. The forum has helped me get through some of those things. But in real life. Yeah. So there were some horrible things. Yeah. I would say yeah. [00:10:54] Speaker A: So what did you learn about grief? [00:10:56] Speaker B: So I found grief to be very exhausting. I think every grief is exhausting. There's no grief that isn't exhausting, but this is a very physical grief. So your body is grieving as well. It's coming off all these hormones as well. Your body's ready to nurse, but there's no one to nurse. So it's a very physical experience. And your body and your mind are sometimes not in sync. Your body is done, and your mind is still not there. Maybe it's in the denial phase, or you're in the anger phase, and your body's in the exhaustion phase. So there's body issues, for sure. And you feel like your body betrayed you. You feel angry at your body. There's a lot of that. Yeah. And as I mentioned before, it's a grief that's really misunderstood and easily dismissed and that people say stupid things about or they rarely say stupid things about other griefs, but they can say very insensitive things about pregnancy and infant loss, including medical professionals. So, for example, I had this nurse at my PCPs who told me, you have to get over this. And it was like, 45 days after it happened, and I had went there to get medication to deal with my sadness and depression. Right. So it was so insensitive. What do you think? I didn't know what to do or say at that moment. I mean, I wish I could tell her now and say, listen, lady, if you had just given birth 45 days later, will you be okay? Would you be okay? Would you recommend somebody tell you to get over it? So it can be very lonely and isolating right. Especially as a single mom, because people don't get it and they're over it, but you're not. Yeah. [00:12:45] Speaker A: So, madly, how have you chosen to memorialize and remember Sibi? [00:12:51] Speaker B: Well, I have this box here, right here. I don't know if you can see it of Sibi's favorite things or Sibi's things. There's her urn in there. There is all sorts of her blankets, her footprints and handprints cards I've received for people, some ornaments, jewelry. I also have this bear. This is the Sibi Bear. A dear friend made this for me. And Sibi is part of all our special family photos. And it's also a way for my children to be able to understand Sibi, to be able to hold her. I also have this star chart that's in my living room. Another friend made that for me. It's the moment she was born. The stars that are aligned there. Right. And so that kind of signals to people that she's in a living room. Right. Among my family. I mean, I have pictures of her, but I don't feel I really want to have that in my living room. I mean, I have it in another place in the house, so yeah, right. I also have a garden stone outside. I mean, I found finding ways to make her real a really important part of my healing. Finding the memorial ceremony is important too. And then every year I used to take well, it stopped now, but they used to have a butterfly release program. So every September, I would release a monarch or a painted I don't know, some type of butterfly that's called a painted I don't know, something like that. Right, okay, a butterfly. And that was really fun and a way to remember. And at Christmas, our local Bereavement group always has these ornaments, so I always get a new ornament so she's always on the tree and part of this Christmas celebration. So for me, these moments of keeping her in my life, remembering her, are really important, and they have helped ease the grief in a way. [00:14:41] Speaker A: So, Madley, is there anything else that you want to say about Sibi? [00:14:46] Speaker B: I guess I want to say know she's not only part of my life, but also the life of her brothers. Right. My eldest knows all about Sibi. He was there every day when I had shots. And he would also put patches on himself, like with toilet paper when I pestered him. Patches. Right. So he knows about Sibi. He's seen the pictures. He has watched me grieve and cry for Siby. And we often go through all her items. And he knows the bear so she's a part of his life too, right. And I want her to be a part of my other son's life who is now two. But I know that he'll never have that emotional connection. Like he'll never understand the grief. But I want her to know that he has a sister and that she lived and she's an important part of our family story. Right. [00:15:33] Speaker A: So when a loss happens, especially as a single mother by choice, it's not just us, right? We were both trying for our second. So there's another little person and then there's a village that either comes through or is there or is not. So how did you balance grieving with raising your son and then tell us a bit about your village? [00:16:00] Speaker B: Well, I'm really lucky. I have a pretty great village. My family has been really supportive. Like my sister has been phenomenal. She was there at the birth and even she doesn't have kids on her own. She's always there to listen and try to get what was going on, even through the process of trying. Because I think part of the grief we didn't really get to talking about, but maybe we can talk about later is the cumulative grief of also the fertility treatments. Right. And my mom, she was a good support even though she was really uncomfortable with feelings. She's that generation, but she did her best. Right. And I have some friends that were really amazing during Sibi in particular, right. Like I have a friend who spent her birthday with me instead of celebrating, she was comforting me while I was crying because it was the day after it happened. Or there was another friend who was sitting in lawn chair with me. And I remember we didn't want to wake up Savvy, so we were sitting in the lawn chairs outside on the driveway under the stars, and I was crying and we were talking about everything and crying and like