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Petra Buis: Forget Me Not

Petra Buis: Forget Me Not

 

My fiancé Andrew and I have always wanted a family. We excitedly began family planning in October 2018, and felt lucky to become pregnant eight months later, in May of 2019.

We shared this joy with one another but were waiting until we made it to 12 weeks – the “safe stage” – to share our news with our friends and family.

As we headed into our 12-week check-up, our joy and excitement were quickly taken away, and replaced by heartbreak and devastation as we were told they were unable to locate a heartbeat.

The next eight hours were filled with confirmation ultrasounds and appointments. I walked through the halls of the hospital, from one appointment to the next, in tears. The following day, I was booked into the OR for surgery.

The grief Andrew and I felt in those moments was almost unbearable. And on top of this grief, for me, was shame. “What if I had of done something differently?” “Would things be the same, now?” These are some of the questions I was replaying in my mind.

This grief and shame followed me, and hit even harder when someone would ask, “When are you and Andrew going to have a baby?” This seemingly harmless question can be heartbreaking to someone who has just experienced a loss, or who has been trying to conceive without success.

With these questions becoming more frequent, I decided to be open about my experience and share how common miscarriages and infertility really are. I also wanted to share my experience to potentially connect with others going through the same loss.

Sharing my experience has been eye opening, and I’ve connected with so many others who have experienced miscarriage. Some that I know personally.

Now, Andrew and I have experienced three losses. While it doesn’t get easier, every time we arrived home from the hospital there was something waiting for me from my friends and family. In such a heartbreaking time, I don’t think they realized how comforting something as simple as your favorite snack is.

Knowing that not everyone has the support networks that Andrew and I do, or the ability to be open about their experience, I wanted to do something to help others in their time of grief. And, in working with the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation, I’m happy to launch a new initiative, ‘Forget Me Not’ packages.

Forget Me Not packages will be filled with simple comfort items and given to those experiencing loss through miscarriage, here in Cape Breton. Though a small gesture, I believe it will help in a big way.

These packages will have items like Tylenol, pads, treats, hot/cold compresses and more, as well as women’s health and mental health-related resources.

My goal is to help those experiencing such a loss feel less alone, during a time when it feels like no one understands. I hope you will join me in giving the gift of Forget Me Not packages to fellow Cape Bretoners, when they need it most.