October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and Hope Clinic participated in a special event on Saturday, October 15 at Centennial Park to honor those affected in our community. Hope Clinic Intern Katie Ward attended the event and shares her thoughts below…
How long have you been interning at Hope Clinic?
I started my fall field placement for my undergraduate degree in social work in late August. I am loving my time here at Hope Clinic!
What has been one thing that you have learned from this internship experience?
One of my biggest take-a-ways from my internship so far has been the importance of human relationships, which is one of the core values of the social work profession. One of the reasons why Hope Clinic is such a great place is because we really focus on building healthy relationships with our clients, making them feel loved, and empowering them to make healthy decisions.
Had you heard of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month before joining the Hope Clinic team?
No, I hadn’t. Before working on this project, I had no idea how prevalent infant mortality is in our state. I also did not know how often miscarriages occur. It is truly a devastating loss that so many people experience.
When did you first hear about the Remembrance Day Event? Who hosted the event and who contacted Hope Clinic about it?
The 2016 Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day Event was hosted by the Metro Public Health Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) and the Behavior Wellness Subcommittee. Alison Butler, a member of the FIMR program, contacted Hope Clinic about the event. Since HCFW provides wonderful care for pregnancy loss patients, it was a natural collaboration.
What was the event like?
The event was absolutely beautiful. There were speakers, a spoken word artist, a harpist, arts and crafts for the siblings, and resource tables to inform families about the post-loss services offered in our community. It was truly a special time for families to honor and remember all of the babies who never made it to their first birthday.
Did attending the event give you any new perspective on pregnancy and infant loss that you didn’t have before?
One of the speakers pointed out something that I thought was very profound: There is no word in the English language for a parent who has lost a child. Children without parents are called orphans, and people who have lost a spouse are called widows or widowers, but there is not a word for parents who have lost a child. Sometimes people who experience such a loss may feel especially lonely since often times miscarriages occur before they have told family or friends that they are pregnant.
Is there anything else you want to say?
Bringing issues like infant mortality to light is so important for our community. I think all of us envision a city, state, and country where all babies live long and healthy lives. The work of the Fetal and Infant Mortality Review is so important because they are working to make this goal a reality in our city.