long into the night. And another friend, she went with me to McMaster when I started bleeding and that was an hour and a half away and she didn't drive and I can't well, obviously I was bleeding and kind of distrust. So anyway, she paid for a taxi and she drove there. We spent the whole night there and we drove back because they didn't have any room for us. Told us to come back in a couple of days. Yeah, so, I mean, these in real life people were really important, as were like people who gave me ornaments, gave me food, were really important. But also just I have this whole online community. Like you were there too, right? All these people who whenever I felt like I couldn't talk about stuff in my real life or I needed somebody, immediately I could go on this online community. I was also part of a bereavement group. We met weekly. Those were people who really got it because they've lost their children at the same time. So we were very much in sync with our feelings. Therapists every week at one point, then Biweekly, then monthly. Actually, I saw two therapists at one point. Yeah. So yeah, it was intense. Yeah. And I have like online groups too, but I do other kind of bereavement groups, but they're a little more anonymous. But it's sometimes nice to have just anonymous place to post something that you just want to share. [00:18:22] Speaker A: Right, right. You just need to get it out of you. [00:18:24] Speaker B: Yeah, get it out of me. And sometimes it's stuff that people who haven't given birth to a dead child don't really get. So, for example, if you go on this pregnancy and infant loss group, like scrolling down, you will see that there's all these pictures of children who were born dead. And people really get certain elements that other people don't understand. Yeah. So all these things were very important to me and yeah, so, yeah, I'm blessed to have them. [00:18:52] Speaker A: How did your village change? Because sometimes we have people who know how to deal with death, if there's a way to deal with death and grieving and then we have people that just don't do very well with it. Did your village change? [00:19:08] Speaker B: I would say my village, certain people became really important to me after Sibi. Right. But my whole Sibi experience was protracted or very different, I think, than some other people's because it was followed by COVID. And I gave birth in COVID, I had my second child in COVID. And I think COVID has fundamentally changed my relationships because I think that people were grieving themselves, were grieving a world that was different from them. Their opportunities were cut, they were disappointed, they were limited. In a way. COVID was a real kind of it was actually easier maybe for me to deal with COVID than some other people because it felt like, finally everybody is on my page. Everybody's grieving, nobody's faking it anymore. Everybody is living some kind of grief and they're upset. Things are not normal. This is what my life has been like for two years. Thanks for joining me, people. And some people in that state just fell away or had other issues. And that was when I had my child, my second child. And I would say my second birth of my second child was quite lonely. I was all by myself in the hospital, for example. And afterwards nobody wanted to engage because there was COVID restrictions. And so my village shifted after COVID. And I would say now my friends are more or my village is more my son's daycare friends or his elementary school friends. I didn't really have a mom group, mommy group, because of COVID So my village has shifted since Sebi's birth. COVID has changed a lot of things. [00:20:47] Speaker A: Thank you. So I know I had to deal with this when I had my first loss, and it was just traumatic. And I was just like, I'm done, I'm done. I'm not doing this again. So where did you find the strength to try again? [00:21:05] Speaker B: I don't know if it was strength, really, or it was maybe desperation. Right. I've always seen myself as having two kids. I had a really strong desire. So this was like my 15th try. Right. I always saw myself as a mom of two kids. I really wanted to experience this second birth. So it was a really deep desire to have a second child, to prolong childhood, to double the fun. I always saw myself as a parent of more than one child. I was the type of person who watched ADAS and off or read books, like Cheaper by the Dozen. And as soon as I had my first, I knew it would be worth it to have a second child. Any kind of suffering I went through, because that was ten tries, and I kind of felt like, oh, that trauma and torture kind of pales in comparison with having the child. Right. So here I had been, gone through 15 of those, and I was, like, in a state of shock, I would say in a state of denial, maybe. And I didn't really know what else to do. And honestly, I probably would not have tried if it wasn't for the encouragement of a couple of amazing people who offered me their embryos. And that really was such a gift and such a belief in, yes, your journey is not finished here. This is this chance to try here. And so I don't know if those people hadn't stepped up, if I would have stopped, if I moved on to adoption. I don't know. I think internally, I knew it had to stop at a certain point, but I wasn't there at that moment, and so I continued, and I had Toby. And it worked at a certain moment. I mean, yeah, I don't think it was particular strength. I do think there's a deep desire to try again after you've had this at Chaloss. For some people, you just want to be pregnant again. And these people were there, and they encouraged me. And by their gift, I have this miracle baby. Now I have Toby. So it's just all kind of surreal. Yeah, I'm happy I tried, because otherwise I wouldn't have Toby. [00:23:08] Speaker A: How did you emotionally navigate that pregnancy? [00:23:13] Speaker B: It was a hard pregnancy. It was very anxious causing