“After you have that rare occurrence happen to you, then it feels like you’ll always be the odd one out.”
This is a snippet of a conversation that I had with a fellow loss mother who is currently pregnant after the loss of her son.
Her son passed away because of complications of prematurity after being born at 24 weeks due to a placental abruption.
I met her at a local support group, two months after my son was stillborn.
Let me share some statistics with you (I know, boring):
There is a 1% chance of having a placental abruption.
There is a 0.6% chance of having a stillborn.
There is a 25% chance that a pregnancy will end in a loss.
There is a 12.5% chance of struggling with infertility.
All of these numbers indicate a pretty low chance of experiencing any of these horrible situations.
It’s easy to tell yourself it won’t happen to you.
I mean – 1% is nothing, right?
Now let me put the same statistics to you in a different way.
Placental abruptions happen in 1 out of a 100 births.
Stillbirths happen in 1 out of 160 births.
1 out of 4 pregnancies will end in a loss.
1 out of 8 couples will experience infertility.
When those same statistics are presented in this way, it seems to drive home the frequency of these events.
There are so many pregnant women out there – and when you are the 1 in 8 struggling with infertility, it feels like they are EVERYWHERE.
Some of these women will suffer a placental abruption. Some of them will deliver a stillborn child.
One out of every 4 pregnant women will lose a child. Take 4 of your female friends, one of them is going to suffer the loss of a pregnancy.
That statistic is staggering.
Take 8 couple friends. One of them will struggle with infertility.
These are NOT “rare occurrences”.
For some of us, we are “the one” in a lot of these statistics.
For myself, I have been the 1 in 8, the 1 in 4, and the 1 in 160. I have been that “one” person for a lot of my friends.
I also know quite a few of my friends who have been that “one” too.
We are “the ones”.
We are common.
We are all around.
Look to your friend who is “the one” and ask them how they are doing.
Look to your friend who has been married for a while with no children and ask them if they are okay.
Open the lines of communication. Make yourself be a support for the grief journey they are traveling.
We may be “the ones” but we need you to be “the others” we can turn to when being “the one” becomes overwhelming for us.
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother to her son, Asher, who was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017 and twin daughters. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags. She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project , an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. She hopes to help others by sharing her journey as she continues to navigate the bumpy road that is life after loss.