I have always known that black women are more likely to experience pregnancy loss than other women in other racial categories. I have never taken the time to pull some stats, but I recently did, and it caused me to feel various emotions.
I am sharing the two basic images I pulled from the Star Legacy Foundation; a non-profit organization that is helping raise awareness concerning pregnancy loss. These show the racial demographics on stillbirth. (Click 'Read More' to continue, if necessary.)
My initial reaction was a feeling of gratitude that an organization took the time to make this information more readily available. The other emotion I felt was sadness because so many women experience such a tragedy. Finally, (in my transparency) this triggered all the other emotions I felt when I experienced stillbirth: anger, frustration, deep sadness, grief, and so much more. My race, African American/Black women, are more likely to experience stillbirth than any other race. The loneliness feeling is bittersweet since I know I am not alone but still isolated based on race.
I decided to start this blog as the initial step into helping more women and families ‘walk through’ that dark valley. I recognize I want to support black women and families but please know I hope I get to encourage and support every race! My personal story includes infertility issues and then with our first child, the tragedy of stillbirth. By God’s grace, we do have a ‘rainbow’ miracle that arrived in 2020. But even that had its scary moment.
As a Christian, I will be honest: from the outside in, God was not enough to help me to ‘walk through’ that dark valley. From the inside out, God was enough. I needed help from all sources that God made possible to use. When I needed Xanax, I was prescribed it. When I needed spiritual revival, I went to women conferences to receive more encouragement on top of my regular Sunday church attendance. When I needed to sort through all the emotions because I felt so much was stacked against me, I went to a Christian therapist who reminded me that God is faithful and still does miracles. Now, for someone else, they may say, “I only needed God and He got me through.” I will not argue with that person; in fact, I will be inspired and encouraged by that person. However, I wonder if that person accounts for the medical staff, the family member(s) who held their hand, the family and friend who attended the memorial/funeral service, and more. Because all those things can and does help one ‘walk through’ the dark valley.
As I post more and get to know you all who will read and subscribe, I pray you will agree with me that there is more that can be done. More support. More encouragement. There are greater works that we are meant to do. (John 14:12)
Question: If you experienced stillbirth (or other pregnancy loss), what helped you ‘walk through’ the dark valley? What continues to help you manage your day-to-day life (because know that grief has no expiration date)? Leave your comments below and I will respond to as many as I can!
I desire to help encourage and support women during their time of trying to conceive and if they experience the tragedy of stillbirth. When I experienced stillbirth, the best advice I received: Be Human. I hope to help Christian women recognize the importance of being human in order to process our emotions. When we admit we are weak, God is able to be faithful and be God. If we be human, then God can be God.