it was kind of compounded by the fact that I conceived on July 31, 2020. So right in the middle of COVID Like, I was driving to the clinic in the middle of COVID Like, there's not that many people at these appointments because it was in the middle of COVID the beginning of COVID and I was pregnant throughout. So, yeah, it was super anxiety causing. All of these stepping stones were a major concern, but I think maybe because of the grief, maybe because of the joy, or all I could do was say, well, it's going to be what it's going to be. In a certain point, I was like, there was even a moment where I said to myself, I can survive another stillbirth. I've done it once, it will be horrific, but I will survive another stillbirth. I have to for Zaddy's sake. So that's the worst that can happen and I can survive the worst, so it's going to be okay. And it was okay. As I mentioned, I gave birth during the COVID so there was no one allowed in the room. There was only my sister allowed in the room when I gave birth, and she had to then go home, take care of Tizavi. So I was alone in the hospital. There was no nurses to tell me about nursing problems. Like, it was an empty hospital. Nobody could come visit me, even my friend who's a doctor, she had to kind of sneak in. So it was awkward and lonely in that way, and there was no mummy group. And I felt so fortunate to have my son. And it felt so yeah, I'm just I feel so I wouldn't I don't want to be pregnant again, let's put it that way. [00:24:57] Speaker A: So, Natalie, can you take us through what were some of the most challenging parts of your infertility fertility journey? [00:25:03] Speaker B: I think there are many aspects, but after about five tries, people don't get it right. They start telling you it's time to stop. They don't know what to say. So because of these negative responses, you start shutting down and isolating yourself or you stop talking to people. And then there's the drugs. You're living with a lot of hormones. At one point, I found out you're living with 20 times the estrogen that somebody takes for hormone replacement therapy. So you're living on these drugs and you're living in these cycles of hope and despair. You're going to be pregnant. And they're exasperated by these drugs. And the despair is really big and it's cumulative and becomes really dramatic and damaging. Even now, I drive by the clinic and I get all clammy and dry mouth and anxiety starts ramping up my heart, and I'm not even sitting in the waiting room. There's nothing at stake. I'm just driving. And so your body is really revved up. It knows. And the medical establishment, right, doesn't really acknowledge how hard this is. The doctors, for them, you're just a statistic. You're just another patient who is completely replaceable by another infertility patient, and they make mistakes. They don't own up to it. You're going through a lot of psychological grief, but they're not treating that. They don't care. And infertility generally in society is considered like an option. It's not considered a medical condition. Like, there's so much more effort and drugs given to male erection problem or erectile dysfunction than there is to the fact you miscarried your baby for the third time it's not recognized in Canada, it's just starting to be funded. In some provinces. There's not insurance doesn't cover it. So it's a great financial burden. And people just think like, oh, just adopt, you can't do it just like I did the adoption sessions. But it's not that easy either. Yeah. So I think that those are some of the challenging things from the very personal to the broader kind of systemic issues. [00:27:18] Speaker A: So in Canada, do they have the required psyche evaluation? Like, I know some clinics here in this state will have as part of your checklist to sit down with one of their social workers or one of their psychologists. Is that a requirement in Canada? [00:27:33] Speaker B: Yes, it's a liability requirement. And you have to go see a psychologist they recommend, especially if you're a newbie, to go with the psychologist in your clinic. I think most people can pass that because I think single moms, it's not really let's clarify for anybody who is maybe considering having a child that it's not a psyche valve to say, oh, do you have the psychological makeup to have a baby? It's more like you have a discussion about so how will you talk to your child about being the child of a sperm donor? It's more like helping you work through some of the issues that come with sperm donation or if you use an egg donor, an egg donation. So it's more like the clinic is not going to be liable if one day your child comes and starts suing them. That my mother never told me that I'm donor conceived. I mean, I think that that's really the liability. They've done their part to try to inform you what it means to be part of a donor conceived or gestational surrogate or whatever ways that you've been conceived so that you're aware of some of these factors. So I think that's fine. But I would really recommend to anybody who is going through fertility treatments, especially for long fertilities treatments, is to get a therapist who is specializing in infertility who knows what it's like. I mean, I've been through a lot of therapists and some of them just have no idea what it's like. Can be one of those triggers or those traumatic things for you if they minimize your situation. However, if you have a good infertility psychologist that can be worth their weight and goal, I mean, it helps you move through the grief through this issue of do I want a second child if you have a traumatic birth? I mean, there's so many issues that psychologist is really helpful, not just the one that you have to do to jump the hoop. [00:29:29] Speaker A: I agree. Do you have any regrets? [00:29:31] Speaker B: Yeah, I would do have regrets. I mean, not necessarily about the stillbirth but maybe about the trying again process. The