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This is My Story - Jenna

This series of personal stories from parents who have suffered pregnancy or baby loss opens up a space for talking about loss and grief publicly.


In sharing their stories about pregnancy, infertility and the death of their babies, the parents whose personal accounts you can read on The Possum Blog are beginning to exorcise the demon of social taboo afflicting many conversations on perinatal loss.


Parents share their journeys and their advice, if any, on living with loss. They share how they have changed, who they have become, and what truly matters now.


Angel baby boy Reagan



I found out I was pregnant in late July or early August 2022. We were thrilled to be pregnant again, and for our first son to welcome a younger sibling. I had morning sickness from about 8-12 weeks, but once I reached the second trimester my energy started to recover. The rest of my pregnancy was very good. That is why it came as a massive shock to find out on 21 March 2023 that my baby's heart had stopped.


Once I reached the second trimester, my energy levels started to recover. The rest of my pregnancy was very good.

I arrived at the birth suite of my hospital because I had a gut feeling something was not right with my baby. I think I felt a decrease in my son's movements, although I was not entirely sure that was the case. There were no other signs that my baby had died. I was in complete shock when I heard the news, and very very sad. I wept for many weeks afterwards.


On 23 March 2023 at 36 weeks pregnant, I was induced into labour. My experience of labour was positive. This was my second child, so the process and feeling of labour was not unfamiliar to me.


I arrived at the birth suite of my hospital because I had a gut feeling something was not right with my baby.

I had a 15 hour labour with my first son, and only a 7 hour labour with my second son. I was planning to have an epidural for my second birth. However, labour progressed very quickly and there was not enough time to administer one. My husband was with me during labour, and the midwives at the hospital were very caring and supportive during this difficult process.


The initial feeling I had was of pure love for my baby. He looked very much like my first son when he was born. I felt proud to have a second son, and finally to be holding him, even if he had died. However, all of these feelings were shadowed by a deep sadness. My son's name is Reagan Mitchell. He was a large baby at birth for his gestation (as was my first son), and had long legs, arms, fingers and toes. He had light brown hair and a button nose. He was absolutely perfect in our eyes.


The initial feeling I had was of pure love for my baby. I felt proud, even if he had died. However, all of these feelings were shadowed by a deep sadness. The loss of my baby is the most tragic event that I have ever had to endure.

The loss of my baby is the most tragic event that I have ever had to endure. It was extremely hard knowing my baby had died inside me, and that I had to birth a baby that would be sleeping. I felt severe grief and self-blame for what had occurred, even before knowing exactly what had occurred.


Thankfully I have felt very loved and cared for by family and friends during this difficult time.


After Reagan's birth, the way I coped was to write a journal to my son, as well as to print and display photos of him to create lasting memories everywhere I looked around my home.


After Reagan's birth, the way I coped was to write a journal to my son. I feel deep sorrow every day, but I also feel stronger for working through the process of losing my son.

I feel deep sorrow every day following my baby's death, but I also feel stronger for working through the process of losing my son.


I wish I had been more aware that issues could occur late in a pregnancy. If there was a way to prevent my son's death, I would have wanted to know about this prior to pregnancy.


To parents who are recently bereaved I would say: take care of yourselves. You will recover, although your grief may feel all-consuming at times. You are not alone, and I see you.


You will recover, although your grief may feel all-consuming at times.

Listen to baby loss podcasts, write a journal to your baby and, when you feel ready, put up photos of them. Seeing and remembering my baby brings great comfort to me. Talk about your baby with other people, and let others know that you want to talk about your baby. Try to remember and appreciate the good things in your life. Although these suggestions will never dissipate your grief completely, it does help bring perspective to your feelings.


Talk about your baby with other people, and let others know that you want to talk about your baby.

A personalised portrait of my baby brings me happiness during such an immense time of sadness. Seeing Reagan’s portrait gives me peace and comfort, as does any photo or memory of my son. A Possum Portrait feels more personal than a printed photo and pays tribute to our loss.


To help our older son understand what happened we read children's books about grief and loss given to us by the hospital. We were upfront with our son, and did not "sugar coat" what had happened. He is completely aware that his little brother has died. We speak about Reagan with him often, and answer any questions he has as best as we can. We are consistent in our approach of discussing the topic with him.


We have a photo of my first son and Reagan on display to commemorate their time together.


In terms of talking about baby loss with your living children, I would say to be open, upfront and honest with them. Do not be afraid to express your feelings.

In terms of talking about baby loss with your living children, I would say to be open, upfront and honest with them. Do not be afraid to express your feelings.


My experience of loss has made me realise that life is fragile, especially for a baby.


I hope that awareness around stillbirth will continue to increase. I also hope that stillbirth will be talked about more openly in the future, in order to help curb the loneliness bereaved parents feel at this time.


My experience of loss has made me realise that life is fragile. I hope that awareness around stillbirth will continue to increase so as to prevent feelings of blame, shame or guilt arising in the mother.

I hope that more resources become available during pregnancy, so as to prevent feelings of blame, shame or guilt arising in the mother if a death was to occur.

Moreover, I think stillbirth should be talked about more during pregnancy. Then, if a death did occur, the mother would be familiar with the process that comes into play after the death of a baby. I do however appreciate how scary that thought can be for some people, particularly at such a vulnerable time.






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