As part of my new part time job, I do outreach on pregnancy and infant loss. The non profit I work for has three main areas of focus- support, offering peer led support groups for those who have lost a pregnancy or infant, burial/cremation financial assistance, for those who need financial help to lay their child to rest and outreach and education, for medical professionals and other interested parties learning about perinatal loss. The outreach is my favorite part of my job. I love being a teacher. I’ve done lots of teaching in the midwifery world, mostly clinically educating student midwives. I even daydream that someday I’ll give all this up and go back to school to become a elementary or high school teacher. The outreach I do for the non profit allows me to be a teacher.
Recently I was doing a three hour presentation to another organization, training them about perinatal bereavement. I spent the time talking about grief and how to be a good caregiver, how to “be with” the bereaved. We did some interactive activities, watched some video clips and had a parent panel. At the end of the presentation, after I had shared my story as part of the parent panel, I looked down at my shirt and noticed a dark stain.
I had leaked.
I had pumped a few minutes before we started and have not needed breast pads in a few months. I was slightly embarrassed at first, but then figured I was among women (though I forgot at the time I was being videotaped!)
I have been mulling over this event again and again and can’t help but smile, knowing my baby and my body are still so intertwined. I can now speak of Mabel without tears, but my body still cries for her.