whole if I were to do it again, I would definitely go for the best doctor and the best. Intervention out there. I think that I was kind of naive and kind of too trusting of the medical establishment, perhaps. I felt like if it's meant to be, it'll be and all this crap, right? So I spent a lot of money and time at the local clinic where the doctor didn't really know what he was doing and he was just taking my money. Then when I did do transfer to my bigger clinic in Toronto, the doctor had a maternity leave and I was treated with postdocs who, again, were inexperienced. I would say just learning. And I think if I were to do it again, or something I would recommend to other people is to really go for the best, insist on the best for yourself. You deserve the best. You don't deserve some kind of faded happen or advocate for you're the best, research for the best, and spend the money and cut yourself the time, because time is our greatest resource as parents. And even the extra two years I would have had with Sibi or with another child, I can't think of that way because I can't imagine not having Toby. But an extra two years is amazing if you think about it in the long term. And that's the other regret I would have, is I often regret not starting this process earlier, to have an extra ten years with my kids, to maybe have the chance of having grandskids, because at this point it's not guaranteed. But I try not to berate myself. I mean, it wasn't on my radar. I don't know, I didn't have the courage or wherewithal to do it then. So regrets, and maybe related to stillbirth, I probably sometimes regret not calling the people who were insensitive out right now that I'm more of an advocate, I mean, I think that whole experience has taught me to be more of an advocate for myself and for my children. I mean, I still carry those insensitive things in my head. And it's been like four years now. Four years now. Four years. And I wish I could have said something. Maybe I would have treated my goons if I had said something. And after Sabi's death, again, hindsight is 2020. I really stuffed it all in. And maybe I should have gone like a health leave or been more open about my feelings, but I really felt at that moment I had to fake it till I make it. Or if I tried harder, it would go away. Maybe I should have tried softer, maybe more gentle with myself, more expressive in my feelings, more communicative about my situation. I don't know, sometimes I wonder. I mean, it might have been impossible, but yeah, maybe so. Those are some things that come to mind. Maybe. [00:32:18] Speaker A: So what advice would you give for someone who is walking beside someone who's grieving the loss of a child? [00:32:26] Speaker B: For people who are grieving the loss, I might say, or even people who are just watching. I mean, it's a pain you really can't imagine. It's completely okay not to be okay and not to minimize what you're experiencing if you're that person. I mean, it's horrible. And don't let other people let you feel that. It's not it's traumatic. It's a big deal. Like you deserve time off and you deserve the best support, and it's really physical. So that's what I would tell person in that situation. I might recommend to them to go and find a bereavement group that's local. Those were really important to me. Maybe find a therapist or online group. I had somebody phone me too, at one point, bimonthly to check in. Yeah. So don't hesitate to reach out. And as for the people who are out there listening, I would say who don't know any about this group, I might say something like, don't dismiss it, don't gloss over it. It is a big deal. And try to give the person like an opening to talk about it. And instead of saying dismissing it, like, oh, that must be tough, or like, that's really out, maybe giving them opening, like, how do you feel? Do you feel like talking about it? Or okay, if you're even more of the huggy person, maybe do you want to hug or do you just want me to sit there with you? I think some people don't know what to say, or I think they won't be able to deal with the person's emotions. That it's some kind of contagious thing. But it's not. It's not contagious. It won't overwhelm you, and you don't need to fix it. I think people feel like they can't intervene because they can't fix this problem, right? But really, just listening gives people the opportunity to be real, to acknowledge it happened just for a second. And that's really, really healing, right? It helps people feel less human and helps you feel like your baby is human. Like that Sibi's human, that she was there, she's important. It makes you feel connected with people, and it makes you feel like the life and the personhood of that child, of Sibi's really matters. That it's not just something that was a blip or just a stillbirth. [00:34:34] Speaker A: Well, madly thank you. [00:34:36] Speaker B: Thank you. And thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about Sibi like you did. Right? Mean, I know we've talked about this for a while, and I know it's taken me a while to come and talk about it. It's a hard topic, right? But I really appreciate you giving me this space and giving Sibi this way to maybe even just make it easier for one person that will make her life matter a bit. Thanks. [00:35:01] Speaker A: Thank you. [00:35:05] Speaker B: Thanks for listening. [00:35:06] Speaker A: To start to finish motherhood with Aisha. If you want to keep the conversation going, follow Start to Finish Motherhood on Instagram or email me at [email protected]. If you love this episode, please share it with anyone who's thinking of becoming a single mother by choice anyone who's already parenting as a single mother by choice and just looking for advice on navigating it all or a friend or family member who's looking to support someone else's single mother by choice journey. Until next time. Bye now.

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